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Does a standard health insurance policy cover coronavirus? Expert answers

Coronavirus is an infectious disease and hospitalisation on account of such conditions is generally covered under most health insurance policies

Roopam Asthana 

savings, investment, tax, insurance, policy, Mutual fund, MF
It can be quite a nightmare to lose your expensive belongings, especially while travelling | File photo

I already have a standard policy. There is a lot of fear about the epidemic. Will my standard policy cover me for it?

is an infectious disease and hospitalisation on account of such conditions is generally covered under most health policies. For more detailed information, go through the policy documents issued to you. You can also contact your insurer for greater clarity.

I am a freelance movie maker. I live in Bengaluru and have irregular and lumpy income. Do I need a policy? I am already covered by my spouse’s office insurance. My parents passed away due to cancer and heart disease.

The provided by your spouse’s employer will be available only till your spouse is employed. It is always advisable to buy a separate health policy that will protect your family and you. While purchasing one, keep a few factors in mind. One, ensure that you buy adequate sum insured, say, in the range of ~10-15 lakh or higher, considering your family medical history and the high cost of medical care in a city like Bengaluru. Two, the policy should not have any sub-limits or co-payment requirement. Three, apart from regular hospitalisation expenses, it should cover pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses and provide ambulance cover. Four, look for optional covers such as restoration of sum insured, hospital daily cash allowance, and enhancement of cumulative bonus.

A doctor misdiagnosed me for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). I was on medication for one year, and my condition got worse. I changed the doctor and he stopped all my medicines. I was fine within two weeks. Do I need to buy medical insurance? Should I disclose this? I was misdiagnosed, so technically I never had COPD.

It is always advisable to have a health insurance policy and keep yourself prepared for sudden expenses that you may incur due to unexpected hospitalisation. When applying for a health insurance policy, you must disclose all the treatments undertaken in the past to avoid any issues during the claims process in the future.

I lost my baggage on a bus in Canada. It had a costly camera and lenses. Can I claim travel insurance for these items? I have just got back to India.

It can be quite a nightmare to lose your expensive belongings, especially while travelling. Most travel insurance policies offer insurance cover for loss of checked-in baggage by airlines in transit. Unfortunately, the situation you have described is generally not covered by travel insurance. I would advise you to read the policy document issued to you and check whether your case is covered in the loss of baggage section of the policy. Find out what are the applicable exclusions.

Can a person have more than one health policy? Can I cancel my policy? If yes, will I get my premium back?

Yes, you can have multiple health insurance policies. However, at any given point in time, you will be able to make a claim under one policy only. In case the sum insured of the policy under which you made a claim gets exhausted, you can start utilising the other policy.

A policy can be cancelled, provided no claims have been made. To know more on cancellation premium refund, I suggest you read the cancellation clause mentioned in the policy document issued to you.


The writer is CEO and whole-time director, Liberty General Insurance. The views expressed are his own. Send your queries to yourmoney@bsmail.in

First Published: Wed, March 18 2020. 23:21 IST
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