You may want to extend your life insurance coverage or get a policy for accidental death or disability. Opting for a rider along with your regular policy helps you achieve that.
Health insurance is a must for everyone. This little piece of wisdom has found a lot more acceptance lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A health insurance cover with an adequate sum assured could be an answer to unforeseen medical emergencies, not only in times of a pandemic, but also in general.
A health insurance policy provides you security by ensuring that you get the best medical care without any strain on your finances. However, a basic policy may not be enough to cover yourself comprehensively. To meet your specific needs, you could customize it using a variety of riders, or add-on benefits.
What is a rider?
A rider is simply an additional benefit that you can add to your basic health insurance policy at affordable prices to expand your coverage as per your needs. There are different types of riders available. You may want to extend your life insurance coverage, or get a policy for accidental death or disability, and critical illnesses, so that your family’s future is not affected in case of an untoward incident. Opting for a rider along with your regular policy helps you achieve that.
Room rent waiver: This rider allows you to opt for a room with a higher sub-limit, or even without any sub-limit. Generally, most policies set a maximum cap on room rent. They may provide financial cover for only standard or semi-private rooms in the insurance plan. The room rent waiver allows you to go for a room of your choice, including private and deluxe rooms, without having to pay any additional fee at the time of the admission.
Hospital cash benefit: This is among the most common riders that policyholders usually opt for. In simple terms, the hospital cash benefit rider pays daily cash to the policyholder during hospitalization to take care of any related hospital expenses. The daily cash could range from a few hundred rupees to a few thousand rupees. The cash can also be used to meet non-medical expenses. This rider can help you meet the additional expenses that are not covered by the policy.
Maternity rider: Most insurance policies do not cover hospitalization expenses related to pregnancy. However, by opting for a maternity cover rider, you can get extensive coverage for expenses borne during childbirth. However, the maternity cover rider comes with a waiting period of 2-3 years. So one must get this rider as soon as possible to ensure the waiting period is over when you need to avail the benefits of the policy. Some insurers also offer coverage for the child after birth till the end of the policy tenure.
Critical illness cover: There is no doubt that having a regular health insurance plan is crucial for everyone. However, it is equally important to have coverage against critical illnesses as an additional rider. As the name suggests, a critical illness plan pays a lump-sum amount on being diagnosed with a serious ailment such as cancer or stroke. The lump-sum payment can be used not only to pay for the medical expenses but also to pay off debt, replace lost income or any other requirement of the insured or the insured’s family. Most serious ailments are covered under any critical illness cover including heart attack, cancer, stroke, kidney failure and paralysis.
Personal accident rider: Just like a critical illness cover, a personal accident cover pays a lump sum amount to the insured or the nominee, if the former meets an accident causing permanent total or partial disability, temporary disability, or accident death. This rider can be added to your policy at an additional minimal cost. The payout can be used for medical expenses, or any other unplanned expenses including to replace lost income, or even funeral costs.
OPD cover: While most health insurance policies cover medical expenses in case of a hospitalisation, the cost of outpatient treatment (OPD) expenses usually need to be paid from the pocket. By opting for an OPD cover, you can ensure that your policy also covers the medical expenses that you incur for treatment which does not require hospitalisation.
Consumables cover: Health insurance policies, in general, do not cover expenses incurred on consumables during a hospitalisation. Consumables refer to medical aid equipment that have to be discarded after use, like gloves, masks, PPE kits, housekeeping items, surgical items etc. The charges of all these items are usually billed directly to the patient, and these can add up pretty fast. But by opting for a consumables cover benefit, you need not worry about these expenses.
NCB protection: No-claim bonus (NCB) is the reward that you get for not making a claim in any given year. It usually comes in the form of an additional cover over and above the sum insured under your base policy. It often goes up to 100 per cent of the sum insured if you do not make a claim for a given number of years. However, when you make a claim, the NCB is rolled back. By opting for the NCB protection rider, you can ensure that your NCB benefit continues even after making a claim.
Inflation protection: Medical inflation in India is rising sharply, much faster than the rise in prices of other goods. With the cost of treatment becoming more and more expensive every year, it is only natural that you would want a bigger cover a few years from now than what you have today. This is where an inflation protection rider comes in. This rider in your health insurance policy increases your sum insured by a defined percentage at specific periods of time to keep up with inflation.
Health insurance riders are designed in such a way that policyholders get additional coverage at affordable cost by being able to choose only those coverages that work for them. It is usually worth paying a small incremental premium towards these rider benefits.