Increase Health Insurance Cover At No Extra Charges

Friday, Apr 12 2024
Source/Contribution by : NJ Publications

Health insurance in the new era is providing you various kinds of coverages, like OPD coverage, worldwide treatment, no claim bonus, etc.

Today we will discuss No Claim Bonus (NCB) and Guaranteed Cumulative Bonus (GCB) features in a health insurance plan. It is one of the most in-demand features extended on a health insurance policy. If you do not make a claim, then as a reward the insurance company increases the sum insured upon renewal. Basically, you benefit from leading a healthy life and not making any claims. This means that the sum insured increases based on the NCB accumulated without paying additional premium - that is you can get more than the base sum insured on the same policy premium. 

Earlier, NCB was given in the form of a discount on your renewal premium. Later, the insurance companies started giving a No Claim Bonus of about 5% or 10% on the sum insured. This has now increased to 50%, 100%, 200% or even 500% or more of the sum insured depending on different health plans and insurance companies. Some health insurance plans increase the coverage irrespective of claims - in the form of GCB.

It means that you can increase the coverage based on the No Claim Bonus or GCB accumulated without any extra charges/premium. In such cases, if your health insurance coverage at the start is Rs 5 Lacs, it can increase to Rs 20 Lacs, Rs 25 Lacs or 50 Lacs over a few years and that too without any extra charges.

Crucial Benefits of GCB or NCB 

There are numerous benefits of the No Claim Bonus element in health insurance. 

● Economical premium: 

No Claim Bonus lets you enhance the policy to fit all the necessities without worrying about paying the entire premium. This is because you can take advantage of the bonus as a discount on the premium. Thus, you get extensive coverage for any accidental or health emergencies. 

● Financial protection:

While not increasing the premium cost, the No Claim Bonus feature lets you increase the sum insured of your health policy. This helps you get better financial back-up when you need it the most. 

● Portability:

The No Claim Bonus coverage in health insurance is transferable to another insurer - subject to applicable terms & conditions. If you port to another insurance company, in that case, the additional coverage you gained under NCB all these years can be carried forward and will be applicable.

How does No Claim Bonus work in health insurance? 

The computation of cumulative bonus coverage under the NCB feature depends on the type of NCB offered by the health policy. 

Suppose Mr. Shah has a policy of Rs. 5 lacs and he did not make a claim during the policy year. While renewing the plan, the insurance company offers him an additional coverage of 20%. As a result, the total risk coverage of the policy becomes Rs. 6 lacs for the subsequent policy year. 

Suppose he does not make a claim even in the subsequent policy year. In this scenario, the risk coverage will increase to Rs. 7 lacs due to the accumulation of no claim bonus. However, a cumulative bonus usually comes with a limit of 100% or 200% may be even 500%. The additional coverage cannot exceed the said limit. So, for five or ten consecutive claim-free years, Mr. Shah will be eligible for a total risk coverage of up to Rs. 10 Lacs (Base Sum Insured Rs. 5 Lacs and 100% NCB Rs. 5 Lacs).

The policy schedule will state the NCB benefit offered under the policy. It also mentions the bonus amount accrued till now. It also varies from health insurance plan to plan and insurer to insurer. 

Guaranteed Cumulative Bonus works the same way as No Claim Bonus, only difference is that this benefit is available irrespective of claims. It means whether you make a claim or not, your risk cover increases every year.

How to take advantage of No Claim Bonus in health insurance? 

Many insurance companies now provide No Claim Bonus or guaranteed cumulative bonus as an add-on cover. 

You can take this add-on by paying a minor extra amount along with your health insurance premium while buying or renewing the health policy. It is recommended that you must understand the benefits/features, read the policy brochure & policy wordings carefully and also evaluate the add-ons based on your needs before buying a new health policy or add-on cover. 

Applicable to family floaters? 

NCB is available in both an Individual health plan and a family floater. Under the family floater plans, NCB is applicable provided that any insured member covered under the policy does not make a claim during the policy year. 

To summarize, the enhanced insurance coverage gained from a NCB/GCB feature also helps to get the best healthcare facilities without worrying about treatment costs. It is therefore highly advisable to contact an insurance expert or an insurance advisor to know more about the Guaranteed Cumulative Bonus or a NCB benefit before buying/renewing your health insurance policy.

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