Ask us: on investments
Q. A person I know died recently in an accident. He used to work for a consultancy. He was in his early 20s and had been working for 4 to 5 months. I wanted to help his family get life insurance and pension fund amount that is due. The company people are not cooperative. What can I do to know about group insurance amount and what is due to his family?
A. To help make the claim you first need information on the insurance policies that this person may have been covered under. The family can help you with any documents like identity cards of mass health insurance or accident insurance schemes or bank statement showing deduction of premium – which happens in the May, June or July each year for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana Scheme for example.
If his employer took documents for making a claim, it could be a group insurance scheme through the employer. Please ask for the information in writing and send a copy to the insurance company or government department concerned that runs the scheme.
You can try to find related information out through employees’ groups or associations or unions if any. His peers and colleagues or perhaps a right-thinking person in the human resources or accounts department may help with this lead. With this information, you can work towards making claims or trace if any claims have already been made and money received by a third party.
If you draw a blank again, please explore options of getting information from the insurer or the government department concerned through RTI.
Q. I am 29-year old single working professional living with my 56-year- old, retired father.
Currently I have group insurance from my employer and am planning to take separate health insurance additionally. So far ,neither me nor my father has had health insurance. Should I go for individual or a family floater plans?
A. Your father will get the premium suited to his age either way. Taking separate policies is advisable for the reasons you say, but first see how the premiums work out for family and individual policies where family discounts also come into play. In a family policy, you can still have floater and individual sums assured. Get quotations for different options and your decisions are easier. Also, remember that when you get married and have children, those premiums also will move in tandem with the premium for the oldest person under the policy.
Ahead of all this, please enrol your father in your employer’s health insurance scheme if that is possible.
Q. I am a 19-year-old degree student. I am financially dependent on my parents but would like to start learning about insurance policies and be generally financially independent by the time I start earning. What books or other resources would you suggest for an absolute beginner like me?
A. Please start with respected personal finance sections of leading publications like The Hindu’s weekly MoneyWise page that carries articles on insurance as well as savings and investment topics.
The websites of regulators such as Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India , Reserve Bank of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India and self-regulatory organisations like Association of Mutual Funds of India have a wealth of authentic and timely information on the investments they oversee. You can learn what to do and what to avoid, get the pulse of trends. From websites of companies that offer the actual financial products, like insurance companies or mutual funds, you can get product information including their financial implications. This can be the starting point of the exciting journey you are embarking on. All the best!
(The writer is a business journalist specialising in insurance & corporate history)