Bought my Shield Plan already – Am I stuck with it forever?
Despite the foreboding title, it is really a good problem to have.
You’ve gone out there some time ago and gotten a Shield Plan. Then you see new insurers coming into the fray with improved offers, while others have famously hiked their prices. Here comes the inevitable, creeping wonder: Could I do better than my existing plan?
The answer is, yes you probably could. But that really isn’t the correct question.
The real question is – Should you do better than your existing plan?
We present arguments for both sides to help you out of this pickle.
Why Stay Put
Your health may have deteriorated
Your health may not have been the same as it was before. To apply for a new policy might entail fresh underwriting (the Insurer’s assessment of you).
If you developed health conditions such as high hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, liver disease, then these conditions might not be covered (excluded) any more or you could be saddled with higher than usual premiums.
There are fresh waiting periods to undergo
A new policy also entails various waiting periods, which is a mandatory stretch of time from the policy start date during which certain benefits are not payable under the new plan. This feature is meant to prevent people from buying policies only when they are aware of their illnesses – with the aim to claim shortly after.
In Shield Plans for example, there can be a 10 month waiting period for Pregnancy Complications benefits, and up to a 24 month waiting period for an Insured to be an Organ Donor. (Yes, these plans even cover treatment costs should you decide to donate your organ as a living donor. Fun fact of the day.)
You are satisfied with your current Policy
Why fix that which is not broken?
Why Improve your Policy
Greater Flexibility in Riders
Riders used to come in one size only – which means no customization, save for the fact that you can select which Wards or Hospitals you choose to receive treatment in.
These days, there are a plethora of options available for Shield Plan riders – and you can pick and choose only those that make the most sense to you.
By selecting only the relevant riders, you could be reducing your annual premiums as well.
Competition is stiff among the different Shield Plan providers – which is a great thing for us, the consumer. Shield Plans provide a host of benefits, but we highlight two crucial ones here to underscore the variability in different policies. We use Private Hospital plans as a benchmark.
Annual Claims Limit – The Maximum amount you can claim per policy year
Lowest – 300k
Highest – 1000k
Pre/Post-Hospitalization Claims Duration – The number of days that claims are covered for pre/post admission
Lowest – 90 Pre / 90 Post
Highest – 180 Pre / 365 Post
Get better Value
Improving your policy also makes perfect sense if the new one can provide similar benefits at lower cost, or provide better benefits at the same cost as your current plan.
So should you be stuck with your existing policy? We say yeah, it’s good to just stick with what you have, unless:
– You want to improve upon your current coverage
– Your health condition is still impeccable
– You wish to pick and choose relevant riders
– You are not satisfied with your current provider
If you score a perfect 4/4 for the checklist above, now is probably a great chance to take action.
Think its time to improve your Shield Plan? Or do you need assistance in selecting the right one? AXA is ready to help – right here.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.
This post is brought to you by AXA. All views and opinions presented in the article are those of www.ClearlySurely.com