Friday, June 17, 2011

Importance of disclosing health information

Last week I read a blog post (in Malayalam) shared in Facebook by one my friends. A heart wrenching story of a father who lost his son. The young man, in his late twenties, passed away in his sleep. If fate was in its cruel mood, the insurance company's denial to pay the insurance amount was probably even worse.

The young man had taken two policies. One was from LIC (sum assured of 1 lakh and annual premium of Rs. 5,000 or so) and another from a new generation private insurance company (ULIP: sum assured is not mentioned and monthly premium was Rs. 5,000). Like thousands of other Indians, both the covers were taken through insurance agents - who were either close friends or relatives. The young man had a previous history of epilepsy and was under treatment from a leading hospital. He was healthy otherwise. Married and working for a private IT firm. The agent in the case of private insurer, even though alerted by the young man, advised them not to disclose the information. In fact the application form was filled up by the agent himself and he assured them with typical "dont worry", "I will be there" and "no problem". At the time of claim, LIC processed the claim without much problem and the private player promptly denied (they found out the treatment history from hospital). And as one could guess, the agent who sold the private insurance policy had vanished (changed jobs and wouldn't take the phone)!