Times of India
13 October 2011
Mumbai , India
Now your PIN code will decide the amount of health insurance premium you need to pay. Besides age, gender and general health, insurers are discovering that cost of real estate plays a big role in health insurance costs and have incorporated that into pricing.
“Hospitalization is more expensive in Mumbai and Delhi compared to other cities One of the reasons for this is the high cost of real estate in these metros,” said Joydeep Roy, CEO, L&T General Insurance. He said that his company has done an analysis of costs for each postal zone. However, given the complexity of monitoring each postal area the company has bunched the codes into three clusters.
Earlier, state–owned New India Assurance had come up with differential pricing for New Delhi and Mumbai. But this is the first time that a company is refining the pricing to such a level. L&T General Insurance’s “My:health Medisure Prime” is positioned as a feature rich product which is priced slightly above its rivals. The premium varies according to the location. For instance, someone buying health insurance in Sholapur in Maharashtra would end up paying 15% lower than someone in Mumbai. However, if a person from a small city were to seek treatment in a metro he would have to bear a portion of the treatment cost.
L&T’s product is one of the first new health insurance products to hit the market after the insurance regulator permitted portability of health insurance plans with effective from October 1. The portability guidelines allow customers to switch service providers and retain their track record.
A slew of new health insurance products are expected to be launched by insurers in coming weeks as new features and services are expected to be the prime drivers for policyholders to migrate from one policy to another.
L&T’s product is different in other ways as well. Unlike most policies, the “My–:health” plan does not have sub–limits under various heads like room rent, medicines, or surgery. Further, the sum insured also automatically doubles on diagnosis of a critical illness.