Most health insurance plans exclude pre-existing diseases for four years

While your son has been declared cancer free, insurers are likely to consider it as a pre-existing disease (iStock)

Pet insurance in India is designed to indemnify the insured on death of the animal. Death could be either due to an illness or accident. In case of death, the insured gets the benefit amount. Such policies do not reimburse hospitalisation expenses.

To fix the sum assured of the policy, a valuation certificate from a veterinary doctor is required. Typical cost of dog insurance is around 5% of the sum assured. On death of the pet, policy does not pay the full sum assured but only 80% of it.

My son is 7 years old and has been declared cancer free. He was diagnosed with stage one blood cancer when he was 5. Just to take preventive measures, can I buy a cancer policy for him a couple of years later?

—Nimit Owais

Yes, you should buy a cancer plan for your son. If you can, do try to buy it sooner. Most health insurance plans including cancer plans will exclude pre-existing diseases for four years. While your son has been declared cancer free, insurers are likely to consider it as a pre-existing disease. Thus, the effective coverage for him will begin only after four years.

Insurers may be apprehensive about issuing a coverage immediately. To increase the possibility of getting the insurance, you should propose a low entry level sum assured, say 5 lakh. A basic cancer plan to cover you and your son will cost about 2,000 for 5 lakh sum assured. Over time, you can enhance your coverage. Do make full disclosure about the previous medical treatment to avoid disputes at the time of claim. In case the insurer offers to issue coverage excluding the specific type of cancer he suffered, I recommend you should still accept the offer.

An alternate way to enhance coverage for your son will be through a super top-up health insurance. A sum assured of 10 lakh for your son with a deductible of 2 lakh will cost about2,500. This will cover ailments other than cancer as well.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and MD,