This often the question that lingers in our mind when we need to choose the best for ourselves or for our family – this is no different in the case while choosing a health insurance. The question is “Which is the best health insurance company and plan for my family”? Hope you have already read my earlier article Checklist: Things to consider before buying a health insurance in India if not, I would highly recommend you to read that before getting started as it gives an idea on a whole bunch of things to look-out for before settling on the best.
Before I get started, let me be clear that in India we have an insurance regulator called IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) which governs all insurance companies and the policies that are sold in India. All through this article, I will be referring to the latest IRDA’s Annual Report for 2014-15 which was released in January 2016 – so this cuts away all biases.
One large gauge to look at Insurance companies is through a term called “Incurred ratio” – what this means is how much the company paid in terms of claims to the amount it collect as premium for that year. So, Incurred Ratio gives a good understanding on whether the insurance company is doing good or at loss and may shut shop.
Below are graphs for 3 types of Insurance Companies in India and how they fare in Incurred Ratio for 2014-15, so that will allow you to get an idea on how 2016 will be for these companies.
Here is the Public Sector companies
Next we have the private sector companies
Finally the standalone health insurance companies
Moving on, lets look at a company’s Claim Settlement Ratio or CSR. An insurance company’s CSR or the claim settlement ratio clearly shows the proportion of claims settled by the insurance company against the total claims raised by its clients. When there is a higher ratio this clearly means that higher claims have been fulfilled by the insurance company. Look at this that it also increases the probability of your claim getting fulfilled, when the need arises.
This leads us to the next topic of resolution of grievances of the customers and how well the insurance company responds to it and also the time taken for resolution.
P.S: The chart below is not a true indicator for companies that sell insurance for motor, fire, house, travels, etc since all grievances are clubbed. the numbers are correct for the standalone insurance players though as their complaints can only be from health policies.
Look at percentage of resolved complaints and also the status of pending data which gives a true picture of the company when you have issues.
While I was hunting for health insurance this month, I had shortlisted Max Bupa, Apollo Munich and Royal Sundaram. Finally, I went ahead with Royal Sundaram’s Lifeline Supreme policy (Full disclosure) after seeing all the pro’s and con’s of each insurance company and the policy they had to offer – also the best value that was on the table.