Health and wellness are vital aspects of life that you must invest in. Health insurance is a significant way of preventing financial constraints during medical emergencies, chronic diseases, disablement, pandemics, and death. Medical costs are currently very high; hence, insurance will enable you to cater for the expenses during and after hospitalization.
After the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority in India (IRDAI) allowed foreign investors to venture into the market, India’s health insurance sector has grown tremendously. The growth is also due to; an increased population, escalating medical costs and lifestyle diseases, expansion of the middle class, and support for health spending.
There are over twenty-five health insurance companies in India. Many have shifted from basic to comprehensive medical coverage. They offer a diverse selection of health policies, ranging from Maternity Plans, Group Health Insurance Schemes, Disease-specific plans, Family Floater Plans, and Senior Citizen Plans.
Due to the high competition in India’s health insurance market, it might be difficult to select the ideal insurance company. The best insurer will depend on your specific needs and preferences. While choosing the perfect insurance provider, you can consider the following:
- Claim support – Consider an insurer that readily supports you when you need financial assistance. For instance, you can get the claim percentage a health insurance company has paid in a given period. A company with a higher proportion has good claim support and customer service.
- Cashless facility – You should choose a health insurance company that supports cashless claim services. The insurer works with network hospitals to treat clients, and then the insurer pays for all the expenses. Hence it’s advisable to look for an insurer that has a network hospital within your locality.
- Variety of plans – A good insurance company should have wide coverage of medical conditions. Its policies should serve several categories, including families, individuals, senior citizens, chronic illnesses, and pandemics.
- Network hospitals – You can select an insurance company with many network hospitals due to convenience. For instance, you might get a medical emergency while traveling or working away from home.
- Market share – You can consider an insurer with high business credibility. Such a company will have a big market share due to the large volume of policies that it sells and the premiums it collects in a financial year.
- Reviews – It’s preferable to choose an insurer with a good reputation. You can determine this by checking customer reviews or rankings about the company. A reputable insurer will have a large customer base and many positive reviews.
- Solvency ratio – It refers to the proportion of capital versus the risk that an insurer has. You should consider a company with a higher solvency ratio as it guarantees that it can pay its clients during bulk claims.
- Customer support – You should choose an insurer with several reliable communication channels, including a toll-free number, email, or many branches.
- Online (digital) presence – You might also consider an insurer with an active website or client portal. Thus, you will have hassle-free registration, claim, or renewal processes.
Here is a list of the best insurance companies in India:
Star Health & Allied Insurance Company Limited
The health insurance company has gained a good reputation since its establishment in 2006. Star Health & Allied is the leading health insurer in India that offers a diverse collection of policies that cater to individuals, families, and corporates. For instance, its Star Cardiac Care, a specialty plan is one of its innovative products.
The insurer has over 640 branches in India and more than 10,200 network hospitals. Star Health & Allied has a two-hour claim process, hence commendable customer services. It has a cashless facility, 99.9% (2019-2020) claim support, and a 1.69 solvency ratio. The company won the 2019 Dan & Bradstreet BFSI Summit an Award for being “India’s Leading Insurance Company of the Year.”
HDFC ERGO Health Insurance Company
HDFC ERGO recently acquired Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company. It is a top-ranking insurer due to several factors. For instance, it has efficient 24/7 customer service and support and diverse policies that serve clients’ needs. Some of the policies include Critical Illness and Women Health Insurance.
HDFC ERGO provides cashless claim settlements and had a 90.32% settlement ratio in the 2020 financial year. The company has over 200 branches in more than 170 Indian cities and 10000+ network hospitals. The insurer also launched a Tele Clinic where customers can access its contacts and doctor services online for free.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company
ICICI GIC Limited is a private insurance company that has a customer-centric approach. It began in 2001 as a partnership between ICICI Bank and Fairfax Financial Holdings. The insurer has various attractive policies for individuals, families, and businesses. The plans include Personal Protect, Disease management Program, Complete Health Insurance, and Health Booster.
With over 6500 cashless hospital networks in India, ICICI GIC boasts of a strong network. Moreover, its claim settlement ratio is approximately 99.87%. In 2019, the company won the “Gold Shield” award for excellent financial reporting.
Care Health Insurance Company
The former Religare Health Insurance Company is another top-rated insurer in India. Care Health has gained popularity as one of the most trusted insurance companies. Its comprehensive medical coverage includes specific Covid health insurance plans and the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy.
Care Health supports cashless services and has partnered with over 11,000 hospitals. The company has a 9.3% claim settlement ratio and offers a smooth process. The insurer won two awards in 2019 for being the best insurance company in India and a leader in claims service.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company
Established in 2001, the insurer is joint ownership of Bajaj Finserv Limited and Allianz SE (Germany). The company provides general insurance services, including health policies. It has over 6500 network hospitals in more than 1100 cities and towns. You will find affordable and comprehensive coverage on this insurer’s insurance catalog.
Bajaj Allianz processes claims in approximately one hour and has a 92.24% claim settlement ratio. It won the 2020 Financial Insights and Innovation Award for the best insurer in India.
Having health insurance is critical, especially when we are currently facing a pandemic. The insurance helps in catering for emergency and chronic medical conditions. Choose an insurer that offers comprehensive plans and has impeccable customer service.