Unhealthy rise in Reliance HealthWise premiums

Reliance General Insurance which till last year had lowest premiums among its competitors now charges the highest premium. The jump in most cases has been an incredible 400% to 500%. Is IRDA listening?

Reliance General Insurance has offered a policyholder of a HealthWise floater (aged 44 and spouse aged 40) a renewal for a hefty premium increase of more than five times. The policy was purchased three years ago and the policyholders have no claims till date. The renewal offer has 'no claim bonus', but still has outrageous premium increase. The prior year gross premium was Rs3,229, the current year gross premium offered is Rs17,108 (a 530% increase).

The net payable premium after 10% 'no claim bonus' is Rs15,397 (477% increase). The sum insured of Rs3,00,000 has remained the same. The only reason for increase specified in the offer letter is, "We would like to inform you that the premium rates have undergone revision as a result of an upswing in the illnesses and the inflationary trend in medical costs." Luckily we don't have any epidemic in India at this time. Inflation is raising its ugly head in India, but it cannot explain five times hike in mediclaim premium. What's really going on?

There has been much talk about losses incurred by insurance companies due to inflated bills from some hospitals for cashless facility. It certainly cannot explain such a steep premium rise. The real reason for the drastic action seems to be poor underwriting when the company started mediclaim policies three years ago with aggressive pricing of Rs999 'Gold Plan' for Rs1 lakh sum insured for age up to 35. The intention at that time was market penetration in the younger segment with hopes of few claims. After three years of being unable to sustain low premiums, the company has jacked up the premium price by 400% to 500%. A hefty increase in mediclaim premium seems to be a desperate measure from Reliance General Insurance to cover up for losses due to bad underwriting. Under the no-tariff segment, an insurance company can offer its own premium based on past claims ratio, future expectations, etc. In the case of mediclaim for senior citizens, IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) regulations require that the maximum increase in one year is restricted to 150% to 175% of the previous year's premium.

""We tried calling Sharad Goel, from Reliance Life Insurance's public relations department for the past three days, but have been unable to get any answer on the issue, though he told us that renewal policy details were forwarded to the business department of the company.

A policy renewal offer with five times increase in premium certainly throws the financial planning of a family out of gear. It is a shock for policyholders who are already anxious about industry changes in cashless facilities. It is also difficult for policyholders to change insurance companies because of factors related to age and exclusion of pre-existing conditions for the period which is normally 4 years of continuous coverage. Reliance General Insurance is aware of customer reluctance over change and hence enticed customers to sign up for the policy that saw steep increase in 3 years.

According to Mahavir Chopra, head, e-business and personal line of www.medimanage.com, "Insurance companies should avoid such ad hoc increase in premiums. Customers are happy when their costs are fairly predictable. Any disproportionate increase will batter the confidence of an already insignificant size of the Indian population who believe in buying health insurance for themselves. To avoid such a rise in premium, we feel premiums for health insurance products should be carefully underwritten taking into account available data, demography, medical inflation estimates and the Indian healthcare ecosystem. While pricing, we should also take into account that health policies in India are primarily policies underwritten based on declarations by the customer, which by their very nature are subjective and hence have many loopholes."

IRDA penalised Reliance General Insurance on 23 July 2009 for Rs20 lakh. The IRDA order can be accessed at www.irdaindia.org. Click on 'Warnings and Penalties', 'General Insurers', and 'S. no 11'. The product filed before IRDA for which the prior clearance of the regulator was obtained was 'Reliance health care policy' and instead Reliance introduced a product named 'Reliance HealthWise policy'. Reliance contended that the change in the name and premium of its product was followed by refund of Rs1.07 crore to various policyholders of the original product. As per the order, the refund is not supported by any documentary evidence.

With the trend of exponential increase in claims amount, if there is steep increase in premium across insurers, it will drive away young policyholders who would rather take a risk by not buying mediclaim than paying exorbitant premium. This would inadvertently reduce the number of policyholders that is already only 2% of the population. In the past, there have been cases where IRDA acceptance of group insurance loading was overruled by consumer courts. The recourse for a Reliance policyholder may be knocking at the doors of IRDA, consumer courts or the insurance ombudsman.

An insurance broker has indicated to us that his customers with Reliance General Insurance had similar steep increases and had no other option but to let the policy lapse and move to another insurer, because Reliance would not bargain. Is IRDA listening?

User

COMMENTS

v

5 years ago

I BOUGHT OUR FIRST RELIANCE HEALTHWISE GOLD FAMILY FLOATER POLICY FOR RS 3 LAKHS , 4 YEARS AGO.
WE HAVE NEVER MADE A CLAIM.
LAST YEAR I WAS SHOCKED TO RECIEVE A RENEWAL NOTICE FROM RELIANCE WHEREBY MY PREMIUM WAS QUADRUPLED ( YES A 400% INCREASE) EVEN THOUGH WE HAD NEVER MADE A CLAIM)
AS INSURANCE PORTABILITY HAD NOT COME ABOUT THEN AND I DID NOT WANT TO LOSE MY NO CLAIM BENEFITS, I HAD NO OPTION BUT TO PAY UP.
EVEN AFTER PAYING UP, THESE ROGUES NEVER SENT THE POLICY TO ME.
REPEATED FOLLOW UPS WITH HIGHER UPS AND SEVERAL MONTHS LATER MY POLICY DOCUMENT FINALLY REACHED ME.
(I DREAD TO THINK OF MY SITUATION HAD I TO FOLLOW UP ON A CLAIM)
THIS YEAR I DECIDED TO DOWNGRADE TO A STANDARD PLAN AND UP MY INSURANCE FROM 3 TO 5 LAKHS AS I SAW GREATER VALUE WITH THIS COMBINATION.
I ASKED RELIANCE FOR CLARIFICATION THAT THE PREEXISTING ILLNESS EXCLUSION WOULD NOT APPLY TO US WHEN I CHANGED FROM THE GOLD TO STANDARD PLAN AND WAS SHOCKED TO GET THEIR REPLY THAT THIS EXCLUSION WOULD INDEED APPLY TO US FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS EVEN THOUGH I REMAINED WITH THE SAME INSURER.
THIS GOES AGAINST THE NORMS OF IRDA AND I WAS PLANNING TO TAKE IT UP WITH IRDA BUT TO SAVE MY SELF THE TROUBLE , PORTED MY POLICY INSTEAD. GOT A VERY QUICK PORTING AND A VERY TRANSPARENT POLICY DOCUMENT FROM A MORE ETHICAL HEALTH INSURER WITHIN 2 WEEKS.
RELIANCE HEALTH INSURANCE ONLY AIM IS TO COLLECT PREMIUMS, CLAIMS ARE VERY DIFFICULT AND TIME CONSUMING TO PROCESS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE BRAZENLY INCOMPETENT AND CALLOUS.
AVOID THIS COMPANY LIKE THE PLAGUE.

Rajiv Gupta

6 years ago

Hi,
Even i have health policy with Reliance for past 3 years , all of the sudden increase in premium price is not at all digestible. I have taken the policy on the name of Reliance assuming its a trust able company ... But i feel i have been cheated now....Are private sector companies trust able ???? Is there any one to question them! As usual corrupt government is giving lots of freedom to private sector . This quotes really suits Reliance " Papa Ka Sapna : Kar Lo Duniya Moothi Mein ! Bete ka Sapna : Mila Dho Duniya Meeti Mein "

kiran

6 years ago

I do not know about others. But today I got a rude shock when i tried to renew my policy which used to cost be around Rs. 5000.00. Now they are asking for Rs. 20000.00. I do not think any one in their real senses would renew the policy with Reliance. I had bought the policy keeping long term future in mind. I feel cheated by the company now! I am glad they are loosing market share. I urge people to think twice before buying any reliance product. You will be cheated or left cold some day. I have learnt my lesson the hard way. I went for healthwise policy and It turned out to be Health-UNWISE!!

PKKanodia

6 years ago

Increase of Renewal premium ofReliance Healthwise Policy by five fold by fivefold is very wrong by insurance company and its permission by IRDA.I have crossed insurable age.At this stage it ammounts to blackmail.It is fit case for PIL.Why not any consumwer actvist do it.I shall support it.If necessary bear some cost.

Judith Medeira

6 years ago

My family floater policy done last year through Reliance General Insurance was for 5700/-. I have now got a renewal of Rs. 25383 (which includes a 5% no claim bonus and is more than 350% increase) which has actually shocked me. How can a company adopt such practices? This is called "open cheating". Definitely an eye opener for me and I will only think that I paid the money for charity. There is no customer service in this company. Nobody gets back and nobody responds to emails.

BHADRESH SANGHAVI

6 years ago

I HAVE GIVEN MY COMMENT EARLIER. BUT I THINK NOTHING HAS DONE MUCH IN THIS MATTER. I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST U THAT PL TAKE UP THIS MATTER MORE REGOROUSLY AND WITH THE HELP OF UR ASSOCIATES PL TAKE THIS MATTER ON TV CHANNELS, NEWS PAPER AND ADMIT A PIL WITH THE HELP OF NGOS OR YOUR ENDS. THE SMALL PEOPLE IS FACING LOT OF PROBLEM AS NOW THEY HAVE TO SWITCH THE COMPANY AND FOR THAT IF THEIR AGE IS ABOVE 45 THEY HAVE TO GET LAB. REPORTS WHICH COST THEM MINIMUN RS. 1000TO 1500.
WHICH IS A SIZABLE AMOUNT FOR THEM AND AFTER THAT THEY ARE NOT GETING NO CLAIM BONUS IN NEW POLICY IN SOME COS.
SO IN THE INTEREST OF AAM ADMI(MANGO PEOPLE) PL TAKE THIS MATTER SERIOUSLY AND IF IT POSSIBLE PL ONCE AGAIN REQUEST U TO GO TOCOURT OR CONSUMER FORUM AS A PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION.
IT WILL BE BLESSINGS FOR MANGO PEOPLE.

madhu

6 years ago

Pleaseprovide me the justice and save the interest of common public

Publicdisclouser of reliance general for the year 31/3/2010 form the following ways

1.Google search: Irda/nl/rgi/p/misc(h),

2. url address:
http://www.reliancegeneral.co.in/Relianc...
youcan try the above url address and you will get the pdf format of reliancepublic disclosure for the year end 31/3/2010

3.goto http://www.reliancegeneral.co.in then click news centre then click public disclosure then click year 2009-2010



Thensee the page no 29 of total 45 pages
Itis clearly mentioned as below



Fromthe above chart one can makeout that total net premium collected is Rs 20,926 lacs and the claim paid25,687 lacs, claims has been increased only approx 130% of the premium collectedbut my renewal premium they have increased up to 300 % even though I did not have any claim in the previous year

Butthey give various reason to increase the premium of 300% which is not justifiable

HARJINDER JUNEJA

6 years ago

To Dated: 11.08.2010
Mr. Pramod Chandar
Insurance Regulatory Development Authority
3rd Floor,Parisrama Bhawan, Basheer Bagh
Hyderabad-500004
040-23381100

This is with refrence to our application dated 14.07.2010 under RTI Act, 2005 and your reply dated 04-08-2010 receive today 11.08-2010 where you have taken more than 20 days is not satisfied me . Before Filing appeal I gain request to provide required information with in a week.

(1) As per our query (1) we ask to provide all submission made by reliance General Insurance Company to get approval for increasing Renewal Insurance premium on renewal of Health Wise policy but you have not provide any document in this respect.

Letter No. IRDA/NL/RGI/P/MISC(H)/1677/V.II/09-10 Dated 23rd March 2010 enclosed with your reply does not clarify what reliance propose and what you noted. Please understand difference between increament in Insurance Premium and Increament in renewal Premium

We want all the application ,letter, communication between IRDA and Reliance General Insurance Company to get approval for increament of Renewal Insurance Premium for Health Wise Policy.

(2) As per our query No. (2) we ask you to provide date wise action report by your grievances Department but you not provide any information in this respect. And we not get any reply from CPIO Consumer Affairs IRDA till yet. After one month there is no reply.

(3) As per our query (3) we ask to provide information whether Reliance General Insurance Refund excess money charge from policy holder as they undertake during hearing but you not provide any information in this respect. Because this is IRDA Chairman judgment so IRDA should provide this information. Collect it from Insurance Company.

(4) As per our query (6) we ask to provide information about the total policy holder of Reliance Health Wise Policy but you not provide any information .Because you are Insurance regulator I expect that you should have such information. Or if you not, than you can ask to Insurance company to provide the same.

(5) As per Our query (8) We ask you to provide detail of approval made by IRDA any approval of increment in any other policy during last 5 years ,but you not provide any information. Increament of RENEWAL PREMIUM is not routine business which IRDA perform daily basis. Please provide specific information. I am not satisfy with your casual reply.

I am not concern with new policy issued to any person, I am only concern with the person already have policy and renewal premium has been increased.

So you are requested to please obey your duty and provide information . I again request please provide information which solve my purpose and clarify me . IRDA is to save the interest of the common man not to harass common man.


Thanking You

Harjinder Juneja
1/639 Sector-H, Jankipuram
Lucknow
[email protected]

REPLY

vikram

In Reply to HARJINDER JUNEJA 6 years ago

great work done mr. harjinder juneja, nail these fellows with RTI, i feel IRDA has been bribed by reliance.
can you file PIL in the court? i will send you my renewal notice too for you as additional document.
good luck , good going
vikram

HARJINDER JUNEJA

6 years ago

I request all of you to submit your complaint to Mr. Tarun Bajaj joint secretary(Insurance and pention). ministry of finance. [email protected]. and tell them how IRDA is working as RIDA (Reliance Insurance Development Authority). also file RTI to get all letter, application , communication Between IRDA and Reliance to get approval this hike in renewal premium.

REPLY

htesh

In Reply to HARJINDER JUNEJA 6 years ago

i am also facing the same problem from reliance general insurance 500% rise in premium.what should we do what you did as i have my renewal date next month.

i mailed irda also but no reply

what to do tell me urgently

vikram

6 years ago

i had written complains to PM, Finance minister, CEO of reliance, IRDA and till today no one as ever responded. this shows how they are all hand in glove.
its people like us are taken for a ride.

we need to go to CONSUMER COURT NOW. will you all join me???

Rajan Jerome

6 years ago

last year i had paid 1300/- rupees for my family health insurance with the reliance health insurance gold plan, i had joined 3 years before, now they asking me 5173/-. now i decided to switch to the Star health insurance, they offering it for 2085/- rupees and they have policy transfer facility, so i won't lose my past 3 years validiy.

i had also insured my car with reliance, now decided not to renew with them, searching for other company.

Rajan jerome

kumar

6 years ago

Unhealthy rise in Reliance HealthWise premiums

Govt. finance ministry and IRDA both are sleeping? it is not the duty of the govt. and IRDA to monitor and regulate the insurance companies?
Govt.,RBI and IRDA is much supportive to the companies to steal the customers money.

vikram

6 years ago

hi
write you complains to
ceo of reliance - [email protected]

ombudsman
[email protected]

insurance council
[email protected]

and also to insurance IRDA
[email protected]

send a grivance to them attaching your renewal notice.
all the best for all those who fight aginst this injustice
vikram

Harjinder Juneja

6 years ago

We face the same problem and file our complain with ministry of finance and they have forword our complain ti IRDA. We also send a RTI application to IRDA to get copy of approval for hike in Insurance Premium. we also file complaint with IRDA complaint cell.
As per policy document renewal clause reliance have no right to increase renewal premium until we add some addiction in our habit. and after adding all the habit premium can not exceed more than 100%

REPLY

mahendra

In Reply to Harjinder Juneja 6 years ago

hello..

i am on the same ship..it has surprised me to get a renewal information in ref. to my policy..1602792825034462..gold..sum insured..400000/-on myself..age 52 wife..age 47 and spouse age 18 on the day of renewal..last year i paid 7034/=now demanding 50566/ less ncb 15% net 42981/=.

unable to understand the role of insurer and governing body..seems a complete failure of the government in a sense that health and medical of people is there prime concern but sorry to say either there concern is victimize or support unhealthy practice of corporate house.
1. inflation,increased medical calamities or whatever but the insurer is suppose to pay extend to sun insured and the value of premium is calculated on that basis..now for sum insured 400000 and pay premium of 50000..is there any match...why should we call it insurance...
2. it is age based factor..when there was no sickness u enjoyed premium and at growing as u want to through it by demanding premium of their wish..not fair..
3. tell me..the question is if other insurer can issue such policies at fair value and relience general has problem..means he should be debarred from such bussiness..ultimately it is job of govt..even i recommend that as a aware human discard r.com,all other insurence and services by the company.
4. i am looking to find the way to meet out with such situation..please share the information.

Anurag

In Reply to Harjinder Juneja 6 years ago

Hajinder,

First "Tussi Great Ho, Mera Tofa Kabool karo". Secondly I had filed a complaint with IRDA about a week back. They have not replied or acknowledged the complaint. I also asked Relaince to furnish the IRDA approved charges as per their File and Use norms. Reliance refuses to share the schedule of charges. My policy due was on the 2nd August and has relapsed. Please advice whether it is appropriate and if so how to file a complaint in the consumer court. i would like to take Relaince to task.

vikram

In Reply to Harjinder Juneja 6 years ago

great work harjinder Juneja, i find people like me who talk more but do not take up any issues in action. my hearty congrats to you. keep me updated and once i get my renewal notice, i will join you to fight the scruplous reliance.

come on people dont be taken for a RIDE, join HARJINDER JUNEJA and fight together.

avk

6 years ago

I asked 10 of my relatives to take Reliance insurance 3-4 years back. I regret now. My premium increased from 4500 to 18500. I am just 32 years now with no medical illness NOR ANY CLAIM till now.

If Any group take legal action, i would join it.

Regards,
avk ACA,AICWA

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June sees addition of 17.98 million new mobile users

New Delhi: Telecom operators have added 17.98 million new users in June, taking the total telephone subscriber base to 671.69 million, sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today said, reports PTI.

According to the data released by TRAI, the wireless subscriber base (GSM, CDMA and fixed wireless phones) rose to 635.51 million by the end of June from 617.53 million in May, registering a growth of 2.91%.

With this, the overall tele-density (telephones per 100 people) touched 56.83%.

The growth in the wireless category was led by Bharti Airtel, which added 3 million users, taking its subscriber base to 136.6 million. Vodafone added 2.71 million subscribers in June, taking its user-base to 109 million. Idea Cellular and Aircel added 2.15 million and 1.60 million new users respectively during the reporting month.

Leading CDMA player Reliance Communications added 2.83 million new users, while Tata Teleservices added 2.32 million subscribers in the reporting month.

State-run telcos BSNL and MTNL added 1.01 million and 43,881 new users, respectively.

Meanwhile, the wireline subscriber base continued its declining trend and dropped to 36.18 million in June from 36.39 million in the previous month. BSNL and MTNL hold 84.09% of the wireline market share.

The total broadband subscriber base increased 2.27% to 9.45 million from 9.24 million in May, it said.
 

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