No Claim Bonus is an added benefit health insurance policies usually extend to incentivize policyholders to stay healthy. This feature promises to increase your cover by a set amount every year you go without making a claim. So for instance, if you have a policy with a cover of ₹10 lakhs and a no-claim bonus adding up to 50%, then your sum insured increases to ₹15 lakhs the first year you go without making a claim and then ₹20 lakhs in the second year.
However, until a few years ago, maintaining a claim-free record was essential for the No Claim Bonus to kick in. Now, top insurers offer a reformed version where the Bonus increases annually, regardless of claims made. However, the reformed bonus packaging is different for each plan and insurer. So you have to be a little mindful when you go over a policy’s bonus feature.
With that introduction out of the way, let’s look at some of the best plans available in the market for 2023.
|Cumulative bonus super
|Max Bupa (Niva Bupa)
|ReAssure 2.0 Platinum
How to Determine the Best Health Insurance Plans Based on their No Claim Bonus?
- A bonus unaffected by claims
It’s very hard for you policyholders to generally predict when they are likely to make a claim. So needless to say, if you have a plan that offers a bonus, irrespective of the claim status, then that’s the policy you pick.
2. A bonus with no clawbacks
Previously, all insurance plans offered No-Claim Bonus with year-on-year growth ONLY if you didn't make a claim. However, making a claim not only paused the bonus's growth but also resulted in a "clawback" of the No-Claim Bonus.
Here’s an example to understand this better -
Say you have coverage of ₹10 lakhs. The No-Claim Bonus is set at 50% of the sum insured (SI). It also comes with a clawback option.
|NO CLAIM BONUS
|Year 0 - Plan purchased (No claim)
|1st year (No claim)
|50% of Base SI = ₹5 lakhs
|2nd year (No claim)
|50% of Base SI = ₹5 lakhs
|3rd year (1 claim)
|NCB is reduced by 50% of the Base SI (clawback) because of the claim filed in the last year = 50% of SI = ₹5 lakhs
So, opt for health insurance plans whose No-Claim Bonus isn’t clawed back every time you make a claim.
What are the Best Health Insurance Plans Based on their No-Claim Bonus?
- CARE - Care Supreme
Care Supreme is a popular, comprehensive, and flexible health insurance plan with multiple bonus features
- Cumulative Bonus: This built-in bonus extends your cover by 50% every year until the sum insured doubles in value. And the bonus is added irrespective of whether you make a claim.
- Cumulative Bonus Super: An optional feature that increases your cover by 100% every year until the sum insured multiplies by 5 times i.e. 500% of your Sum Insured, irrespective of your claim status. If you can afford to pay a higher premium, you can choose the “Super” option.
Drawbacks: The plan has a 48-month pre-existing disease waiting period. While you can choose to reduce the waiting period by opting for an add-on, the extra premium may put off some customers.
2. HDFC ERGO - HDFC ERGO Optima Secure
The new and revised Optima Secure from the stable of one of the best health insurers, HDFC ERGO is a great option and one that we trust enough to recommend to most customers. It extends the Plus Benefit i.e. the plan automatically boosts the sum insured by 50% every year until your base cover doubles in value. They do this irrespective of your claim status.
Drawbacks: It's relatively expensive, typical for HDFC ERGO plans, and has a longer pre-existing waiting period of 3 years.
3. NIVA BUPA (MAX BUPA) - Niva Bupa ReAssure 2.0 Platinum
Niva Bupa's ReAssure 2.0 is an enhanced version of its flagship policy, ReAssure, offering premium features that include things like a loyalty bonus, Restoration Forever, and Safeguard+.
Although they no longer carry a bonus feature, they do offer a Booster+ benefit that resembles a bonus in many ways.
- Booster+: An in-built perk that lets you carry over your unutilized base cover until your cover triples in value.
If you buy the Titanium variant, the Booster feature will let you carry over your sum insured every year until your base sum insured is 5x the original figure.
Drawbacks: This plan would definitely have ranked higher if it weren’t for Niva Bupa’s spotty claim settlement process. Since the change in management, we have seen a lackluster approach to claims and this is something that should worry potential customers despite the amazing bonus feature.
4. Aditya Birla - Activ Health Platinum Enhanced
Activ Health Platinum Enhanced policy is a reasonably comprehensive plan with a decent bonus feature. The plan offers a 50% bonus on your base sum insured every year you go without claiming until you effectively double your cover.
Drawbacks: This plan is perhaps not as comprehensive as other plans on the list and Aditya Birla is a relatively new insurer.
5. TATA AIG - Medicare
TATA AIG Medicare is an overall decent product - one that is economical, covers international treatments, and does not necessarily have a lot of restrictions. And it has a solid no-claim bonus as well. It offers 50% of your base cover every year you go without claiming until your Sum Insured doubles in value.
Drawbacks: The plan is generally expensive and there is clawback on the NCB.
Should you Choose a Health Insurance Plan Based on Its No-Claim Bonus?
The No-Claim Bonus is an essential feature in most policies. It enhances coverage without extra costs, providing you with a significant financial advantage. However, it shouldn't be the sole factor in choosing a health insurance plan. Instead, consider other factors like -
- The health insurer’s credibility
- The provider’s operation proficiency
- Coverage options
- No room rent restrictions
- No copayment
- No disease-wise sub-limits, etc.
-to get access to a health insurance plan that best suits your medical and financial requirements.
And, when considering a No-Claim Bonus for your plan, pick one that remains unaffected by claims, lacks clawbacks, and offers a substantial maximum boost limit.