Medical Insurance for Seafarers

Last updated on August 23rd, 2023 at 04:13 pm

A health insurance policy, also known as medical insurance covers healthcare expenses for illness or injuries. It compensates you for the expenses incurred on your medical bills or pays the healthcare provider directly on your behalf. 

Medical Insurance
Health Insurance

Why Medical Insurance for Seafarers ?

There was a case where an officer in the merchant navy suffered from spinal injury while sailing. It was later found that due to negligence of the shipyard this unfortunate accident took place. But the shipping company rushed the officer to India and put him in convalescence under the supervision of a general physician. The officer was left in a state of complete shock as there was no compensation provided for his injuries onboard. 

Why Medical Insurance
Why Medical Insurance

These are not mere stories but an insight into some of the harsh realities of the shipping world. Most of the companies do not insure a sailor’s life when they are at home. However, medical expenses are generally being taken care of during short term illnesses on ship. But what if a seafarer contracts a life-long disease while sailing ? In that case, most of the shipping companies provide income and medical expenses to seafarers for a maximum period of only 4 months. Hence, to avoid such hassle, it is always recommended for a seafarer to get medical insurance for them as well as their family members. 

How Much Medical Insurance for seafarers ?

Fulfilling family’s health and financial needs is everyone’s priority. When a seafarer takes health insurance their aim should be to invest in a medical cover that provides health security to their family. To accomplish this purpose, a floater plan is recommended. A floater health insurance plan covers everyone in your family from parents, wife, children or siblings under a single plan.  The cost of this plan is quite expensive in comparison to other insurance policies. But a seafarer should invest a minimum of 5 – 10 lakhs in the beginning. With time, if there is any

How much Medical Insurance
How much Medical Insurance

From Where to take Medical Insurance for Seafarers ?

There are many private companies and PSUs Insurance companies such as ICICI, HDFC, SBI General Insurance that provide health insurance to seafarers. But there are few important things to consider before jumping to any conclusion :

  1. Don’t forget to compare terms and conditions of different companies online on websites such as Policybazaar
  2. Visit the reputed hospitals nearby and ask them which health insurance company functions with a hassle free approach 
HDFC Medical Insurance
HDFC Medical Insurance

Mistakes to Avoid while taking Health Insurance

Make open declarations – 

Do not lie while filling the forms for medical insurance policy. Mention if you drink or smoke. Another thing one should make sure of is that, you should always fill the form on your own. You can take help or assistance from a third party but avoid filling the policy forms online or via telephonic conversation. 

Fill your medical forms honestly
Fill your medical forms honestly

Keep your documents safe

If you stay with the same company for your insurance plans, then every 5 year the premium will increase and the same plan will get renewed every time. This will save you a lot of new paperwork as you will not be required to take prints again and again. Thus, keep your policy papers somewhere safe so that at the time of need, you face no difficulty in claiming the amount from your insurance. 

Keep your documents safe
Keep your documents safe

Co-Pay System 

Health insurance Co-Pay refers to an arrangement in which the policyholder will need to pay a portion of the medical expenses on their own and the insurance company will pay the remaining amount. It is carried out with co-pay clauses. Make sure your health insurance is 100% co-pay clause free as this will only add to your expenses. Ask your company for a cashless system of payment during any medical emergency. They will issue a card for this purpose that will make the payments swift when the third party assurer is done with the verification process.

Co-Pay system
Co-Pay system

Read your Policy Documents Thoroughly

Before signing for any health insurance plan, go through it first. Read the terms and conditions thoroughly and mark your doubts if any. Make sure that your policy papers contain the word “AC Deluxe Room Rent” or “Unlimited Room Rent” in it. Since all your medical procedures are connected to room rent, it is important to check what are the provisions in the insurance policy regarding it. Suppose, you are admitted to an AC Deluxe room during your treatment but your company only insures you for a general room in the hospital. Now in this case, you will receive the amount for a general room rent and the rest will go from your pocket. This will make your medical insurance pointless. Hence, always read the papers before investing.

Read your medical policy thoroughly
Read your policy thoroughly

Insurance companies will say that there is no need to go for regular health check ups at a young age but you should insist on getting them. Remember, precaution is better than cure. 

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