My health insurance policy is in my maiden name; can I still claim?

The law in India is quite clear that women are allowed to retain their maiden name even after marriage. It is at the discretion of the lady which name she wants to adopt and retain.

Sep 02, 2020 08:09 IST India Infoline News Service

Nivedita has a problem on hand. She had taken a health insurance policy when she had started her career about 3 years back. That policy was still active. The problem was that she had been still renewing her old policy in her maiden name. However, she had applied for her passport after her marriage and hence it was carrying her married name. Now that she has been admitted to the hospital for a minor surgery, Nivedita is worried that the claim may be rejected.

Women are allowed to retain their maiden name after marriage

The law in India is quite clear that women are allowed to retain their maiden name even after marriage. It is at the discretion of the lady which name she wants to adopt and retain. This point was also highlighted by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, when he addressed the IMC Women’s Wing. Having a different name in your policy and passport cannot be the reason for rejection of your claim. The only thing you need to ensure in such cases is that you have adequate link documents to prove that the person in the passport and the person in the health insurance policy are one and the same.

That is not too difficult as the link can be established through a registered marriage certificate. Today it is mandatory to get all marriages registered with the Registrar of Marriages in the city where the marriage is conducted. Normally, the insurance company will not insist on these documents if you have your photo identity card for the insurance policy. However, there could be an issue in the case of a mismatch between the name in the bank account and name in the health policy. In such cases, the insurance company may insist on detailed link documents before accepting your bank mandate.

Consistency is the key in such cases

To avoid these kinds of situations, what is important is to maintain consistency of the name you want to use and keep it consistent across all documents. For example, if you opt to use your maiden name after marriage, make it consistent across all documents. Ensure that your passport, Aadhar card, PAN card, passport, bank account and your insurance policy are in the same name. This can avoid a lot of these last minute hassles for you.

As we stated earlier, there is no bar on which name you can use. The lady is free to make a choice whether she wants to use her maiden name or her husband’s name after marriage. In the passport, women can use their maiden name and mention the name of spouse in the passport column, so that it acts as a link document too. The health insurance company is supposed to respect the fact that the lady is entitled to exercise her choice of name used.

Can a lady continue in her father’s family floater?

Another related question that arises is what happens if you already have a family floater at the time of marriage. Is it still valid after marriage? The policy is absolutely valid and there is nothing that stops you from continuing. However, for your father the premium will be tax deductible only as long as you are dependent on him. The moment you are married, your father would not get the tax benefits.

Also, considering the long term arrangements, it is more advisable to get a family floater with your spouse as it is easier to manage and administer. Again, even when you take a family floater with your husband and children, there is no restriction on name and you are free to either retain your maiden name or switch to adding your husband’s name at the end. Just remember to maintain consistency in your own administrative interest.

What about existing individual and company health covers?

Both the covers can continue as before. However, as stated earlier, for the sake of simplicity and consistency it is always better to ensure that all your insurance policies are aligned with your identity and address documents. This can avoid any unnecessary hassles for you at later stages.

Normally, your company insurance policies are automatically aligned to the name you adopt in your company records. It is very important that you take a decision before marriage about the name you propose to use after marriage. Once you have decided, ensure that all your financial assets, liabilities and your identity documents are aligned to that.

Key takeaways for women with health insurance policies
  • Claims are admissible even if the policy is in your maiden name and you are already married. Ensure that you have link documents like marriage certificate if asked for.
  • It is best to maintain consistency and the same name across all the places so that porting does not become a big challenge for you.
  • For tax efficiency; ensure that your insurance policies are aligned with your overall family needs.

Related Story

Open Free Demat Account (Rs699)