Bharti AXA General Insurance is now part of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

Bharti AXA General Insurance is now part of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

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  • Coronavirus: Myths vs. Facts

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Lately, there has been a litany of misinformation doing the rounds across social media platforms. Unfounded information and hoaxes have broken and continue to break the internet. That’s precisely why we must separate fact from fiction so that we can better deal with the coronavirus outbreak. However, before we delve into debunking some of the most common myths about this pandemic, it is necessary to put things in perspective.

    What is the coronavirus?

    Coronaviruses (CoV) constitute a large family of viruses that usually cause a host of illnesses, ranging from common influenza to more severe conditions like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).

    The COVID-19, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is a new strain of viruses that were previously not identified among humans.

    Symptoms of the infection include respiratory distress, cough, fever, a runny nose, and aching hands and feet (this is not very common). The more severe cases can involve infection-induced pneumonia and acute breathing problems.

    Standard recommendations to contain further spreading of the virus include frequently washing your hands, covering nose and mouth while coughing/sneezing, and consuming thoroughly cooked food. More importantly, avoid public spaces, larger gatherings, and close contact with anybody exhibiting the symptoms mentioned above.

    Debunking Common Myths

    • Face masks can protect me against COVID-19. Myth or fact?

    • Answer: Some truth
      Mask, while not a complete guarantee and failsafe measure, can capture droplets which so far has been the biggest transmission route of the virus. Masks, however, may not be so effective in capturing aerosols which are tiny virus particles. Specific models of the more professional and tight-fitting masks (N95, for instance) help to guard healthcare workers, considering they care for the infected patients round the clock. Remember that stocking up on professional-grade masks makes those scarce and less available to the ones who need them most – i.e., infected patients and healthcare workers.

    • Eating non-vegetarian food isn’t safe. Myth or fact?

    • Answer: Myth
      There is no evidence to support that the novel coronavirus (or any other virus for that matter) thrives and breeds on eggs, chicken, meat and seafood. Just because the outbreak started from a meat market in Wuhan doesn’t mean you cannot eat non-vegetarian food or dairy items for as long as the infection persists. Make sure to cook the food thoroughly so that you kill the illness-causing viruses and germs.

    • We are at risk from packages that are imported from infected areas, particularly China. Myth or fact?

    • Answer: Myth
      Scientists conclude that viruses, including the novel coronavirus, cannot survive on external surfaces for long. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that you would contract COVID-19 from any package or item that was in transit for weeks and subject to ambient temperatures.

    • Alternative medicine has a cure for coronavirus. Myth or fact?

    • Answer: Myth
      The information that alternative medicine, including home remedies like consumption of garlic and drinking silver, can avert COVID-19 does not hold any water.

      • Drinking silver has not been evidenced to cure COVID-19; on the contrary, it can lead to seizures and kidney damage. Unlike zinc or iron, silver doesn’t have any role to play in the human system.
      • Drinking water every 15 minutes cannot cure coronavirus. Contrary to a social media post, adequate consumption of water, despite having a host of benefits, will not be particularly effective against any respiratory virus. Neither will be taking a hot shower protecting you against the risks of an infection.
      • UV lamps cannot help either. Instead, sterilising your hands under the light of UV lamps can irritate your skin.
      • Garlic certainly has antimicrobial properties. However, no evidence states that consuming garlic can protect against COVID-19.
      • According to WHO, spraying chlorine or alcohol on your body cannot kill the novel coronavirus. In fact, spraying these can harm one’s mucous membranes.

    Answering Rarely-asked Questions

    • Can COVID-19 infect pets?
    • As of now, there is no evidence of pets getting infected with the virus. However, there are other strains of the virus that can affect animals. Hence, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against contact with animals and recommends that you wear a mask if sick.

      While the CDC also suggests people travelling to China to avoid coming in close contact with pets, the agency doesn’t give out any reason to believe that animals could be the carriers of this virus.

    • Should I cancel my international trip?
    • Given the current conditions, travelling does present a risk. The idea is to factor in the wellbeing of your family members and fellow passengers. While you may not be particularly at risk of developing symptoms, you can end up infecting somebody who is.

      According to expert advice, you should give up on non-urgent and non-essential travel for the time being; particularly should you be more vulnerable to developing severe complications.

    • What should I expect upon arriving at my international destination?
    • As we write this, most countries have already sealed their borders and skies. While these travel restrictions may be eased in the future, you can still expect to be screened/quarantined if you are coming/ have visited a country where the outbreak has been widespread.

      If I am quarantined at home, what should my coronavirus kit include?

      In case you are quarantined at home, make sure you stock up on certain supplies. These include dry and canned food items, adequate water for every member at home, and a month’s supply of prescribed medicines.

      Make sure you have:

      • Antibacterial soap
      • Toilet paper, tissues
      • Hand sanitizer (with 60% + alcohol content)
      • Antibiotic ointments
      • Bandages, gauze
      • Thermometers
      • Scissors, tweezers
      • Blanket
      • Extra pair of contact lenses, hearing aid batteries (if required)
      • Pain relievers, vitamins and fluids, and other OTC medications for general conditions like heartburn, stomach problems, common cold, etc.
    • How long does coronavirus live on other surfaces?
    • Researchers cannot put the finger on it, but they assume not for a prolonged period. Experts say that this family of viruses can survive on surfaces only for a few hours. While it is still unclear how COVID-19 spreads; coronaviruses, in general, are transmitted through viral respiratory droplets.

      More importantly, no evidence suggests that this new strain can be transmitted through items, particularly imported goods.

    • What are the most credible sources of information about COVID-19?
    • Beware! Misinformation is rampant. As the virus continues to get a foothold across countries, unfounded information and conspiracy theories swell by the day as well. Social media sites have come under a deluge of misleading posts and questionable statistics. Government websites and those of international organisations such as WHO will provide the most credible and vetted information.

      Look out for websites that:

      • Rely on experts for accurate information
      • Have no vested interest, only want to inform and protect the people
      • Are not leveraging the current scenario to sell or promote a product
    • I want to volunteer to help coronavirus-afflicted patients. How should I go about it?
      • Get adequate medical supplies shipped to areas where they are needed urgently
      • Donate to a credible non-profit organisation
      • Support your local businesses
    • I read that it will take 18 months to find a vaccine. If this is true, will people suffer for all this time?
    • At this point, there is no vaccination available for the novel coronavirus. Scientists are working on devising a vaccine, but their efforts will take time to bear fruits. While human trials have already begun, it will take a considerable amount of time before global immunisation becomes a possibility.

      Also, against popular rumours that have been doing the rounds, antibiotics cannot help in preventing or tackling COVID-19. Antibiotics, as the name suggests, only protect against bacterial infections, not viral.

  • How to Sustain On a No Sugar Diet Plan for Amazing Health Benefits

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Master a no sugar diet plan for better skin and metabolism

    From pasta sauce and low-fat yoghurt to protein bars and cereal, it is hard to escape the high sugar content in your everyday meals. Not only does it lead to cardiovascular diseases but also affects your daily energy levels. With many sensing the harmful effects of sugar in our foods, no sugar diets have gained popularity.

    People are slowly catching on that the real insurance against health troubles is consumption of foods with natural sugar rather than artificial sugar. Listed below are some tips on how you can keep sugar at bay.

    Go Slow

    While going all-in for a no sugar diet may work for some people, it might not work for you. Instead slowly eliminate sugary foods from your daily diet. This will allow you to reach your no-sugar diet goal without creating a craving for sugar.

    Read Content Labels

    Often products will advertise ‘low-fat’ items which seem like a good fit, but they can be loaded with artificial sugar. Therefore, we suggest reading the product labels before buying to find out the actual contents, so as to adhere to a no sugar diet.

    Steer Clear of Simple Carbohydrates

    Simple carbohydrates are easy to break down in your body, releasing sugar directly into the bloodstream that cause a spike. This can create a ‘craving’ in your body for sugar. This is why, experts suggest keeping foods with simple carbs or artificial sugar out of your no sugar diet plan.

    Sweetened Drinks

    Replace your daily can of diet coke with herbal tea, coconut water or a glass of water. This will reduce the intake of sugar into your system and leave you feeling fresh and full of vigour.

    Meal Prep

    Hunger strikes at odd times makes us more susceptible to selecting unhealthy options at lunch. Therefore, the best defence against artificial sugar in foods is by preparing your meals in advance. Save big bucks on your no sugar diet by planning what you eat in advance.

  • Are Alternative Healthcare Treatments Covered by Your Health Insurance?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Ayurveda, one of the most popular alternate medicine branch, has its roots in India

    Simran, a 41-year-old school teacher was suffering from chronic back pain. One of her co-teachers suggested an Ayurvedic treatment from an Ayurveda practitioner she personally knew and highly recommended. Having heard the benefits of Ayurveda over allopathy, Simran consulted the practitioner. He informed her that the treatment would take 12 sittings over 3 months and would cost ₹80,000.

    Simran felt optimistic and decided to opt for it. She didn’t worry about the cost as she had health insurance with a sum insured of ₹6,00,000. However, her relief was soon replaced by stress, when she realised halfway through the treatment that her health insurance did not cover alternate treatments like Ayurveda.

    To avoid the shock that Simran got, here’s what you need to know about your health insurance and alternative healthcare treatments.

    What is Alternative Healthcare Treatments?

    Treatments like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, homeopathy, naturopathy are alternative healthcare treatments. In our country, such traditional and alternative medicines are preferred by many over conventional, western medicine because it is safer, deals with the disease at its root cause and doesn’t have any harmful side effects.

    Scope of Coverage

    While there are a few insurance companies that cover alternative healthcare treatments, they usually do so in group health insurance and on request. However, with the growing popularity of alternate medicines, there are quite a few insurance companies out there that are offering cover for alternate healthcare treatments under their standard health care plans.

    You should make sure to check that the health insurance plan you’re choosing covers non-allopathic treatments and to what extent. Read all the conditions thoroughly and understand what they imply.

  • How Can Fitness & Wellness Apps Keep You Healthy?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    By motivating us to do the best we can, even when we don’t feel like it

    Fitness is something that all of us want, but few are willing to strive for. Sometimes what most of us really need is some motivation to get things going. This is where fitness and wellness apps come in to the picture. Since we are always near to our phone or tablet, they form an ideal platform to get us motivated and running on the health trail. Here we note down some of the finest apps that help you exercise, eat, relax and sleep for a harmonious wellness experience.


    This free app available for both Android and iOS devices, makes use of your smartphone’s GPS system to help you create running/biking routes near you. Once done with that, it will also give you accurate information about your cycling speed, running pace, and calories burned – all in real time. This app motivates you to lose weight and is apt for all skill levels, right from 5k to a full marathon. Not only that, it can even integrate into your phone’s music app to get you moving to your favourite tunes.


    Again, a free app for Android and iOS. This one lets you break the monotony of routine workouts for something more adventurous. This is essentially a mobile community for backcountry adventurers and backyard explorers that make you aware of various locations ideal for activities such as hiking, climbing, biking, and skiing. The thing different here is that you can find images, and even videos, about locations that have been top-rated by community members, with their take on it. Yonder is one app that will really inspire you to strap your shoes and get out of the house.


    You might already have this one. This music streaming app has a feature called Spotify Running, which lets you select from a mix of popular songs to originals created exclusively for running. The beauty of this app is that, once you start running it automatically detects your pace and adjusts the music according to your tempo, egging you on to go faster. It can also work with RunKeeper, so that you can track your run while matching your steps to the beat.

  • A Market for Mental Health Insurance?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Inclusion of mental illnesses in health insurance will boost mental health literacy and help fight stigmatisation in the country

    Mental illnesses are a serious problem in India. The issue has been relegated to the sidelines for decades now, but the rising number of people suffering from these illnesses has brought it to the forefront. Nearly 6.5% of the country’s population suffer from some sort of mental disorder, and this is expected to increase up to 20% by 2020. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are nearly 57 million Indians suffering from depression, which is one in every 22 people.

    Mental Healthcare Act

    The new Mental Healthcare Act seeks to achieve a paradigm shift in the way people perceive mental illness. It replaces the term “mental illness” with “mentally ill,” which suggests that it is a condition that isn’t permanent, and treatable with the right approach. It also ensures the person’s right to mental healthcare with dignity and confidentiality.

    Another major change in the Mental Healthcare Act is the directive given to the insurers for providing cover for the treatment of mental illnesses. The clause states, “Every insurer shall make provision for health insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness.”

    Mental illness cover has been given the same status as that of health insurance cover in the new act. Presently, health insurance only covers aspects relating to physical illness, and that is a huge market. In 2015-16 alone, the premium from health insurance was ₹ 27,457 crore, with a phenomenal growth rate of 21.30% compared to the previous year.

    Mental Insurance Elsewhere

    Mental health insurance is an existing offering that is already prevalent in many countries. However, the coverage differs from country to country. The extent of coverage varies with certain limits with respect to the number of outpatient visits, number of hospitalisations, the amount spent and so on.

    The UK has comprehensive health insurance policies that cover a wide range of healthcare services spanning medical, surgical, psychiatric, and psychological services. Coverage in Indonesia is different in the sense that only public insurance comes with mental insurance, whereas private insurers do not offer it. Similarly, the coverage varies for other nations also.

  • Central Initiatives for Making Healthcare Affordable. Are These Enough?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Some major progress made by the 3-year-old government in the sphere of healthcare

    The UPA-led Congress Government witnessed their worst defeat in the general elections of 2014 and India got a fresh new start. The NDA government targeted major reformation and development in a number of sectors, including healthcare.

    The main focus of the government was on preventive healthcare and long-form immunization drive to minimize or completely eradicate certain preventable diseases like Kala Azar, Tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, and measles.

    Here are some initiatives by the Modi government that made a difference in the health sector.

    Benefits with E-Health

    The Digital India campaign of 2015 brought better efficiency in the healthcare sector. With an increase in the knowledge database and simplified concepts, a greater transparency was achieved, removing many malpractices from the industry. Through E-Heath initiative, healthcare became more accessible to people in remote areas who had very limited access to the healthcare facilities.

    An eHospital app was launched with an online registration system to minimalise the formalities at hospitals, before a check-up or treatment.

    Door to Door Check-up Initiative of 2017

    The most recent initiatives include door-to-door screening for chronic diseases like cancer, heart disorders and diabetes. This programme took place on World Cancer Day (4th February) and offered early detection and treatment of the diseases for people between the critical age group of 30 to 69 years.

    Making India Open Defecation Free by 2019

    Unhygienic conditions lead to diseases. In 2014, the Modi government launched a nationwide campaign to make India open defecation free by 2019. Many known faces from the Hindi film industry, like Vidya Balan and Amitabh Bachchan, took part to preach the campaign effectively to every house in India. More than 80 lakh public toilets were built across the country. Recently, states like Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala were declared ODF states.

    Swachh Bharat Cess

    In the reiteration of Mahatma Gandhi’s dream for a Swachh India, Clean India Initiative or Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in 2015. The government imposed Swachh Bharat Cess on 15th November 2015 on taxable services at the rate of 0.5%. The government raised an amount of ₹3901.76 crore between 2015- 16 that was utilized for different Swachh Bharat initiatives of the government.

  • Tips for First-Time Health Insurance Shoppers

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Assess your needs, know the different types of health insurance and ways to buy them, vet your finances and read all the plan documents thoroughly

    It is prudent to opt for health insurance as it helps you to meet the rising cost of medical expenses. But, if you’re shopping for a complete health insurance for the first time, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider. To simplify the process, we have outlined some tips that will help you make some smart decisions about your healthcare coverage.

    Examine Your Needs

    Before you settle on a plan, you should thoroughly access your needs. Here are some things to consider:

    • How often do you fall ill?
    • How much coverage do you require?
    • Is your current doctor covered in the provider network of the plan?

    You could also ask your doctor if he or she accepts a particular health insurance plan.

    Where to Shop?

    There are different routes you can take to buy health insurance, which includes:

    • Buy/Browse plans directly from an insurance company
      You can contact any health insurance provider to inquire about different health insurance plans that are available.
    • Purchase health insurance through a broker or agent
      Brokers and agents can also help you compare different plan options and process your enrolment. While brokers sell schemes offered by a number of different insurance companies, agents typically sell plans on behalf of one particular company.
    • Purchase coverage from online sellers
      You can use online sites to search and compare different plan options before purchasing health insurance. Many sites have plan comparison tools that help you to figure out what health insurance option best suits your needs.

    Know the Difference

    It is important to know the difference between an individual health coverage, a family floater policy and a rider. Individual health insurance plans offer coverage for hospitalization and surgical expenses. The family floater policy, on the other hand, covers the hospitalization and surgical expenses for the entire family. Riders are top-up plans that provide added coverage to your existing health insurance plans.

  • Porting Your Health Insurance? Read This First

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Shantanu, a 40-year-old professional, is suffering from asthma. He listed this health issue as a pre-existing condition while buying a health insurance policy . After two years, when the insurance provider raised the premium, Shantanu decided to shift to a new insurance provider. However, he was worried that the new insurer might treat him as a new policyholder and impose a waiting period for the pre-existing condition.

    At this situation, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and its health insurance portability scheme came to Shantanu’s rescue. The guidelines on the portability of health insurance policy enabled Shantanu to shift to a new insurance provider without losing the benefits accumulated with the present insurer.

    What is Health Insurance Portability?

    The IRDAI introduced health insurance portability in 2011. Through portability, a policyholder can carry forward the credit accrued for pre-existing conditions along with time-bound exclusions while switching from one insurance provider to another, or from one health insurance plan to another. The policyholder also qualifies for getting all continuity benefits, like free medical check-ups and no-claim bonus, which were acquired during the previous insurance policy.

    Rights of the policyholder for porting a Health Insurance

    Under the health insurance portability scheme, the IRDAI gives policyholder the right to port a policy (individual or family) from a general insurance provider to a specialised health insurance provider, and vice versa. The new insurer is liable to provide him or her a health policy of at least the sum insured under the previous policy.

    Moreover, the new insurer is also liable to provide the credit rating associated with the pre-existing conditions that the policyholder had already accrued with the previous insurer. Both the previous insurer and the new insurer are liable to complete the process of porting within the stipulated timeline prescribed under the regulatory guidelines of the IRDAI (Protection of Policyholders’ Interests).

    Conditions for porting a Health Insurance Policy

    A policyholder can apply for porting a health insurance policy only at the time of renewal, which ensures that the new period of insurance will be effective with the new insurer. Any policyholder can apply for the portability of his/her existing health policy only if it is maintained without any breaks.

    To port an insurance policy, the policyholder has to submit a written application to its present insurance company to shift the policy to a new insurer. The application should be made at least 45 days prior to the policy renewal date, mentioning the name of the insurance company to which the policyholder wants to switch his/her policy.

    Process of porting a Health Insurance Policy

    Once the insurance company receives the insurance portability application, it provides the policyholder with a proposal form and a portability form. The present insurer then shares the details of the insured person with the new insurer via a common IRDAI portal for sharing customer data. Once the new insurance company gets all the details, it has to take a decision about underwriting the insurance policy within 15 days. Failing to respond within 15 days will force the insurer to accept the portability application.

    Documents required for Porting a Health Insurance Policy

    • Policy certificates of previous years
    • Latest notice of renewal mentioning coverage continuity and other details
    • The policyholder’s self-declaration in cases of no-claim
    • Investigation report, discharge summary and other equivalent documents in cases of claims
    • Filled in proposal form and portability form
  • Should Health Insurance Be a Part of Financial Planning?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Though the awareness of having a health insurance plan has increased, some of us still do not understand its importance. The need to assess and hedge your health risk arises from the fact that the health care costs have been rising at more than 20% on an annualised basis. Many of these are not even covered by the medical cover that you avail. If you know the importance of health insurance, kudos to you! But if you don’t, read on.

    Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    Since medical inflation is always on the rise, it is essential to build a corpus which will exclusively cater to your out-of-pocket expenses for medical reasons. The amount you do not spend can be kept aside to build a decent amount of money that can be utilised in times of need. But, there is a right way to go through with that plan and that is through health insurance.

    There is no point in depleting your hard-earned money that you have saved up for health contingencies. A health insurance plan is designed to take care of these increasing medical expenses. By paying for such expenses, the plan protects your savings from being drained out in case of a medical emergency.

    Tax Exemption from the Government

    Isn’t it great when you don’t have to pay taxes on the amount of money you save? Health insurance helps you in this regard too. Your health insurance plan will cover you and your family without you having to pay any taxes to the government. The premium you pay for your plan is exempted from tax under Section 80D. You can, thus, claim up to Rs.60,000 as tax exemption if you pay health insurance premiums for yourself and your dependent parents (if both are senior citizens).

    Lifetime Renewability Feature

    Health insurance is no longer exhaustible! Did you know that health plans come with a lifelong renewability feature? You can renew health plans for you and your family for as long as you live, without any maximum renewal age! It proves beneficial when you retire and have to cut back on your out-of-pocket expenses. With old age come low income and high medical contingencies. If you have a health plan, any medical contingency you face would be covered by your health plan thereby sparing your savings.

  • 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Appendicitis

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    The appendix is a small tube-like organ, attached at the end of your large intestine. It is a vestigial organ, one that has been rendered dysfunctional by continuous evolutionary processes over millions of years. But don’t make the mistake of going by the size of it!

    Did you know, that despite over 500 years of study, the appendix still remains shrouded in mystery?

    Right from the ancient Egyptians to Charles Darwin, the appendix has been successful in appealing to some of the best minds in the annals of history. Leonardo Da Vinci was believed to have dissected over thirty human corpses to understand the appendix and its functionality.

    But like every other organ, this vermiform (worm-like) structure is also not free from afflictions. Appendicitis is a medical condition that results from the inflammation or infection of the appendix. This disease is caused when the appendix is blocked by bodily impurities or any other foreign object.

    However, there still remains a slew of facts (about appendix and appendicitis) that are yet not known to most. Four such least-understood things have been stated below:

    • The nature of appendicitis can be misleading

    There is a high chance that you end up mis-diagnosing appendicitis for other common ailments. The condition can flare up, and present itself in the garb of:

    • Fever associated with a food infection
    • Diarrhoea associated with Amebiasis (parasitic infection of one’s intestine)
    • Bloating associated with an eating disorder

    Often, signs of appendicitis can be elusive, thus giving off a false sense of security. You should certainly abstain from any kind of self-diagnosis and avail immediate medical help, should you experience common symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain, vomiting and loss of appetite.

  • Appendicitis pain is good!
  • Yes, you read that right! With appendicitis, chances are you will suffer from a lingering pain. But don’t rest assured if it subsides. The cessation of pain may be associated with organ rupture. This can lead the impurities inside the appendix to seep into the abdomen, thereby resulting in infections (peritonitis).

    This can be fatal, and thus, warrants immediate surgical intervention in order to prevent further contamination of the abdominal cavity.

  • Surgery is not the only option
  • A cure for appendicitis might not always involve invasive medical procedures. A milder form of the disease – that constitutes 80% of all diagnoses -- is treatable with antibiotics.

    Appendectomy or surgical removal of the appendix may be required for the other type. Your doctor can determine the procedure applicable for you by analysing medical test reports.

  • Gender is a great determinant of risk
  • Research reveals that men might be more vulnerable to appendicitis. While the reason for this is not apparent, researchers believe that individual dietary habits (such as low intake of fibre among men) could play a major role.

    If you are trying to build resistance against this disease, maintaining a balanced diet (replete with fruits and vegetables) and leading a healthy lifestyle can be a good start.

    Now that you are aware of some of the little-known facts about this condition, it is time to answer the more critical questions.

    What are the common causes?

    This condition arises from blockage of the appendix, leading to an internal build-up of bacteria. It may be the result of:

    • Stool deposition
    • Tumours
    • Severe trauma
    • Activity of intestinal parasites
    • Enlargement of lymphoid follicles (small tissue masses containing inflammatory cells)
    • .

    What are the symptoms?

    Appendicitis is marked by abdominal pain. However, look out for other symptoms such as:

    • Nausea
    • Indigestion
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of appetite

    How can appendicitis be diagnosed?

    Diagnosis involves a cluster of medical examinations. You might be required to undergo:

    • Complete blood count to check for bacterial infections
    • Urine tests to rule out possibilities of urinary tract infections (UTI) or kidney stones
    • Abdominal imaging (CT scans, MRI) to ascertain probable causes

    How is it treated?

    Usually, treatment involves surgery to remove the inflamed vestigial organ. You might be recommended antibiotics prior to the surgery.

    • Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery: This minimally invasive surgery is conducted through small abdominal incisions (generally less than an inch in size)
    • Open surgery (Appendectomy): This procedure is performed through a larger incision (usually 2-5 inches long). Your doctor might consider this approach, depending on the complications (appendix rupture, for instance) your test reports show up.
    • Antibiotics: Common antibiotics used to treat appendicitis include cefotetan, cefotaxime, ampicillin and sulbactam, cefepime, piperacillin and tazobactam, and ticarcillin and clavulanate.
  • COVID-19: Here’s What We’re Doing to Help You Fight the Disease

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    The COVID-19 pandemic has already affected more than 2 lakh people across the country. Although the infection rate is comparatively low in India relative to our population size, we’ve still got a long way to go in overcoming the crisis completely. The Indian Government has taken several steps to tackle the issue and lessen the spread of this deadly pandemic. Medical researchers are putting in all efforts to develop an effective vaccine quickly. As of now, maintaining hygiene and social distancing are the best habits we can practise to prevent catching an infection.

    At ICICI Lombard, we’re doing our best to ensure you’re not alone in the fight against COVID-19. We understand that swift action – testing and treating the disease – is critical, especially in the case of severe complications. There is a lot of confusion surrounding which hospitals have isolation beds, how to file cashless/reimbursement claims for treatment, and much more. To help you avail medical services in time, without worrying about your finances, is of utmost importance to us at the moment. Here are some of the initiatives we have taken to support you when you need us the most!

    Hospitalisation Covered

    While government hospitals are offering free COVID-19 treatment, not everyone may be able to get treated at one, due to the large number of cases these hospitals are currently seeing. Moreover, some people may prefer treatment at private hospitals. The medical expenses at a private hospital can go up to a few lakhs since treatment can span across several days, or maybe even a couple of weeks. To help you get treated at the nearest hospital without delay, we cover COVID-19 hospitalisation expenses, including room rent and daycare procedures. Moreover, if you’ve opted for our Outpatient Department (OPD) cover, we also pay for your diagnostic test expenses. So hospital bills should not deter you from getting the right treatment at the right time.

    Not sure where to get treated? Check out COVID-19 facilities near you here – COVID-19 Hospitals | COVID-19 Testing Labs

    COVID-19 Helpline - 04066274205

    We know that you may need our help during emergencies – whether it’s for finding a network hospital or filing a claim. Don’t worry; we’re just a phone call away for support. You can call us for any queries from 9 AM to 6 PM (Monday to Saturday) and avail our Emergency Assistance Information services under your health insurance policy. Our executives will be happy to help you!

    Highest Priority for Coronavirus Cases

    To reduce the stress associated with diagnosis, treatment and recovery, we’re taking COVID-19 cases, and those with COVID-19 symptoms, on top priority. We’re putting in all our efforts to settling these claims speedily so that you have one less thing to worry about if you’ve tested positive.

    Easy Claiming

    Claims don’t have to add to your coronavirus anxiety, especially during this time of crisis. The last thing you’d want is to wait for ages to get a settlement on your COVID claims. To make life easier for you, we are now accepting scanned documents for your health insurance claims. You focus on recovery, and we’ll focus on covering your medical expenses!

    Second Opinion

    If you’re not satisfied with your physician’s diagnosis, we help you get a second opinion to make a sound decision on your health. Especially during the COVID crisis, we can arrange for a medical expert to help you with a second opinion online. Now you don’t need to step out of your home to speak to a doctor and seek help on health concerns. Just call us on our COVID-19 helpline (04066274205) for assistance.

    Be it during large calamities like Odisha cyclone or minor accidents like a broken tail-light, we have always stood by our customers in time of need. We have repeatedly introduced industry-leading practices for nearly two decades.

  • Facts About Health Insurance You Can Learn from a Sports Person

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Sportspersons are not only healthy and fit, but they also live a disciplined and focused life. Not one sportsperson out there will ignore getting a health insurance cover, because they understand its need and benefits. They also effectively realize that health is wealth and here are a few tips about health insurance you can learn from a sportsperson.

    Make a Commitment to Health

    Every sportsperson will agree that commitment is the first and the most important step for achieving your goals. Make a commitment to health and take the practical decision of buying health insurance. Healthy eating, exercise and healthy habits are ideal but ill health and accidents can come knocking at random doors. Protecting yourself from such uncertainties and their heavy costs is possible with health insurance.

    Set a Realistic Goal

    Once you’re committed to a cause, setting a goal and figuring how to reach it is the next step. Just like a runner trains on the basis of the time in which they want to finish the race, you too have to figure out how much sum you need to be assured of. This depends on the diseases you’re prone to, which other family members you’re getting covered and the plans available in the market

    Make an Informed Decision

    Like every sport has its own rules and penalties, health insurance covers come with their own conditions, exclusions and exceptions. Do your research and know what you’re signing up for. Some people get a rude shock at the time they make a claim. You can avoid that by making an informed decision.

  • Health Insurance: Before And After Budget 2018

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    The Finance Minister has already presented Union Budget of 2018. Here’s how it is going to impact your health insurance policy

    Every year, the Central Government comes out with the Union Budget amidst high hopes from every section of the population. Everyone is hooked to every word spoken during the budget speech, in the hope of something favourable being announced for them. Salaried people, farmers, corporates and economists all anticipate some good news that will make their daily affairs simpler.

    Union Budget 2018 was presented by the Finance Minister on February 1 this year, and was predominantly a farmer’s budget, with healthcare also finding ground. There was a clear emphasis on rural India with the launching of new schemes for the agriculture sector.

    As for insurance, there were some welcome changes made in the sphere of health insurance, bringing in some much-needed relief to senior citizens that are struggling to cope with rising cost of healthcare.

    Increase In Deduction For Senior Citizens

    The budget has increased the limit of deduction under Section 80D from ₹30,000 to ₹50,000 for senior citizen taxpayers with respect to health insurance premiums or medical expenditure. This move is a positive step towards improving the health and safety of senior citizens in the country. It will also reduce their tax liability and give them some respite from the ever-increasing cost of medical treatments, that consequently demand higher coverage amount.

    This deduction is applicable towards payment of premium on health insurance policy or preventive health-check-up by a senior citizen. However, for a super-senior citizen (above 80 years of age), this deduction can be had for medical expenditure as well.

  • Obese? It's Time To Hold Your Cheap, High-Carb Diet Responsible

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    The mere thought of standing by the roadside and stuffing in those hot fried stuff makes your tongue water. Even the most hygiene-conscious can’t deny the hunger spell induced by those aromas! But if you peel back the covers and look little beneath the aroma and taste, a whole different picture starts to emerge.

    Thanks to the intake of simple carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and the wide availability of fast food, India has broken into the list of the top five countries in terms of obesity. Adding to the worries, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in 2016 revealed that the percentage of obese men and women has doubled over the decade.

    Obesity, a malaise in itself can also lead to several diseases like diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory problems, etc.

    Do you know the factors that lead to obesity? Here is a list of the top factors that contribute to making you obese.

    1. High amount of carbohydrates in diet

    2. Our diet is often held as the primary factor responsible for causing obesity. The problem starts right from childhood. Doctors and researchers opine that wrong eating habits developed in one’s childhood, lead to obesity. India is on the path to becoming a home for 17 million obese children by the year 2025, making it second among 184 countries.

      Doctors are of the opinion that eating a greater amount of simple carbohydrates, like white rice, bread, usually found in ‘junk food’, as compared to proteins and complex carbohydrates is causing an increase in obesity. So, the next time you drool over fried food or other mouth-watering delicacies, think about the impact it would have on your health.

    3. Sedentary lifestyle and a reduction in physical activity

    4. Along with the diet, experts also put the blame on lack of physical activity for an increase in obesity. It is only inevitable that burning more calories than the amount you consume, will result in a healthy or lower Body Mass Index (BMI).

      Experts blame increased mechanisation along with apathy and lethargy as the reason behind a lack of participation in physical activity. An important factor to note in this regard is as per NFHS report, cases of obesity are rising in the countryside as well.

      The next time you think of taking the lift instead of the stairs, think again! Stair climbing and a daily workout routine might just be the activities that can get you back in shape.

    5. Genetics

    6. The maxim ‘it’s all in your genes’ seems to hold true for obesity. Doctors state that there are several different genes which enhance the risk of obesity. These genes are those regulating appetite, metabolic rate and satiety.

      While 5% of the carbohydrate is converted to fats in an adult, a genetic abnormality can increase the percentage to 60%. If there is an immediate family member who is obese, you would be better off managing your diet even more strictly so as to keep your weight under control.

  • Deductibles in Health Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Understanding how a deductible in your health insurance plan  works can help you make savings on your health care costs. A deductible is essentially the sum of money you agree upon to be paid towards your cover before you begin to make claims on your insurance.

    The terms Health Plan Deductible, Medical Deductible and Health Insurance Deductible are used interchangeably in most cases. Here is a quick overview of deductibles one can see in a health plan.

    Types Of Deductibles And What They Stand For

    There are two types of deductibles that are available in India on a health insurance plan, these are compulsory and voluntary deductible. In international markets, there are a few more which are also mentioned below.

    • Compulsory Deductible: These deductibles are mandatory and are governed by the insurer. This is a fixed amount that has to be paid by the insured on every claim he makes.
    • Voluntary Deductible: As the name states, these are voluntary and are opted for by the insured, in order to reduce his insurance premium.
    • Comprehensive Deductible: A single deductible which is applicable across covers. It keeps adding up till you have paid the total amount agreed upon towards your policy.
    • Non-Comprehensive Deductible: A Non-Comprehensive Deductible is applicable towards designated covers. It may only require you to pay an amount of money before you can claim benefits to meet certain medical costs and not for others.
    • Cumulative Deductible: When you are willing to begin a family health insurance plan, a cumulative deductible will be applicable where all the members included within the plan makes payments towards the deductible till the total amount payable is met.
  • Know How New Proposals on Health Insurance Can Change Your Life

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    An effective risk mitigating tool that prevents out-of-pocket expenses during a medical emergency, health insurance  is a modern-day need. A growing segment, the standalone health insurance market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% in the next five years and will be worth Rs. 21,904 crore by 2022.

    In what could further make health insurance more customer-friendly, transparent and boost the growth of the sector, a working panel constituted by insurance regulator IRDAI has proposed several changes. Read on to know the effects of these changes on your health insurance policy.

    Clearer Definition of Pre-Existing Diseases

    A major bone of contention in a health insurance policy is the interpretation of pre-existing diseases. The working panel has suggested a simpler and clearer definition of pre-existing diseases to weed out any anomaly over its interpretation and subsequent disputes.

    According to the suggested definition, any disease, injury, condition or ailment diagnosed prior to buying the first policy for which medical treatment or advise was recommended or received from a doctor qualifies as a pre-existing disease.

    With a simpler definition, as a policyholder, you would know about the conditions or ailments that qualify as a pre-existing disease which you need to disclose while filling up the proposal form to avoid rejection. The working panel has also asked insurers to take a lenient view in case a pre-existing disease is discovered later.

    Insurers have been recommended by the working panel to put a waiting period on such diseases, instead of cancelling the policy. The option, however, will be available only during the moratorium period.

    Lowering Waiting Period of Lifestyle Diseases

    Lifestyle diseases have evolved as one of the biggest killers in India. As per studies conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other institutes, estimated proportion of all deaths from lifestyle styles has gone up from 37.09% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016. The high-treatment cost of lifestyle diseases can derail a family’s finances.

    On most occasions, the waiting period of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems range from one to four years. Waiting period refers to the time/duration during which you can’t make a claim from your Mediclaim insurance.

    However, the working panel has suggested lowering the waiting period of lifestyle diseases up to 30 days (maximum), unless they are pre-existing.

    Standardisation of Pre-Existing Diseases

    The working panel has also proposed a standard list of 17 pre-existing diseases which could be excluded from a Mediclaim policy. The list includes diseases such as epilepsy, cerebral stroke, chronic heart and kidney diseases, HIV, AIDS, Parkinson’s, hepatitis B, loss of hearing and other physical disabilities.

    It has also said that policyholders can’t be denied coverage for AIDS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and morbid obesity if diagnosed after the purchase of a policy.

    This means if you contact the above-mentioned diseases after buying a health insurance policy, you will be entitled to receive coverage for them. To put it simply, the working panel has suggested all health conditions acquired after policy issuance to be covered. Experts believe that this standardisation will help in the smooth settlement of claims.

    Easy Coverage for Individuals with Severe Health Conditions

    People with severe health conditions such as epilepsy and physical disabilities find it difficult to avail a health insurance policy. Also, insurers are wary about extending cover to cancer survivors. They are usually denied coverage for procedures and diseases that may be completely unrelated.

    If the proposals of the panel are accepted, it’ll become easy for such individuals to avail health insurance. However, no coverage will be provided for specific pre-existing diseases. Nevertheless, if you are suffering from a severe health condition and are denied a Mediclaim insurance, the road ahead might be a little easy for you.

    Claims Can’t be Questioned After Eight Years of Continuous Renewals

    Another proposal mooted by the panel is that insurers can’t question claims on basis of non-disclosure after eight years of continuous renewals, except in cases of frauds. It means if you’ve renewed your policy for straight years since its inception, the insurer can’t raise objections on your claims on grounds of concealing information.

  • 4 Bike Festivals Every Motocycle Enthusiast Should Have On Their Bucket List

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Four fests that are a treat for bike enthusiasts

    Are you a motorbike enthusiast? Do you feel a lack of bike-centred activities and fests? Are you one of those who want the India Bike Week to last for an entire year? Don’t worry, there are plenty of such fests around the world that cater to your craving! These four are our best picks that promise revelry, great bikes and unbridled fun for hard-core bikers.

    Ireland Bike Fest

    Held annually in the town of Killarney, the two-day Ireland Bike Fest is one of the most exhilarating weekends for bikers and non-bikers alike. Home to three world famous lakes: Lough Leane, Muckross Lake and Upper Lake, Killarney is a breath-taking town teeming with scenic beauty.

    Imagine riding on the twisting tracks around the mountains, high above three gorgeous lakes, speeding alongside the sea on world-famous routes like the Wild Atlantic Way and the Ring of Kerry. There are also three live music shows and umpteen food and drinks stalls to soak up the excitement and thrill.

    Dubai Motorbike Festival

    The Dubai Motorbike Festival is one grand gathering of all local and international motorcycle communities and companies. The festival is aligned with the annual releases of the industry’s product lines and holds an exhibition showcasing the latest models and technologies.

    The festival is a platform for riders, bike enthusiasts, bike clubs, manufacturers and retailers to connect, share and indulge in everything related to two-wheelers. A stunt battle is held by the festival in two categories, sports bikes and ATVs. These test the balance, creativity and fearlessness of every competitor.

  • Two Wheeler Insurance - A Must for Indian Roads

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Startling Reality

    Take some time out to look at these statistics, collected from a recent survey report:

    1. An accident a minute

    One serious road accident in India occurs every minute. It means while you are reading this article, an unfortunate mishap would have occurred somewhere in India!

    2. 16 lives per hour

    16 lives are lost due to accidents on Indian roads every hour. Quick mathematics will tell you it works out to 1,40,160 deaths a year, which is more than the overall population of countries like Bermuda and Cayman Islands.

    3. 1 out of 4 times

    Two wheelers account for 25% of total road accident deaths in India. Yes, two wheelers are risk-prone, and one needs to take adequate precaution while driving them. Needless to say, abide by traffic rules, drive carefully and follow lane discipline to reduce the likelihood of causing an accident.

    However, lack of driving prowess may not be the sole reason of a mishap. You could be inconvenienced due to another rider’s mistake, as well. You could wear a helmet to protect yourself from a head injury. But, a few risks still remain. Let’s take a look at them.

    Risks Faced By Two Wheeler Riders

    1. Loss of earning capacity

    An accident might leave the rider with a permanent disability affecting his/her earning capacity. Or in case of fatal mishaps, besides the trauma of losing a dear one, families might have to shoulder the burden of loss of one earning member. These risks also apply to pillion riders.

    2. Two wheeler damage

    In all likelihood your bike or 2-wheeler could be damaged if it is involved in an accident. You will have to incur repairing charges. In a few cases, a severe impact could lead to irreparable damage, entailing a significant monetary expenditure.

    3. Medical Costs

    Two wheeler riders are also exposed to the risk of rising cost of healthcare, an unavoidable expense in case of accidental injuries. While we cannot eliminate the risk of physical harm we can invest in a simple solution that protects us against the financial repercussions of a road accident. Why worry? Instead be prepared to tackle the situation with ease.

  • Best Budget Bikes of India

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    The Two Wheelers That Rule the Hearts and Roads of India

    A Blissful Combination: Durability, Cost-Effectiveness and High Performance

    Motorbikes now start at surprisingly affordable price tags and dominate the Indian roads. Here are some popular motorbikes under ₹ 65,000 that score high on both looks and performance.


    Bajaj Auto Ltd. targets entry-level buyers and rolls out several budget bikes every year. Bajaj Pulsar is one of the award-winning bikes, which is extremely popular among youth. The Pulsar 135LS comes with a powerful 4-stroke DTSi engine.

    Discover and Platina models from the same manufacturer are some other bikes that offer superior, best-in-class performance. Their basic models start at ₹ 51,095 and ₹ 42,640 respectively.

    Name Displacement (cc) Price (in ₹ Delhi Ex-Showroom)
    Bajaj Pulsar 135LS 134.66 60,178
    Bajaj Discover 125 DI 124.6 51,095
    Bajaj Platina 100 KS Alloy 102 42,640


    Hero MotoCorp Ltd., formerly known as Hero Honda, is the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India. It offers numerous choices to commuters, starting from the Hero HF Dawn that costs ₹ 39,700. Other popular 100-110 cc bikes such as Splendor, Passion, and Deluxe are equally high on style and performance.

    Name Displacement (cc) Price (in ₹ Delhi Ex-Showroom)
    Hero HF Deluxe 97.2 45,680
    Hero Passion X Pro 109.1 55,005
    Hero Splendor Plus 97.2 49,105
    Hero HF Dawn 97.2 39,700


    TVS Motor Company is known for its innovations including India's first two-seater moped TVS 50 cc. You can get a TVS bike insurance from ICICI Lombard. Headquartered in Chennai, TVS competes with the industry’s leading motorbike manufacturers and process commuter-friendly budget bikes such as Sport, Phoenix and Star City Plus.

    Name Displacement (cc) Price (in ₹ Delhi Ex-Showroom)
    TVS Sport 99.77 46,074
    TVS Phoenix Drum 125 52,594
    TVS Star City Plus 109.7 49,684


    Primarily known as the largest manufacturer of tractors across the world, Mahindra has a limited range of motorcycles. The models in the Centuro series feature a Micro Chip Ignited-5 engine that guarantees a long-lasting performance.

    Name Displacement (cc) Price (in ₹ Delhi Ex-Showroom)
    Mahindra Centuro NXT 106.7 51,350
    Mahindra Centuro Disc Brake 106.7 51,550


    Suzuki specializes in a variety of vehicles such as automobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and outboard marine engines, etc. It manufactures super bikes that are among the most coveted engineering marvels. Suzuki's Hayate and Sling Shot are a few of the most widely sold models across the country.

    Name Displacement (cc) Price (in ₹ Delhi Ex-Showroom)
    Suzuki Hayate EP 110 57,269
    Suzuki Sling Shot Plus 125 61,191


    Honda Motor Co. Ltd. is famous for technological research and development of electric and alternative fuel vehicles. It also ranks high in production of potential racing machines. On the domestic front, its bikes Dream Yuga, CB Shine and Dream DX drive a hard bargain in terms of price and performance.

    Name Displacement (cc) Price (in ₹ Delhi Ex-Showroom)
    Honda CB SHINE SP - DLX 124.73 63,173
    Honda Dream Yuga 109.19 56,524
    Honda CD 110 Dream DX 110 46,965
  • Monsoon Tyre Care Tips For Your Bike

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Essential tips for taking care of your bike’s tyre in this monsoon

    The monsoon season is not only difficult for you on the roads but also for your bike, especially the tyres. After all, they are subjected to conditions that are not conducive to riding. While you can have motorcycle insurance to cover up for any accident, it is better to take precautionary measures to avoid any mishap. Here are four essential monsoon tyre care tips for your bike.

    Make Sure Tyres Have the Right Pressure

    During monsoon, most riders tend to lower the tyre pressure. This is done to increase contact patch between tyre and the roads. However, it is not the right practice. This puts unnecessary stress on the tyre sidewall and makes it vulnerable to punctures.

    It also increases friction leading to the generation of more heat. This has an impact on the tyre's life. At the same time, increasing air pressure will lead to the reduction in contact patch that can lead to the loss of grip. It will also reduce your bike's stopping distance in an emergency.

    You must always:

    • Check tyre pressure once every couple of weeks
    • Use an accurate pressure gauge to measure pressure
    • Maintain pressure according to the recommendation of the manufacturer mentioned in the owner's manual. Insurance for bikes depends on whether you have followed all the instructions properly or not

    Try to Keep the Tyres Clean

    With so much mud and dirt around during rains, it is very difficult to keep the tyres clean. However, with a little care and attention you can achieve great results. You can apply a little wax on the sidewalls of the tyre to keep it shiny. Wax keeps away most of the mud from the tyres.

    You can use this simple and effective method to keep the tyres in top shape during the entire monsoon season. You can also use a tyre polishing foam. A little attention will go a long way in ensuring the longevity of the tyres.

    Purchase Tyre from a Reputed Manufacturer

    Ask any two wheeler insurance agent and he/she will always recommend you to buy your tyre from a reputed manufacturer. Established players, unlike local manufacturers, come up with products that are at par with international standards, thus ensuring optimum performance.

    These manufacturers have strict quality control guidelines to ensure that their products meet the required parameters. Hence, if you wish to switch to new tyres, make sure your next purchase is from a renowned manufacturer.

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