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Money Sep 21, 2011

Personal Finance: Health cover portability is here, with riders

By Firstbiz Editors

Health Insurance:

Tired of having to deal with a bad health insurer because the cost of switching to a new one is too high? Worry no more because the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has issued the final guidelines on health insurance portability, clearing the decks for their implementation from 1 October. That means you can switch from one health insurer to another without losing any benefits you have earned on your existing health cover. For more details, click here.

The catch is portability is not a matter of right. Only if the company to can a portability proposal be accepted. Photo: Koream Centre/Flickr

When considering any kind of insurance policy, don't make price the only deciding factor for choosing an agent. Far too many people succumb to the lure of choosing a ridiculously cheap agent, only to find out later they've made a horribly expensive mistake. You may actually not even have a policy at the end, and even run the risk of losing the entire principal amount to some unscrupulous fly-by-night operator. As always, it's important to consider things like the products offered, as well as the services provided by the agent. For your checklist on finding the right insurance agent, clickhere.

Home loans and related matters:

Three lenders - LIC Housing Finance, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank - have introduced loans that have a fixed interest rate in the initial years and convert to floating rates after that. But are these really teaser loans in another guise? Does it make sense to lock in to fixed interest rates now, given the RBI might be reaching the peak of its interest rate hike cycle? Like all financial products, the time of entry in fixed loans makes a lot of difference. Ideally, you should take a fixed rate when rates are low, which is not the case at present. For more information, click onthis link.

No capital gains tax on inherited property

If you inherit property, does it attract capital gain? Experts say that any transfer of a capital asset under a gift or will does not attract the provisions of capital gains tax. In other words, you cannot be asked to pay capital gains tax just because you inherited a property. However, don't for a moment think that the Income Tax Act will let you get away. If the inheritor were to eventually sell the property, capital gains tax would enter the picture. For more details on this topic, clickhere.

Investments:

"There are great value deals in the stock markets right now." How many times have you heard that before? But how do you define a "value deal"? What are the key things to look for? One expert says the most important parameters to look at when building the ideal portfolio are superior quality of earnings, operations in inflation-immune sectors and good stock valuations given the projected earnings. But these are not the only criteria. For more insight on other parameters, click here.

by Firstbiz Editors

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