Difference Between Riders and Add-on Covers in Health Insurance

A standard health insurance policy is often not enough to cover all your medical needs. You may need additional protection to ensure comprehensive coverage from your insurance company. For this purpose, most health insurance plans offer riders and add-on covers, but most people get confused between the two. This article discusses the stark differences between health insurance riders and add-on covers.

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      What is Riders in Health Insurance?

      Riders refer to additional coverage or benefits that you can buy on top of your base health insurance coverage. They alter the terms and conditions of your base health policy to provide your desired coverage on payment of an additional premium amount. Riders help to obtain medical coverage that are missing from your base health insurance policy.

      Some of the most common types of health insurance riders in India are:

      • Critical illness rider
      • Personal accident rider
      • PED coverage from day 1 rider
      • Room rent waiver rider
      • Maternity rider
      • OPD rider
      • Reduction in PED waiting period rider
      • Hospital cash rider
      • Air ambulance rider

      A rider can be purchased from the same insurance company from which you bought your base health policy. For instance, if your base medical insurance policy is from ‘X Insurance Company’, you can only buy riders offered by ‘Insurer X’.

      For more details, read: Health Insurance Riders

      What is Add-on Cover in Health Insurance?

      Add-on covers are additional coverage benefits that you can purchase along with your base health insurance policy. They can be used to increase your overall medical coverage and make it more comprehensive. Add-on covers can be added to your base health policy on payment of an additional premium amount.

      Some of the most common types of add-on covers in health insurance in India are:

      • Inflation Shield (E.g., Care Shield Add-on Cover)
      • Consumables Cover (E.g., Star Extra Protect Add-on Cover)
      • No Claim Bonus Safeguard (E.g., Aditya Birla Future Secure Add-on Cover)
      • Home Care Treatment (E.g., Chola Home Care Treatment Add-on Cover)

      An add-on cover can be bought from any insurance company regardless of who your base health insurance provider is. For example, if you have a mediclaim policy from ‘Y Insurance Company’, you can choose to buy add-on covers from the same company or from ‘B Insurance Company’.

      For more details, read: Health Insurance Add-on Covers

      Difference Between Add-ons and Riders in Health Insurance

      Check out the differences between add-on covers and riders in health insurance:

      Categories Health Insurance Riders Health Insurance Add-on Covers
      Meaning Riders are the extra coverage or benefits that you can buy alongside your base health insurance policy to expand its coverage. Add-on covers are the additional coverage that you add to the base health insurance policy to get more comprehensive coverage.
      Terms and Conditions It amends the terms and conditions of the base health insurance policy. It does not amend the terms and conditions of the base policy.
      Purchase Can be purchased from the existing insurer. Can be purchased from both existing or new insurer
      Separate Policy Issuance No new policy document is issued for the rider. A separate policy document is issued for the add-on cover.
      Availability Most health insurance plans offer riders. Few health insurance plans come with add-on covers.
      Plan Association Riders are associated with a specific health insurance plan. Add-on covers are not associated with any particular health plan and can be purchased with any policy.

      Summing It Up

      Add-on covers and riders play a major role in providing your desired medical coverage. While riders are more suitable if you need additional coverage for a known cost, add-on covers are ideal for obtaining comprehensive coverage against future medical expenses. Besides, they are much more affordable than buying another health insurance policy.

      Now that you understand how these health insurance terms differ, you can consciously decide to buy a rider or add-on cover based on your medical requirements.

      Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

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