With medical ailments on the rise and the health industry facing inflation, investing in a health insurance policy is essential to protect yourself and your loved ones from any unexpected threats. It is imperative to read the finer details when buying a policy to make sure it covers your needs. However, sometimes you may realise that the plan is not fit for you after buying it. In such cases, you don't have to be tied down by the same plan. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made it possible for policyholders to switch to a different insurer without losing on the benefits of the current one.
Known as insurance portability, earlier a move like this could have resulted in the insured losing out on the benefits like No Claim Bonus and waiting period of the previous insurer. But, IRDAI has now given consumers the right to move to an insurer of their choice stating that the credit gained by the insured for pre-existing conditions, in terms of waiting period, must be allowed for by the new insurer. Insurance portability allows you to switch from one insurer to another, but the nature of the policy has to be the same.
If your current policy is proving to be expensive or you want to move from a group floater to an individual policy, you can consider insurance portability.
Rights Provided by IRDAI to the Consumers:
To make the porting process a seamless experience for policyholders, the IRDAI has given these rights to the consumers:
- You can port your policy to and from any general or specialised health insurance company.
- You can port any individual or family policies
- Credit relating to the waiting period for pre-existing conditions that you have gained with the old insurer must be given by the new insurer
- Your new insurer is required to insure you at least up to the sum insured of the old policy
- Both the insurers should complete the porting on or before the deadline stipulated by IRDAI keeping the policyholder's interests in mind.
Following are the conditions laid down by IRDAI for health insurance portability:
- The policy can only be ported during the time of renewal.
- The policyholder is expected to do the following at least 45 days before the date of renewal:
- Request the old insurance company for a shift
- Specify the name of the company he/she wants to shift to'
- Renew the policy without a break
- Other than the waiting period credit, all other terms of the policy will be at the discretion of the new insurer.
How to Port a Health Insurance Policy?
Follow these steps to port from your current insurer to a new one:
- Apply at least 45 days before the renewal of the current policy.
- Upon receiving the application, fill the proposal and portability form and submit it.
- The new insurer will verify your medical details and history of claims with the current insurance company within 7 days.
- The current insurer will upload your medical information on IRDAI's portal which the new insurer will use to frame a proposal.
- The proposal should be presented to you within 15 days. Failing to do so would lead to your application being automatically accepted.
Key Points to Note While Porting Insurance Policies:
Portability does give the policyholder the power of choice but there are certain things that must be kept in mind before applying for a new policy.
- Age: Most insurers might be hesitant to accept the portability application of an older policyholder as the risk of ailments increases with age. It might also lead to higher premiums.
- Medical history: Your application might be rejected by the new insurer if you have any pre-existing health issues. If the applicant is older than 45 years, then the insurers can ask them to undergo medical tests before accepting the porting.
- Lower premiums: Lower premiums often attract people to portability. However, insurers might lower the coverage to compensate.
- Errors in filing: While filing the application, even a small error in the details can lead to the rejection of your request. Therefore, special attention should be given to medical details and other information.