Points to Remember while Renewing Health Insurance

When you renew your health insurance policy, you need to ensure that you renew your policy promptly before the deadline. You can also add members to your policy during renewal. You also need to look for modifications in policy terms.
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Once you have insured your family under the most idyllic health plan, you also have the responsibility of renewing the policy on time. With most of the insurers providing online facility, the entire process of renewal has become fast and increasingly convenient. Take a look at some of the key features and requirements we have listed below, if you plan to renew your health insurance any time soon.

Renew Your Policy on Time:

Generally in case of discontinuance of premiums, insurance companies provide 15 to 30 days grace period before lapsing the health policy. As per regulations, health insurers are not liable for any of the payments covered under the plan during the period of lapse. Policyholders may miss out on benefits ranging from critical illness cover to tax exemptions if the policy gets lapsed. Such lapses are risky, especially for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Even though insurers send out renewal notices for approaching due dates, it is still the duty of the insured to make sure that the policy is renewed well before the due date.

Adding Members to the Policy:

If after a certain period, the policyholder decides to add more family members to the policy, he/she can do that at the time of renewal. Policyholders can also take out names from the coverage and make changes to the existing terms during renewal. For example, if a person decides to add his parents to the existing family floater plan covering him, his wife and child, he can do the same at the date of health insurance policy renewal.

Option to Increase the Sum Assured:

Individuals can raise the sum assured on their health policies by giving a request at the time of renewal. Companies mostly impose certain terms and conditions for increasing the insured sum, such as medical tests and no claim history. Therefore one has to be prepared for the waiting periods if he plans to apply for an increase in sum assured. However, sometimes it happens that the sum insured is within the range of maximum coverage assured under the policy. In such situations, the policyholder cannot make use of this option.

Check for Changes in Policy Terms:

IRDA has made it compulsory that the any changes in terms and conditions of the policy has to be communicated three months in advance to the policyholder and the same has to be notified to the regulator for approval. If revised terms are not acceptable to the person holding , he/she can opt for another policy, similar to the initial terms of the existing one.

Documents to be Carried on the Day of Renewal:

If the policyholder wishes to continue his policy with the same branch of the company, he/she must carry the policy renewal notice and check at time of renewal. But in cases where the insured decides to change the branch they will have to produce the following documents

  • Last year’s policy
  • Policy renewal notice
  • Proposal form
  • Photographs
  • Cheque for the proposed amount
  • Mandate letter

Disclose New Medical Conditions:

Medical insurance being a yearly contract, the terms can be revised due to the health changes that happen during the year. Therefore, policyholders should bring to the notice of the insurer, any of the newly developed health conditions during the previous term. As per IRDA regulations the health insurer cannot impose new conditions but can ask for documents in support of the policyholder’s declaration.

Always Keep the Receipt Safe:

Inform your closest member about the changes you have made to the policy and always keep the receipt in a safe custody. This is essential, because at the time of claim they have to be fully aware of the conditions of the policy. Also make them known of any of the cashless identification cards and other documents that are important for making claims.

Additional Information About Policy Renewal:

  • Insurance companies do not allow the policyholder to make any claims for the period between policy lapse and its renewal. Renewal has to effect before the expiry of the grace period
  • Policyholders are eligible for the same benefits of the policy initially insured, in case they decide to migrate
  • Insured persons can opt to change their agents or brokers at any time by simply making a request mentioning the reason for the change
  • No claim bonuses are available at the end of each year if the policyholder makes no claims during the year.
  • Customers while choosing a different insurance provider for the plan must notify the existing insurer in 45 days advance
  • In case the insurer rejects renewal application, the customer has the right to seek explanation

GST rate of 18% applicable for all financial services effective July 1, 2017.

Disclaimer: Premiums may vary depending upon factors like age, location and prevailing taxes/GST.

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