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21 Jan, 2022 | Health Insurance

Renewing Your Health Insurance Policy? Keep These 5 Things In Mind

Aakansha Jain
By Aakansha Jain
Research & Content Ninja at Beshak
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You could spend weeks, even months choosing that perfect health insurance policy for yourself and your family. Still, one mistake could ruin it all - the mistake of not renewing your policy on time. Renewing your health insurance policy is essential because it is one of the ways through which all your policy benefits, bonuses, and waiting periods remain intact. And while you renew your health insurance policy, there are certain important things that you should keep in mind. 

Let’s find out what they are.

Things To Evaluate While Renewing Your Health Insurance

Here's a list of things you should keep in mind while renewing your health insurance. 

1️⃣ Upgrade your sum insured

In India, healthcare inflation has been rising at an alarming rate over the past few years and is way more than retail inflation. Hence, every time you renew your health insurance, you should assess your total cover and take a judicious call about whether you would want to increase your base sum insured. Doing so regularly will ensure that you have sufficient health insurance cover for the next 20-30 years.

2️⃣ Add/ remove family members

Another aspect that you must evaluate during your health insurance renewal is addition or removal of a family member. Occasions that warrant member addition/removal are - marriage, birth of a new member, death of a member, availability/unavailability of group insurance for a family member, etc. While most insurers allow mid-term addition of a spouse and a new born baby, all other additions/removal can only happen at health insurance policy renewal.  So, you should be mindful of such requirements at the time of renewal.

3️⃣ Opt for riders

Riders are add-ons that you can buy with your base health insurance plan. Some insurance companies allow you to opt for various riders, such as a critical illness rider, accidental disability rider, accidental death benefit rider, etc., at the time of renewing your policy. These riders provide additional benefits under certain circumstances. For instance, the critical illness rider will pay a fixed sum of money if you get diagnosed with any disease listed in the policy document.

4️⃣ Review the policy terms & conditions

As per the IRDAI guidelines, insurers can change the policy terms and conditions after taking prior approval from the regulator. So, ensure you check for any potential changes in your health insurance policy before renewing it. If the insurer has revised the terms and conditions and you are not happy with it, you can migrate or port your existing health insurance policy.  

5️⃣ Portability

There might be times when you feel that your current health insurance policy no longer fits your or your family’s needs. Or there might be some features or benefits that your existing insurance company does not offer. You can decide to port your policy to another insurance company in such a case. You can apply for portability at the time of renewal - you’ll have to inform the insurance company 45 days before your health insurance renewal date.

What will happen if you don’t renew your policy on time?

Generally, you get a 15-30 day grace period post due date for your health insurance renewal. If you don’t renew your policy even during this grace period, it will lapse, and you'll no longer have access to continuity benefits. Then, when you set out to buy a new policy, there are chances you might not get it owing to age or health issues. 

Even if you do get a policy, it will be with additional terms and limitations, and the premiums could be very high. You'd also lose all the policy benefits and bonuses you’ve accumulated in your previous policy. Plus, you'd lose your waiting periods, i.e., you'd have to serve additional waiting periods for pre-existing diseases or other medical conditions in your new policy. So, keep reminders, plan in advance and renew your health insurance policy in time. 

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Key takeaways
  1. It is important to renew your health insurance policy to keep all your policy benefits, bonuses, and waiting periods.
  2. You can upgrade your sum insured every time you renew your policy as health care inflation is rising, and it will only go up.
  3. During your health insurance policy renewal, make sure you disclose all newly developed medical conditions to the insurer.
  4. You can add and change family members at the time of health insurance renewal too.
  5. Some insurers allow you to opt for riders at health insurance policy renewal. Riders provide additional benefits under specific circumstances.
  6. If you’re unhappy with your current insurer or your existing insurer doesn’t offer features that some other insurer does, you can port your policy at the time of renewal.
Aakansha Jain
Written by,
Aakansha Jain, Research & Content Ninja at Beshak

Aakansha is a Content Ideator and Writer at Beshak. With her easy-to-understand content, she makes insurance simple for everyone. She comes with a strong background in finance and commerce and wants to help families make positive insurance decisions that are good for a lifetime.

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