Sufficient health insurance coverage is a necessity of life. If you and your family are insured, you have made the right decision. Keep renewing all the existing policies so that any health-related unforeseen circumstances are provided for in advance.
On-time medical insurance renewal is essential to your proper financial planning and will help you avoid sudden contingencies.
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Understanding the Health Insurance Renewal Process
All health insurance policies have a specific validity period, after which the insurance has to be renewed. The most common validity period is 1-year, but your insurance provider may also provide you with a 2-year validity period.
Renewal can be done online through the health insurance provider’s portal or offline by signing the paper application form. After renewal, your health insurance benefits continue until the next validity period.
You can also make certain changes while renewing the health insurance. For example, if your lifestyle has changed (such as you have started smoking or drinking or have been diagnosed with a chronic disease such as blood pressure), you can declare the same to your health insurance provider.
You may also want to increase the sum assured during renewal – an option available to you.
Health insurance renewal is essentially a three-step process:
1. Pre-renewal checklist
Before renewing your health insurance, you must know what information is required. Here is a quick checklist for you:
- Check your policy expiry date and other relevant details like the sum insured, deductible, etc. As we mentioned earlier, do you want to increase the sum insured? If yes, how much will be the additional premium? This is the time for self-exploration. Remember, you will not be able to change the conditions of your policy until the next renewal date.
- Look out for special discounts offered by different health insurance companies.
- Compare plans online to find the best coverage at the most optimal rate. Is your health insurance the best option for you? Health insurance is an evolving sector with innovations coming every day. Hence, it is always advisable to explore the market and find the ideal option for you. Remember, it is not only the policy. You have the choice to change insurer while renewing the health insurance policy.
2. Application form
Once you have selected the desired plan and updated your pre-renewal checklist, start filling out an application form. Make sure every detail provided has been double-checked and is actively supported by valid documentation. Ensure that all the KYC documents, such as PAN cards or Aadhaar card copies, are handy. The insurer might need you to resubmit them as per their KYC policy. Please note that any false declaration made herein may lead to policy cancellation or rejection of a claim anytime later.
After successfully applying, it is time to pay the premium. You can pay the amount using your credit/debit card or net banking online or enclose a check along with your paper application form. Successful completion of payment will lead to a confirmation email/SMS sent with a unique transaction code enabling reinstatement of the policy.
Renewing health insurance policies regularly ensures peace of mind and continuous coverage without the risk of discounted premium rates slipping away due to a lapse in the validity period.
Things to keep in mind
The renewal process is quite simple. Now let us take a look at a few important things that you need to remember while renewing your policy:
- Renew the policy on time: Make sure it does not lapse, as that will mean the expiry of your policy and all benefits attached.
- Follow your current health insurance requirements: Consider your policy coverage, add or remove any family member, and change the sum assured amount of your existing plan as needed.
- Mention any new health conditions: You may have developed a new disease during the tenure of your policy. Therefore it is crucial to announce that at renewal time for uninterrupted medical cover in the future.
- Check for updated terms and conditions: Do not forget to go through the fine print before paying the premium to avoid any hassle during the claim process. Any new condition may affect the benefits you are entitled to.
- You can transfer your current policy: During renewal, you can use the ‘insurance portability’ facility per IRDAI guidelines to shift your policy to another insurer if you find more benefits against better terms.
Advantages of renewing your policy on time
- Uninterrupted medical coverage
Once your policy expires, you may no longer be eligible for certain benefits or discounts. Renewing a health insurance policy well before its expiration date helps to avoid such scenarios and retain continuous coverage without any gaps.
- Reduction/waiver of the waiting period
On renewal of an existing plan before its expiry, insurance companies typically reduce or waive off certain pre-determined (which might vary from insurer to insurer) waiting periods, such as treatments excluded during the previous year’s tenure from their scope of cover.
- Discounted rates
Medical policies renewed online come with attractive offers like discounts in premiums owing to lower administrative costs than offline purchases. Before making the final payment, read through the terms and conditions carefully while signing up for them on insurer websites and aggregator portals.
- Smooth claims settlement
Renewing your health insurance policy before the last date would ensure that you are covered under medical emergency, new disease diagnosis, or needed treatments and lead to a smoother process of claim settlements done by respective insurers.
While renewing a health insurance policy may seem daunting, it is not complicated. Since everything can be done online these days, it can be done in a few minutes. All you need to do is keep some things in mind before renewal, fill-up the form, and make the payment. However, it is important to keep certain things in mind.
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