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Essential Things You Must Know Before Porting Your Health Insurance Policy
The Indian insurance market is highly competitive, and people can pick the right insurance from endless options. However, there is a common concern among many insurance buyers. According to many policyholders, their insurers don’t offer the promised quality service or create unnecessary delays in releasing claim amounts once the buying decision has been made.
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Some insurers get busy acquiring more clients instead of delivering the promised services to the existing ones. To help policyholders in such scenarios, IRDAI introduced the option to port their insurance policies to a better insurer. Consider it similar to a mobile network porting service wherein you switch your telecom providers if the desired service is not provided. IRDAI launched the option to port health insurance to secure the interest of policyholders. However, certain rules must be followed if you wish to port your existing insurance to a better insurer. You need to know the following information to have a smooth porting process.
⦁ Check the Policy Type
Policyholders should first know that they can only port to a similar type of policy. For example, if you have health insurance from a health insurance provider, you cannot port to a different type of policy offered by a general insurance provider. The type of policy must be similar.
Although you can invest in some add-ons while porting to a new insurer, you cannot entirely change the coverage. Moreover, you cannot change an individual insurance policy with a family floater plan while porting. So look for an ideal insurer and policy type to ensure the process gets completed without hassle.
⦁ Inform Your Present Insurer within the Right Time
You cannot port your insurance policy without timely informing your present insurer. If you have finalised the new insurer and other relevant details, you should inform your existing insurer in writing about the same. You can write to them only before the 45 days left for your policy renewal. Remember to not write them before 60 days from policy renewal, as it will be too early.
While informing them in writing, don’t forget to mention the new insurer’s name and other relevant details you deem fit. Once you have sent them a written communication, wait for at least three working days to receive their acknowledgement.
⦁ Ensure You Don’t Have Policy Gaps
If you wish to currently port your insurance policy, ensure you never miss any policy renewal payment. Gaps in policy renewals are not viewed in a good light by insurance companies, and regular offenders may get highlighted because of it. Some insurance companies can outright reject the insurance porting application if they find out the applicant has policy gaps. Importantly, one crucial thing to remember while porting a policy is never to get the existing policy lapsed. Policyholders can only port during their policy renewal period. If you have not finalised your policy and already informed your insurer about porting, you can get your existing policy lapsed. It can be avoided by switching to the new insurer within the proper deadline.
⦁ Knowledge of Grace Periods
If you read the last point, you must be wondering what the ideal deadline is. Well, once you inform your existing insurer about your decision to port the policy with other essential details, your insurer will have 15 days to inform you about the acceptance or rejection of the same. You can continue with your porting process after these 15 days are complete.
You also get a 30 days grace period when your policy porting process is under process. If you decide to continue with the existing policy, you can decide within these 30 days. If you cross the grace period and still didn’t complete the port process, your policy will lapse, and you may eventually have to buy a new policy altogether.
⦁ Increased Sum Insured
When you port to a new policy and insurer, you are entitled to receive at least the same amount of the sum insured that you had previously. But if you wish to increase the sum insured, you can place an application for the same with the new insurer. The final decision will belong to the new insurer. If the sum insured limit is increased, it may come with an additional waiting period.
For example, if you had a sum insured of Rs.10,00,000 and permission has been granted to increase it to Rs.15,00,000, you may have to serve an additional waiting period to utilise the newly increased limit of Rs.5,00,000. You can get more details regarding the same by talking to your new insurer.
⦁ Check the Premiums
When you choose to buy health insurance online, you can compare premiums from similar types of policies. You can do something before taking any porting decision. Shortlist a few insurers who offer similar policies and compare their coverage with provided premiums. It will help you determine which option to proceed with. If you are not making any changes to your policy, like buying add-ons or increasing the sum insured, the new premium will be more or less in the same range as the present premium. But it can be higher depending on the modifications, if any. You can take the help of free premium calculators available online to get premium estimates while porting.
⦁ Look for Available Add-ons & Coverage
Many people port their existing policy to get better add-ons and coverage at a reasonably affordable price. It can also be because the present insurer doesn’t offer the necessary add-ons. For example, you may plan to invest in maternity coverage, but your current insurer doesn’t provide the same. In this case, porting to a new insurer can be a better option. If you want to stick to one insurer for the long-term, always pick the one offering plenty of add-on options and standard coverage at reasonable premiums. The best way out is to shortlist and review the coverage, available add-ons, benefits, etc., of at least three different insurers to pick the best one.
⦁ Review the Waiting Periods
One of the best parts about porting insurance policies is you can carry the accumulated benefit of a no-claim bonus and waiting period. For example, suppose your current policy had a waiting period of 2 years, and you have completed this duration. In that case, you won’t be asked to follow the same waiting period to become eligible to file claims. But if you are making any modifications to your policy coverage in terms of the sum insured, new add-ons, etc., you may be asked to serve an additional waiting period. The best way to avoid misunderstanding is by clearly checking the new insurer’s terms and conditions.
Port Your Health Insurance for a Better Experience
If you have been experiencing any difficulty or clashes with the current insurer, the idea of insurance porting can be a blessing. It allows policyholders to enjoy better customer service, reasonable premiums, excellent coverage, and plenty of other benefits. Now that you know all the essential details related to insurance porting, you won’t face any hassle during the entire process.