NEW DELHI :
The timely renewal of your health policy helps you to keep all the benefits intact without lapsing on any of the provisions. Forgetting to renew your health insurance on time should be avoided at all costs as it can lead to several complexities. For instance, you could lose accumulated benefits such as no claim bonus, or waiting period benefits, and will again have to purchase the health policy upon renewal lapse. Let us look at some aspects that require attention in availing off and maintaining a health policy:
# Not reviewing your existing policy
Nowadays, there are hundreds of different health insurance plans available in the insurance market. The insurance agents lure you by showing features of many different policies and insist that you buy a new policy despite knowing that you already have an existing health policy.
“At the time of renewal, you must compare the health options available with your existing plan. If you find a plan with more extensive coverage you can switch it using the portability option without compromising on your continuity benefits. You can also enhance your coverage to a higher sum insured,” said Amit Chhabra, head-health insurance, Policybazaar.com.
Further, Sudha Reddy, head-health and travel, Digit Insurance, said, “While renewing your policy it is good to see if the insurer offers any useful add-ons like zone upgrade or outpatient department (OPD) or a daily cash benefit to name a few, that was not part of your basic policy earlier.”
# Checking the adequacy of health cover
In order to calculate how much insurance cover you need, it is better to review your previous claims and the current health status.
Sheenu Sehgal, VP and national head-general insurance, Bajaj Capital Insurance Broking, said that the cost of treatments is reaching heights. Making it difficult for a middle-class person to easily afford them. Thus, one should try and increase their sum insured level if they feel that the current level is not sufficient at the time of renewals. “The time you bought the policy then maybe the existing health cover (sum insured) was enough but with covid and rampant medical inflation in the equation, it might be insufficient now. You can hence increase the cover by virtue of enhancing the sum insured in the existing health plan while renewing your policy,” Sehgal added.
“Looking at the current scenario, it is important to have at least Rs10-15 lakh of health coverage per person,” said Chhabra.
# Non-disclosure of any new health condition
It is very important to disclose all the crucial information at the time of renewal of policy as it helps in smooth processing and also avoids any hassle when a claim could be made in future. Hence, it is important to inform your insurer about any new ailment that has been diagnosed. The insurance company has the right to refuse the claim resulting in an undesirable situation. Therefore, being transparent will only be beneficial as it will help you with a better insurance plan which suits your needs.
# Not renewing during the grace period
If you don’t claim during a policy year, you become eligible for a cumulative bonus during the time of renewal. So, if you haven’t filed a claim, then check whether the cumulative bonus is reflected in your new policy premium or not. However, you don’t get such a benefit if the policy is not renewed within 30 days of the due date for renewal.
Reddy said it is very important to renew the policy before time, at least within the grace period of 30 days. “If your policy is expired and you renew after that, the time period from the expiry, post grace period, and when your new policy is activated can leave you unprotected and you will need to bear all the waiting periods from the scratch again. In case of a medical emergency during that time, your insurer will not be able to cover you,” Reddy said.
Hence, you must know that merely buying a health insurance policy doesn’t suffice; its prompt renewal is also equally important.
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