Buying a health policy is a right move to get coverage for your health related medical expenses, however, renewing it on-time is also required. Mostly, health insurance policies are available for a period of 1, 2 or 3 years and then, you need to renew it to continue with the benefits offered under your health insurance.
Renewing your individual/family health policy is quite essential to take advantage of policy benefits. A health insurance policy covers medical expenses that are arising from unforeseen hospitalization due to any illnesses, injuries and other medical conditions. By renewing the policy, timely, you don’t lose the continuity benefits available with a health cover. Renewal of a health insurance policy can be done in an easy way through various modes.
Let us understand the process of health insurance policy renewal!
Process of Health Insurance Policy Renewal
Health insurance policy renewal can be done via online or offline mode.
Through offline mode, you need to visit the insurer’s branch for paying premiums or an agent will collect the premium amount through cheque from you. It is advisable not to give cash to the agent and issue a cheque in the name of the insurance company and not in the name of any individual.
If you opt for an online mode for renewal of a health insurance product, you can renew the policy at the comfort of your home. You only need to fill some required details and your policy is renewed instantly. Just go through a step-by-step procedure to get the health policy renewal through online mode.
Step 1: Log In to Insurer’s Website
When you are seeking to renew your health insurance policy, you firstly need to log in to your insurer’s website and then click on the ‘Renewal’ link available over there ad you will then be redirected to a page, where you can renew the policy.
Step 2: Provide Basic Details
You need to provide the basic details regarding your policy, such as policy number, insured’s/ proposer’s date of birth (as applicable), etc. In some insurers’ websites, you may need to login through member ID or policy number to initiate the process of renewing the policy. You may also need to fill in other required details as asked by the insurer while renewing the policy.
Step 3: Make Premium Payment
After you have entered your policy credentials, you are directed to a payment gateway to make payment of premium for your health insurance policy. You will have an option to pay the renewal premium via debit/credit card or through net banking.
Step 4: Instant Renewal of Policy
Once the payment is authorized, the insurer will issue you a digitally signed copy of the renewed policy containing all details of the policy and the coverage available. You can at any time take print of the policy document and retain it for your records. When you renew the policy online, a username and password will be provided through which you check the policy details online on the insurer’s website.
What you will lose, If the policy is not Renewed Timely
In case you forget to renew the policy on the premium due date or during the grace period of 30 days after the due date of payment, your policy expires. In this scenario, you need to buy a new policy and will lose all benefits accrued in the previous policy, such as :
No Claim Bonus: The insurer offers you a discount for not making a claim during the previous policy years. This benefit is available as an increase in the basic sum insured and you may loose this benefit, in case of not renewing the policy. Your no claim bonus becomes zero.
Cover for Pre-existing Diseases: Under a health insurance policy, pre-existing diseases are covered usually after 3 -4 years of continuous coverage and other specific diseases are also covered only after 2 to 3 years policy coverage. If you don’t renew the policy on time, your policy gets lapsed and on the purchase of a new policy, you have to serve the waiting periods again from the scratch which will not allow you to take certain claims under the health policy.
Waiting Period Clauses: Health mediclaim policies come with a compulsory 30 days initial waiting period, during which claim is not admissible by the insurer, except for accidental claim. If you do not renew the policy on time, you may have to start afresh and this waiting period will also apply.
It is thus always advisable to renew it on time, so you don’t have to lose the health coverage and the benefits associated.
Renewability Guidelines for Health Policies
IRDAI has drafted some rules regarding renewability of health insurance policies in India.
- As per IRDAI regulations, an insurer shall renew the health insurance policy, except on the grounds of fraud, moral hazard and misrepresentation.
- Insurer cannot force the insured to shift from one health policy to another health insurance policy, provided it has been upgraded or discontinued, upon prior approval from IRDAI.
- The prospectus of health insurance policy shall mandatorily specify all about the terms of its renewal, including, coverage and estimated premium for future renewals, maximum age for policy renewal, etc.
- The insurer shall allow the policy renewal up to 30 days from the actual renewal due date and during this period, the insured can avail continuity benefits such as coverage and waiting periods.
- Without prior approval of IRDAI, no revision in the premium structure or terms of health insurance policies shall be made. The insurers are required to intimate such revision to the policyholders at least 3 months before the date of policy renewal.
A health insurance policy provides cover towards medical expenses incurred on the hospitalization of the insured person/s. In order to avail a continuous health cover for you and your family, it is extremely essential to renew it on time. Renewing a health policy is quite simple and easy process.
You are required to pay the renewal premium on or before the due date of premium payment or you can pay the premium up to 30 days after the due date of premium payment. Renew the health policy within the stipulated time and get continued access to quality medical care without any hassles.