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How To Port Your Health Insurance Policy

The process of porting to a new insurance provider from your current policy is simple. However, here are a few guidelines and rules that you as a customer must know:

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Do you know that you can port your health insurance policy if you are unsatisfied with your current insurance plan? In July 2011, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced portability norms allowing health insurance policyholders to switch insurers. It allows the customers to port their policy to a better plan without losing continuity benefits like waiting periods and no claim bonus. These will be transferred to the new policy, so you do not have to restart your waiting periods or lose out on the cumulative bonus.

The process of porting to a new insurance provider from your current policy is simple. However, here are a few guidelines and rules that you as a customer must know:

  • The customer cannot change the coverage, plan and type of policy completely. The new insurance provider is entitled to provide the customer with a similar type of policy with the same sum insured. You can choose a higher sum insured if the new insurer approves the request.
  • Your porting proposal can get rejected if there are lapsed policy periods in between. Hence, while planning to shift your policy it is best to port during the renewal period.
  • It is mandatory to inform the current insurance provider that you are porting to another insurance provider in writing at least 45 days before the renewal date.
  • It is an entirely free-of-cost process. Hence, neither the new insurer nor the current insurer can charge any fee for the porting process.
  • Even though the sum insured can be similar, the premium could be different. The premium is decided by the insurance company and is based on factors like service benefits that may differ from company to company.
  • When the porting is still under process, you will benefit from an additional grace period. The new insurance provider will calculate and charge the insurance premium based on the number of days the old policy was active.
  • While porting your policy, the waiting period is not affected. However, it may have a different waiting period if you opt for a different cover and additional benefits. For example- when you port the policy, waiting period for pre-existing diseases may not get affected as that is part of most health plans. However, if you opt for a maternity cover during porting, then the witing period for that cover needs to be completed in order to avail benefit.

When should you port your policy?

  • If you are looking for a digital insurer or your current insurer has cumbersome manual and time-consuming process: Everything is going digital, and moving to a tech-enabled digital insurance company is the way to go now. New-age digital insurance providers offer faster digital-friendly service benefits and contact-less processes.
  • When you find better plans are available in the market: If you come across policies that are similar to your current policy but provide wider benefits and cover services without charges, you can port your policy during your next renewal period.   
  • if you are unhappy with the customer service or claims experience: Dissatisfaction can arise from high annual premium price to bad service experience or complicated claim process or if the policy you have does not cover your lifestyle choices. You can evaluate the options available in the market and port to a health insurance plan and an insurer that is a better fit for you.

How can you port your policy?

Earlier the process of porting would have been a difficult process, but now people can port their policies digitally.  

  • The first step for porting your health insurance policy, is to identify the insurer to which you wish to port your current policy to. Once you compare, evaluate, and finalise the insurance provider, the next immediate action is to approach your current insurer at least 45 days before renewal date and inform them regarding your decision to port.  
  • Now you can inform your new insurer about your wish to shift. When you submit your proposal form, it is mandatory to disclosing all medical history, past policy and claim details.

The new insurance provider has the full authority to reject or accept a portability request. These are primarily evaluated by the insurer based on parameters such as claim history, age of the insured and medical conditions. You can also shift to a better plan with additional coverage at the time of insurance renewal with the existing insurance provider. However, practices may vary between different insurance providers. Hence if you wish to benefit from additional features, you can research the best insurer that fits your expectations.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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health insurance health insurance policy

Vivek Chaturvedi

The author is Head of Marketing, Digit Insurance

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