Port your health insurance policy for a lower premium; Know how to do it

By: | Published: January 7, 2019 1:46 PM

If you are going opting for more benefits while porting, the premium of the new policy could be higher on account of added benefits. Also, watch out that you do not lose significant benefits in the new policy.

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After buying a health insurance policy, most policyholders often find many shortcomings in their policies. Did you know that you can switch your policy to a different one that offers better features and add-ons? Most of us while buying a policy just do the premium comparison and do not look at other features such as claim settlement ratio and the network of hospitals. However, after a bad claim experience or a sudden rise in the premium, many policyholders port their health insurance policy. Industry experts say the policy proposals for porting by value have gone up to around 10-18 per cent.

Porting of a policy, however, can only be done among similar types of health insurance plans. The waiting period and the no-claim bonus are carried over to the new policy while porting, however, other features and benefits will be according to the new insurance plan and according to the new insurer, irrespective of what the earlier policy offered.

Experts suggest, porting allows a policyholder to transfer the credit gained for pre-existing conditions. For instance, the waiting period already served with the previous insurer while switching from one insurer to another. However, this only applies if the policyholders have maintained the previous policy without any break.

While porting, you can also opt for the same sum insured as your earlier policy, given the new one offers that sum insured option. Depending on the insurer, the sum insured can also be enhanced. However, though the sum insured can be enhanced, keep in mind that the porting benefits will only apply to the extent of the sum insured and the no-claim bonus of the previous insurer. For instance, if you have a policy of Rs 7 lakh and you want to enhance the sum insured to Rs 10 lakh while porting, the new benefits will apply only for Rs 7 lakh.

Experts suggest one should not port only for the lower premiums. However, if you are porting for a lower premium, make sure that your coverage does not get reduced. And if you are choosing a higher sum assured, you might also have to serve the waiting period for the increased sum assured value. If you are going for more benefits and features in your new policy while porting, the premium of the new policy could be higher on account of added benefits. You should also watch out that you do not lose significant benefits in the new policy.

Porting of a health insurance policy is allowed only at the time of renewal of a policy. Also keep in mind, when applying for porting to a new company, your proposal can also be considered unfavorable and declined. Hence, in that case, the insured needs to stick to their own insurer. This generally happens due to underwriting a policy, as this involves evaluating risk exposure and determining the premium that needs to be charged. Experts believe insurers don’t usually allow portability if the policyholder is in a higher age group or in poor health. It is with a number of clauses and restrictions, even if they accept such proposals. Policyholders having a pre-existing disease that requires frequent hospitalization are more likely to face rejection.

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