There are many health insurance coverage plans in the market to help us cover our medical expenses in times of need. It is possible that after a customer buys a policy, he or she comes across a new product offered by a different insurer which is more suited in terms of benefits, servicing, or pricing. In such a scenario, the customer can consider porting the exiting policy to a new one, suggest experts.
Introduced by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in 2011, portability allows policyholders to switch to other insurance companies for better coverage at the time of renewal. It does not hamper any existing benefits earned from the last insurance company.
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According to S Ravi, FCA, Former Chairman of Bombay Stock Exchange, terms like disease covered also gets carried to the new insurer in case of portability.
“All retail hospitalization insurance policies come with restrictions where certain diseases or pre-existing conditions are covered after waiting periods of 2 to 4 years. Portability benefit allows the customer to change the current insurer to a new one without having to forego the waiting periods elapsed in the current policy,” adds Ajay Shah, Head- Retail Business, Religare Health Insurance (RHI).
Under this, customers can port individual as well as family policies.
In order to port a policy, policyholders are required to contact the new health insurance company at least 45-60 days before the expiry of the existing health insurance policy. They are then required to fill the proposal form and provide details of previous year policy copies.
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The new insurance company will connect for further process.
“The new insurer is required to insure the policyholder at least up to the sum insured under the old policy,” explains Vikas Mathur, Head Health Insurance, Universal Sompo General Insurance.
While portability is a beneficial feature provided by insurance companies, one should not misuse it.
“A person should opt for it only when he is not satisfied with the current insurance company because of a genuine case or coverage or when features being offered in another product are of more personal value,” suggests Naval Goel, CEO and Founder, PolicyX.
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