What are the Different Parameters that can Get Enhanced at the Time of Renewal?
Health insurance can prove to be really helpful. No matter your age or your health, buying a plan can never be a bad idea. This is even more true in the highly uncertain world that we all live in today. That is because health problems do not see age anymore. I am sure you’ve heard of a very young person you know suffering from a CVD. Or maybe an illness as alarming as diabetes, especially type-2 diabetes striking someone very young.
Buying a plan doesn’t seem like such a bad idea now, does it?
Moreover, it is also very important to cover even the children in your family. We all know how children are your best friends with their share of mischief and fun. All of this can be fun and good except when this might have potentially scary results. A fracture or two may not be anything to be afraid of for you or your child. But for your pocket, it might be a completely different story. If you think your current plan may not help much, what changes can you do in your existing plan? At the end of each policy year, your needs and quality of life may change. In that case, your plan should change too. This is why; in this segment you will find some things you may be able to change in the plan you already have.
How to Renew your Policy?
There are many doubts that people have about renewal. Like how they can renew their plan. This doubt may not be there when buying the plan. But renewal is still a new term for many people. However, this is nothing to be afraid of. Just like you can buy your plan offline as well online, the same goes for the renewal of your plan. You can visit the nearest company branch to renew it or just do it from the comfort of your home. That’s right, you can now renew your policy online as well, but beware of frauds. Only go to the official website of the companies to avoid any fraud selling, which is quite common these days.
How you can enhance your policy by renewing it
There are so many things you can do with your policy when you are renewing it. A lot can change in a year and you are perhaps the best person to appreciate and comprehend that. This is why here we cover all the things you may be able to change in your plan-
- You can add new members to your existing plan
When you are renewing your policy, you may have the option to add new members to your existing plan. This can help you in increasing the coverage of your plan to cover all your loved ones in the family. There may be new additions to your family in the past year. Adding new members can enhance your coverage greatly. During renewal, do consider if there is any member of your family who is not insured yet but should be. You can then add that particular member to your current plan!
- Increasing the Sum Insured (SI)
Increasing the sum insured is an option you will get at the time of the renewal of your plan. There are some things you will have to keep in mind, though. When you increase the sum insured of your plan, your insurer may ask you to undergo certain procedures like a medical check-up. This is absolute routine and the insurer is only legitimately trying to cover the risk that they are underwriting. Moreover, you may also have to face waiting periods. Although, in some cases you may not be able increase the sum insured. This could be when your plan is already at the maximum sum insured offered under the policy. You will have to ask this from your agent or check online from the company. If it is not possible under your current plan, you can also change your plan totally. Or if you don’t want to change your policy, you can even go ahead and buy a top-up plan.
- Changing your premium amount
When renewing your plan, your premium amount can change. It is also possible that even though you might not need to change your premium, this will be an automatic change that will happen when you renew your policy. This can happen when the company will make your premium rate higher when you go to a higher age band. It could also happen when the company changes the price of the policy that you have. Quite often, as is the case in India, the premiums can change if the applicable rates of service tax / GST are increased. In such cases, you can always change your policy to an insurer offering better rates but there are certain costs that are inevitable.
- Opting for a rider
Adding a rider to your policy can be a really good decision for your existing policy. Sometimes, it may not be possible for your basic health plan to cover against many conditions and situations. In such cases, your rider can cover all those things which may not have been previously protected. And the rider you should choose completely depends on you. For example, if you are planning on adding a new member to your family, you can choose to get a maternity rider. But you must first educate yourself about the waiting period that comes with it. This is because some waiting periods for a maternity cover can even be for more than a period of 2 years! Some other riders that could prove to be really helpful for you are- Personal Accident rider, Hospital Cash rider, Critical Illness Rider etc. Some riders can even help you cover funeral expenses of the insured person or cover the cost of your children’s education!
- Change the Policy Holder or Remove members from the coverage list
While renewing your policy, you can also change the policyholder. This can be very useful in certain situations. Moreover, you can also choose to remove certain members from your plan. It might be a helpful option but do make sure that you cover all those members with a new policy who you might have removed from your existing plan. For example, in family floaters the premium is decided by the oldest member of the group. In that case, taking an individual member plan for the oldest person can help to substantially reduce the insurance premium on the floater plan. Health insurance may not seem useful for some people, like those who are in good shape and health. But even in cases like these, it is advised to still get a cover for them.
When you are renewing your policy, there are many things you should consider. As each policy year ends, your life may or may not have changed drastically. But your needs and expectations from your health plan may have. This is why you should always look for ways that you can enhance your current plan. It is also possible that you may feel your current plan is not sufficient even after enhancing it using the options above. Then you can also choose to switch to another insurer. Do not worry though as provisions for your current no-claim history and other needs can be made, based on the insurance policy you opt for. Also, while renewing your policy, do not forget to keep certain things in mind. At the end of the policy year, check if the insurer has made any changes to the policy terms and conditions that may make the policy unsuitable for you. If the insurer has made any changes, they are bound under the IRDAI regulations to convey the same to you 3 months in advance.
Hope these tips helped you in deciding how you can enhance your current plan during the renewal process to make it better suit your new needs and expectations! All the best for choosing good options for your plan and also for a healthy and safe future.
What is a no-claim-bonus?
A No-Claim-Bonus or NCB, as it is commonly known, is a discount that one can avail when they haven’t claimed the insurance in a year. This discount will enable you to buy a cheaper policy with more added benefits for the next year. An NCB is a great benefit as each year, the health policy can get more and more cheaper for you if you don’t claim it. It is also an added incentive to take complete care of your health and not claim the policy unless you are in dire need of it. The bonus is given in the form of enhanced coverage limit even as the premium amount remains the same.
Do I start to get the benefits of my health insurance policy immediately?
No. Almost all insurance policies have something known as a ‘waiting period’. A waiting period is the period in which the benefits of the policy remain inactive. In other words, this means that if anything happens to you within the waiting period, your insurance policy will not cover the expenses for this. This also means that any pre-policy existing ailment will not be covered by the policy either. A waiting period can usually differ from company to company and from policy to policy, but on an average, most waiting periods are of around 30 days period.
What if I forget to renew my policy?
Your insurance is probably more worried about this scenario than you. Hence, it takes all possible steps to make sure that you remember to renew your existing policy. Most proactive insurance companies begin to send out SMS alerts and email and phone reminders to its customers 45 days prior to the deadline. So, forgetting to renew your policy is an unlikely event. Do keep in mind that after the date of renewal is missed, you’ll most likely lose your claim to a no claim bonus and other additional benefits.