While health insurance is a long-term decision, it is not a one-time one. So, in case, you are not really seeing eye to eye with your current health insurance provider, you can transfer your policy to another insurer, without losing the accrued benefits. Here are a list of reasons as to why you might want to move your health insurance plan.
- Dissatisfaction with service quality: If you feel you are unhappy with the current insurer’s service/claim payment in genuine cases or there is significant lag time in approval of claim, rejection of a valid claim or a deterioration in promised service levels, you might want to check out other health insurance options.
- Lack of adequate cover for specific health conditions: Often, you may avail a health insurance for a specific chronic illness that is cause for concern in the family. However, the cover offered may be limited. Thus, you might want to change to a better alternative. The existing insurer may not be in apposition to offer a higher insured sum due to limited risk-taking ability in a particular geography or class of disease.
- Elaborate claim settlement: Due to limited underwriting powers, some insurers may include additional documentation to be submitted for claim reimbursements. This might result in a delay of funds sanction. The customer might not be agreeable to the longer timelines. In such a case, it might be worth approaching another insurer with differential benefits.
- A better offer from a rival insurance company: Health insurance is a competitive space and insurance companies develop new schemes with attractive offers to beat competition. Thus one may obtain a better deal by way of reduced premium payments, relaxation in age caps for renewal, higher room rent limit, waiver of co-payment clause etc. We suggest an evaluation of all the options before zeroing in on the best one.
- Presence of hidden charges: Lack of transparency in the terms of a health insurance plan are the biggest cause for changing one’s insurance provider. Also, certain fine print clauses may come to your notice, which you may have overlooked at the time of purchase. These clauses become a concern area during the filing of the claim and might result in claim rejection during a medical emergency. This might be adequate grounds to look for a change.
- Limited number of network hospitals: It may happen that due to limited operating vintage period, an insurance company might not have a significant number of tie-ups with hospitals in the residential location of the insured. In such a case, it would be prudent to change to a reputed insurer, with a larger number of network hospitals in a near location.
- Lower premiums: In case another insurer provides the same health cover at a lower premium, it may be advisable to shift as this would reduce the monthly monetary outgo by way of premium payment. Further, some medical insurance companies levy a higher premium in case a claim is made. This again is a reason to change.
In India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has enabled the process to conveniently change to a better insurer, putting more power in the hands of the insured. Portability safeguards customer interest and offers considerable flexibility and choice. As a policyholder, you also have the option to carry forward the waiting period for coverage of pre-existing diseases. Thus, you need not suffer with poor quality of service or allow the insurance company to take you for granted.