How to port your health insurance policy

Not happy with your health insurance policy or insurer? You can port your policy to another insurer. Here’s how to do it.

Kavya Balaji Jan 14, 2020

Insurance portingIt is essential that people do a bit of research before choosing a health insurance policy. However, not many do that and end up with a policy that doesn’t suit their needs. There are others who aren’t satisfied with the services provided by their insurer. Whatever be the reason, if you’re unhappy with the service or terms of your existing policy, you can move on to another insurance provider. This is porting your insurance policy.

Porting or switching is starting your policy afresh without losing out on time or money already invested in your existing policy. When you port your plan, you are transferring your existing cover to another one. You can opt for a new policy provided by your present insurance company or by another insurer.

How is it different from cancellation?

The advantage with porting is that you don’t lose out on certain benefits already earned under your existing policy. This will include credit for waiting periods and enhanced amounts of sum insured.

When can you port?

This is possible only at the time of renewal. Essentially, there should be no gap in coverage when you port policies. A 30-day grace period is allowed if the porting might take longer than usual. You could request your present insurer not to discontinue coverage until the porting process is complete. You will need to make premium payments on a pro-rata basis for the extended coverage.

How to port?

First, you need to intimate your present insurer, in writing, that you will be porting your policy. You have to clearly state the names of the new plan and the insurer. You have to do this at least 45 days before the renewal date of your present plan.

After receiving your request along with the portability form, your new insurance company will contact your present insurer for details such as your claims history and medical records. After verification and analysis, the new insurer will intimate you about your eligibility to port your policy. If you are not eligible for the policy you chose, you may not be able to port and might have to choose a new plan or another insurance company.

What are the rules?

Similar risk policies

You are allowed to switch between plans that cover similar risks.

Retain benefits

Your new insurer will need to cover you for a minimum amount that is equal to the sum insured under your present policy. Your waiting periods will also be adjusted. For instance, if the waiting period for a pre-existing disease was three years and you are in your 2rd policy year, the waiting period for your new policy will be one year. However, the premiums will be as per the new policy terms.

Choose any insurer

You can choose any insurer – public, private or general insurance company. For instance, a customer of National Insurance Co. Ltd. can switch to a plan offered by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd. or vice-versa.

Minimal delays

Guidelines set out by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) stipulates that the porting process should be completed within a standard timeframe. IRDA has created a facility to maintain data about all health insurance policies issued so that it can be accessed by the new insurer to which a policyholder wishes to port.

If you are looking for a health plan, read this article – What to look for in a health insurance policy.

Kavya Balaji

Kavya Balaji is a senior contributing writer with RupeeIQ. With more than 14 years of experience in the finance space, Kavya loves everything to do with personal finance. She feels financial literacy is important for every household and likes to stick to simple language for explaining personal finance stories. She is a consultant with investment management companies. In spare time, she reads murder mysteries.

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