If My Policy Is Not Renewed In Time Before Expiry Date, Will I Be Denied A Renewal?

May 02, 2018 | 1 year ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

With health insurance, you have to keep an eye on timely insurance policy renewal. If you do not renew your policy before the expiry date, you run the risk of being denied for renewal. But is there no way out? Read on to know more.

All you need to know about the grace period

  • The grace period is a fifteen-day or month-long window after the due date of premium payment. Even after the due date, you can still make payment, provided you are within the grace period.
  • Check the grace period with the insurer as well. Each insurance company and each policy has its own grace period. There are other procedural clauses as well. For instance, some insurance companies may insist on processing payments on the office premises once the due date is over. Others allow online payment within the grace period.
  • Are you covered during this period? This is a tricky question. With health insurance, it is better not to take a chance. Most insurance providers do not provide any protection during the grace period. Effectively, after the due date of premium payment, you are uncovered till you pay.

Overshooting the grace period

There are very few conditions under which health insurance policies lapse. The most common reason is non-payment of premium even after the grace period is over.

Now, you may miss the exact dates. What happens if the grace period goes by without you making a payment? Your policy lapses. That is, you do not have any protection or coverage from your insurer. Does that mean that your policy document must be shredded and thrown into the trash can? No, indeed not, unless you are unlucky! You can still revive it, though with considerable effort. Every insurance provider has its own mechanisms to deal with lapsed policies. Usually, there are certain provisions for revival.

How to revive the policy?

There are several types of renewals that insurance companies commonly allow.

  • Revival within six months. You need to contact the insurance provider. Usually, if you try to revive a policy on six months, you may not require a fresh health check-up. However, interest will accrue on the premium that was due. So, you will have to pay a slightly higher amount to revive your policy.
  • Revival on non-medical grounds. Every policy entails a certain limit for non-medical assurance. You can revive your policy for a sum lesser than this limit. Again, a penalty may accrue.
  • Revival on medical grounds. This is the last resort. When people fail to revive a policy on the first two premises, they try revival on medical grounds. You will have to take a fresh medical test. Depending on the findings, your premium amount will be decided

Apart from this, many insurance providers do a sort of amnesty from time to time. You will find the information on any mass media. They advertise or declare periods when they seek to revive old, lapsed policies. Sometimes, there are discounts, and the penalty is waived off. So, keep an eye out.

Tips to avoid such situations

  • Keep track of the important dates with a premium calendar. Sync it with your smartphone if you can. You should get periodic reminders, so you don’t forget the dates.
  • Opt for an electronic clearing service (ECS). This way, the premium gets debited from your account without you having to make any effort
  • Ask for a premium intimation to be sent electronically or over mobile. You are more likely to pay on time since you constantly check your phone.
  • Find out if you can pay your premium through an ATM. It saves you a lot of hassle, and the premium gets instantly cleared.

Do not lose hope if you cannot renew your policy before the expiry date. There are ways to salvage the situation. However, don’t take things too easy. A policy revival can be treated as a new contract. So, the terms and conditions, including premium amount may change when you revive a policy. Be prepared to pay the penalty. And try not to default in the first place.

Advt. no.: IA/Apr 2018/3886

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