Portability is a facility which allows health insurance policy holders to transfer their insurance coverage from one insurance company to another without losing any benefits that customers have accumulated with the first company.
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In the past, prior to IRDAI’s regulations regarding portability, when customers ported or transferred coverage from one insurance company to the other it would have resulted in losing the waiting period for coverage of pre-existing disease benefits.
After the new IRDAI regulations are in force, IRDAI protects customers right to port or transfer the policy to any insurance company and has laid down regulations that the new insurer "shall allow for credit gained by the insured for pre-existing condition(s) in terms of waiting period". This is applicable not just for one insurer to another but also from one plan to another with the same insurer.
According to IRDAI regulations
Customers Rights are -
You can port your policy from and to any general insurance company or specialised health insurance company.
You can port any individual/ family policies.
Your new insurer has to give you the credit relating to waiting period for pre-existing conditions that you have gained with the old insurer.
Your new insurer has to insure you at least up to the sum insured under the old policy.
The two insurers should complete the porting as per the timelines prescribed in the IRDAI (Protection of Policyholders’ Interests) Regulations and guidelines.
You can port the policy only at the juncture of renewal. That is, the new insurance period will be with the new insurance company
Apart from the waiting period credit, all other terms of the new policy including the premium are at the discretion of the new insurance company
At least 45 days before your renewal is due you have to:
Write to your old insurance company requesting a shift
Specify company to which you want to shift the policy
Renew your policy without a break (there is a 30 day grace period if porting is under process)
Indian Health Insurance Resources
Individual Health Insurance
Every individual should buy health insurance and for themselves and members of their family, based on their requirements.