What happens when you forget to pay your health insurance premium?

What happens when you forget to pay your health insurance premium?

A lapsed health insurance policy can be troublesome. Here is a lowdown on what can happen when you don't pay your premium.

What happens when you forget to pay your health insurance premium? What happens when you forget to pay your health insurance premium?

There may be many things on your mind making you miss the due date to pay the health insurance premium. This can be a costly mistake because if you don’t renew your policy on time, you can lose out on several continuity benefits. The good part is insurers generally give a grace period of 15-30 days if you forget to pay a premium on the due date. Here is how to revive your health insurance policy if you miss the premium payment date.

“A lapsed policy is an expired policy where the terms and conditions of a particular health insurance policy are no longer valid. Nevertheless, you can renew your lapsed health insurance policy within a specified period ranging from 15-30 days depending on the product type,” said Rakesh Jain, CEO of Reliance General Insurance. 

Realising the importance of the due date in the case of health insurance policies, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) also asked all insurers last year to send a renewal notice one month before the expiry of the policy. The notice also needs to mention the premium amount due. 

“Renewal can be easily done by visiting the insurer's website, via mobile app or offline via agents or branches. All you need is KYC documents that include proof of identity, age and address, your previous policy and medical reports/ good health declaration in case of health insurance. RGI customers can effortlessly renew their expired motor/health policy via Reliance Self-i App,” added Jain.

But if you don’t renew your policy even within the grace period then the policy will lapse making you lose three important benefits. For example, any claim arising between the due date and the actual payment date will not be settled by the insurance company. Therefore, one will remain uninsured during this interim period.

Second, if you miss the renewal date, you will need to finish the waiting period again. This is because under health insurance policies pre-existing ailments are not covered until 2-4 years of continuous coverage. 

Third, if your policy lapses then the no-claim bonus will not be paid to you, which can be anything between 5 to 50 per cent of the sum assured depending on your policy. No-claim bonus is the certain percentage of the sum insured that a health insurance company gives you as a reward for every claim free year. The percentage depends on company to company but this sum insured generally increases by 5 per cent for every claim-free year up to a maximum of 50 per cent. 

"In case of lapses, the policyholder must revive it within the grace period, most health insurance plans offer a grace period of 30 days. Insurance companies also provide an option of reactivating the policy (which is within a specific time period), post the grace period. This is a special period offered, known as revival period. But avoiding lapses in the first place is the best option as it can cancel out many of the consumer’s perks like portability, renewal benefits, no claim bonus, etc. In fact, the continuity benefits of the waiting period would also be lost, leaving the policyholder with no choice but to buy a new cover with a fresh waiting period and even undergo a medical check-up once again," pointed out Indraneel Chatterjee, co-founder, RenewBuy. 

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