Tips for renewing your health insurance policy in the UK
When you buy health insurance, you’re usually committing to a one-year contract. This results in an annual dilemma of deciding whether to stay with your existing provider or switch to a new one. Before your contract renewal date, you have the chance to evaluate whether the policy still suits your needs and budget. However, there are some things you should consider and look out for when renewal time is just around the corner. This Pacific Prime UK article offers helpful tips for renewing your health insurance policy in the UK.
Health insurance renewal: What you need to know
As a policyholder, you have the legal right to change policies or providers when your contract is finished. Here are some important things to consider when it comes to renewing your health insurance plan.
Renewal date and renewability are not the same thing
Your renewal date is per annum whereas your policy’s renewability means the number of times you’re able to renew it. Renewability is essential when planning down the line since you want to ensure your policy is renewable for as long as you’d like. There are two types of renewability: age limit or life.
- Age limit: Plans with age limits offer coverage until you reach a certain age, such as 70 years old.
- Life: A plan that’s renewable for life allows you to stay under the same policy for your entire life (or until you choose to end the plan), no matter what health conditions develop.
There may be some changes
When your broker gets in touch with you a month or so before your renewal date, you can choose whether or not you’d like to continue with your plan. Be aware that some variables may have changed, such as the product itself, premiums, and benefits.
- Product: Some insurance products stop being sold, for various reasons. Policyholders under “shelved products” can either remain under the same plan, or move to another plan without new underwriting (a medical questionnaire).
- Premiums: Premiums typically rise every year for reasons like medical inflation, product performance, and age.
- Benefits: While changes in benefits are rather uncommon, it’s still advisable to double-check before renewing your policy.
Health insurance portability could be helpful
Porting a plan from one insurance provider to another can be an option if you’re not satisfied with your existing insurer due to lower benefits or higher premiums. The good thing about health insurance portability is that you will be able to keep the same policy benefits, such as No Claim Bonus and waiting period, when moving from one to the other.
You can leave the hard work to the experts
The marketplace doesn’t necessarily mean the best prices. Working with experts who understand exactly what you need can make a big difference, especially because you can leave the hard work to them. Since insurance brokers work independently, they do not have loyalty to any particular insurance provider. Therefore, they are able to offer unbiased advice with your best interest in mind.
How to renew your health insurance policy
Your insurance advisor will contact you four to six weeks before your renewal date, and disclose any changes to your premiums or benefits. Afterwards, it’s your responsibility to communicate any relevant changes, especially in regards to your employment or location. It’s important to provide accurate information so your advisor can give you the best advice.
Consequently, your advisor may present you with more suitable options. It’s worth noting that changing plans or insurers will probably mean you’ll need new underwriting. That means any conditions you declared under your old policy will become pre-existing conditions under the new one, resulting in a higher premium or exclusion.
Health insurance grace period
If you fail to renew your policy on time, you’ll be given a grace period to pay the premium. A health insurance grace period can vary anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days. If you fail to pay the premium due within that period, the policy expires. That’s why the policyholder needs to remember to renew the policy either before or on the due date.
Choosing to renew your medical insurance policy (or not)
Once you’ve gone over all the information in your policy renewal and are satisfied, all you have to do is follow the instructions from your insurer or broker. Oftentimes, you don’t actually have to do anything since most health insurance plans renew automatically. If, on the other hand, you’ve decided that you do want to switch plans, you can either talk to your insurance provider or broker, or compare health insurance plans on your own.
With that said, most people would rather have an expert compare health insurance policies for them. That’s where the help of a reputable broker such as Pacific Prime UK comes in.
Whether you’re looking for health insurance in the UK or globally, we ensure you find the best plan for your needs and budget. Working with the world’s leading insurance providers, we offer a wide array of policies, ranging from individual health insurance in the UK to international insurance and corporate insurance.
Contact us for impartial advice or to receive a no-obligation quote or plan comparison today.
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