In the last 12 months, health insurance has successfully transformed from being a good-to-have product to a must-have commodity – all because of the rising COVID-19 cases across the country. People are in a state of panic and fear that the novel coronavirus can infect them anytime anywhere and have realized that the only way to stay financially protected against the pandemic is by investing in a comprehensive health insurance plan.
Interestingly, even the number of people renewing their health insurance policies this year are much higher than ever before. As it turns out, this could not have happened at any better time!
Rise in Health Insurance Renewals
As per available data, of all the family-floater health insurance policies sold last year, over 85% of the policyholders renewed their policies before expiry. Similarly, approximately 80% of the customers with individual health insurance plans renewed their policies before the due date. For customers with health policies older than a year, the renewal rates were 94% for individuals and 97% for family floater plans.
Such a high renewal rate clearly indicates that while the initial decision of buying a health cover may be the ongoing pandemic but over time, people have certainly realized what role health insurance can play in securing the best possible health care facilities without having to worry about the cost. By renewing your health policy within the due date, you are privy to a plethora of continuity benefits like uninterrupted coverage, No-Claim Bonus benefits, and no fresh waiting period.
During unprecedented times like these, when the COVID-19 virus is believed to have become airborne, you would never want to bring a break in your health cover and would rather want to stay protected every day. Do note, even if there is a single-day gap in your health insurance coverage continuity, the insurer can directly reject your claim. By renewing your health insurance policy on time, you are not just staying financially secured against any medical expenses but are also ensuring a robust future for your loved ones.
Wellness Plans Gain Traction
Another important trend to highlight; in what we can call an accelerating shift, consumers are now using their ‘wellness points’ during the health insurance renewal to avail discounts on the premium. Of all the people buying health insurance plans in the months of March and April last year, over 20% of people renewed their policies this year through wellness points. This shows how people have gradually started moving towards a preventive mind-set that leans away from traditional health insurance offerings. Over the last 2 years, when it comes to health insurance, a significant number of consumers can be seen showing a proactive interest in staying healthy and ask for wellness-oriented health insurance plans. Of late, there has been an uptick in products that mirror daily priorities or life goals.
New-age health insurance plans or wellness-oriented health covers come with some elite features like stress management, wellness points, preventive health check-ups, gym and yoga memberships, and nutritional guidance. Some prominent plan names and their features include Max Bupa Health Insurance ReAssure’s – Live Health Benefit that gives discount up to 30% on renewal premium. Similarly, Aditya Birla’s Health Activ Assur Diamond and Activ Health Platinum plans offer discounts up to 100% on renewal premiums. You can also buy HDFC Ergo Health’s Optima Restore and Manipal Cigna’s ProHealth to avail discount Up to 8% and 20% respectively on renewal premium.
Rs 1 Crore Sum Insured – A New Category
Interestingly, in the last 12 months, Rs 1-crore health insurance plans have also successfully created a separate niche for themselves in the industry. Of all the health insurance renewals this year, 35% of customers enhanced the coverage and invested in Rs 1-crore sum insured health plans. Once a highly priced product, these plans are now easily available at affordable premiums – premiums as low as Rs 600 – Rs 800 per month for a 30-year old individual living in a metro city. This has also been possible with the introduction of the facility to pay premiums in easy monthly instalments. While earlier the customer had to pay the entire premium as a lump sum, the premiums can now be paid in monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly instalments as well apart from the choice of paying the premium yearly.
(By Amit Chhabra, Head-Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com)