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How to Upgrade the Existing Health Insurance Cover?

By Juhi Walia
02 September 2022, 1:13 PM

The importance of health insurance in tackling tall medical expenses is documented online. But many are not having the right health insurance plan for their needs. The irony is they don't even know it. Some have health insurance for the sake of it; they are least bothered about the sum insured they have to deal with medical expenses. While buying the plan, the sum insured may have been appropriate. But that may not be the case forever.

Similarly, you may be paying a higher health insurance premium for the coverage you have. Insurance executives or agents may have tricked you into buying a plan with a higher premium. Similarly, your policy may not have value-added features. But, how will you know all these? Go online, compare and find whether you have gone wrong when choosing a health insurance plan. If so, you can upgrade the plan by reading the tips advised in this post.

7 Ways To Upgrade Your Existing Health Insurance Cover

At The Time Of Renewal Upgrade, The Coverage

With time the healthcare requirements have increased. You need to deal with the requirements more than earlier and pay for medical emergencies. Whenever you buy health insurance, the insurer offers you to upgrade the coverage on renewal. Upgrading your insurance coverage at the time of health insurance renewal saves you the waiting time for a new health insurance plan.

It is advisable to upgrade at a young age, as you will be treated as a low-risk customer and will have lower premiums to pay. This is ideal if you already have a lifetime health insurance plan. Just upgrade to the highest coverage offered. You will have to fill out an application and request an upgrade on health insurance renewal, which will be subject to the insurer's acceptance.

Also, if you cannot afford an upgrade that is too hefty on your existing budget at one time, make an upgrade plan. Extend the chosen upgrade sum across your age and upgrade in a way that you reach the upgraded amount. 

Opt for a Super Top-up Health Coverage

Many health insurance policies provide basic and top-up health coverage. Recently, the popularity of the top-up policy has significantly increased. A top-up plan supports your current health insurance coverage if the hospitalisation bill exceeds the guaranteed sum limit. To obtain a Top-Up plan, you have to pick a deductible.

It is the amount you have to pay from your pocket or your primary health policy would before the top-up cover activates. The top-up policy will only spend for the portion exceeding the deductible limit. Therefore, when you opt for the top-up policy, adjust your deductible as per your budget. However, in case of multiple health insurance claims, you will need to keep paying the deductible in top-up policies.

In that case, a super top-up health plan comes to your rescue as it is more efficient in multiple claim payouts. Because once the deductible threshold is crossed in one claim, it won't apply again in subsequent claims. Also, it covers pre and post-hospitalization costs, pre-existing diseases and daycare procedures. Therefore, opting for a super top-up health cover from your insurer is more beneficial.

Switch Between Insurers Using Portability 

Portability is when you shift your health insurance policy from one insurer to another with better features. Using portability, you can opt for a raise in the insured sum. However, this request is subject to approval by the insurer.

An underwriter decides the scope of the increment depending on your age and health. Your claim record impacts the insurer's decision to give you an extended cover. If you have not claimed much, the chances of approval are high.

However, If you are satisfied with the sum insured but not the features, before porting, you need to first check with the first insurer to know whether they have an evolved plan you are looking for. Therefore, while porting, check the features of the new health insurance policy and compare the same with the evolved plan of the existing insurer. Even then, if your existing plan falls short, go ahead and switch to the new plan.

Choose Critical Illness Insurance 

You will need high health insurance coverage if there is a life-threatening critical disease. In such a case, the critical illness plan will provide a lump sum benefit irrespective of the costs incurred.

Critical illness insurance may come as a rider to your regular health insurance plan or a dedicated plan for critical illnesses. Since we are talking about upgrading the existing health insurance cover, the point of critical illness rider is relevant. Ensure the rider covers a greater number of illnesses.

Request for Less or No Sub-limits

Successive claim-free years can allow you to bargain with the insurer to remove or lessen the sub-limits existing in your health insurance policy. Renewal is the time when you can raise this request to the insurer, which, based on your claim record, can get this done for you. If not, you can consider porting it to another insurer giving you such a facility.

Consider the No Claim Bonus Policy (NCB)

Now, if you are going with a fresh cover, you also have the option to go for policies that provide a no-claim bonus in health insurance. You will be given a monetary benefit for every claim-free year. This will help you increase your health insurance coverage every year till you don't claim it.

Most good plans offer bonuses at up to 100% of the base cover. The bonus is given because you remained healthy during the policy period and did not claim your health insurance policy. Your insurer did not have to reimburse you for any of your medical bills in that particular stretch.

See how much bonus percentage your existing policy offers. If it offers less, consider switching to a policy with a higher bonus for maximum protection against healthcare expenses.


It is rightly said it is what you don't expect that needs most looking for. Therefore, it is better to stay ahead of time when it comes to health. Review your health care insurance to check if it can provide coverage for unforeseen times. If it does not choose to upgrade the existing plan using any of the methods you just read. 

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1. Can an insured go for an increase in the sum insured in health insurance?

Every insurer gives an option to raise the cover or sum insured at the time of health insurance renewal. 

2. Do health insurance premiums increase on renewing every year?

No, the premiums of most health insurance premiums don't rise on renewal every year. Usually, the premiums rise when you move from one age slab to another. The age slab is of five years, usually. However, insurance companies can raise the premium frequently if you have claimed it frequently.

3. Which is a better option upgrading an existing policy or buying a new policy?

The advantage of upgrading an existing policy is that there is either a reduction in the waiting period or the possibility of no waiting period, based on the stage of your policy. Buying a new health policy will require dealing again with a four-year waiting period for pre-existing diseases (if any), plus an initial 30-day waiting period, except for accidental injuries, besides several other disease-specific waiting periods.

4. Is it possible to change an existing health insurance company?

By using the health insurance portability feature, an insured can choose to transfer a health insurance policy to another company.

5. What happens when a health insurance policy is not claimed?

Every year an insured doesn't claim on the health insurance policy, the insurer rewards for the year with a no-claim bonus at the time of renewal.

6. Are there any tax benefits under critical illness cover?

The norms of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and the tax laws under Section 80D provide income tax benefits under critical illness cover. Anyone below 60 can avail of an income tax deduction of up to INR 25,000 on the premium paid. If more than 60 years of age, one can claim up to INR 50,000.

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