Millions of policyholders who are disappointed with their health insurance will jump for joy in July. The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority is allowing them to change their health insurers as easily as changing the mobile service providers. Yes, health insurance portability is making way for much happiness in the lives of policyholders who have been disgruntled and harassed by a number of health insurers.
The switch allows policyholders to change their health insurance providers by simply filling in a few forms and without losing out on important benefits such as no claim bonus, minimum sum assured and existing disease cover. Insurers usually pay the policyholder for pre existing ailments only if they stick around with them for the waiting period of the policy term which could be two to four years. The new rule suggests that policyholders can simply latch on to the waiting period of the new insurance company, without losing out on any benefit.
An environment that is already rift with so much competition, is going to receive a further boost as policy holders buzz around offices desperately trying to change their policies. It is indeed going to benefit the customer as he can leave the service of a insurer without being worried about losing out on any benefits. It is going to benefit insurance industry as organizations will have to turn a new leaf and relook at their customer service, claims and various other processes to deliver maximum benefit to their customers.
Product innovation will come majorly into play, as the competition is going to call for it. People will change to other insurers if they are not happy with the service, but they will think twice and only make the switch if the product is offering them a little more than their previous plan. While most of the benefits will be carried forward, policyholders will have to make peace with other rules and regulations of the new company. If the company can develop products that does not allow customers to compromise too much, then the portability will indeed be beneficial.
Health Insurance portability is very common in a number of international companies, and it has achieved major success. It is only a matter of time and Indians too will start reaping the benefits of this new ruling.
The new step suggests that the Indian consumer will not be satisfied if you do not make him happy. Such customer focus is what the every industry needs especially in the services sector. Portability is sure to bring in a lot of accountability on the part of organizations as if they slip even on one count they can lose a customer very easily.
The environment in India is changing as the term ‘customer is king’ is taking on new meaning. Mobile number and health insurance portability is just a start, the customer, you and me are going to become the centre of attention for many other sectors soon.
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