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The most important things to think about when renewing insurance

With private medical insurance plans almost exclusively being one-year contracts, renewing insurance is an annual task for all consumers. Some policies will have an auto-renew function that can make the process simple but sometimes this isn’t always the best choice for the insured. If you miss your renewal deadline, you’ll find yourself uninsured and liable for a AED 500 fine under the Dubai Health Authority mandatory insurance laws.

Whether you’re coming up to your first renewal or you’re simply interested in understanding your options when it comes to renewing insurance, this Pacific Prime Dubai article can help put you on the right track.

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The private medical insurance renewal process

Renewing your insurance each year can be done two ways; you can either elect to auto-renew your existing policy or choose to review the plan before committing to another annual coverage period.

Auto-renewal

Most plans will allow individuals to opt for an auto-renewal where the insurance company or broker issues a letter of confirmation around your policy expiry date to confirm your existing coverage for another 12 months. When you choose to auto-renew, your private medical insurance coverage will be billed using your previously selected method of payment (usually via credit card).

You should always be aware, however, that insurance premiums usually increase upon renewal. This is simply due to the nature of the insurance market. Consumers should be issued a notification of renewal prior to the policy expiry date to let you know what the increase might be.

Manual policy reviews

If you choose not to auto-renew, renewing insurance manually means being contacted before your policy expiry date and asked if you’d like to continue your current coverage. The exact length of time before notification will vary by insurer or broker, but Pacific Prime Dubai chooses to get in touch with clients at least a month before the expiry date to allow enough time to process the renewal.

Manual renewal involves considering your current satisfaction levels with the plan and its provider, understanding what your budget is for the next year, and weighing up any alternatives should you think a change of policy is in order. The downside to going direct to an insurer is that you’re unlikely to get any help from them when trying to consider private medical insurance from another company.

Understanding the renewals process

In short, renewing insurance is a simple process that can sometimes be quite involved – particularly where a change is in order:

  1. The insured is notified by a provider that the coverage is about to end
  2. Those on an auto-renew will then be notified when the renewal has automatically taken effect and the premium has been charged
  3. Those without auto-renewal will be asked by either their provider or broker whether they wish to continue with the same plan
  4. People who choose to change their plan will then go through a similar process to buying a new policy; assessing their needs, weighing up options, and negotiating both benefits and price
  5. Once a new or renewed plan has taken effect, policy confirmation documents will be delivered

How involved the process can be depends a lot on whether or not you need to make a change, and whether you have an independent broker or agent working on your behalf.

What should I know before my renewal time comes up?

According to our own Pacific Prime Dubai consultants, here are some common questions that can be helpful to consider ahead of your renewal time:

1. Are you happy with your current plan and provider?

Private medical insurance is more than just a payment for healthcare costs – it should come with easy-to-use and professional service. As a customer, being satisfied with the product and service is paramount. So if you’re not happy with either the benefits, coverage levels, or the level of service you received – it might be time to consider a new plan or provider.

2. What is your budget for the next year?

If your financial circumstances have changed, then you should also reconsider how much you pay for insurance. Those who have to tighten their belts will find a range of solutions available to ensure you get adequate coverage, even if you have to reduce the amount you pay. Have you recently had a pay rise? Maybe you might want to consider more comprehensive coverage that you could previously afford.

3. Have your circumstances changed?

Maybe you’ve had children or perhaps you’ve had an elderly parents move in with you – when renewing insurance, it’s a great time to add any new members that you might be caring for. Even if you’ve only just decided that you’d like to start a family, getting maternity insurance early can help avoid tight waiting periods later down the line.

4. Will you be travelling frequently?

Another thing to consider with private medical insurance is that international plans can often be more comprehensive than travel insurance medical benefits. Not only that, but as an annual international policy you’ll only have to pay for it once – not every time you need to make a trip overseas. Sometimes, our clients might be better served by one international plan rather than contacting us every few weeks when their company has them travelling for work.

Using an expert broker to assist you when renewing insurance

The best way to handle your renewals process is to engage the support of an experienced broker like Pacific Prime Dubai. Here’s how we help:

  • Our relationship with major global and local insurers gives you more negotiating power to get the outcomes you want
  • We know the market inside and out – meaning we can find you a better deal or plan if you’re not satisfied with your current coverage
  • With extensive private medical insurance knowledge, we can help you better understand any premium increases and tell you if you’re paying too much
  • We have a dedicated Renewals team whose purpose is to deliver the best renewal results for our clients – every year

Most importantly, this service is completely free. Our commission comes from both new policy sales and renewals, meaning you don’t have to pay extra for the added services we provide. These value-added benefits include claims assistance and access to our in-house developed policy management tools – all of which are also free!

To get support from the top insurance broker in Dubai when it comes to renewing insurance, contact the team at Pacific Prime Dubai today.

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