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During the policy term, a policyholder has requested to migrate from non-smoker to smoker category. Will the insurer update his policy term and charge an increased premium or cancel his policy? Will the claim be paid by the insurer in future?

—Name withheld on request


A life insurance policy cannot be modified mid-term. If the policyholder became a smoker after the policy was put in place, then there is no provision to migrate the policy from a non-smoker to a smoker.

However, once you have intimated the insurer about the change of status from a non-smoker to a smoker, the insurer is likely to do a verification. Insurers would want to ascertain if the smoking status was declared accurately at the time of the policy proposal. If the insurance is convinced about a false declaration, they may move to cancel the policy.


I have had a family health policy since 2017. On 1 September 2020, the policy expired and no notification or reminder was sent to me for renewing it. Now, is it possible to continue with the same policy as I have already covered the waiting period tenure for pre-existing diseases?

—Name withheld on request


Health insurance policies generally carry a grace period of 30 days. If a policy is renewed within this period, then the waiting period completed is carried over. However, post the grace period, generally, the policy cannot be renewed without a fresh waiting period.

You can, however, make a request to the insurer citing the lack of notification to revive the policy for you.

In some cases, insurance companies do make exceptions and reinstate the policy.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director,

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