Before you switch health insurance companies you’ll need to decide which underwriting method is best for you.

There are two underwriting methods by which you can move your health insurance;

  1. Re-underwriting 
  2. Switching

Let’s look at each option in more detail;

1. Re-underwriting.

There are numerous reasons that health insurance premiums rise. It could be due to claims, your policy could be outdated and expensive policy or the insurer could have reassessed the product you have and increased the premiums due to their overall losses.

If you are in good health, or you don’t mind losing cover for conditions that you’ve been treated for, you could save by starting again with new underwriting. The re-underwriting option often achieves the greatest saving.

The savings can be so substantial that you could even put the money you’re saving in a savings account and self-pay for private treatment of past conditions and still be better off.

You must be aware though that the new underwriting will have some method to exclude pre-existing medical conditions so no matter how tempting the savings are do think long and hard about the implications of losing cover.

You can read about the underwriting options for new policies here, and here;

2. Switching to a new insurer.

If a competing insurer offers similar range of benefits for a lower premium they will have a health declaration which you must satisfy to “switch” your current underwriting to the new provider. Swiching maintains cover for pre-existing medical conditions. To the surprise of many in some circumstances, this is even possible if you are in the middle of claiming.

If your first policy was underwritten with a new moratorium, the new policy will be a “continued moratorium” and the new insurer will apply the terms of the original moratorium. It’s colloquially known as a “CMORI”.

Alternatively, if your first policy was fully medically underwritten, the new insurer will retain any health exclusions applied by the first insurer, this type of underwriting is called “continued personal medical exclusions”. It’s usually shortened to “CPME” or even “CME”.

If your policy is underwritten by Medical History Disregarded (MHD) and you switch to a new insurer, the new underwriting will either be CPME or it will be labelled MHD. As we’ve discussed in an earlier article ( ) if you have MHD underwriting many insurers will not accept this underwriting type.

As I mentioned each insurer has a unique health declaration that they’ll ask you to sign. The questions in the declaration will be about your medical history. We know these “switch declarations” in great detail for each insurer and depending, on your health, we can guide you as to which insurers will accept you and which won’t.

The new insurer will want confirmation of your existing underwriting, which will be detailed on your current insurance certificate.

If you are leaving a group/company medical scheme, and you want to switch your cover to a new insurer, then you will have to do this within 3 months of leaving your company scheme. If you have an individual policy, in most instances, you need to maintain your existing policy until the new policy is in place. If you’ve let your existing policy lapse then occasionally the new insurer will allow you to switch but will require the new policy to be backdated to the date your last policy was cancelled.


If you’ve got existing medical conditions don’t make the common mistake of thinking that you can’t make savings or that you have to put up with sky-high premiums.

Is that all clear? No? I’m not surprised.

With advice, you’ll be amazed what can be achieved. To find out how we can help you get in touch.

Martin Blain