Health is of prime importance in today’s day and age. With growing instances of lifestyle ailments, it has become essential to prepare for this well in advance.A health insurance policy is the perfect safeguard that helps you prepare for these uncertain times of medical exigencies. It helps you to stay wary of financial worries when it comes to availing necessary treatment. With that answering the question what is health insurance and why is it necessary, let’s look at one such policy feature that you must know – the Free-Look Period.
What is free-look period in health insurance?
Free-look period is the duration during which you can discontinue your policy after purchasing one. The regulatory body, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), gives an option to all policyholders to return the policy they have bought in case they are not satisfied within such stipulated duration. This feature available in your health insurance plans helps to compare the expected coverage vis-à-vis what you get. Although all this needs to be done within a stipulated period after which it cannot be returned for any refund of the premium paid.
How does the free-look period work?
It is a common misconception that free-look period is applicable for all health covers. However, as per IRDAI guidelines, the free-look period is applicable for all life insurance policies, but for health insurance plans, the policy tenure needs to be at least three years. The free-look period is a period of 15 days for physical policies and 30 days in case of electronic policies. If the terms of the policy are not acceptable, you can choose to return the policy within this duration and the premium shall be refunded. Though, the entire amount of premium is not refunded; it is subject to certain terms. For no claims made during the free look period, following are the deductions after which the amount of refund is determined –
- Deductions are made for any medical examinations conducted before issue of the policy.
- Further, the stamp duty charges are also deducted before the refund of the premium.
- Any amount of proportionate risk for the coverage availed is also deducted by the insurer.
Free-look period offers the facility to cancel one’s coverage with minimal charges if better coverage is available after you compare health insurance plans. To examine the policy’s scope which is its inclusions, exclusions and other relevant terms is essential to understand the clear picture before cancelling. Once you are certain that your expectations of the coverage do not match with the insurance company’s offerings, then you can proceed to exercise its cancellation.
The process for cancellation differs among insurance companies. While some may have a prescribed form, others don’t. You need to check with your insurance company about it beforehand. Once the cancellation request is received, the insurer will try to provide solutions and know the reason for it. However, if you still wish to cancel your coverage, you can continue to do so and receive a refund.
So, make the most of your free-look period and make sure to thoroughly read the policy documents before making a decision. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms and conditions, please read sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.