If you have ever ordered something online from e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, etc., you’ll be aware of how you get a ‘return period’ with some products.
For instance, suppose you order a laptop from Amazon with a 7-day return period. Now, after the laptop is delivered to you, you notice minor dents on the body. Since there is a 7-day return period, you can return the laptop you purchased. You will also receive a refund for the amount you paid - if you return the laptop during this period.
In a similar vein, when you buy a health insurance, you get a ‘return period’ known as the Free-Look Period, during which you can review the policy you just purchased. You can return your plan if it doesn’t fit your expectations, without having to pay any cancellation fees.
Let’s have a look at what this Free-Look Period is and how it benefits you!
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What is The Free Look Period in Health Insurance Policy?
A Free-Look Period is a time span after you purchase your policy when you can ‘freely look’ at it.
So, once you receive the policy documents you can have a thorough look at its benefits, features, limitations, exclusions, and any other terms and conditions. Basically, you can go through the entire policy start-to-end to check if everything looks okay and test whether it is the perfect pick for your requirements.
If you are not satisfied with the policy, you have the option of returning it to the insurance company during the Free-Look Period. In case you are cancelling or returning the policy, you will need to state the reason for the same.
The Free-Look Period is extremely useful for consumers because buying and maintaining an insurance plan is a long-term commitment. You can get out of this commitment easily during this stipulated period if you feel the plan’s provisions aren’t right for you.
How Does The Free Look Period Work?
The Free-Look Period starts from the date you receive the policy document - and not from the policy issuance date or effective date.
Usually, the Free-Look Period spans 15 days, i.e., you have 15 days to review and return your policy from the date of receipt of the policy document.
Only Available During Purchase
You are given a Free-Look Period only at the time of policy purchase. You can’t avail this benefit when renewing your policy or porting/migrating your policy.
Porting = Transferring your health insurance policy to a policy with another insurance company.
Migrating = Shifting your existing policy to a similar policy within the same insurance company.
If no claim has been made by you during the Free-Look Period, you get a refund of the premium you have already paid to the insurer.
However, certain charges may be deducted -
- Stamp duty charges
- Administration charges
- Expenses incurred on your medical examination
- The proportionate risk premium for the period of cover
An Example To Understand The Free-Look Period
Namit buys a Health Insurance Plan with a sum insured of Rs. 30 Lakhs. He receives his policy documents on 2nd September 2022.
So, the Free-Look Period under Namit’s policy will -
- Start on 2nd September 2022.
- End on 16th September 2022.
Namit goes through the policy documents carefully after receiving them. He reads the benefits, limitations, exclusions, and other T&Cs. He discovers that the plan has a lot of exclusions that he didn’t know about and hence, decides to return it to the insurance company. If he returns the plan before the Free-Look Period ends (before 16th September 2022), the insurer will return the premium he has paid - after deducting stamp duty, administration, and other charges.
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So, this was all about the very helpful Free-Look Period you get with your health insurance plan. You can easily get out of the policy you’ve purchased during the period if you are not satisfied - no questions asked.