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What Is Free Look Period In Health Insurance?

A free look period in health insurance is the period of time within which you’re allowed to cancel or change your health insurance policy. This feature was introduced by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and is applicable to all long-term health insurance policies with a minimum tenure of 3 years or more. 

 

For non-electronic health insurance policies, the free look period is 15 days from the date of receipt of the policy document. And in the case of electronic health insurance policies, the free look period is 30 days from the date of receipt of the policy document.

 

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How Does Free-Look Period Work?

The free-look period in insurance officially begins on the day the policy documents are delivered to you. It is also important to note that all seven days of the week are counted and not just the weekdays. 

 

This free-look Period gives people time to study the health insurance policy in-depth and make sure that everything is according to their liking. While the free-look period is mandatory for long-term policies, insurance companies offer this feature for short-term health insurance plans as well. 

 

It can be hard to read the whole policy document when purchasing a plan, and customers usually only look for the benefits of a health insurance policy. However, this leads to them missing out on the fine print in the policy. They can use the free-look period to go through the terms and conditions of the policy in-depth and if they are dissatisfied with something, they can cancel or change their policy.

Key Elements of Free-Look Period 

To get a better understanding of the free-look period in health insurance, it is important to first get to know what the key elements of this feature are. Here’s a glimpse of a few of them. 

    1.Time Limit 

The free-look period has a set time limit within which you’re required to raise a request for cancellation of the policy. 

 

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has set the time limit as 15 days from the date of receipt of the policy document for policies obtained through non-electronic means. 

 

And in the case of electronic policies, this time limit is 30 days from the date of receipt of the policy document. 

    2.Request for Cancellation

To initiate policy cancellation within the free-look period, it is essential to send a formal request in writing to the insurance company. Depending on the insurer, you may have to send the written request either through an offline or an online method.

    3.Details Required for Cancellation 

In addition to the written request for cancellation, there are certain important details which you will have to provide. This includes the date on which the policy documents were received by you, reason for cancellation, details of your bank account for the refund, and details of the insurance agent, if any. 

    4.Documents Required for Cancellation 

Another major element of the free-look period that you should know about is the list of documents that you need to submit at the time of policy cancellation. Some of the documents that you may have to submit include your policy document, receipts evidencing the payment of premiums, and a cancelled cheque leaf, among others. 

    5.Refund of Premium 

Once the insurer verifies the details and the documents submitted, the cancellation request will be approved. The health insurance premium paid towards the policy will be refunded to you after deducting a certain percentage. The amount deducted includes stamp duty charges, charges for medical tests, and the premium for the number of days the policy was active for. 

Benefits of the Free-Look Period

The free-look period has been very helpful to individuals looking to purchase health insurance plans. It comes with several benefits, a few of which have been elaborated below. 

 

  • Gives you time to go through the policy in-depth and look for any discrepancies in the fine print.

  • In case you change your mind about the policy soon after buying, they have the option to cancel it as long as the policy is within the free-look period.

  • During the free-look period, you can choose to upgrade to another policy or change to a different policy of their liking.

  • You can get a refund for the amount you have paid for the policy, if you end up cancelling it within the free-look period.

How to Cancel Health Insurance Within the Free-Look Period?

In case you wish to cancel your health insurance plan within the free-look policy, there are specific steps you will have to follow. Here’s a quick look at the process.  

 

  1. Contact the insurance company.

  2. You will need to send an official email to the insurance company or to the agent you bought the policy from, requesting health insurance policy cancellation within the free-look period.

  3. You will need to submit certain information such as your policy documents, the registration date of the policy, and the reason for cancellation, among others.

  4. Once the insurance company verifies all the information and the necessary documents, they will refund your money and your policy will be effectively cancelled. 

 

Conditions Applied Under Free-Look Period

Now, there are a couple of key conditions associated with the cancellation of health insurance policies within the free-look period. As a prospective policyholder, it is important for you to be aware of what they are. Let’s take a look.     

1.Most health insurance policies mandate a medical checkup. In such cases, the insurer bears the costs incurred towards the medical tests conducted on you. Therefore, in the case of a health insurance policy cancellation within the free-look period, the insurer will refund the premium paid by you only after deducting the costs associated with your medical examination. 

2.The free-look period in health insurance is only applicable on long-term policies with a tenure of at least 3 years. Also, for health insurance policies, the window is just 15 days from the date of receipt of the policy document in the case of non-electronic policies. For electronic policies, the free-look period is extended up to 30 days from the date of receipt of the policy. 

Conclusion 

When buying a long-term or short-term health insurance plan from an insurance company, it is important to make sure that the plan has a free-look period. This way, you can safeguard yourself in the event where you’re not satisfied with the terms and conditions of the policy. 

 

Health insurance has become a necessity in modern times, as the cost of healthcare has increased a lot. Treatment at a good hospital could put a significant dent in your finances, but having health insurance can give financial cover in case of medical emergencies. You can take a look at the various health insurance plans available at Bajaj Markets and choose one that suits your needs.

 

Also Read: Best Health Insurance Companies in India 2022

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FAQs

  • ✔️How do I cancel my policy within the free-look period?

    You can cancel your health insurance policy within the free-look period by contacting the insurance company and giving them all the relevant information and documents needed to cancel the policy. 

  • ✔️What is a 30-day free-look period?

    A 30-day free-look period refers to a period of 30 days, where you can go through your health insurance policy and cancel the policy if it is not to your liking.

  • ✔️How long is a free-look period?

    All insurance companies provide a free-look period of 15 days for non-electronic insurance policies. In the case of online electronic policies, the free-look period is 30 days.

  • ✔️Can I cancel my health insurance and get my money back?

    If your health insurance policy is under the free-look period, you can cancel the policy and get your money back. However, you may lose a small amount of money in fees, stamp duty etc.

  • ✔️What happens if I don’t have health insurance?

    Good treatment from private hospitals can be very expensive. If you do not have health insurance and face a medical emergency, you may lose a significant amount of your money for treatment or may need to take out a loan for covering hospital expenses.