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De-jargon | Free look up period

De-jargon | Free look up period
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First Published: Mon, May 02 2011. 09 31 PM IST
Updated: Mon, May 02 2011. 09 31 PM IST
What is it?
It’s possible that after buying an insurance policy, you realize that you are not satisfied with it and wish you had never bought it in the first place. As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), you need not worry since most policies come with a 15-day free-look period.
You can return the policy to the insurance company within this period and ask it to return the premium you have paid. The best part is that you don’t even need to give a reason for returning the policy.
When it starts: The 15-day period starts from the day you get the policy in your hand.
Which policies offer free-look period?
The free-look facility is offered across all individual insurance policies as per Irda’s mandate—life as well as general insurance. Certain travel insurance policies with a short duration may not have a free-look.
Do you have to pay a fee?
In certain cases, you may not be able to get the entire amount of premium you’ve paid. For instance, if you’ve bought a health insurance, there is a possibility that you had to take medical tests. In such a case, the insurance company will refund you the premium amount minus the medical test charges. But these charges, like administrative charges, are minimal, so you will get a major part of your premium amount back.
Where to request cancellation
You can either place the cancellation request at the insurance companies’ local branch office or seek help from the companies’ customer service call centre. If you’ve bought the policy from an online insurance portal, you will still need to cancel the policy by getting in touch with the insurance company directly; the portal won’t be of much help.
What should you keep in mind?
Since it’s a 15-day period from the day of receiving the policy, you have to initiate the process quickly in case you have any second thoughts. Though cancellation of policy seems easy task—requiring filling up of a form, making a few calls to the call centre and sending your original policy documents back to the insurance company— in reality it isn’t. So it’s best to start as early as possible and ensure that you follow up the process properly.
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First Published: Mon, May 02 2011. 09 31 PM IST