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Business News/ Money / Personal-finance/  How to return your health insurance policy during free-look period
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How to return your health insurance policy during free-look period

The free-look window of 15 days kicks in from the time you get your policy documents. Some insurers may extend it to 30 days

If you wish to return the health insurance policy, the insurer will refund the premiums paid after deducting some charges. Photo: iStockPremium
If you wish to return the health insurance policy, the insurer will refund the premiums paid after deducting some charges. Photo: iStock

Most people are aware that life policies come with a free-look period. This means that from the time you receive your document, you get at least 15 days to review it, and if you are unhappy, to return it to the insurer. The insurer can’t force the policy on you. The same applies for health insurance policies too, so it’s important to understand your policy as soon as you get the documents.

All kinds of health insurance policies—indemnity cover that pays for hospitalisation, defined benefit plans like critical illness policies and personal accident covers with tenors of at least a year—come with a free-look period of 15 days. This free-look window kicks in from the time you receive the policy documents, and some insurance companies may also extend this window to 30 days from the date of dispatch.

If you wish to return the policy, the insurer will refund the premiums paid after deducting stamp duty charges, proportionate charges for insurance for that period and costs for any medical check-ups.

In the case of annual health insurance contracts, insurers are supposed to pay at least 50% of the cost of medical check-ups that you may have to undergo at the time of buying a policy. This happens as the insurer needs to be sure about your health; some may even decide to pay the entire amount. However, if the insurer rejects the policy, the entire cost get shifted to the policyholder.

Also read: Health insurance portability: Here’s how to go about it

You need to know that your health insurance policy is active when you receive the policy documents. However, most insurance companies will not pay a claim arising out of sickness in the first month. This is called the initial waiting period. But accidents are insured, so if you make a claim on account of an accident and the insurer pays the money, you are not entitled to a refund if you choose to return the policy.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to return the policy.

1. Go through the policy documents carefully as soon as you receive them

2. Call the customer care, send an email, approach your agent or write a letter to the insurer to initiate a free-look policy return. A call, email or visiting the insurer will be faster.

3.The insurance company will send an endorsement and refund the money within 7 days.

4.Remember, you can only cancel the policy during the free-look and not port it. Porting a policy is possible only at the time of renewal.

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Published: 26 Jun 2018, 08:57 AM IST
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