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Understanding Free Look Period in Insurance and Its Benefits

If you have been thinking about purchasing an insurance policy, you may have come across the term—free look period or free look policy. This is an extremely important safety measure that protects your interests as a consumer and ensures. Here, you can learn about what is free look period in insurance and different factors that you should consider with it among other things.

Understanding the Free Look Period

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the free look period is a grace period that new policyholders get to review the details of their new policy and cancel it if they don’t find the terms and conditions acceptable. Free look period in insurance policy is usually a 15-day period starting from the date you purchase the policy. In the free look period, a new policyholder can cancel the policy and get a full refund if they are eligible. Generally, insurance providers provide free look period to policyholders who purchase health insurance policies (with a tenure of 3 years) and all life insurance plans.

Before making the purchase for any insurance plan, you are advised to carefully consider the pros and cons of that particular plan and make an informed decision. However, in case you choose to cancel your policy and ask for a refund after purchasing it, your insurance provider will likely give you a call to understand your reason for cancelling and take your confirmation before initiating a refund. You must note that the refund you receive will have a few reasonable deductions to cover the cost incurred by your insurance provider in issuing you a policy; these deductions usually include charges for stamp duty among others.

What Is the Purpose of Free Look Period in Insurance?

The free look period serves an important role in safeguarding the interest of the policyholder. Here are some of the things that the free look period helps you with:

  • Make Informed Decisions

    If you have ever purchased an insurance policy or tried do so, you are aware of the complexity of the process. There are numerous small details in a policy document that can drastically impact your benefits. It takes time to properly analyse a policy document and understand its implications even if you have spent a good amount of time researching the best insurance plan before purchasing one.

    The time allocated for the free look period also encourages policyholders to review their policy documents and reduce the chances of misunderstanding.

  • Provides an Opportunity for Comparison

    With the free look period in insurance, you get a chance to compare other available options and select the best plan for yourself, especially if you made a hasty decision while purchasing.

  • Protects Your Interests

    The policy documents serve as the written commitment of the insurer and the insured (you) towards each other. If after reading the documents you realise that the plan you purchased isn’t the right fit for you or there as some misunderstanding during the initial phases, you can cancel the policy and get a refund. The free look period in such cases serves as a safety net for you; SBI General has a free look period of 15 days for new policyholders who purchased health insurance policies.

How Does the Free Look Period Work?

Generally, when you make a purchase of insurance policy, you receive the policy documents via post or in digital format in some cases. The free look period begins on the day you receive your policy documents, whether in a physical form or digital. In case of physical documents, you get a free look period of 15 days to review the policy, and in case of digital documents only, you get a free look period of 30 days.

You get ample time to review the policy terms and conditions and compare them with the information conveyed to you before you purchased the policy. Make sure you carefully analyse the coverage and exclusion details, claim settlement ratio, policy wording, etc.

If you don’t wish to cancel the policy, you don’t have to do anything. However, if you wish to cancel your newly purchased policy, give an intimation to your insurance provider within the free look period in writing via email, a post letter, or something similar. The exact procedure for cancelling the policy may vary from insurer to insurer, but you can find the process on their official website.

Once your insurer receives your cancelling request, they will start initiating the refund after deducting their expenses incurred in issuing you the policy. You will receive the refund likely in your original payment method within a reasonable timeframe.

Why Should You Consider During the Free Look Period?

By utilising the free look period in insurance, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  1. A chance to review policy documents and avoid misunderstanding or misinterpretations
  2. Time to compare and choose the best suitable policy option
  3. A sense of security knowing that you can cancel the policy if it doesn’t align with your needs
Factors to Keep in Mind About Free Look Period in Insurance

Here are some things that you should be aware of to get the maximum benefit of the free look period:

  1. Free look period does not begin on the date of purchase of the policy; it starts on the day you receive your policy documents via post in case of an offline purchase. The free look period in insurance lasts up to 15 days, thus, for example, if you receive your policy papers on 2nd February, your free look period will end on 16th February.
  2. Ensure you provide correct contact details in the application form to avoid missing any important communication regarding your policy.
  3. If you are unsatisfied with the policy and wish to return it, you are recommended to do it yourself instead of relying on an agent to avoid any delays. Contact your insurance provider directly to cancel the policy.
  4. You will not get a complete refund of the premium you paid as there will be some deductions for the cost incurred by the insurance provider for issuing the policy.
Final Word

General insurance companies, including SBI General, provide a free look period in insurance policies to comply with the guidelines provided by the IRDAI and ensure customer satisfaction. You can use this period to verify policy documents against the commitments made to you prior to purchase.

If you are still in the process of getting an insruance and unsure about which is the best insurance policy for you, consider exploring different options to find the right match. Explore the different types of insurance policies to pick the right one(s) for you and your family.


About Free Look Period in Insurance

Q. What is free look period in insurance?

A. It is a 15-day (or 30-day) grace period provided to new policyholders to review their policy documents and cancel the policy in case they don’t find the terms and conditions acceptable without being charged for the cancellation.

Q. When does the free look period end?

A. The free look period ends on the 15th day after you have received your policy documents.

Q. What is the use of free look period in insurance?

A. Free look period serves the customers by protecting them from misinformation and helps them make informed decisions. Although people usually pay close attention to the policy details before buying a policy and compare different options, the free look period provides you a grace period to verify the policy terms and conditions against the promises made by third party agents or insurance providers.

Q. What is the refund process of cancelling an insurance policy within the free look period?

A. The exact process may differ from insurer to insurer, but the general procedure requires you to intimate the insurer in writing to cancel your policy. The insurance provider will then initiate the process.

Q. Do I get a free look period at the time of renewing my policy?

A. No. The free look period is provided to new policyholders only.

Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.

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