Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bought wrong life insurance policy? Check how to get refund in Free look period

In India, generally, policy holders buy life insurance policies on the basis of trust only. It may be on agent, friend, goodwill of reputed company, or banker. Whatever the case may be – the end result is customer gets the policy WITHOUT going through features, terms and conditions of the policy.

The customer comes to know about all such points when he gets the policy bond from the company. The HUGE charges mentioned there like premium allocation charges, policy admin charges, FMC, etc. and then service tax+cess on all charges. The list becomes very large. 

Although, IRDA has made some changes in charges couple of years back; but that was not sufficient. Still, there are many insurance plans, where company is charging big amount from the customer. The only difference is that previously, charges were huge in first 3 years and now, after IRDA intervention, those charges have been divided in first 5 years. But ultimately, customer is still in loss.

You may call it mis-selling or mis-buying – whatever heading you may give. The question now arises is what next. 

If you call your agent after getting policy bind, the chances are they he is busy for some emergency task and he will be available after 2 weeks. He will try to convince yourself on phone itself that you've made the right choice in getting this policy.

But what if you want to cancel your policy and get refund of your money.

IRDA has made a rule of Free-look period, under which the customer can cancel the lfe insurance policy by returning back it to the company.

What is Free-look period?

It is a period of 15-days (including holidays), from the date of receipt of policy bond by the customer. If the customer does not agree with the terms and conditions of policy, he may return the policy back to the company.

How to cancel the policy in Free-look period?

  • You need to return the original policy bond back to the company. So, first of all, make the photocopy of complete policy bond and keep it in a safe place.
  • Get your original policy bond, valid ID proof like your PAN card copy and its photocopy and visit the nearest branch of life-insurance company. It's not mandatory to visit the same branch from here the policy has been issued.
  • To surrender the policy, either you've to give written request or fill-up the form provided by the company. Complete this step and ALWAYS take the receipt of the same from the company.

Do not trust your agent AGAIN to cancel your policy. It has been seen in many cases, the agent do not submit the policy bond during the free-look period and wait for its period to be over.

Will you get the complete refund or partial refund?

As per IRDA, the company may deduct some money, if the customer cancels the policy in free-look period.

That money will be on account of:

  • Mortality charges for the period the policy was in-force.
  • Stamp-duty charges
  • Medical expenses, if any.
  • Fund value loss, if incurred.

What is your opinion about free-look period. Share your experience with us. OR, if you have any doubts, please mention in the comments below.

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