You just purchased a health insurance plan but when you checked its features or benefits, you didn’t like it. Is there anything that you can do? Can you return that policy? Here are some things that you can do if you are not happy with your health plan.
The free-look period
The only way you can cancel a policy that you just purchased is by using the free-look period offered by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). This is applicable only to those health insurance policies that have policy term of at least three years. The free-look period is for 15 days from the time you receive the policy document.
To cancel the policy within the free-look period, you will have to give a request for cancellation in writing to the insurance company. The insurance company will then initiate the refund of your premium from their end. The whole premium paid might not be refunded. Some charges such as proportionate premium for the period for which you held the policy, stamp duty charges and expenses for health check-ups might be deducted before the premium is paid to you.
It is best to thoroughly check the policy to ensure that it is indeed the wrong policy before you cancel it. Speaking to the insurance firm and checking their website can help.
If the reason why you don’t want the health plan is because it has a low sum assured, then you needn’t cancel the policy. You can get a top-up for your policy. This will work out cheaper than getting a new policy. Once you have exhausted the sum assured under your health plan, the top-up plan will cover the additional expenses that you might incur.
For example, if you purchased a health policy with a sum assured of Rs 1 lakh and think it is not enough, then you can get a top-up policy for Rs 1 lakh. When you get hospitalised and your expenses come to Rs 1.5 lakh, your top-up policy will help you.
Usually, top-up plans come at a lower cost when compared to basic health plans. So, if you want just additional cover and are happy with all the features of your health plan, you can go for a top-up. The top-up plan will have all the features that your basic health plan comes with.
Porting of policy
IRDAI has now allowed porting of your health plan from one insurer to another. This can be done without losing the benefits that you might have accumulated. This includes waiting period for covering pre-existing diseases and other such benefits. You have the option to port individual as well as family policies. The new insurance company will have to give you a sum assured that is at least equal to the sum assured that you have with your present insurance company.
However, unlike the free-look period, you can port your policy only at the time of renewal. You must port your policy at least 45 days before your renewal becomes due. You should write to the insurance company telling them that you have to port your policy. You also need to tell them which insurance company you will be moving your policy to. A 30-day grace period is given for porting the policy.
If someone mis-sold the policy to you, you can complain to the Grievance Redressal Officer of the insurance company from which you took the policy. You will have to give the complaint in writing and also provide supporting documents. You can get an acknowledgement number for your complaint so that you can follow up. The insurance company has to address your complaint within 15 days. If you don’t get a satisfactory response, you can write to IRDAI’s Grievance Redressal Cell.
You don’t have to wait for your policy term to get over if you don’t like your health plan. Choose any of these methods to ensure that you get what you need from your insurance plan.