Long-term care insurance can help you cover the cost of nursing care, skilled care, or respite care or even help pay for your long term care costs when needed it the most.
Whether you choose life or long-term care insurance, it is important to understand the free-look period. If you cancel your insurance within that time frame, you will get a refund of your premium payments. Here’s the scoop on free look periods and how they work.
What is a long-term care insurance policy’s free-look period?
There is no obligation to purchase a long-term care policy during a free look period. This can be useful if you’re unsure whether long-term care insurance is right for you, but it’s also essential to understand what the free look period means and how long it lasts.
The free look period lasts from 10 days up until 30 days after the policy start date. During the free look period, reviewing your life insurance policy with your insurance agent, financial advisor, or lawyer is a good use of your time. Within this time frame, you can cancel your coverage for any reason and receive a full refund.
Free look periods: how they work
The insurance policy’s terms give the insurer and the long-term care or life insurance policy owner certain rights and responsibilities under the law. If you are unhappy with the terms and conditions of your policy after getting it, you can cancel it and get a full refund of your premiums. Your insurance company will specify time limits in this case.
How does the free look time limit work?
Policyholders with a long-term care insurance plan have a certain period of time (the “free-look period”) to evaluate the coverage and make a decision. As a general rule, you have 30 days from the date you received the insurance to do so. After 30 days, the free-look time ends, and you can no longer return the insurance for a full refund.
Note: The 30 days free look period is calendar days, not business working days.
How to apply for a cancellation request
You must contact the insurance provider and submit a cancellation request if you decide during the Free-look Period that you do not want to keep the policy you just bought. You can do this online or offline based on the insurer’s system.
Submission of details
To cancel the policy within the free look period time frame, you would need to provide spefic details to receive a full refund of the premiums paid. Contact the insurance company that sold you the long-term care policy and ask which details they need. Generally, most insurers need the following:
- Date when you received the policy.
- Reason(s) for the policy’s termination.
- Your bank account information to complete the money transfer.
- The information of the insurance agent or financial adviser that sold you the policy.
Documentation for Cancellation of Policy
To cancel the insurance, you must provide either the original paperwork or certified copies of those documents. The premium paid receipt, a canceled check, and similar items may qualify as such documentation. If you don’t have all the insurer needs, they may ask for an Indemnity Bond instead.
You probably won’t get the full initial premium payment back if you cancel your coverage. This is because before refunding the payment, the insurer will deduct administrative fees, medical exam costs, stamp duty, etc. After reviewing the rules of the Free-look period, the refund will be processed.
Five benefits of free look periods
A policyholder can cancel their new life insurance coverage during the free look period. If you decide that the insurance you’ve purchased doesn’t meet your needs and requirements, you are allowed to cancel it without incurring any further fees.
Other advantages of the free look period include the following:
- One significant benefit of free look periods is that they provide buyers more time to review the policy they’ve just purchased in its entirety.
- Secondly, if the policyholder has any complaints about the policy’s terms or conditions, they may cancel the insurance within the free look time without incurring any cancellation fees.
- A portion of the premiums you have paid for a long-term insurance policy will be refunded during the “free look” period.
- During the free look period, you are not obligated to give a reason for wanting to terminate your life insurance policy, which is one of the best parts of this provision. There may be some variation among insurance providers in this regard but be assured that customer support will not attempt to dissuade you from terminating your policy. Payouts are guaranteed so long as the specified time limits are met.
- A policyholder may be sure that they wish to set aside money each month to pay administrative charges by using the “free look” time.
How to make the most out of your long-term care insurance free look policy
A free look period offers numerous benefits, but you should know a few things before using it. With these considerations in mind, you’ll be able to maximize the value during this time. They include, among others:
1. Entering accurate information on the forms
Ensure your address and contact number are entered correctly when applying for a long-term care insurance policy. This way, you can focus entirely on the features and specifics of your package during the required welcome call.
2. Spend time reviewing the policy
Policyholders are given 30 days from the day they get their policy to read over and familiarize themselves with its terms and conditions. Make good use of this opportunity to review the policy’s requirements, consult the insurance agents, and confirm that you still want to maintain the insurance.
3. Record the expiration date of your trial period in advance
Don’t forget to jot down your free look period’s start and end dates. Your trial term will start on the day you get your insurance. Check the date on the receipt before signing it. This measure is in place to prevent you from accidentally validating an invalid receipt. This might shorten your cancellation grace period and prevent you from canceling within the first 15 days.
4. Communicate with your insurance as necessary.
A policy complaint should be submitted in writing rather than verbally. It is preferable to send a corporation a letter or email since it is an official remark from your end. A few brokers may attempt to drag their feet on your end of the conversation so that the free look period drags on longer than necessary. Typically, policy cancellation must be submitted in person at the insurance company’s office.
5. You will not refund your premiums in full.
Canceling a term insurance policy during the free look period will not prevent you from having to pay for the associated stamp duty and medical examinations. Before canceling your insurance, your insurer may deduct the risk premium if the risk-cover service has already begun.
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How do I cancel my LTCI policy withing the free look time period?
If you would like to cancel the policy without penalty, it is essential to do so within the free look period.These are the typical steps to take if you would like to cancel the LTCI policy:
- Step 1: Verify that you have a health insurance plan for a minimum of three years and that you may cancel it within 15 days.
- Step 2: Cancellation requests during the Free-look Period must be submitted in writing and include an explanation for the request. During the Free-look period, you and your insurer may discuss the steps taken when a policy is canceled. In addition, certain insurance companies may provide a digital application.
- Step 3: Provide the necessary paperwork.
- Step 4: There will be a verification process with the insurer.
- Step 5: After confirmation, the insurer will sign off on the policy cancellation and provide reimbursement if necessary.
How long is the grace period for most LTC policies?
Long-term care insurance policies often include a “grace period” of 30 days. When it comes to your LTC insurance payment, most states mandate a grace period of 30 days after the bill is due. The best insurance for long-term care has grace periods of up to 65 days, which is much longer than what most states require.
What is the free look period for all states?
Life insurance plans and long-term care insurance policies must have a free look period of at least ten to thirty days, with several states requiring a longer duration. Your policy will contain a free look period longer than the industry standard. It is also insurer-specific as to when the cooling down period starts.
What is the required free look period in replacement policies?
A new LTCI insurance policy owner has the right to revoke the policy without incurring any fees, such as surrender costs, during a grace period known as the “free look period,” which is often ten to thirty days, as previously noted.
Even after the free-look period for your policy is over, you can still call your insurance company to end your coverage. Even after the free-look period for your policy is over, you can still call your insurance company to end your coverage. Unfortunately, you will not get a refund for your premium payments, and the only time you can get a refund from your insurance provider is if you paid ahead of time.
The choice of long-term care insurance coverage is one that you should not take lightly. During the “free look” period, you can cancel your insurance if you don’t like your insurance company or the coverage it gives you. If you need help deciding between your insurance alternatives, one of our expert agents would be happy to speak with you.