Health insurance customers now have a five to 15-day free-look or cancellation period to decide if they will push through with the policy or not.
This is after the Insurance Commission ordered all insurance companies in the country to give a free-look period for health insurance products. Through IC Circular Letter 2018-65, Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said that a five-day free-look period is allowed for health insurance policies covering six months or less. Meanwhile, customers have a fifteen-day free-look period if they are looking into availing a plan with coverage of over half a year.
The free-look period is the time given to the policyholder to decide whether or not to continue with the contract. Funa explained that it is a window of time given to the policyholder to read the policy provisions, understand the inclusions and exclusions, and to determine if he or she was able to purchase the right product.
If he or she decided to can the policy for whatever reasons, the policyholder could demand its cancellation.
Funa also said that the free-look period is a customer’s and the public’s protection against the dangers of ‘mis-selling.’
The free-look period commences as soon as the policyholder receives the health insurance contract. He or she is entitled to refund all premiums he has paid, in case the policyholder decides to cancel or to surrender the policy.
The Insurance Commission also issued IC Circular Letter 2018-66 ordering all health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to incorporate a similar free-look period in all health maintenance contracts.
Latest data from the Insurance Commission showed that the local insurance industry reported a total premium income of P218.91 billion as of September 2018. The said figure is 18 percent higher than the P185.51 billion posted in September 2017.
On the other hand, the life insurance industry recorded positive growth in the first nine months of 2018. With a total premium recorded at P174.15 billion in 2018, there was a 20.4 percent increase from P144.63 billion recorded during the same period in the previous year.