Tuesday, August 11, 2015

14 day Free Look Period

Dear Mr Tan,
I seek your help and expertise as a veteran in the insurance industry, and would be very grateful for any insight you can offer.

I am a lawyer and I am dealing with a dispute concerning a life insurance policy. My client is a foreigner and is based overseas. He signed up for the policy while on a business trip in Singapore last year. The insurance company forwarded to my client's home address (via normal mail) a copy of the - the quotation, financial analysis reports and the GIRO application form

Thereafter, my client says that he did not receive the Policy Schedule and Booklet from the insurance company. He confirms that his family did not receive the documents either. 

Further, he does not know if his agent/the insurance company failed to issue the Policy documents; or if the Policy documents were misplaced during posting. In any event, my client is now thinking of rescinding the Policy.

- What is the legal position with regard to the Policy, as the 'Free Look Period' was never triggered?
- How can my client rescind the Policy?

Thank you so much.

The ruling on the free look period is stated in the website of the Life Insurance Association.

Specifically, it said:
14-day free look period
All insurance companies grant a "14-day free look period". It starts from the date of receipt of your policy document. During this period, you should review your policy to see if it meets your needs. If you decide not to keep it, give the company written notice of cancellation and the company will terminate your policy and provide the appropriate refund.
You may be charged for medical examination expenses and, if you had bought an investment-linked plan, you may suffer investment loss if the unit price has fallen.
I should imagine that it is the duty of the insurance company to prove that they have delivered the policy to the policyholder. The insurance company should have some record that the policy document was delivered, so that the 14 day free look period can start. They should usually send it by registered post or alternatively, if the agent was supposed to have delivered the policy document, the agent should get a signed acknowledgment from the policyholder.

The insurance company can claim that it is the duty of the policyholder to notify the insurance company if they have not received the policy document. If the policyholder was paying the monthly premium, he should have inquired about the policy document that never arrived. I hope that your client can give a good explanation why he or she did not bring up this matter earlier.

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