Getting Familiar with the “Cooling-Off” Period of a Vehicle Insurance Policy

January 3, 2022
Getting Familiar with the Cooling Off Period of a Vehicle Insurance Policy 1642758054 - Getting Familiar with the “Cooling-Off” Period of a Vehicle Insurance Policy

A person who has just purchased a brand-new car may find choosing comprehensive car insurance too confusing. Some years ago, insurance providers offered a car insurance cover note as a temporary form of insurance covering vehicle owners’ cars before they paid for their full-fledged policy. These notes are obsolete now. But there is a functional alternative that’s similar to a cover note known as an insurance “cooling off” period.

The best car insurance providers have this feature to benefit the vehicle owners by allowing them to swap or cancel policies if they change their mind anytime within the cooling-off period. In addition, the policyholders are assured a complete refund of unused premiums they have already paid as long as they haven’t made any claim during that time. However, some insurers may charge cancellation fees and these vary across vehicle insurance providers.

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What is the “cooling-off” period of a car insurance policy?

Most of the vehicle insurers in NSW provide a 14-day cooling-off period. The insurance companies offer this specific window of time to their policyholders in the beginning, so they have an option to cancel or change a policy due to any reason. It gives the policyholders time to re-evaluate their choices before they seal the deal with any insurer.

Vehicle owners need to know that they can avail of this benefit only within the particular time limit specified by the insurer.  Remember, this period may vary across insurers. Read the product disclosure statements or get in touch with your insurer for information about this.

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How to avail of the car insurance “cooling off” period?

There is no exact procedure to apply for the cooling-off period. It will already be a part of your car insurance policy. If you want to use the cooling-off period, you should know about the vehicle insurance policy’s rules around this feature.

So, the first step will be to select appropriate coverage – third party property damage, third party fire and theft, or comprehensive car insurance. Your policy will be active from the date of commencement printed on your car insurance certificate, which is usually the day when you bought the policy (if you haven’t chosen another favourable date). Your insurance certificate will also have an important field, i.e., the policy number you may use to make claims or any references.

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If you haven’t made a claim and wish to cancel your policy during the cooling-off period, the process is pretty straightforward – just tell your insurer and they’ll sort it out for you. On the flip side, if you are happy with the policy offerings and pricing, then simply continue with the signed-up policy for the remaining term.

What are the other alternatives to the “cooling-off” period?

With car insurance, you can cancel at any time whether you are paying monthly or annually. Note, with monthly you may have to pay slightly higher premiums compared to the annual payment.

The cooling off periods provided for car insurance in NSW means policyholders have little to lose if they think about switching policies within a few days of purchase. A policyholder always has an option to choose a better policy in the market, any time they want throughout their policy period (though exit fees may be involved). A policyholder who wants to switch to the current best car insurance that suits their needs during the cool-off can usually do so trouble-free with car insurance online.

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