A life insurance policy is a mutual agreement between the policyholder and the insurance company, where the company promises to pay a pre-specified amount to the nominee in case of death of the policyholder or after a predetermined period, and in return, the insured needs to pay the premium for a certain period.
In case of no death, a sum assured known as the maturity benefit is provided at the time of maturity of the policy under certain life insurance plans. There are many life insurance providers that also offer optional coverage for critical illnesses. Apart from the regular cover, optional benefits are provided in accordance with the type of life insurance plan chosen.
The best life insurance policy helps the life assured ensure the financial security of their family in case of any unforeseen circumstances. The benefits of investing in a life insurance policy are beyond creating a pool of financial resources for the family of the life assured in difficult times. A life insurance policy can help individuals avail tax benefits on the life insurance premiums paid and benefits receivable under a life insurance policy. A life insurance policy can also act as collateral for a loan. There are several different types of life insurance plans available in India, different life insurance plans have different features and benefits. Life Insurance Plans can help an individual to fulfill their long-term goals as well as ensure the financial protection of their loved ones in their absence.
In the below sections we will discuss all the aspects of a Life Insurance policy and how to choose the best life insurance for yourself and your family.
Life Insurance is a very common financial instrument used by many individuals to secure the future of their families. A life insurance policy can help your safeguard the future of your family in case of your unforeseen demise. When you are on the lookout for the best life insurance policy for your family you need to recognize and understand how life insurance works in terms of features and benefits, documents needed, and how your nominees/beneficiaries can receive the proceeds of your life insurance policy without any hassle.
The first step towards making a life insurance investment is to recognize its requirements and suitability. If an individual is married and has dependants then pure risk insurance like a term insurance plan would be the best option as it is a pure protection plan and provides high coverage at an affordable premium rate. Similarly, a life insurance plan also provides maturity benefits to the policyholder if he/she survives the policy tenure. To file a claim the nominee has to submit the death certificate along with other required documents to the insurance company. The insurer then verifies the documents provided by the beneficiary of the policy and after the completion of the verification process, the death benefit is paid to the nominee of the policy.
How Much Life Cover is Needed?
The amount of insurance an individual requires depends on the financial goals of the policy buyer in the long term. According to financial advisors, it is advised to choose the insurance cover amount 10-15 times the annual income because with the increase in age, the liabilities and responsibilities of an individual also increase so does the risk factor. This is the reason that you must choose a cover that fulfills your family’s financial needs as well as help them maintain their lifestyle in your absence.
The sole purpose of having life insurance is to keep your family financially independent in your absence. However, the answer to this question varies from person to person depending on their lifestyles and necessities. You need to evaluate your income, liabilities, dependents, etc. to fix the required life cover amount.
If we go by the financial expert's thumb rule, your life insurance coverage should be at least 10-15 times the annual income.
For better understanding, let's look into the two scenarios of two different families.
Mr Verma, a 30-year-old working professional, lives with his wife, his parents and has a 3-year-old child.
Mr Sharma, a 30-year-old working professional lives with his wife and 2 children.
Monthly: Rs. 50,000 Annual: 6 Lakhs
Monthly: Rs. 60,000 Annual: Rs 7.2 Lakhs
An outstanding home Loan of Rs. 50 Lakhs
Money Needed for Children's education and Marriage
Keeping in mind the expenses, liabilities, and responsibilities towards his child, Mr Verma would need a life cover approximately of Rs. 2 crores, whereas, Mr Sharma would need a cover of Rs. 1.78 Crores.
Key Features of Life Insurance Policy
Our lives are uncertain and full of risks. In an unfortunate event where something happens to anyone, the entire family suffers. And if that person is the only breadwinner then the suffering worsens. Though human life can not be measured, a monetary sum can help the dependants continue their lives without sacrificing their needs and requirements.
Moreover, a life insurance plan is also an investment tool where you can avail the maturity benefits provided you survive the policy term. The amount can help you attain your life's milestones such as your kid's higher education, investing in their marriage, and many more such moments. Along with protection, a life insurance plan offers peace of mind.
A Life Insurance Policy is much more than just providing coverage and there are the numerous features of a life insurance policy.
Death Benefits- Under a life insurance policy a sum assured known as death benefit shall be provided to the nominee in case of an untimely death of the life assured during the policy tenure which will help your financial dependents to fulfill their daily requirements and life goals.
Investment opportunity- Life insurance can act as an investment opportunity if one chooses to invest in ULIPs, Money Back and Endowment plans as these plans provide dual benefits of life cover and investments, such plans provide returns on investments.
Tax exemptions- Under Section 80C and 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 one can avail of income tax benefits by investing in a life insurance policy.
Maturity Benefits- Various life insurance policies provide maturity benefits at the end of a policy term in case the life assured has survived the entire policy tenure.
Collateral for loan-Some life insurance policies offer loans against the policy feature which can help an individual to fulfill urgent financial requirements such as treatment for medical emergencies or help an individual to fulfill financial obligations.
Let's understand the importance of life insurance with an example.
Varun and Amar are childhood friends. Amar decided to buy a life insurance policy and suggested Varun invest in the same but he refused. 20 years later, Amar's daughter wishes to pursue higher studies while on the other hand, Varun plans to get his elder daughter married. As Amar has invested in the life insurance policy which has matured by now. He can use that lump-sum amount to fulfil his daughter's dreams. Whereas Varun has to sacrifice all his life-long savings to meet the wedding expenses. Had Varun purchased a life insurance plan earlier, he would have saved his money for uncertain times.
What Are The Benefits of Life Insurance?
There are a plethora of benefits when you invest in a life insurance policy. Life insurance is a financial tool that facilitates an individual to create a safety net for their loved ones in case anything unforeseen happens to their life.
Financial Security:Along with life coverage, a life insurance plan also offers financial security to your loved ones in case of any uncertainty such as death or disability.
Secure Your Child's Future:A Life Insurance coverage will help to finance the educational and various other needs of your child such as their higher education, their marriage etc.
Retirement Planning:Life Insurance proves to be useful when you plan for retirement and acts as a financial cushion aiding financial independence post-retirement.
Comprehensive Plans:Along with financial support, it also serves as a long term investment option. Many conventional life insurance plans (such as traditional endowment plans) offer specific maturity benefits via multiple product options like maturity values, cash values, money-back, etc.
Insurance With Savings:Life Insurance plans allow the policyholder to get into the habit of financial savings. Saving cash over a lengthy time frame enables building a very good corpus to meet your economic necessities at every stage of life.
Tax Advantages:Life insurance policies offer you the benefit of the tax deduction on payment of premiums and provide a tax-free sum assured under Section 80C and 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Loan Facility:Life insurance policies allow the policyholder to avail loan against their life insurance plan to meet any unforeseen situation.
How to Choose the Best Life Insurance Policy?
With the availability of several Life Insurance Plans in the market, it's quite confusing to choose the best among them. Considering one factor and ignoring the other can cause several issues at the time of need. Therefore, it is very important to go through each & every aspect before investing in life cover insurance.
We at PolicyX.com have mentioned a few pointers that will help you to choose the Best Life Insurance Policy:
Keep a close eye on the claim ratio:Before selecting a provider, you should check its claim ratio. This will give you a vague idea of the number of claims received & settled by a company in a single year. The company which has the highest ratio is your safe bet.
Background check:Due to the competition, a lot of companies have entered the market. Because of this, the industry is lacking quality providers. To be smart, you should check the background of each company. Whosoever facts match your expectations should be the one for you.
Evaluation of sum assured:It is highly recommended to calculate your expected assured amount. Along with this, you can get an insight into premium calculation, which is done by the companies. Calculate your Life Insurance Premiums. Combine both the factors to know which company deserves your hard-earned money.
Customer reviews are important:Sometimes, the company may look brilliant from the outside but runs with bad intentions from the inside. The best way to find such companies is via customer reviews. These reviews are posted by those people who have experienced (first hand) how such companies function & whether or not they keep true to their promises.
24x7 Customer Service:PolicyX is always with their customers as we offer 24x7 customer care service.
Life Insurance Companies
Compare and buy the most suitable Life Insurance Plan from the below-mentioned IRDAI approved Life Insurance companies.
A pure life cover that comes out with two death benefit payout options such as Level Sum Assured or Increasing Sum Assured.
HDFC Life Sanchay Plus
With several other benefits, the plan offers guaranteed returns to the insured and their family.
SBI Shubh Nivesh plan
A traditional savings plan that comes out with two investment option - Endowment plan & Whole Life Plan.
ICICI iProtect Smart
Offers 360-degree protection to your family, allowing in case of your unfortunate demise
Max Life Online Term Plan Plus
An online term insurance plan that looks after your family's needs and offers 3 payout options for the family - lump sum one time, lump-sum along with a monthly income, or lump sum with increasing monthly income.
What Are the Types of Life Insurance Policies?
It is the most basic form of life insurance. Simply put, the beneficiary will avail of the death benefit only if the insured dies during the policy tenure. Once the policy matures, the insurance company is not liable to pay any benefits.
A term insurance plan is beneficial for those who want to secure the financial future of their family at affordable premiums.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole Life Insurance Plans remain in force till the policyholder is alive, provided required premiums are paid. On the policyholder's death, the plan pays a sum assured and bonus (if any) to the nominee. In simple words, If a policyholder is alive till the policy tenure, the policyholder receives matured endowment coverage as a maturity reward under whole life insurance in India. A Whole Life Term Insurance can help you to leave a legacy for your children.
Also known as traditional life insurance plans, the Endowment policy is a combination of a life coverage plan and savings plan. Along with life coverage, a policyholder can also save their funds regularly for a specific period. In case the policyholder outlives the policy term, the insurance provider offers a maturity benefit to him/her.
Such policies can be used to build a risk-free savings corpus, and on the other hand, will provide financial protection to your family in case of an unfortunate event.
It is a combination of insurance cover and investment that secure multiple stages of your child. In other words, it provides financial coverage to your child's future needs and allows you to plan his/her future in a better and stabilized way. With a child insurance plan, you can create a corpus to fulfil all your child's needs and ensure that your child doesn't have to sacrifice their dreams because of any financial crunch.
This plan assists you in securing your post-retirement life financially. The benefits are given annually or once after reaching 60 years (depending on the insurer/policyholder). The plan offers a vesting benefit (maturity benefit) if the policyholder outlives the policy term.
Unit-Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)
Unit-Linked Insurance Plans offer a combination of investment and insurance. Under the same, a small portion of your money is used for life coverage, whereas, the rest of the money is invested in the market.
An investment plan allows the policyholder to invest small amounts (in a periodic manner) to boost his/her savings. The frequency of investment can vary- weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Along with savings, you get the benefit of insurance coverage.
In a money-back plan, the policyholder is eligible to get a specified percentage of their sum assured at regular intervals. This type of life insurance is ideal for those who want to invest with the benefit of liquidity.
What Are Life Insurance Riders?
Riders are the add-ons that provide additional financial coverage to the policyholder. Some plans come with the in-built additional cover, however, generally, the riders need to be purchased separately by paying an additional premium.
Having additional coverage enhances protection for you and your family in case of death, disease, or disability.
Popular life insurance riders are:
1 Critical Illness Rider
Critical Illness Rider benefits the policyholders in case they get diagnosed with any of the critical illnesses listed in the policy document. The rider pays out the critical illness sum assured and allows the policyholders to concentrate on their treatments without worrying about the finances.
2 Accidental Death Benefit Rider
With the help of Accidental Death Benefit Rider, if the policyholder dies in an accident during the policy term, then a percentage of this additional sum along with the sum assured will be paid to the beneficiary by the insurance company.
3 Accidental and Total Permanent Disability Rider
This rider comes in force if the policyholder meets with an accident and is declared partially or permanently disabled. The rider pays the predetermined percentage amount and can be relied upon as the income source.
4 Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
If the policyholder is diagnosed with any life-threatening terminal illness such as leukaemia, cancer, AIDs, etc., this rider will pay a part of the death benefit and can be used for the treatment of the policyholder.
5 Waiver of Premium
Under this rider, if the policyholder is unable to pay his premiums due to the loss of income because of any unfortunate accident or injury, or disability, then all the future premiums will be waived off, and the policy will continue with no restrictions.
6 Term Rider
Term rider pays a fixed or monthly income to the beneficiary in case of the policyholder's demise. This rider offers extra coverage for death in addition to the base sum assured that is predetermined by the insurance company.
7 Surgical Rider
Surgical Rider assists the insured by providing financial coverage in case the policyholder undergoes an unavoidable surgery in India.
What Are The Factors That Affect Life Insurance Premium?
A life insurance premium is an amount that is paid by the policyholders for a specified period and lets them enjoy the life insurance benefits. One can select their premium payment mode as per their needs.
Below are the few important factors that are considered by life insurance companies and can affect the life insurance premiums:
Age: Age is a significant factor while calculating the life insurance premium. As per the insurer's perspective, a young individual is less likely to suffer from age-related disease and pass away prematurely, and also has a higher chance of continuing their insurance policy for years. This makes younger individuals eligible for low premiums.
Lifestyle: If a person smokes/drinks/leads a stressful lifestyle, (s)he needs to pay higher premiums. This happens because such habits lead to life-threatening illnesses, lowering your life expectancy.
Gender: According to some surveys done in India, it is proven that women tend to live longer than men. Due to this disparity, women generally pay fewer premiums than men.
Medical History: If a person has a medical history of critical illnesses or is prone to health issues, then in such cases the insurance companies charge a higher premium.
Policy Tenure: The longer your policy tenure, the higher is the risk to insurance companies. Therefore, life insurance plans with shorter-term have lower premiums than long-term life insurance policies.
Why Should You Compare and Buy Life Insurance With PolicyX.com?
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How to buy Life Insurance from PolicyX.com
PolicyX.com offers you a reliable platform where you can compare life insurance premiums and then choose the best one as per your preference. Check out the below steps and buy your life insurance now:
Go to the top-right corner of this page to find 'Get Life Insurance Quotes Online'.
Provide the required details and tap on 'Continue'.
Fill out your number and city to proceed ahead.
The page will show you all the plans that suit your preference.
Compare and select the best-suited plan out of available options.
Once selected, make the payment online and you will get the details of your policy on your registered email id.
What Are The Documents Required To Buy Life Insurance?
If you have decided to buy life insurance, there are a few documents that you need to provide:
Driving License, 10th or 12th mark sheet, Birth Certificate, Passport, Voter ID, etc.
PAN Card, Passport, Driving License, Voter ID, or Aadhar Card.
Latest form 16, salary slips of last 3-6 months, ITR (2-3 years), etc.
**Some plans require a medical check-up to make sure that the insured does not suffer from any chronic illness. The company may ask for other documents as well.
How To File A Life Insurance Claim?
If a claimant follows all the required steps, then filing a claim and getting a sum assured can become a very convenient and hassle-free task. Read ahead to find how a claimant can file a claim in India under the following scenarios:
In case of the insured's death, the nominee of the deceased will be able to claim in the following way:
Intimate the insurer about the death as soon as possible with all the important details such as time, place, and cause of death.
Submit needful documents and proof to the insurance company. This will consist of the insured's death certificate along with the claim form provided by the insurance company.
If the policy was assigned, the assignee will have to provide the documents. If someone else (apart from the nominee or assignee) is filing a claim, (s)he has to submit the legal proof of his/her relation with the insured.
If required, post-mortem, hospital, and attending doctor's reports have to be submitted.
In cases involving police inquiries, an investigation/survey report will have to be submitted.
Once the investigation is over, the insurance company will approve/disapprove the claim. The details of the same will be shared with the claimant.
In Case The Policy Is Matured
If the insured outlives the policy term, then he/she is eligible to avail all the maturity and surviving benefits, provided all the premiums have been duly paid. The procedure for filing a claim is as follows:
When the maturity date of the policy is near, the insurance provider will send an intimation to the policyholder with a discharge voucher (at least 2-3 months prior to the date of maturity).
The policyholder has to sign the voucher and send it back to the provider with the original policy bond.
If the policy is assigned to someone else (individual/entity), the amount will only be paid to the assignee who will give the discharge.
Life insurance is a must-have financial tool that can help you ensure the financial security of your loved ones while providing you life cover. A life insurance policy provides financial assistance to the life assured and their family members in difficulty. Keeping the current scenario in mind, a life insurance policy is essential for individuals who have financial dependents, if anything were to happen to an individual amidst the COVID-19 outbreak a life insurance policy can be very handy under such circumstances.
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is a one-year life insurance scheme renewable from year to year offering coverage for death due to any reason. Individuals in the age group of 18-50 years having a savings bank or a post office account can enroll under the scheme. People who join the scheme before 50 years of age can continue to have the risk of life covered up to the age of 55 years upon payment of the premium.
Life Insurance Firms Settled Claims Worth Rs 17,362.48 Crore Since the Pandemic
According to the data obtained by The Indian Express, life insurance companies settled 2,27,268 Covid death claims which amount to Rs 17, 362.48 crores since March 2020. Compensation towards Covid death claims were reported under individual, group policies and the PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna (PMJJBY). The calculations bring to highlight that the average claim per person was Rs. 7,63,965. The IRDAI's data received from life insurers on Covid death claims are also based on the self-declaration of claimants.
ICICI Pru introduces a new annuity plan for retirement savings
ICICI Pru life insurance has launched a new plan in the name of ICICI Pru Guaranteed Pension Plan Flexi. The plan is an annuity product that offers seven options to choose from, which include, an additional payout & five lump-sum payments for your requirements in retirement years.
The plan aims at allowing its customers to create a savings pool and receive a life long guaranteed income so that they can lead a financially independent retired life.
Life Insurance Policy: FAQs
1. When to buy a Life Insurance Policy?
At the very moment when you feel that your family or loved ones are dependent on you for their needs, without even thinking for a minute, you should buy the policy.
2. How to know your present expenses to get the best life insurance plan?
Before buying an insurance policy, think about the liabilities which are there. From the loans of the banks to the credit card bills, keep everything in mind. If your family is living in rented accommodation, think about the rent that the policy should be able to give till your children grow up and earn.
3. What is the difference between Life Insurance & Term Insurance?
In a Life Insurance Policy, the policyholder will receive the maturity benefit of the policy. The policyholder needs to set tenure for the policy and if in an unfortunate event of his/her demise, the money is given to the nominee.
In a Term Insurance Plan, insurance companies provide financial assistance to the nominee of the policyholders in case of an unfortunate demise of the policyholder within the policy term. Under a term insurance plan, there is no claim to the money if the person survives until the policy tenure maturity.
4. Does life insurance cover accidental death?
Yes, life insurance policies do cover accidental death. However, one must check the policy documents if it specifically states that it does not cover death by accident.
5. Do Life Insurance Policies offer Grace Period?
Yes. The life insurance policies offer a grace period of 30 days (to pay the premium) in case the policyholder missed his/her premium payment date.
6. How Much Life Cover Can I buy?
The amount of cover depends on your income, your family's requirements, and your liabilities. However, as per the financial experts, your cover should be at least 10-15 times the annual income.
7. Will the family of the policyholder receive life insurance benefits if they committed suicide?
In such cases, if the policyholder commits suicide within 12 months of purchasing a policy, the nominee won't get any insurance benefits. However, post 12 months, the policy will pay the death benefit to the nominee.
8. How to revive a lapsed life insurance policy?
The IRDA has directed all the insurance providers to allow policyholders to revive their lapsed policy within two years from the time it is deactivated. One needs to pay the renewal fee along with the late fee and additional penalties that may vary from insurer to insurer.
9. What will happen to the life insurance benefit if both the policyholder and nominee dies?
In such scenarios, where both the policyholder and nominee died, then the benefit will be payable to their heirs or legal representative.
10. What to do if my nominee dies before me?
In such a case, you can add a new nominee. In case you don't, by default, the company will consider your heir your new nominee.
11. What is the most cost-effective life insurance type?
A term plan is the cheapest type of life insurance since it does not include any survivor benefits. When the policy period ends, the plan lapses.
12. I have a Life insurance cover of 25 Lakhs. Is it enough?
The thumb rule for choosing the right coverage is getting the cover of 10-15 times your annual income. Therefore, analyze your requirements first, and then decide your ideal life insurance coverage.
13. What will happen to my insurance coverage if I don't die during the policy tenure?
If the policyholder lives to the end of the policy's term, the policy's premium is returned to the life assured in the form of a maturity benefit. If there are any additional advantages, they are included in the total sum assured.
14. Can I have multiple Life Insurance Policies?
Yes, you can have more than one insurance policy.
15. Is it possible to withdraw money out of my Life Cover Insurance?
Life insurance plans provide a death benefit as well as a cash value that may be utilised to borrow money in the form of loans.
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Naval Goel is the CEO & founder of PolicyX.com. Naval has an expertise in the insurance sector and has professional experience of more than a decade in the Industry and has worked in companies like AIG, New York doing valuation of insurance subsidiaries. He is also an Associate Member of the Indian Institute of Insurance, Pune. He has been authorized by IRDAI to act as a Principal Officer of PolicyX.com Insurance Web Aggregator.
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