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Life Insurance

Life insurance is a mutual contract between the policyholder and the insurance company, where the company promises to pay a pre-specified amount to the nominee (if something happens to the policyholder) in return for a premium. Along with financial protection, people get tax deductions under Section 10(10D) & Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Importance of Life Insurance

Our life is full of risks and there is always an uncertainty of death due to illness and accidental causes. In case such a thing happens, the entire family has to suffer. Though human life can not be measured, a monetary sum can help the dependants to continue with their life without sacrificing their needs and requirements. And life insurance can help with that.

Let's understand the importance of life insurance through an example:

Varun and Sunil are childhood friends. Sunil decided to buy a life insurance policy and even told Varun to invest in the same. However, Varun rejected the idea and said it's a waste of money.

After a month, Varun and Sunil were returning home and met with an accident. Sunil died on the spot and Varun died in the hospital. Thanks to life insurance, the insurer offered complete financial support to Sunil's family. However, Varun's family were on their own and struggled to meet their needs. Had Varun purchased life insurance earlier, his family wouldn't have to go through such trouble.

Top Life Insurance Plans in India

Best Life Insurance Policy

According to PolicyX.com, below are the best life insurance policies of 2020 in India that you can buy:

PlansPlan TypeMin/Max Entry AgeMaximum Maturity AgeMinimum Sum Assured
HDFC Life Sanchay PlusSavings Plan5 years/60 years80 yearsBased on the premium
ICICI iProtect SmartProtection Plan18 years/65 years75 yearsSubject to minimum premium
Max Life Smart Term PlanProtection Plan18 years/60 years85 YearsRs. 25 Lakhs
LIC Tech Term PlanTerm Insurance Plan18 years/65 years80 yearsRs. 50 Lakhs
SBI e-shield PlanProtection Plan18 years/65 years80 yearsRs. 35 Lakhs
SBI Shubh Nivesh planSavings Plan18 years/60 years65 yearsRs. 75,000
Kotak life preferred e-termProtection Plan18 years/65 years75 yearsRs. 25 Lakhs
HDFC click 2protect plusProtection Plan18 years/65 years85 yearsRs. 25 Lakhs
Aegon iTerm PlanProtection Plan18 years/65 years100 yearsRs. 25 Lakhs
Bajaj Allianz iSecure Term PlanProtection Plan18 years/60 years70 yearsRs. 2.5 Lakhs

** These values may change as per different plan options if the plan has multiple options.

Table Data updated on 27-11-2020

Benefits of Life Insurance

There are several benefits that life insurance offers to the policyholders. Let's have a look at the most significant ones.

Guaranteed Annuity

Guaranteed Annuity

On the subject of planning for retirement, life insurance proves to be useful. Because you will be saving money over a while, life policies help in supplying a steady source of income.

Loan Facility

Loan Facility

Those who avail of life insurance have the choice of availing a mortgage towards their insurance coverage that may help them meet their unplanned requirements without hampering the advantages supplied through the policy they've purchased.

Comprehensive Plans

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.

Tax Advantages

Tax Advantages

Life insurance offers appealing tax benefits and helps you save an extensive sum of money. Almost all 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 Reimbursement

Loan Reimbursement

Life insurance policies offer coverage of loans and mortgages availed by the policyholder. If there is any unforeseen situation due to which the policyholder isn't able to pay off his/her loan, the bereaved circle of relatives will no longer have the weight of compensation, and the policy can be used to pay off the mortgage.

Insurance with Savings

Sum Insured

In life insurance, the policyholder is required to make a set periodical payment. It allows 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 unique levels of existence.

Types of Life Insurance

Term Insurance

It is the most basic form of life insurance. Simply put, if the insured dies during the policy tenure, term insurance offers a death benefit (in a lump sum) to the nominee as stated in the policy document. The pay-out can be on a monthly/annual basis.

Whole Life Insurance

As long as the policyholder is alive, this plan will offer life coverage in return for a small premium. On the policyholder's death, whole life insurance provides a sum assured and bonus (if any) to the nominee.

Endowment Plan

Unlike a term plan, the endowment plan pays you the sum assured along with the profits in the case of death and survival. This plan charges a higher premium, which is invested in the asset market (equity & debt).

Child Insurance Plan

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.

Pension Plan

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 if the policyholder outlives the policy term.

Unit-Linked Insurance Plan (ULIPs)

In all the above plans, you don't have any option to select where you want to invest your money. The Unit-linked insurance plan (ULIP) gives you the authority to select the best way to invest your money (debt/equity). If you want to switch the current investment method, you can do the same easily.

Investment Plans

It's one of the core components of financial planning. 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 & quarterly. Along with savings, you get the benefit of insurance coverage.

Money Back Plan

Money-back plans are just like endowment plans with only a single difference- the payout can be staggered with the policy term period. In this, some part will be returned to the insured on a time to time basis (as per the policy tenure). In case of death, the sum assured amount will be paid to the nominee.

Life Insurance Riders

Riders are the add-ons that provide additional financial coverage to the policyholder. Mostly, the riders are bought along with the base insurance plan and can't be added later.

Popular life insurance riders are:-

  • Critical Illness Rider :- Major critical illnesses are covered under the rider, such as cancer, failure of kidneys, heart attack, coma, paralysis, etc.
  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider :- If the policyholder dies in an accident, this rider benefit along with the sum assured will be paid to the beneficiary by the insurance company.
  • Accidental and Total Permanent Disability Rider :- If the policyholder suffers from complete or partial permanent disability and is unable to work, this rider will provide the benefit to the policyholder.
  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider :- If the policyholder is diagnosed with any life-threatening terminal illness such as leukemia, cancer, AIDs, etc., this rider will pay a part of the death benefit and can be used for the treatment of the policyholder.
  • Waiver of Premium :- If the policyholder suffers disability due to which (s)he is not able to pay the premiums of life insurance, the rider will waive off the premiums and the policy will continue with no restrictions.
  • Term Rider :- Term rider pays a fixed or monthly income to the beneficiary in case of the policyholder's demise. This is equal to the predetermined value mentioned in the policy or the base plan coverage.
  • Surgical Rider :- It assists the insured by providing financial coverage for medical treatment of listed surgical conditions. The cover differs for minor or major surgery treatments.

What Are The Factors That Affect Life Insurance Premium?

Several factors are considered by insurance companies while calculating insurance premiums. Some of them are listed below-

  • Age Of The Policyholder: Age is a significant factor while calculating the life insurance premium. As you grow older, the premium increases because there are higher chances of you getting sick and needing medical aid.
  • 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.
  • Medical History: If a person has a medical history of cancer, blood pressure, etc., the insurance companies charge a higher premium in return for the policy.

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. Thankfully, the below-listed pointers will help you make the decision.

Keep A Close Eye On The Claim Ratio

You buy life insurance to get a claim in the time of need. But what if that claim never sees the light of the day? Don't worry, there is a simple way to get around it. 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 life Insurance 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.

Life Insurance Required

Evaluation Of Sum Assured

Before you start knocking on the doors of insurance providers, 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. 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. Reading the reviews of such people can influence your buying decision.

Should You Compare Life Insurance With PolicyX.com?

Definitely. It is a certified insurance regulator that has the full support of IRDA (License Number: IRDA/WBA17/14). But this is not the only reason why you should place your faith in PolicyX.com. The other reasons are-

  • We allow you to get online quotes from different companies without paying a penny.
  • If you have any doubts regarding the plans or premium calculation, you can freely get in touch with our experts. They are 24*7 available at your service.

How to Buy Life Insurance Online?

Buying a life insurance policy offline is a long and hectic process. So, it's best to opt for online buying to save time and money. One such platform that you can trust is PolicyX.com. Check out the below steps to buy life insurance from it-

  1. Go to the top-right corner of this page to find 'Get Life Insurance Quotes Online'.
  2. Provide the required details and tap on 'Continue'.
  3. Fill out your number and city to proceed ahead.
  4. Select the plan among the list of available options.
  5. Make the payment. You will get the details of your policy on your registered email id.
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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:

Age Proof: Driving License, 10th or 12th mark sheet, Birth Certificate, Passport, Voter ID, etc.

Identity Proof: PAN Card, Passport, Driving License, Voter ID, or Aadhar Card.

Address Proof: Electricity Bill, Telephone Bill, Ration Card, Driving License & Passport.

Income Proof: 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/assignee of the deceased will be able to make the claim in the following way:

  1. Inform the insurer about the death as soon as possible with the important details such as time, place, and cause of death.
  2. Submit needful documents and proof to the insurance company. This will consist of the death certificate of the insured along with the claim form provided by the insurance company.
  3. 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.
  4. If required, post-mortem, hospital, and attending doctor's reports have to be submitted.
  5. In cases involving police inquiries, an investigation/survey report will have to be submitted.
  6. 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, the respective insurance provider is liable to pay the maturity benefits, provided all the premiums have been duly paid. The procedure for filing a claim is as follows-

  • When the maturity of the policy is near, the insurance provider will send an intimation to the policyholder with a discharge voucher (at least 2-3 months of 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 News

Insurers To Start Offering 'Saral Jeevan Bima' Standard Term Life Policy From 1st January

October 16, 2020

IRDAI has instructed all insurance providers to mandatorily come out with 'Saral Jeevan Bima', a standard and individual term life policy from 1st January 2021. With several term plans available in the market, customers struggle to select the right option to satisfy their needs. That's why IRDAI feels that Saral Jeevan Bima equipped with simple features and benefits will solve this problem and offer adequate coverage in the time of need.

Saral Jeevan Bima is designed as an individual pure risk premium life insurance, which will offer a sum assured to the nominee in case of the policyholder's death during a policy term. Individuals between 18-65 years can buy this policy. The policy term will range between 5-40 years. The policy holds a maturity age of 70 years (maximum) and offers coverage between Rs.5-25 lakhs. As far as premium payment options are concerned, regular premium, single premium, and limited premium payment term for 5 and 10 years are a part of the list.

All insurers have to file the product with IRDAI latest by 31st December 2020. However, insurers have the option to speed up the process and offer this product (with approval) before 1st January 2021.

Premiums for Term insurance policies may rise again in coming months

August 04, 2020

We all know that Term insurance is one of the excellent & affordable ways to secure your family's financial needs in your absence. However, in the last few months, the insurance companies have significantly increased the premium rates. Most insurers stated that the reason behind rising premiums is the increase in mortality rate, and hence with the rise in mortality rate due to coronavirus, the premiums have also increased. In April, many insurance companies such as HDFC Life Insurance, Max Life Insurance, Tata AIA Life Insurance and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance hiked the premium by up to 20 percent.

Therefore, if you are considering buying a term insurance plan, you might have to hurry up a bit as the insurance premiums are set to experience another significant increase in the months ahead.

COVID-19: Life Insurers Look To Hedge Against Policy Surrenders

June 09, 2020

The halt in the Indian economy due to the pandemic that results in job loss and pay cuts is forcing life insurers to have a close watch on their existing policyholders. They are keeping eye on the numbers of surrender and persistence cases. Life insurance companies are aware of the fact that due to job loss, pay cuts, and poor economy, policyholders may not be in a situation to pay premiums or continue their policies.

To deal with the same, life insurance company implemented a new initiative under which they are providing short-term credit called bridge loans to policyholders. These loans are available at affordable rates and the policyholder has the freedom to repay the same whenever they want it. These loans are available against traditional policies, which generally attract high surrender charges.

Such a loan facility enables customers to manage the situation in a better way. It will help customers making payments and continue with their policies, instead of surrendering them.

Higher surrenders hurt the persistency ratio of insurance companies as per a metric that looks after the policy continuity ratio of that entity. As compared to others, India has a low persistency ratio and highly under-penetrated.

While life insurance companies are bracing for the worst, they are also hoping that the policyholders will not surrender long-term assets for short-term financial liabilities.

Moreover, the regulator has provided an option to the policyholder to delay maturity and select a settlement option.

Life Insurance FAQ's

1. When to buy Life Insurance Policy?

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 much life insurance do you require?

The policy you require depends on the needs. When you are young, needs are limited but as you grow, you have more responsibility and more people attached to you. So, you should choose the best one keeping in mind your future needs.

3. 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.

4. Is it better to purchase life insurance from an agent or should I buy one from an insurance company?

While insurance companies are the most dependable sources when it comes to purchasing life policies, coverage agents aren't absolutely untrustworthy. However, before you buy a policy from an insurance agent, it's suggested that you request for his or her authorization card from the IRDA to make sure that they're certified sellers.

5. When does life insurance cover begin?

It will start on the date of commencement after the insurer has acquired and accredited your insurance policy.

6. Can older people purchase life insurance?

Sure, older residents who're above the age of 60 can also purchase life insurance. There are numerous sorts of insurance policies like term policies, whole life policies, and guaranteed life that are designed to provide cover to older individuals.

7. 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.

8. What is not covered under life insurance policies?

Mentioned below are some of the exclusions:

  • Suicide
  • Death caused while performing criminal or unlawful activities
  • Death due to war, riot, etc.
  • Death caused while participating in adventure sports
  • Death from sexually transmitted diseases

9. Can I cancel my policy?

As per IRDA regulations, every insurance company offers a free look period. If you aren't satisfied with the policy, you can discontinue the same within 15 days of buying it and get a refund.

10. Can I add riders later in my Life Insurance Policy?

It depends solely on the plan you choose to buy. Some plans allow riders to be added only at the time of buying the policy whereas, others may allow them to be added at the policy anniversary.

11. 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 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 till the maturity of the policy tenure.

12. 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.

13. Does 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.

14. How Much Life Cover Can I buy?

The amount of cover totally 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.

Naval Goel

Reviewed By: Naval Goel

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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I have HDFC Click 2 protect plan which covers uncertainities like- Death, Disease and Disability. It's a good comprehensive plan and fits your budget

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Last updated on 27-11-2020