• Life Insurance vs. Health Insurance - Which should you choose?

    Health Insurance
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    By Prarthana Gopal | 22 Jul 2019

    With how uncertain life can be, it is necessary to protect yourself and your family members with a comprehensive life insurance and health insurance policy. While it can be tempting to only purchase either a life insurance or a health insurance plan in order to save on multiple premium payments, it is essential to remember that it is equally important to have both types of policies.

    What is Life Insurance?

    A life insurance policy is an official contract that is held between the life insurance company and the policyholder. The main purpose of a life insurance plan is to provide a risk cover against death on the life of the policyholder. Thus, upon the policyholder’s death, a death benefit will be paid to the nominee. This payout, by serving as an income replacement, will ensure that the policyholder’s family members are able to carry on with their lives in case of an unfortunate eventuality.

    Benefits of Purchasing a Life Insurance Policy

    • A life insurance plan can provide financial security to the policyholder’s dependents.
    • A life insurance policy can help you save on tax. For life insurance, tax benefits can be claimed under Section 80C and Section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
    • In the event of the policyholder’s death, the payout offered by a life insurance plan can help the nominee pay off debts incurred by the policyholder during his/her lifetime.
    • The death benefit payout can help the policyholder’s dependents pay for immediate and long-term financial needs that might arise.
    • Policy buyers can purchase additional riders with their life insurance plan for an enhanced coverage.
    • Based on the type of life insurance product you purchase, the policy can also act as a savings or investment instrument. Further, annuity or retirement policies can offer a fixed source of income to the policyholder after his/her retirement.

    What is Health Insurance?

    A health insurance policy offers coverage against medical expenses that one might incur in case of a medical emergency or hospitalisation. The health insurance policy, thus, pays for medical expenses up to the sub-limits specified in one’s policy brochure. Therefore, purchasing a health insurance policy is a smart way to save your hard-earned money in the event of a hospital admission or a medical treatment.

    Benefits of Purchasing Health Insurance

    • Permissible medical expenses are paid by the insurance provider if a claim is raised.
    • Policyholders can avail cashless hospitalisation at network hospitals.
    • Many health insurance policies, in addition to covering inpatient hospitalisation also provide a cover for pre and post-hospitalisation expenses, ambulance charges, daycare treatments, etc.
    • Policyholders can claim tax rebates for the premiums paid during a given fiscal year under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
    • Health insurance companies offer riders/add-ons that can help the policyholder secure an enhanced coverage.
    • Most health insurance policies also offer a cover against pre-existing diseases after the completion of the specified waiting period.

    Which should you opt for?

    Ideally, both a health insurance plan and a life insurance plan should be a part of your financial portfolio since both cover financial risks. While it may be an added expense to pay for two different policies, you should remember that you can always purchase basic variants of these products to save on premium payments.

    A life insurance policy is a must since it will ensure that your dependents have the means to pay for any liabilities and expenses that may arise. A health insurance policy, on the other hand, ensures that your savings are not depleted if you have to undergo a medical procedure.

    Thus, rather than choosing one type of insurance product over the other, make sure to do your due research and compare the various insurance solutions available in the market. You can opt for a life insurance plan and a health insurance plan that offer you sufficient benefits at affordable premium rates. If the need arises at a later point in time, you can always choose to enhance the coverage of your policies.

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