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  • Life Insurance Plans

    Life Insurance
    • Premiums as low as Rs.17/day for sum assured of Rs.1 crore*
    • Claim up to Rs. 1,50,000 deduction under section 80C**
    • Choose between annual and monthly premium payment options

    What is Life Insurance?

    Life insurance is defined as the protection against any financial loss that could be caused due to the death of an insured individual. In essence, it is a financial cover which is provided to the beneficiaries of a life insured in the event of his/her untimely death.

    It helps the dependents of an insured individual meet basic needs following his/her demise. In the current scenario, it is a contract between an insurance company/insurer and the individual who wishes to insure his/her life. Under the contract, the insurer would pay a certain amount to the beneficiary of the insured if he/she were to die while the policy is in place.

    A typical life insurance typically consists of three main components:

    • Premium – This is the amount paid by an insured person to the insurance company for a specified time period in order to avail the benefits of a life insurance policy.
    • Period – This is the time period an insured individual is protected for. One could choose a period which matches his/her lifestyle and future expectations.
    • Death benefit – This is the amount which is paid by the insurer to the beneficiaries of an insured following his/her death while the policy is in force.

    Why do people buy Life Insurance?

    The need for a life insurance arises given the unpredictability of life. Changing lifestyles have led to increased stress, especially in cases where an individual is the only breadwinner of the family. A life insurance protects the family of an insured, providing him/her peace of mind knowing that his/her family will be financially taken care of in the event of his/her death.

    It acts as a safety net which enables the family of a deceased individual to continue with their normal life, despite losing their loved one. Not only does a life insurance policy help secure the future of their loved ones, it also provides certain additional benefits like saving tax.

    Different types of Life Insurance Policies in India:

    Life insurance companies in India offer a host of options when it comes to life insurance, with the popular ones listed below:

    Term Insurance Plans:

    As the name implies, these are plans which provide protection for a specific period of time (term). The nominee of an insured will receive a benefit only if death occurs during the period in which the policy is active. These are designed for those who have certain financial responsibilities in the near future, enabling them to meet them even in the event of an unfortunate event. One can avail the protection offered by these plans at a low premium, primarily on account of the fact that they provide cover only for a limited period of time.

    These plans are not the best option for those looking for maturity benefits, as the amount paid as premium is not returned after the policy period expires. Premiums paid towards term insurance plans are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

    Endowment Policy:

    This doubles as a savings cum protection plan, wherein the nominee(s) receives a death benefit in the event of demise of policyholder. The plan also provides a maturity benefit in case the policyholder survives the policy term. These plans are ideal for those looking for an investment plan, as they not only provide protection in the event of any unfortunate event, but also help save for the future. Typically, the premiums for these policies are costlier than the premiums associated with term plans. Policyholders can also choose to surrender the policy, in which case a surrender benefit is provided to them. The sum assured offered by these plans depends on the premiums, with individuals given the option to opt for a sum assured based on their lifestyle and income.

    Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIP):

    These are plans which provide the option of investing in multiple products, in addition to protecting the life insured. In essence, individuals who wish to avail the benefits of both, an insurance policy and an investment portfolio can purchase a ULIP.

    ULIPs invest a portion of the money into either bonds, stocks, or mutual funds. They do have a certain risk factor associated with them and it is imperative that one choose an insurance company with a good track record. Policyholders have the option to switch between funds. One can opt for these plans if they are looking for long-term investment which provides added insurance cover. A good ULIP can offer returns linked to the market, thereby ensuring that inflation does not dampen the investment. One can choose the frequency of premium payment, with it possible to pay a single premium and avail the benefits offered by these plans.

    Money Back Policy:

    This is a special type of endowment plan wherein the life insured is provided a survival benefit. While the nominee receives a death benefit in case of demise of insured, in the event of the insured surviving the term, he/she would be paid a certain percentage of the insured amount in instalments for a specified period of time.

    These are ideal for those looking for protection, without having to lose out on their investment. The premiums for these plans are costlier than pure term plans. The money invested in these policies is repaid at certain regular intervals, helping one meet any financial requirement which could arise at a given stage. They also help in planning for the future. The distinguishing feature of these policies is the survival benefit, wherein a specific amount is paid to the policyholder until the time of maturity.

    Whole Life Policy:

    An individual who opts for a whole life policy is protected for the entire duration of his/her life. He/she makes regular premium payments, with the insurer paying a death benefit to the family on his/her death. Unlike term plans, it provides cover for the whole life, and not just a specific period of time.

    Certain policies provide a payout when one reaches a particular age, which is 80 years in most cases. This has been done given an increase in longevity. Premiums can be expensive, depending on the cover one chooses. Policyholders are also eligible for tax benefits under various sections of the Income Tax Act.

    Annuity/Pension Plans:

    An annuity/pension plan is ideal for someone looking to save for retirement. One is required to pay a lump sum premium in most cases under these plans. An insured individual receives a regular payout on his/her retirement, till the time of his/her demise, ensuring that they can lead a decent life even after retirement.

    A number of insurance companies offer annuity plans in India, which are primarily designed to help individuals meet any financial contingency after retirement. One can choose to invest in plans which are either unit linked or go for traditional annuity plans, with each offering unique benefits.

    Life Insurance Companies in India:

    India is home to 24* life insurance companies, with Life Insurance Corporation of India being the only public sector life insurance company in the country. The other 23 companies are in the private sector, with the Indian life insurance market seeing tremendous growth over the last 15 years, having grown to $27.5 billion in FY 2016 from $10.5 billion in FY 2002.

    *As per data released by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

    Name of Life Insurance Company Claim Settlement Ratio (2015-2016) (%) % of grievances solved**
    Life Insurance Corporation of India 98.33 100
    Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance 91.30 99.90
    HDFC Standard Life Insurance 95.02 99.38
    ICICI Prudential Life Insurance 96.20 99.87
    ING Vysya Life Insurance (now Exide Life) 89.36 99.59
    Max Life Insurance 96.95 100
    MetLife Insurance 85.36 99.55
    Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance 89.09 93.11
    SBI Life Insurance 93.39 99.97
    TATA AIA Life Insurance 96.80 100
    Reliance Life Insurance 93.82 98.84
    Aviva Life Insurance 81.97 100
    Sahara India Life Insurance 90.30 97.14
    Shriram Life Insurance 60.24 96.70
    Bharti AXA Life Insurance 80.02 100
    Future Generali India Life Insurance 90.26 99.31
    IDBI Federal Life Insurance 84.79 100
    Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance 92.99 99.60
    AEGON Religare Life Insurance 95.31 98.39
    DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance 83.64 99.65
    Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance 80.73 95.42
    India First Life Insurance 71.87 98.82
    Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance 85.11 99.09

    **Based on number of grievances received and solved during 2015-2016.

    Best Life Insurance Companies in India (Based on premiums):

    Listed below are the top ten life insurance companies in India (based on the IRDA report for 2015-2016).

    Company Premiums collected (Rs.)
    LIC 2,66,444.21 crore
    ICICI Prudential Life 19,164.39 crore
    HDFC Standard Life 16,312.98 crore
    SBI Life 15,825.36 crore
    Max Life 9,216.16 crore
    Bajaj Allianz 5,897.31 crore
    Birla SunLife 5,579.71 crore
    Reliance Life 4,398.12 crore
    Kotak Mahindra 3,971.68 crore
    PNB MetLife 2,827.83 crore
    1. LIC – LIC is the unanimous leader in this segment, with a 70.4% hold of the market share. LIC’s premiums stood at a whopping Rs.2,66,444.21 crore, more than double the combined premium earned by private insurance companies in the country.
    2. ICICI Prudential Life– ICICI Prudential Life accounts for 4.88% of the overall market share. The premiums earned by the company stood at Rs.19,164.39 crore.
    3. HDFC Standard Life - HDFC Standard Life is the second biggest private insurer in India in terms of premiums. The company earned premiums amounting to Rs.16,312.98 crore as of 2015-2016.
    4. SBI Life– SBI Life continues to be a popular name among life insurers in the country. Premiums of this private insurer stood at Rs.15,825.36 crore.
    5. Max Life - With premiums of Rs.9,216.16 crore, Max Life is ranked fifth among life insurers in India (based on premiums).
    6. Bajaj Allianz - Bajaj Allianz Life’s premiums stood at Rs.5,897.31 crore as of 2015-2016.
    7. Birla Sun Life - Birla Sun Life had premiums to the tune of Rs.5,579.71 crore, with the race for the 6th and 7th rank heating up. The company is close on the heels of Bajaj Allianz and would hope to improve its performance.
    8. Reliance Life - With premiums amounting to Rs.4,398.12 crore, Reliance Life ranks 8th on the list.
    9. Kotak Mahindra - Kotak Mahindra’s premiums as of 2015-2016 stood at Rs.3,971.68 crore.
    10. PNB MetLife - PNB MetLife had premiums worth Rs.2,827.83 crore, with it completing the top-10 list.

    From these numbers, it is evident that a majority of the public prefers LIC over private insurers, given the government backing that LIC enjoys. Private insurers have seen an increase in their premiums, but continue to be behind LIC, which has premiums equivalent to more than double the amount collected by all private insurers in the country combined.

    Life Insurance from Postal Service in India:

    Postal Life Insurance is perhaps one of the first instances of organised life insurance in the country. First introduced in 1884, it currently insures over 6 million individuals, offering six different plans, namely:

    1. Suraksha – This is a Whole Life Assurance plan offering a sum assured ranging from Rs.20,000 to Rs.50 lakh.
    2. Santosh – This is an Endowment Assurance plan wherein the sum assured plus bonus is paid to the nominee after the insured passes away.
    3. Suvidha – This is a Convertible Whole Life Assurance plan which can be converted to an Endowment Assurance policy after a minimum period of five years.
    4. Sumangal – This is an Anticipated Endowment Assurance plan which offers a money back scheme to individuals.
    5. Yugal Suraksha – This is a Joint Life Assurance plan which can be utilised by an individual who wishes to insure his/her spouse.
    6. Bal Jeevan Bima – This is a Children’s Policy under which an individual can take a maximum of two policies for his/her children.

    Types of Popular Life Insurance Riders in India:

    A rider is an add-on which an insured can use to enhance the protection offered by a basic life insurance plan. Listed below are some of the popular life insurance riders in India.

    • Accidental Death/Permanent Disability Benefit Rider – This rider provides additional financial protection in the event of accidental death or in the event of an insured suffering an injury which results in permanent disability. This is one of the most opted for riders in the country, given the number of accidents occurring on our roads on a daily basis.
    • Critical Illness Rider – This rider protects an insured individual in case he/she is diagnosed with a critical illness while the policy is in force. It is a good bet as most insurance policies do not provide additional medical benefits.
    • Waiver of Premium Rider – Under this rider, future premiums are waived off under certain events like disability/death of individual paying the premium. It is ideal if one wishes to secure the future of their children with a life insurance, with the policy continuing to be active even if something happens to the purchaser.
    • Spouse Insurance Rider – This rider provides protection to the spouse of the life insured without the need to purchase an additional policy. It not only helps save money, but also offers a decent level of protection.
    • Term Rider – Policyholders can opt for this rider if they wish to receive payment which exceeds the basic sum assured. In essence it is a top-up on the sum assured and is ideal for someone whose financial requirements have increased since the time of purchase of policy.
    • Major Surgical Assistance Benefit Rider – This rider provides financial support in case the policyholder requires emergency surgery. It covers a few select procedures.

    How can we help you with Life Insurance today?

    Choosing the right life insurance policy can be hard, given the vast number of options available in the market. Failure to choose the right policy could impact the future of your loved ones in the event of your untimely death.

    We provide unbiased reviews, helping you choose a policy which matches your expectations. In depth analysis ensures that you save time and effort, having the luxury of purchasing a life insurance policy from the comfort of your home/office.

    How does Life Insurance work?

    Life Insurance is a simple concept to understand. Here are a few steps explaining how life insurance works:

    • Assess your needs, determining the type of cover required.
    • Choose a policy which matches your expectations. This should be done by keeping the tenure, premium amount, sum assured, additional benefits, etc. in mind.
    • Purchase the policy and pay regular premiums. In certain cases one could opt for a single premium payment as well.
    • Choose a nominee(s) who will receive the benefit in the event of your death.
    • In the event of demise of policyholder while the policy is in force, the nominee will be paid the sum assured plus any benefits accrued (if the policy mentions them).
    • Certain types of life insurance policies pay a maturity benefit on survival until the policy termination.

    What’s the average cost of Life Insurance and what are the factors which affect the Premiums?

    Life Insurance policies can be purchased by paying different premiums, depending on the sum assured one expects. As such, it is hard to get an average estimate for a policy. Life insurance companies take a number of factors into account to determine the premium for a policy. Some of the most common factors used by them include:

    • Age – The younger an applicant, the lower the premium is likely to be. Older individuals (50+ years) might see the premium cost increase on account of the average lifespan in the country. Insurers could also provide additional discounts on premiums for younger buyers, whereas the premium for someone approaching retirement will be higher.
    • Lifestyle – Insurance companies can offer rebates on premiums to those leading a healthy lifestyle. A non-smoker will pay less than a smoker of the same age to get the same policy with an equal sum assured for both. Similarly, those with a hectic lifestyle or those with existing medical conditions might be charged a higher amount.
    • Nature of job – An individual who is in a risky job might end up paying more for a life insurance policy, as any risk increases the chance of death. Similarly, individuals with normal office jobs might find their premiums more affordable.

    A study conducted in the United States found the average cost of life insurance in the country to be $334.54 per year for a 30 year old non-smoker. A smoker of the same age would have to pay around $721.99 for the same policy.

    Why should you compare Life Insurance Plans Online?

    India is home to over 20 life insurance companies, with each one offering multiple plans. Given the multitude of options available, it can be hard to choose a plan which suits your needs. Comparing them online not only gives you a clear perspective, it can also help save money.

    The cost of a life insurance policy can vary from company to company, and it is not hard to end up paying an exorbitant amount for a policy which could be purchased for cheaper. One can also get information about the benefits offered, in addition to the features of each policy.

    One can see the performance of a life insurance company, including their claim settlement ratio, their grievance redressal system, and the ease of purchasing a policy, thereby helping them make an informed decision. This not only simplifies the process of purchasing a policy, but also ensures the beneficiaries do not face any hassle while making a claim in the event of policyholder’s demise.

    Points to remember before buying a Life Insurance Policy (Do’s and Don’ts of buying a life insurance):

    The difference between a good life insurance policy and a mediocre one can impact the future of a policyholder’s family. Here are 6 points which every individual looking to purchase a life insurance policy should consider:

    1. Assess your needs – It is important to determine your needs in order to gauge the amount your family might require in your absence. This should be done by researching the market, keeping different factors in mind. If you have children whose education might be a problem in your absence it is smart to choose a plan which provides regular payouts.
    2. Choose a cover based on current lifestyle and future requirements – It is easy to overlook inflation while choosing a life insurance policy. Paying a decent chunk of your income towards a policy which does not reward you adequately is a huge mistake most buyers make. Consider the cost of living while buying a policy. Also, ensure that you are in a capacity to pay the premium amount.
    3. Compare policies – It is important to compare policies from different insurers to find one which best suits your needs. Failure to do this could see you purchase a policy which has a poor claim settlement ratio, leaving your family in a lurch after your demise.
    4. Understand the policy – It is important to understand the policy. Not only does it help in planning accordingly, it also prevents your family from receiving any shocks from the company after your demise.
    5. Read the terms and conditions – This is a section which most policy-buyers ignore. It is imperative to read these to ensure there are no hidden clauses in the policy.
    6. Renew your policy – If you opt for a short-term policy make sure to renew it once it expires. One can also request the insurer to automatically renew the policy.

    Documents required to buy a Life Insurance Policy:

    Getting a life insurance policy doesn’t require one to submit a number of documents. Most insurers ask for a copy of the following:

    • Proof of age – This could be a valid DL, PAN card, passport, etc. It is required to validate your age, which could play a critical role in the premium you pay.
    • Proof of address – This could be a utility bill, passport, DL, rental agreement, etc. All communication regarding the policy will be sent to this address.
    • Photo identity proof – This could be any government issued photo ID proof like PAN card, DL, Passport, etc.
    • Income proof – One might be asked to submit proof of income either in the form of IT returns, salary slips, Form 16, etc. This is for the insurance company to gauge the premium payment capacity of an applicant. It also helps their agents suggest a plan according to the income.
    • Medical certificate – This is asked only in certain exceptional cases, where a policyholder will be asked to provide a medical certificate issued by a competent authority. Senior citizens looking to purchase a life insurance policy might be asked to undergo such examinations.
    • Photograph – Certain insurers might also ask for a recent passport size photograph.

    How to claim Life Insurance?

    There are two scenarios wherein an individual might be required to file a claim for life insurance.

    1. Death – In the event of death of policyholder, the nominee or legal heir can apply for the death benefit. He/she will first have to intimate the insurance company about the demise, informing them about the place, cause, and date of death. This should be supported by the following documents:
    • Duly filled claim form
    • Death certificate
    • Policy document
    • Hospital certificate/employer’s certificate/post-mortem report, etc. (from case to case basis)
    1. Maturity – In the case of a policy which provides maturity benefit on completion of tenure, the policyholder will have to stake a maturity claim. This can be done by signing the discharge voucher provided by the insurance company and submitting it along with the original policy bond.

    Life Insurance Policy Cancellation?

    There could be instances where a policyholder wishes to cancel his/her life insurance policy. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) provides for cancellation with return of premium within the Free-Look period. This is typically 15 or 30 days, with one having the option to cancel the policy within this period if he/she does not agree with the terms of the policy. He/she will have to provide a reason for cancelling the policy, with the insurer returning the premium after deducting any amount spent on stamp duty or medical examinations.

    If one wishes to cancel the policy after this period, they will not be eligible for a refund of premiums paid.

    Certain insurers provide the option of surrendering a policy, wherein a certain surrender benefit will be provided based on terms and conditions of the insurance company.

    Life Insurance Premium Calculator:

    Computing the premium for a life insurance policy can be taxing, even for mathematically inclined individuals. Insurance companies provide online calculators which can be used to compute the premium. All one needs to do is enter their age, gender, plan type, expected cover, and income. The calculator takes all these factors into account and computes the premium they might be required to pay for a specific tenure.

    What is the right time/age to buy Life Insurance?

    The right time to buy a life insurance policy is NOW. One might think that they are too young or do not have the necessity for a policy. But this is untrue, for life is unpredictable and it can throw surprises. Being prepared for any eventuality can protect their loved ones from financial problems.

    Individuals who feel that they need to buy a life insurance only after attaining a certain age should remember that the premium for a policy increases with age, with certain insurers providing a policy only after a medical examination.

    Delaying the decision to purchase a life insurance policy can have an adverse impact on the finances of your family. Purchasing it at a younger age not only helps save on premiums, it also enables one to plan for the future. Ideally, one should purchase it when they have a steady source of income and have planned their future.

    How much cover do you need?

    The cover one requires depends on the lifestyle and financial commitments he/she has. A policyholder who has to cater to the educational needs of his/her children might require a sum assured which meets their expectations. Similarly, an individual who has no direct dependents can opt for a cover which satisfies basic needs.

    Life Insurance companies in the country offer policies with cover ranging from a few thousand rupees to crores of rupees, ensuring that one finds a policy which suits their lifestyle. It is also important to consider the premium one is paying, as policies with high cover can charge higher premiums.

    Understanding important Terminologies of Life Insurance:

    An individual looking to purchase a life insurance policy should have a basic understanding of these terms:

    • Death Benefit – This is the amount paid by the insurer to the nominee of the insured when the policyholder dies.
    • Maturity Benefit – This is the amount a policyholder receives once the policy matures. This is applicable only in certain instances.
    • Free-Look period – This is the time duration within which a policyholder can return the policy if he/she does not agree with the terms associated with it.
    • Rider – These are additional add-ons which can be used to enhance the protection offered by a policy.
    • Nominee/legal heir – This is the individual who will receive the death benefit in the event of demise of policyholder.
    • Claim – This is a notification informing the insurance company about payment due to an individual.
    • Exclusions – These refer to certain instances which are not covered under the policy. Most common exclusion is suicide.
    • Premium – This is the amount paid by an individual to avail protection under a life insurance policy.
    • Grace Period – This is the time period provided to a policyholder to pay the premium after the policy due date.
    • Lapse – This is the cancellation/termination of policy by the insurer following non-payment of dues.
    • Surrender - This is the process of giving up the policy. Insurers can provide a certain surrender benefit if the policy has been active for a specified period of time.
    • Insurer - This is the company which provides the insurance policy.
    • Insured - This is the individual protected under a particular insurance plan.
    • Policy term - This is the period for which a policy is active. One can choose a term which suits their needs. A whole life policy has a term which covers the entire lifetime of the insured.
    • Premium payment term - This is the amount of time a premium should be paid. It can be equal to or lesser than the policy term.

    Life Insurance FAQs:

    1. Is there a minimum age requirement to purchase a life insurance policy?

      A. The age requirement to purchase a life insurance policy varies based on the insurer. Certain insurers provide life insurance for children aged 1, whereas a few may have a minimum age requirement of 18 years.

    2. Is there a maximum age limit when it comes to purchase life insurance?

      A. Yes, most insurers do have a maximum age limit when it comes to purchasing a life insurance. This is typically 70 years, with it becoming extremely hard to purchase a life insurance policy once you cross this threshold.

    3. What is claim settlement ratio?

      A. Claim settlement ratio refers to the number of claims settled by an insurance company vis-à-vis the total number of claims received.

    4. What happens if I fail to pay my premium on time?

      A. Most insurers provide a grace period within which one can pay any missed premium. Failure to pay this amount after the grace period could result in a lapse of the policy.

    5. Can I purchase only a rider?

      A. A rider can be attached only to a policy which has been purchased. One cannot purchase just a rider without any policy.

    6. Will I physically have to visit an insurance company to purchase a policy?

      A. No, most insurance companies provide the option of purchasing a life insurance policy online. One can also choose to purchase a policy from our website.

    7. Can I pay premiums online?

      A. Yes, most insurers provide an option of online payment of premiums. These can be paid without any hassle, with no extra charges associated with them.

    8. Can I increase/decrease the sum assured after I have purchased a policy?

      A. No, most insurance companies do not provide an option of modifying the sum assured once the policy is purchased. One can, however, choose riders to enhance the cover.

    9. Can the insurance company reject a claim?

      A. Yes, an insurance company can reject a claim under certain circumstances. This can happen if one provides false information while purchasing the policy, if the premium hasn’t been paid, etc.

    10. I have changed my address. How can I get the insurance company to update this?

      A. One can visit any branch of the insurance company and submit a form with the new address. Alternatively, one can also update this information online, if the insurance company provides a dedicated log-in access for the same.