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A life insurance policy is a cover that pays a sum of money to the family(declared nominee) in case the policyholder passes away in the policy period. This cover comes into effect when all life insurance premiums are timely paid. If you have people in your family that depend on you financially then life insurance is a must-do investment.
Let’s understand life insurance with a simple example:
Here is Manav, a 50-year-old sole breadwinner of a family with a wife and two beautiful kids- one in college and the other in school. Like most Indian families, Manav owns a house on loan, has Rs. 10 lakhs as bank balance and owes a debt of Rs. 5 lakhs. If one unfortunate day Manav passes away, what will happen? His bank balance will be taken by the creditor and the leftover is not enough to repay the house loan. So the house on loan might be taken away as well; this leaves his wife and kids with no shelter and no money to survive. The older kid will be deprived of the required college fund for higher education. Scary situation! But wait! How can Manav avoid all these possible scenarios? Only if Manav buys a life insurance policy.
If Manav buys a life insurance policy, then he will be committed to pay a small portion of his income as a premium to the insurance company. Upon his unfortunate death in the policy term, the insurance company will pay Manav’s family a lump sum amount of money, generally known as a death benefit. This lump-sum of money can be used for paying off the house loan, supporting the kid’s college funds, and the family's expenses. Now Manav’s family is financially protected.
All the “Why”, ”What”, and “How" about Life Insurance
With a life cover from an insurance plan, this problem is easily solved. Why, you ask? Well, that is because in case a policyholder passes away during the tenure of a life insurance plan, the insurer pays out death benefits to the nominees mentioned by the policyholder.
- Term Insurance Plan
A term insurance plan is the simplest kind of life insurance available. This type of plan gives you a life cover for a specific term or period, hence the name 'term plan.' In return for the life cover, you need to pay a premium to the life insurance provider. The unique thing about term plans is that they offer a significantly high life cover for much lower premiums, when compared with other kinds of life insurance plans.
- Savings Plans
Savings plans, also known as endowment plans offer policyholders a life cover for a specified period. They also possess a savings component. Just like with term plans, the policyholder pays the insurer a premium in return for the benefit of a life cover.Savings plans, also known as endowment plans, are just what they sound like. They offer policyholders a life cover for a specified period. And in addition to this, they also possess a savings component. Just like with term plans, the policyholder pays the insurer a premium in return for the benefit of a life cover.
- Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance, as the name implies, is a type of life insurance plan that offers coverage for the whole life of the policyholder. In other words, the life cover offered by a whole life insurance plan is generally valid till the policyholder attains 100 years of age.
- Retirement Plan
A retirement plan is a kind of life insurance policy that helps you take care of your retirement needs. They are also known as pension plans or annuity plans. The retirement benefits offered by the plans can be paid out as a lump sum amount, as periodic payouts, or as a combination of the two.
- Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)
A Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) is a type of life insurance plan that gives policyholders the benefit of insurance as well as market-linked investments. ULIPs invest in a variety of funds like debt funds, equity funds, or even a mix of both. ULIPs have a lock-in period of 5 years, so you can stay invested over the long term and allow your investment to grow.
- Group Life Insurance Plans
Group insurance plans offer the benefit of a life cover to a group of people under one master life insurance plan. One of the most common types of life insurance plans for a group of people is the employer-sponsored insurance that some workplaces offer.
Many people do not get life insurance because they believe this to be very expensive, which is not true. For example, a 30 years healthy non-smoker male can get a ₹1 Crore life insurance coverage for ₹8373 a month.
Apart from securing your family financially, there are some other benefits of life insurance products like:
- An additional source of income to meet financial goals
- Tax exemption2 under Section 80C2 and 10(10D)2.
- Financial security and regular income for post-retirement life
- Financial support for children’s higher education or marriage
- Options to invest grow your money with unit-linked plans
- Options to protect yourself against critical illnesses like cancer
- Peace of mind
If you do not have elderly parents, kids or you are not married and will never get married; simply, if there is nobody that depends on you financially, then life insurance may not be essential for you. Considering retirement plans, saving plans and other wealth creation life insurance products is suggested.
Below is the list of people who need to buy life insurance:
- New families
- Existing families
- People with home loans
- Senior Citizens & retired persons
- Business Owners
- Working Persons for tax saving
- Age: With increasing age, the life insurance premium rises. Because younger individuals generally have low mortality rates and are less likely to die unexpectedly. But with increasing age, the life risk rises with chances of attracting common diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, etc., resulting in a higher premium. So if you are buying life insurance early, then you can access a lower premium.
- Gender: Generally, life insurance premiums for men are higher as compared to women. Because historically, males have shorter life spans than females. For example, if a healthy, non-smoking 30-year-old female buys an ABSLI DigiShield Plan with a life cover of ₹1 Cr for 25 years of term period, the monthly premium will be ₹7293. But if a male same age and habits chooses the exact same plan then he will have to pay a monthly premium of ₹8373.
- Smoking Status: If you have a habit of smoking, then you are putting your life at risk. Mortality increases when people smoke. Hence the life insurance premium is higher for smokers than non-smokers.
- Sum assured: Sum assured is the amount that the insurance company has to pay out to the nominee if the life insured passes away during the policy period. You will get to choose this amount while purchasing the policy. Choosing a higher sum assured will result in higher premium rates.
- Premium payment frequencyYou will get to choose the frequency in which you can make the premium payment while purchasing the policy. Options are: Yearly/ Semi-yearly/ Quarterly/ Monthly. If you choose a yearly payment mode then you can enjoy the cheapest rate. On the other hand, for the monthly payment mode, premium will be on a higher side.
- Policy period:Mortality rate increases with increasing age. The risk of death is higher when the insurance company covers an older policyholder. So the premium rate increases with increasing policy period. Simply put, coverage for 30 years will be costlier than coverage for 20 years.
- Check whether the sum assured or the product you are buying matches your requirements. For example, if you want a low premium product, then the term plan is an apt cover. But if you are looking for long term investment and returns, ULIPs can be the best option.
- Ask for the expert’s advice if you are new to financial planning.
- Check insurer’s claim settlement ratio. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance has a claim settlement ratio of 98.08%1.
- Do not skip any information in the proposal form. Fill it carefully and try not to hide any information because it impacts the coverage.
- Always keep a copy of the completed document, like a proposal form, with you for your future reference.
- Understand the procedure of claim to simplify the processing at the time of need.
For example, if your yearly income is Rs. 12 lakhs, then you must buy life insurance with a sum assured of at least Rs. 1 crore. Considering everyone’s situation is unique, the following are the factors that can help determine the minimum amount of life insurance required.
- Current debt: The outstanding loans and liabilities in your name become a burden to the family in your absence. So you should pick a sum assured that is enough to pay off the debt along with interest in full.
- Expenses of dependents: If you are the sole income provider of your family, then you need to choose an assured sum large enough to cover the minimum monthly expenses of the family. Please consider the inflation and ageing of the dependents in the family while deciding on this.
- Premium paying capacity: Life insurance policy pays out only when the policyholder pays all the premium in time. Otherwise, the policy will lapse, and the investment will go in vain. Against the chosen sum assured, you have to pay the premiums in the chosen interval; please make sure that falls under your premium paying capacity.
- Financial goals: At different stages of life, everyone has different financial requirements. You need to consider your financial goals like children’s education/ marriage, buying a house, medical expenses, retirement, etc., while deciding on the sum assured of the life insurance policy.
You can always use our human life value calculator where you can put your details and check how much life cover you need.
If later you can afford the premium and feel the need to continue the policy after it lapses, there is still an option to revive the policy. For that, you will have to pay all the pending premiums and charges and depending upon the type of policy you own.
After the intimation is given, you should file the following documents with the insurer to lodge a death benefit claim.
- A duly-filled claim form
- A copy of the death certificate
- The original policy document
- Proof of relationship with the deceased
- An executed form of discharge
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Awards and Recognition
1 As per annual audited figures submitted to IRDAI for the period FY 21-22 for individual death claims paid.
2 Tax benefits are subject to changes in the tax laws
3 ABSLI DigiShield Plan (UIN: 109N108V08) scenario: 30 years healthy Male/Female, non smoker, policy term- 25 years, Selected plan option- Level Cover option, Sum assured - ₹1 Cr, Premium Paying Frequency: Monthly, Premium paying Term: Regular Pay, Policy Option: Single life Premium Amount: ₹837/month for Male & ₹729/month for Female (offline premium) (Excluding GST).
ABSLI DigiShield Plan is a non-linked non-participating individual pure risk premium life insurance plan; upon Policyholder’s selection of Plan Option 9 (Level Cover with Survival Benefit) and Plan Option 10 (Return of Premium [ROP]) this product shall be a non-linked non-participating individual life savings insurance plan. All terms and conditions are guaranteed throughout the policy term. GST and any other applicable taxes will be added (extra) to your premium and levied as per extant tax laws. An extra premium may be charged as per our then existing underwriting guidelines for substandard lives, smokers or people having hazardous occupations, etc. The insurance cover for the life insured will commence on the policy issue date. UIN: 109N108V08