The different time periods you should know about in insurance

  • Life Insurance


Time plays a crucial role in life insurance in many ways. If you have already purchased a life insurance plan, take a quick look at your policy document. Chances are, you'll find some phrases like 'free look period' or 'grace period.'

It's important to know what these terms mean, so you can be aware of how your policy and its benefits work. It also helps you be aware of when your benefits come into force, and what the effect of your missing a premium payment may be.

So, let's take a closer look at the different time periods that are of great significance in insurance.

Premium payment term (PPT)

The premium payment term is the period over which you need to pay the premiums to your insurance provider. Based on the premium payment term, life insurance plans can be one of three types, as explained below.

  • Regular premium plans:

In these plans, the premium payment term is the same as the policy term.

  • Limited premium plans:

In these plans, the premium payment term is shorter than the policy term.

  • Single premium plans:

In these plans, there is no premium payment term, as such. This is because you need to pay the premium as a one-time lump sum payment.

Free look period

Free look period is a customer friendly feature that all life insurance plans offer. During this period, you can terminate your policy without incurring any penalties like surrender charges. This provision is useful in case you decide that the policy you purchased may not be the right one for you, for various reasons.

If you choose to return your policy, your insurer will refund the premium paid, after deducting the proportionate risk premium, if any.

For example, the ABSLI Assured Savings Plan gives you a free look period of 15 days from the date you receive the policy (or 30 days in case of electronic policies or policies issued under the provisions of IRDAI Guidelines on Distance Marketing2 (1) of Insurance products). You have the right to return your policy during this period in case you aren't satisfied with the terms and conditions.

Waiting period

The waiting period in an insurance plan is the duration after which some or all of the benefits offered by your policy come into effect. In case any of the insured incidents occur before the waiting period is complete, you will not be eligible for the benefits that have not yet come into effect.

A waiting period is a common feature in health insurance plans and health-related life insurance riders.

Take the ABSLI Critical Illness Rider, for instance. It comes with a waiting period of 90 days. This means that all the benefits offered by this rider come into effect 90 days after the policy's effective date. In case you are diagnosed with any of the critical illnesses covered during this period, the benefits will not be paid out.

Deferment period

The deferment period is generally a part of deferred annuity plans. These are retirement plans that also offer the benefit of a life cover. When you buy a retirement plan that offers a deferred annuity benefit, you need to pay your premiums for a specified number of years. After this, the deferment period kicks in. During this period, neither do you have to make any payments to the insurer, nor does the insurer make any annuity payouts. And once the deferment period ends, your annuity payouts begin.

So, the deferment period is the period after which your annuity payouts are made in a deferred annuity plan.

For example, in the case of the ABSLI Guaranteed Annuity Plus, the deferment period ranges from 1 year to 15 years.

Income benefit period

The income benefit period is a characteristic feature in all life insurance plans that offer income benefits. This includes savings plans that offer income payouts as well as retirement plans that offer annuity benefits. As the name indicates, the income benefit period is simply the duration over which the insurer pays you the periodic benefits offered by the plan.

The ABSLI Monthly Income Plan, for example, comes with a premium payment term of 10 or 12 years, a deferment period of 0, 5 or 10 years, and an income benefit period of 10, 15 or 20 years.

Grace period

Missing your premium payments can lead to your policy lapsing. However, in case you forget to make one of your premium payments, your policy will not immediately lapse. Instead, there will be a grace period during which your policy will continue to remain active, and the coverage and the benefits it offers will remain in force.

In case you fail to pay your premiums during the grace period, that's when policy will lapse. Most policies offer a grace period of 30 days. Some policies have a grace period of just 15 days. Remember to read your policy document thoroughly to understand the grace period and other T&C.

Revival period

In case your policy has lapsed, you can still revive the policy and reactivate the full coverage by paying all the outstanding premiums within a specific period. This is known as the revival period, and it commences from the due date of the first unpaid premium.

The revival period varies from one policy to another, based on the terms and conditions of the policy. For instance, if you have purchased the ABSLI Guaranteed Milestone Plan and your policy has lapsed, you can revive it for full coverage within five years from the date the last unpaid premium was due. And you can do this by paying all the outstanding premiums along with the interest due thereon.


Now that you know more about the different time periods that matter in a life insurance policy, you are better positioned to make a more informed decision about buying a life cover. Or, if you already have one, you now know your policy a little better.


When it comes to life insurance, time is undoubtedly of great significance. The fact that your age affects your life insurance premiums is simply proof of this. Wondering how your premiums change with age? We have a blog that gives you all the details.

Read it here


The ABSLI Assured Savings Plan can help you do just this. With guaranteed1 benefits that protect your family from a financial crisis and the benefit of accumulating a lump sum amount over the long term, you can rest assured that your future is taken care of.

Plus, the plan also gives you the option to include your spouse under the same policy. That, and loyalty additions that give a nice boost to your corpus.

Know More

1 Provided all due premiums are paid
2 Distance Marketing includes every activity of solicitation (including lead generation) and sale of insurance products through the following modes: (i) Voice mode, which includes telephone- calling: (ii) Short Messaging services (SMS): (iii) Electronic mode which includes e-mail, internet, and interactive television (DTH): (iv) Physical mode which includes direct postal mail and newspaper & magazine inserts; and (v) Solicitation through any means of communication other than in person
ABSLI Assured Savings Plan (UIN: 109N134V01) is a non-participating traditional insurance plan.
ABSLI Guaranteed Annuity Plus (UIN: 109N132V01) is a Non-Linked, Non-Participating, Single Premium General Annuity Plan
ABSLI Monthly Income Plan (UIN: 109N122V02) is a participating non-linked life insurance plan.
ABSLI Guaranteed Milestone Plan (UIN: 109N106V10) is a non-participating traditional insurance plan.


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ABSLI Life Shield Plan

A term insurance plan that offers you the flexibility of plan options suitable for your family's non- negotiable goals and ensure they need not compromise on their lifestyle. UIN: 109N109V06

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ABSLI DigiShield Plan

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