Different Types of Life Insurance Policies in India
What life insurance types you can choose from?
- Term Plans
This plan covers for a set period of time. In the event of death or Total and Permanent Disability (if the benefit is offered), family of the insured will be paid the benefit. No benefit is normally payable on surviving the term.
- Whole Life Plans
Guarantees lifelong protection. This insurance pays a death benefit so that a family is protected against financial loss on death of the insured. It is an ideal way of creating an inheritance.
- Endowment Plans
A savings linked insurance policy with a specific maturity date. Should insured's death or disability occur during the period, the Sum Assured is paid to beneficiaries. On insured surviving the term, maturity proceeds on the policy become payable.
- Money-back or cash back Plans
Under this plan, a certain percent of the sum assured is returned to the insured person periodically as survival benefit. On the expiry of the term, the balance amount is paid as maturity value. The life risk may be covered for the full sum assured during the term of the policy, irrespective of the survival benefits paid.
- Child Plans
An insurance policy that secures the life of the parentfor the benefit of the child. This plan enables fund availability for a child's life development milestones. Some insurers waive premiums in case of death of the insured parentduring the term of the policy (if the benefit is offered).
- Annuity (Pension) Plans:
Retirement benefits like Provident Fund and gratuity, which are paid in a lump sum are often spent too quickly or not invested prudently with the result that an employee can be without regular income post-retirement. Pension is therefore an ideal method of retirement provision because the benefit is in the form of regular income.
There are two types of annuities (pension plans):
- Immediate Annuity
The Annuity payment from the Insurance Company starts immediately. Purchase price (premium) for immediate Annuity is to be paid in Iumpsum, in one installment only.
- Deferred Annuity
The annuity applier pays regular contributions to the Insurance Company, till the vesting age/ date. There is an option to pay a single premium. The fund will accumulate with interest and be available on the vesting date. The insurance company will take care of the investment of funds and the policyholder has the option to encash 1/3rd of this corpus fund on the vesting age / date, tax free. The balance 2/3rd of the fund is utilized for purchase of an Annuity (pension) for the Annuitant.
Unit Linked Insurance Policy (ULIP)
These policies offer a combination of investment and protection where the investment risk is borne by the investor. A choice of fundsis provided with the flexibility to switch between them during the policy term.
The value of a ULIP is the prevailing value of units you have invested in the fund, which itself depends on fundperformance. In the event of insured's death or permanent disability, the policy will provide the Sum Assured (to the extent covered) to the insured's family.
A ULIP has degrees of risk and rewards. Various charges are applicable to the premium paid and only the balance premium is invested in the fund/funds chosen. It is important to clarify with your insurer or agent, the exact charges that you have to incur.
It is important to assess your risk appetite and investment horizon before deciding to buy a ULIP policy. You must also read the terms and conditions of the policy carefully to understand the features of the policy including the lock-in period, surrender value, surrender charges etc.
Almost every kind of policy mentioned above can also be offered under ULIP plans.
Questions to ask while buying a ULIP.
- The charges applicable
- Fund options available
- Switching between funds
- Benefits if you: discontinue / surrender / make partial withdrawals