Life Insurance

Life insurance is a contract between an insured and a life insurance company, where the insurance company pays a lump sum amount to the nominee/insured in exchange for the premium after a certain period or upon the death of the insured.

What is Life Insurance Policy?

A life insurance policy is an agreement between an insurance company & a policyholder that offers financial coverage under which the insurance company guarantees to pay a certain amount to the nominated beneficiary in the unfortunate event of the insured person's demise during the term of life insurance plans. In exchange, the policyholder agrees to pay a predefined amount of money as premium either on a regular basis or as a single premium. life insurance

If covered by the policy, coverage will be provided for critical illness as well.

Since it provides enhanced insurance coverage, it attracts an enhanced life insurance premium.

*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C Apply

Best Life Insurance Plans in India 2021

Listed below are the best life insurance policy plans:

Insurance Plan Entry Age (Minimum/Maximum) Policy Term (Minimum/Maximum) Sum Assured (Minimum/Maximum)
Aditya Birla Sun Life Shield Plan 18/65 years 10, 20/30 years Rs.25 lakh/no upper limit
Aegon Life i-Term Plan 18/75 years 5/40 years 10 Lakh/ no upper limit
Aviva Life Shield Advantage Plan 18/55 years 10/30 years Option A - 35 Lakh/ no upper limitOption B- Rs.50 lakh/ no upper limit
Bajaj Allianz i-Secure 18/70 years 10/30 years 20 Lakh/ no upper limit
Bharti AXA Life Premium Protect Plan 18/65 years 10, 15/35 years  25 Lakh/no upper limit
Canara HSBC iSelect + Term Plan 18/65 years 10/30 years Rs.25 lakh/no upper limit
Edelweiss Tokio Life Simply Protect Plan 18/65 years 10/40 years Rs.25 lakh/no upper limit
Exide Life Smart Term Plan 18/65, 60 years 10,12/30 years Rs.5 lakh, 10 lakh/NA
Future Generali Flexi Online Term Insurance 18/55 years 10/75 years Rs.50 lakh/no upper limit
HDFC Click2Protect Plus 18 /65 years 10/30 years 10 Lakh/10 Crores
HDFC Life Sanchay 30/45 years 15/25 years 1,05,673/ no upper limit
ICICI Pru iProtect 20/75 years 10/30 years 3 Lakh/ no upper limit
IDBI Federal Income Protect Plan 25/60 years 10/30 years N/A
India First Life Plan 18/60 years 5/40 years 1 lakh/ Rs.5 crore
Kotak Life Preferred e-Term 18/75 years 10/40 years 25 Lakh/ no upper limit
LIC Jeevan Amar 18/65 years 10/40 years 25 Lakh/ no upper limit
LIC Tech Term 18/65 years 10/50 years 50 Lakh / no upper limit
Max Life Smart Term Plan 18/60 years 10/50 years 25 Lakh/100 Crores
PNB Metlife Mera Term Plan 18/65 years 10/40 years Rs.10 lakh/no upper limit
Pramerica Life U-Protect 18/55 years 10/30 years Rs.25 lakh/no upper limit
Reliance Nippon Life Protection Plus 18/60 years 10/40 years Rs.25 lakh/no upper limit
SBI eShield Plan 18/70 years 5/30 years 20 Lakh/ no upper limit
SBI Shubh Nivesh Plan 18/60 years 5/30 years 75000/ no upper limit
Sahara Shrestha Nivesh Jeevan Bima 9/60 5/10 years Rs.30,000/ Rs.1 crore
Shriram Life Cashback Term Plan 12/50 years 10,15,20 &25 years Rs.2 lakh/Rs.20 lakh
SUD Life Abhay Plan 18/65 years 15, 20/40 years Rs.50 lakh/---
TATA AIA life Insurance Sampoorna Raksha + 18/70, 65 years 10, 15/40 Rs.50 lakh/no upper limit
See More Plans

Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not rate, endorse or recommend any specific insurance provider or insurance product offered by any insurer.

Important Life Insurance Terms You Should Know

To understand life insurance completely it is important to know the basic terminologies that are often used within the plan. Sometimes you might not be aware of some terms and refrain from buying the plan.

Let us help you to understand the given below key important life insurance terms with brief explanations of each:

  • Policyholder

    Anyone who buys the life insurance plan and pays the premium is referred to as the policyholder. An individual might own the policy, however, may or may not be the life assured.

  • Life Assured

    In simple words, the individual who is protected or insured is known as a life assured. In case of demise of the life assured, the beneficiary will receive the insurance sum. For example, when a husband buys the life insurance policy for his wife then he is the policyholder and the wife is the life assured.

  • Nominee

    The person that is nominated by the policyholder is known as a nominee. The nominee will receive the life insurance payouts along with other benefits in case of any eventuality. The nominee is also referred to as the beneficiary. A nominee is declared when the policy is being bought. Generally, the policyholders’ immediate family members such as the spouse, children and parents are declared as a nominee who is directly financially dependent upon you.

  • Policy Tenure

    The duration for, which the life insurance plan provides coverage, is known as the policy tenure sometimes also known as policy term. On the premise of the type of life insurance policy and the terms and conditions of the insurance provider, the life insurance policy tenure differs.

  • Premium

    It is the amount that you will pay to keep the life insurance plan active. In case you are unable to pay the life insurance premium sum either before the due date or under the grace period, then the policy will lapse. The life insurance premium sum depends on factors such as the policy term, the age of the life assured, lifestyle habits, etc.

  • Sum Assured

    It is the guaranteed sum that the beneficiary or the nominee will receive when the life assured has passed away. Most of the times, the choice to arrive at a sum assured is upon the premise of the financial loss that might incur due to the death of the life assured. At the time of buying the life insurance plan, the policyholder chooses this sum, which is then paid to the nominee if the life assured passes away during the policy term.

  • Death Benefit

    The death benefit is the sum that is paid to a nominee when the life assured has passed away during the policy tenure. It is to be noted that sum assured and death benefits are two different terms. This implies that the death benefit could be equivalent or higher than a sum assured as it could involve the rider benefit too.

  • Maturity Benefit

    The sum that is paid to the policyholder when the policy tenure is completed is known as the maturity benefit.

  • Lapsed Policy

    When the policy gets terminated because of non-payment of the premium amount even after the grace period is known as a lapsed policy. There are life insurance companies that offer the facility to revive a lapsed policy only when the outstanding premiums are duly paid by the policyholder.

  • Grace Period

    It is essentially the extension given by the insurance provider to the policyholder after the due date of the premium payment. When the policyholder pays the premium sum then the cover of the plan continues.

  • Revival Period

    When the premiums are not paid during the grace period the policy gets lapsed. In case you wish to continue with the plan then you are provided with an option of re-activating the lapsed plan, however, it should be completed with a certain time frame after the end of the grace period. This is known as the revival period.

  • Free-look Period

    In case you are not comfortable with the terms and conditions of the plan it can be returned within a certain timeframe mentioned in the policy documents. This is known as a free-look period. After deducting stamp duty charges, medical examination, proportionate risk premium, the premium sum will be refunded.

  • Rider

    The riders are additional benefit than enhances the coverage of the plan. These rider benefits are optional and enhance the financial safety to secure the family against any unforeseen event by paying an additional premium sum.

  • Claim Process

    When the life assured passes away during the policy term, the nominee will file a claim to receive the death benefit. This process is known as the claim process.

  • Exclusions

    Certain situations remain uncovered within a life insurance plan. In case the claim is made on such exclusions then no benefit is provided by the insurance company.

Why Do I Need Life Insurance Policy?

A life insurance policy is essentially a financial cover for any contingency that is linked with human life in case of a disability, death, accident, retirement, and so forth. Human life is mostly subject to risks of demise or disability due to an accident or even natural causes. When human life is lost or suffers a disability whether partial, temporary or permanent undoubtedly it is a loss of income to a household specifically if the individual is the sole bread earner.

Of course, the life of a human can merely not be valued; however, a money sum can be determined on the premise of the loss of income in the prospective years. So, in the life insurance, a sum assured that is the sum guaranteed to be paid in case of the loss is by the way of the benefit. The life insurance products offer the definite amount of sum in case of life insured pass away during the policy term or disability on account of a mishap.

Listed below are some of the key reasons that will highlight the need for a life insurance policy:

  • In the event the policyholder passes away, a life insurance plan ensures that the family has financial support.
  • It will help to finance the educational and various other needs of the children.
  • Even after retirement they have a steady flow of income.
  • In case of a critical illness or an accident, life insurance ensures that additional income is there even when the earnings are reduced or exhausted.
  • It provides for various financial contingencies and also the lifestyle requirements.

Henceforth, a life insurance plan is ideal for those who have a family to support and is the breadwinner. The life insurance coverage depends upon various factors such as the number of dependents, investment needs, and so much more. With the evolving time, the life insurance plan is merely not confined to provide protection but also serve the savings and investment needs. As life is full of uncertainties so having a life insurance policy in place will act as the financial hedge and enable you to overcome this insecurity.

How Much Life Insurance Cover Do I Need? 

By now, we all understand that a life insurance plan is important. Now it is time to understand how much life insurance is needed?

The market has many life insurance products such as the term plans , endowment plans, money back plans and ULIPS’. The tax saving instruments is also opulent and people take insurance for Rs 25 lakh, Rs 1 crore and so on. However, simply picking a random figure is not the way to buy a life insurance policy.

Primarily, how much life insurance cover is required depends upon the age of the person, the number of dependents, liabilities, and so forth. Let us just assume that a person falls between the age bracket of 18-24 years of age and is single and unmarried. This means that he does not have many responsibilities. The financial liability could be a loan or his parents depending upon him. Now under such a situation, a small insurance plan would be bought. In case the person has a good source of income, then he could also opt for large cover as the liabilities will increase once married and there will be additional responsibilities upon the shoulders.

Now if a person falls between the age bracket of 24-33 years of age then ideally the person will be married and he also needs to protect the interest of his life partner. Such a person should buy the life insurance plan immediately and not delay any further. The life insurance cover will differ across various stages of life. 

The life insurance cover should be such that it covers all outstanding liabilities provides money to your spouse and covers the expenses of children education, marriage, etc. When you choose the cover do calculate the yearly family expenses and your liabilities as well. Now multiply the sum with the number of years you are looking forward to supporting the family.

The life insurance cover should be enough at any point in time to take care of the family today and tomorrow.

Benefits of Life Insurance Plans

The perks of buying a life insurance policy are beyond protecting the policyholder's family in tough times. Undoubtedly, it is a necessity for a breadwinner to safeguard their dependents in case of their unfortunate and untimely demise, accident or physical disabilities that lead to a loss of income. Having said that, there is a long list of other benefits that make life insurance plans a must-have.

Sadly, most people are not aware of the many benefits offered by a life plan. All they care about are the death and disability benefits. However, there are plenty of other benefits offered by life policies such as maturity benefits, tax benefits etc.

Let's take a look at the benefits offered by life insurance plans:

    • Acts as a Loan Collateral

      Till date, many people don't know that life policies can also be used as loan collateral. Based on the type of the life insurance policy and the surrender value, the policyholder can opt for a loan from a bank or NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) as per applicable terms and conditions.
      Loan Amount: Generally, the loan amount is a percentage of the surrender value of the life policy and it can go up to 90%. There are few companies that only allow for a loan up to 50 percent of the total premium amount paid by the policyholder.

    • Online Payment Discount

      Most individuals are unaware of the online payment benefit (the payment mode chosen by an individual drastically affects the premium of a life insurance policy). As a matter of fact, a life insurance company's administrative costs considerably go down when an individual opts to pay his premiums online.
      This is because there is no paperwork-related cost involved. Also, the life insurer is able to save a significant amount on the commission, which they pay to the agents for offline life insurance buying and renewing.
      Please Note- This discount varies from company to company.

    • Discount as per the Opted Payment Periodicity

      Almost every life insurer offers various payment periodicities to its policyholders- annual, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly mode.
      If a policyholder chooses to pay the policy premium on an annual basis, the company can use it for investment purposes that automatically means more profits and benefits for the company.
      Once a policyholder chooses the payment periodicity, this discount is often already included in the premium rate charged by the life insurer.

    • Taking Care of Business

      There are some life insurers that provide an option for policyholders who own a business. In the case of a policyholder's demise, their business partners can purchase the policyholder’s share without any hassles. In this scenario, the business partner will simply have to sign an agreement with the life insurer and the pay-out received after selling the policyholder's share will be given to their dependents.
      However, it's important to understand that the nominee or the dependents of the policyholder won’t get a stake in the company.

    • Tax Benefits

      For paying a life policy premium, a policyholder is eligible for a tax rebate under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961. Irrespective for oneself, their spouse or their children, the premium paid for parents and in-laws is exempted.
      This benefit is offered by all the life insurers - be it private sector life insurers or public sector life insurers.
      Additionally, the maturity benefit of life policies also qualifies for tax deductions under Section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C Apply

Types of Life Insurance Policies in India

Life Insurance Plans Coverage
Term Plans Pure risk cover
ULIPs Insurance + Investment benefits
Endowment Plans Insurance cover + Savings
Money Back Plans Insurance cover with periodic returns
Whole Life Insurance Plans Coverage for a lifetime
Child Plans To create a corpus for child's education, wedding etc.
Retirement Plans Financial cushion aiding financial independence post retirement.

Here are the details of the aforementioned life insurance plans:

  • Term Insurance Plans

    Term insurance is the most basic form of life coverage. It is affordable life insurance that one can buy easily, without any hassles.
    Simply put, a term insurance plan offers death cover for a stipulated time period. God forbid, in the event of the sudden demise of the insured during the policy tenure, the life insurance provider offers a pre-decided death benefit as a lump sum, as a monthly/ annual pay-out, or as combined benefits to the nominee. The best term plan offers comprehensive coverage at a competitive premium.

  • Unit Linked Insurance Plans

    A unit-linked insurance plan or ULIP is a type of life coverage plan that offers a perfect blend of insurance & investment. It comes with a long-term investment opportunity along with valuable investment flexibility.
    The premium paid towards a ULIP is partly used as a risk-cover for life coverage plan and the remainder is invested in market funds such as debts, equities, bonds, market funds, hybrid funds etc. The selection of the market funds depends purely on the risk appetite of the life insurance buyer. Based on that, the insurer invests the amount in the capital market as per the insured's preference.

  • Endowment Plans

    Endowment plans are also known as traditional life insurance plans. These plans come with an element of saving. As compared to the risk factor of other investment products, the risk involved is lower (so are the returns).
    An endowment policy is a combination of a life coverage plan and savings plan. It invests a particular amount in life coverage and the remaining amount is invested by the provider. In case the policyholder outlives the policy term, the insurance provider offers a maturity benefit to him/her. Furthermore, some insurance endowment policies may offer bonuses on pre-specified periods. If applicable, the bonuses are paid either to the policyholder at the time of policy maturity or to the nominee in case of a death claim.

  • Money Back Plans

    True to its name, this type of life coverage plan offers a stipulated percentage of the assured sum. It is paid back to the policyholder at pre-decided intervals. This payback benefit is known as a survival benefit.
    Money back Policy is the best type of life insurance policy for individuals who want their investments to be accompanied by an element of liquidity. Furthermore, these plans are eligible for bonuses as declared by the provider (if any).

  • Whole Life Insurance Plans

    A whole life insurance plan offers life coverage as long as the insured lives. There are a few providers that offer life coverage up to 100 years of age. Contrary to the coverage offered by term plans, this plan offers extensive life insurance coverage.
    The sum assured is computed when the life coverage plan is purchased and is payable to the nominee after the demise of the insured. Along with the sum assured, bonuses (if any) are also paid to the nominee. It is one of the best life insurance policies that offer coverage up to whole life at low premiums.

  • Whole Life ULIP

    A variant of whole life insurance is available in the market that clubs the benefits of life insurance plans with ULIPs. A whole life ULIP offers extensive coverage along with high returns.
    Please Note- In case the policyholder outlives the 100 years of age, the life insurance provider pays the benefit of matured endowment coverage to the policyholder.

  • Child Plans

    A child plan acts as a tool to generate funds for the policyholder’s child. A child plan helps one build a corpus for their child that can be used for the child’s education and wedding. Generally, child plans either provide benefits as installments on an annual basis or a 1-time payout once the insured child is 18 years of age.
    In an unfortunate event of the untimely demise of the policyholder during the policy term, immediate premium payment is payable by the insurer. In such cases, some life insurance providers waive off future premiums but the plan continues till the opted policy term.

  • Retirement Plans

    A retirement plan, also known as an annuity or pension plan, helps the insured accumulate a corpus for their retirement. Typically, retirement plans provide benefits in the form of installments on an annual basis or a 1-time pay-out once insured is 60 years of age. In case the insured outlives the policy term, the plan offers vesting benefit. In case of the insured's demise, it offers the death benefit to the policy nominee.
    Note- In case of the insured's demise while the policy is active, the life insurer pays a pre-decided amount to insured's nominee.

Comparison of Different Types of Life Insurance Plans in India

Basis Term Policies Whole Life Insurance Policies Endowment Plans Unit Linked Insurance Plans Money Back Plans Pension/Annuity Plan
Overview Term life insurance plans are the simplest form of life coverage. These plans offer protection till the whole of life and may or may not have an investment component. These plans offer protection along with investment components. The returns have some amount of guaranteed component that could be as high as 100% guaranteed returns.. These plans offer market linked returns along with protection components. The investment returns completely depend on the performance of the fund and are not guaranteed by the insurer. These plans offer protection along with investment components. The returns could be in the form of an income for a fixed period of years. These plans offer income till a person survives. Some plans also have a return of purchase price on death.
Policy Term* Usually range from 5 years to 50 years This policy covers the whole life of life insured. Generally, ranges between 10 years to 35 years. Term ranges from 10 years to 20 years. Generally, it can be up to 25 years. No fixed term.
Maturity Benefits You are not paid any maturity benefit on the survival. You are paid the maturity benefits while you reach a certain age (maybe between 80 to 100 years). You will be paid the maturity benefits if you survive the policy term. You can avail the maturity benefits on your survival at the end of the policy term. You are offered the survival benefits on the maturity of your policy. No maturity benefit is offered. You are entitled to a regular income till you survive.
Death Benefits In case of your demise, while the life insurance policy is active, the sum assured is paid to the beneficiary. In case of your demise, while the life insurance policy is active, the sum assured is paid to the beneficiary. The death benefit is paid to the beneficiary upon demise of the life insured. The death benefit is paid to the beneficiary in case of life insured’s demise while the policy is active. The death benefit is paid to the beneficiary in case of the life insured’s demise while the policy is still active. A few plans provide a provision to return the amount invested in case of life insured’s demise.
Ideal for These plans are ideal for individuals who are seeking to safeguard the financial interest of their loved ones without paying excessive premiums. The whole life insurance plans are ideal for individuals who wish to safeguard the financial interest of their loved ones and want to leave a legacy amount These plans are perfect for individuals who want financial protection along with guaranteed returns from investment. This is a best-suited plan for individuals with a medium-term investment goal to expand their portfolio. Moreover, it is an ideal plan for people with high income and good investment sense. The individuals are looking for securing their life and wanting to earn money at a regular interval of time. Best-suited for individuals seeking protection plus investment benefit. This scheme is an ideal option for individuals who want to secure their retirement by getting a source of regular income after retirement.

What is a Life Insurance Premium?

A life insurance premium is a payment that is to be paid to enjoy the life insurance benefits. The life insurance premium is paid annually; however, the mode of premium payment can be selected from monthly or half-yearly also. This premium also helps to grow the cash value of life insurance.

The insurance company determines the premium payable by the policyholder to the insurance company. Having said that, the life insurance buyer gets to select the term of the policy and the sum assured.

In order to calculate the sum assured of a life insurance policy, the insurer takes various factors such as your lifestyle, occupation, number of dependents, finances, sum assured etc. into consideration.

Note- There is no premium calculator that can calculate the worth of human life.

Document Required for Buying Life Insurance Policy

At the time of applying for a policy, the life insurer will ask for the below-mentioned KYC documents:

  • Income Certificate

    This is necessary to estimate the sum assured or cover that would be offered to the insured. In most of the cases, the life insurers offer a cover up to 20 times the proposer's annual income. The standard income proofs include:

    • Salary slips of last 3 to 6 months (depending on the insurer)
    • Income Tax Returns (ITR) of the last 2 to 3 years
    • Last 6 months bank statements with continuous entries of 3 months credited salary
    • If the person is self-employed then a certificate issued by CA.
    • Latest Form 16
  • Address Proof

    Insurance companies would ask for address details of the applicant. The following documents can be used as address proof:

    • Voter ID card
    • Aadhaar Card
    • Saving account bank statement
    • Passbook with latest 6 months entries
    • Latest 3 months Credit Card Statement
    • Driving License
    • 3 months Utility Bills
    • Passport
    • Ration Card
  • Identity Proof

    One can provide the following documents as ID proof:

    • Passport
    • PAN Card
    • Aadhaar Card
    • Voter Id card
  • Age Proof

    Some of the aforementioned documents would be considered as age proof as well. However, below is a comprehensive list of documents that can be used as age proof:

    • PAN Card
    • Aadhaar Card
    • Voter Id card
    • Driving License
    • Passport
    • Ration card
    • Marriage certificate
    • School/College leaving certificate
    • Birth certificate
  • Other Documents

    Apart from the KYC documents, here are some other documents that an applicant would have to submit at the time of buying life insurance coverage:

    • Insurance application or proposal form.
    • Policy declaration, which is necessary if someone other than the insured has filled the policy proposal form.
    • A final declaration stating that all the provided information is true and that if anything is found untrue, the insurer has the right to reject the application. Subsequently, the contract would be rendered as null and void and the premium paid would be surrendered. Thus, once declared by the proposer, the entire process is completed with utmost faith.
    • In case the policy is required to be registered under the Married Women's Property Act, a separate form needs to be filled and submitted to the insurer, mentioning the nominee.
    • Policy proposal also includes a personal statement, which is attached to the declaration form. Any incorrect statement may lead to rejection of the application.

How to Choose the Best Life Insurance Policy?

There are different plans offered by the life insurance companies in India. It sometimes becomes a task to select the best life insurance plan from various options and avail the same at best coverage and a pocket-friendly premium.

Listed below are some key pointers that will help you choose the best life insurance policy:

  • The Reputation of the Provider: Today the market is flooded with insurance companies providing different life insurance plans. This means that the insurance sector somewhat also has providers that are not up to the mark or are new in the business. Therefore, go with the life insurance company, which is renowned and has earned goodwill in the market and most importantly fulfil your insurance requirements
  • Claim Settlement Ratio: The intent to buy the life insurance policy is to obtain a claim at the time of need. But what if the filed claim goes nowhere? So before you select the insurance company make sure that you check the claims settlement ratio of the company. This essentially gives you a better idea of the number of claims received and settled by the company in a year. The life insurance company with the highest number claim ratio is the safest bet.
  • Evaluation of Sum Assured: Before you initiate knocking on the doors of the insurance companies it is advisable to calculate the expected assured sum. Besides, it will also get you an insight into the premium calculation that is done by the insurance companies. To know which company is suitable for you, combine both the factors and you will have your answer and make the informed decision.
  • Customer Reviews: Last and not least. Make it a habit of reading the customer reviews online. Today you can easily buy a life insurance policy online. Reading those reviews will help you to make a wise decision. Moreover, in case of any question, dilemma or clarification required simply get in touch with the customer support of the insurance company. This will also help you to understand the efficiency of a certain company in dealing with the customer.

Which is the Best Life Insurance Plan?

Availing the best life insurance policy ensures that your family members can enjoy and maintain their lifestyle in case of any emergency. To select the best life insurance policy takes a look at the following significant benefits offered within the insurance plan and make the choice accordingly

  • Comprehensive Plans: The life insurance plan not only is financial support but also is a long-term investment alternative. There are traditional life insurance plans such as the conventional endowment plan that offers certain maturity benefits through multiple options of the product like money-back, maturity values, cash values, and so forth.
  • Guaranteed Annuity: A life insurance plan also lets you save for your retirement wherein you can save money over a period. The best life insurance plan will enable in supplying steady profits when you retire.
  • Insurance with Savings: With a life insurance plan in place, you need to make a set of payments of the premiums periodically. This helps the policyholder to inculcate the habit of financial savings. This enables you to build a wealth corpus and meet the necessities at unique existence levels.
  • The Facility of Loan: The life insurance plans also offer the facility of loans towards the insurance coverage that would help to meet the unexpected requirement expenses and not hampering the benefits offered within the purchased plan.
  • Tax Benefits: The life insurance plans also offer tax benefits that will help you to save money. Most of the life insurance plans offer the tax benefit deduction upon premium payment and provide tax-exempted sum assured within Section 80C and Section 10 (10D)

How to File a Life Insurance Claim?

Filing a claim and getting the assured amount can be a cakewalk if all the necessary steps are taken care of. It is important to have the right approach to file a claim. Here's how nominees of the policyholder or policyholder can file a claim in India under the following scenarios:

  • Upon the demise of the policyholder
  • Upon maturity of the policy
  • How to File a Claim In Case of Death?

    Inform the Insurance Company: Contact the insurer as soon as possible on their toll-free number or inform them over email. It is always preferable to inform the insurer directly over a call to initiate the process.
    Share Important Details: The beneficiary or the claimant while lodging a claim with the life insurer needs to share all the important details like:

    • Policy Number
    • Name of the policyholder
    • Place of death
    • Name of the claimant

    If the life insurance policy has been purchased offline, then the insurer would have provided a claim intimation form at the time of the policy purchase.
    If it is an online life insurance policy, it is simple to apply for the claim settlement through claim form online.
    Claim Processing: In case of accidental or natural death, the beneficiary or the nominee needs to submit all the supporting documents to the life insurer as a part of the claim process.
    The claim support team will verify the insurance documents and claim declaration. In some cases, they might ask the beneficiary to submit a few other documents.

    Documents to be submitted

    • Original copy of the life insurance policy
    • Duly filled claim form
    • Death certificate of the policyholder
    • Deeds of assignment, if any.
    • Discharge form signed by the witnesses.
    • Supplementary documents like post-mortem reports, hospital certificate, and doctor’s certificate (if required).
    • The investigation report in case of police inquiries.

    Note- If someone other than the nominee files the claim, the insurance company can ask for the legal title of succession.
    Approval and Pay-out

    • Once all the documents have been submitted, and the life insurer has verified it, the claim will be settled by the insurer.
    • The life insurer can ask for the beneficiary's bank details - a canceled cheque or a copy of the bank account passbook, which must be attested by the bank authorities.
    • For nominee's identity proof, a copy of passport, voter identity card, PAN card, Aadhaar card etc. needs to be submitted.
    • Generally, the claim settlement process takes 30 days. Once approved, the insurer may immediately make the payout.
    • Some insurers make the payments through the Electronic Clearance Service or ECS, which is an alternative method to make bulk payments.

    Aforementioned are the basic set of documents that are required to process a claim.
    Here are a few other documents that the insurer can ask for (if need be) -

    • Employer's certificate
    • Some other forms or reports to support the verification
  • How to file a Claim for Maturity?

    If the insured outlives the policy term, he/she will be eligible to avail policy maturity benefits. However, the insured must make sure the policy is ongoing and that all the premiums have been duly paid.
    Here is a simple process to file a maturity claim with minimal paperwork.
    When the policy is about to mature, the life insurer generally intimates the policyholder at least 1-2 months in advance. All the details regarding the maturity date, maturity amount, and discharge voucher are provided to the insured.
    The discharge voucher (similar to a receipt) has to be signed by the policyholder in the presence of the witnesses. The voucher is then sent back to the insurer along with the original policy bond, on the basis of which the policy maturity benefits are provided.
    In case the policyholder has nominated another individual or entity for the life insurance policy, then the nominee must sign the discharge voucher to the insurer, in order to receive the claim amount.
    Points to Remember

    • This process is applicable only to the life plans eligible for maturity benefits like additional bonus, survival benefits, etc.
    • In the event of the demise of the policyholder after the date of policy maturity, but during the policy discharge procedures, it will be considered as a maturity claim. And the claim amount will be paid out to the nominees of the deceased policyholder.
    • At the time of buying a new life plan, the applicant must mention the details of previously purchased policy (if any). The insurance provider must be aware of the existing policy. Additionally, it can help the insurance seeker choose the right policy as per his/her needs. Otherwise, misrepresentation can be a reason for the rejection of a death claim.

Life Insurance Riders & Their Importance

What are Life Insurance Riders?

These riders offer add-on benefits offered by the insurers that help to enhance the base life insurance coverage. However, without knowing the types of riders available in the market, one shouldn't randomly opt for the same just for the sake of increasing the cover amount of the life plan.

Choosing the right life insurance rider is as crucial as buying a life insurance plan. After all, no one wants to regret an insurance decision. That's why one must take time and expert's advice before opting for a life insurance rider.

Types of Life Insurance Riders

Here are some of the rider options available for policyholders:

  • Critical Illness Rider

    This rider benefit covers major critical ailments like cancer, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, coma, paralysis, etc. As the coverage may differ from insurer to insurer, it is important to check the list of illnesses covered by the company.
    The life insurer offers the rider benefits upon the diagnosis of the covered critical illness. Though many of the above listed critical illnesses may not cause immediate death, the treatment could cost a bomb. Under this rider, the insured can use the sum assured to pay for the treatment expenses. The only condition is that the policyholder will have to survive the waiting period.
    As no one can ensure 100 percent guarantee against a critical illness, this rider can be opted by:

    • Top-level officers working under extreme work stress
    • Chain-smokers
    • Someone leading an unhealthy lifestyle
  • Waiver of Premium Rider

    If the insured is unable to pay the premium due to any disability that leaves him/her with no income, the life insurance policy will be terminated. In such cases, the insured wouldn't be offered any compensation. In such a situation, how will their family manage their finances without a regular source of income?
    In such a situation, waiver of premium rider acts as life savior, as all the future premiums of the life insurance policy will be waived off and the policy will remain in force.
    In case the premiums are not paid due to the death or accidental disability of the policyholder, the premium for the base policy and riders will be waived off and the policy will continue.
    While this rider can be opted along with critical illness and accidental total and permanent disability rider, the insured can opt for it separately. As uncertainties can't be predicted, one should consider buying this life insurance rider if they are a daily commuter or work on on-site civil work that involves physical work.

  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider

    With this rider, in case of the accidental death of the insured, the nominee will receive the basic sum assured amount along with the additional accidental death benefit. In many cases, the policyholder doesn’t pass away on-the-spot, so most of the insurance companies set a time period after the incident to extend the offered coverage.
    Let’s say, if the policyholder passes away after 100 days of the accident, the nominee will still receive the sum assured. That's why it is imperative to check the life insurance policy clause carefully at the time of opting for a rider.
    As accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, everyone should ensure the financial future of their family. While anybody can opt for this rider, it is a must-buy for those who:

    • Commute and travel by car, bike, public or commercial vehicles, on a daily basis.
    • Frequently go on business trips or if the job involves physical work in a factory or on-site civil work.
  • Accidental Total and Permanent Disability Rider

    Due to total temporary or permanent disability in case of an accident, if the insured is unable to earn a daily income, this rider provides financial assistance to their family in the form of a monthly income. The rider benefit may vary plan to plan and it is offered for a pre-decided time period.
    For instance, some companies offer rider benefits for 5 years to 10 years from the occurrence of the accident. In case of the death of the insured during the policy term, the beneficiary would receive the outstanding sum assured amount.
    This rider is important to buy for the individuals who:

    • Commute and travel on a daily basis by bike, car, public transport, train, or commercial vehicle.
    • Do physical work in on-site civil work or factories or travel frequently for business.
    • Term Rider: This rider offers a monthly income or lump sum to the beneficiary in the event of the premature death of the insured. The term rider offers extra coverage for death in addition to the base sum assured which is pre-determined by the insurer.
    • Hospital Cash Rider: Under this rider, a fixed amount is paid in case of emergency/planned hospitalization. The benefit amount, terms and conditions, and sum assured may vary from insurer to insurer. This rider benefit offered by life insurers for those policyholders who want coverage for expenses related to emergency hospitalization.
    • Surgical Care Rider: Under this rider, a lump sum amount is paid if the insured undergoes an unavoidable surgery in India. However, the rider benefit may vary plan to plan or severity of the surgery. This rider benefit can be opted by anyone who wants to cover the expenses for surgery in case of any eventualities. This helps in avoiding any out-of-pocket expenses that may burn a hole in one's pocket.

Claim Settlement Ratio of Life Insurance Companies

Insurer Death Claims Received Death Claims Paid Claims Rejected/Repudiated Claim Pending Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR in %age)
Aditya Birla Sunlife 5,260 5,110 0 24 97.15%
Aegon Life 507 489 0 0 96.45%
Aviva 938 901 15 2 96.06%
Bajaj Allianz 12,767 12,130 153 3 95.01%
Bharti AXA 1065 1036 0 7 97.28%
Canara HSBC Oriental 1006 946 0 1 94.04%
Edelweiss Tokio 239 229 0 0 95.82%
Exide Life 3,335 3,236 0 0 97.03%
Future Generali India 1,157 1,101 4 8 95.16%
HDFC Standard Life 12,946 12,822 23 34 99.04%
ICICI Prudential 10,826 10,672 0 21 98.58%
IDBI Federal 1,306 1251 0 8 95.79%
India First 2,242 2,081 8 9 92.82%
Kotak Mahindra 3,038 2,959 0 12 97.40%
LIC 7,50,381 7,34,328 3442 791 97.79%
Max Life 15,085 14,897 0 3 98.74%
PNB Metlife India 4170 4,012 0 0 96.21%
Pramerica 656 635 0 2 96.80%
Reliance Nippon 8,371 8,179 0 4 97.71%
Sahara Life 681 614 12 16 90.16%
SBI Life 19,902 18,913 0 28 95.03%
Shriram Life 2,830 2,414 43 39 85.30%
Star Union Daichi 1,258 1,217 1 5 96.74%
Tata AIA 2,700 2,675 0 0 99.07%

Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not rate, endorse or recommend any specific insurance provider or insurance product offered by any insurer.



  • IRDAI Pushes the Deadline to Pay Life Insurance Premium by 30 Days

    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has given a grace period of 30 days to life insurance policyholders if their renewal date falls this month. A similar grant was provided for life insurance policies due for premium in March.

    This additional grace period has been granted to ensure that the insured people can continue their policies without paying any extra premium for the delay amid the lockdown. As per the IRDAI Circular, this grace period for life insurance plans with due premium in March and April 2020 will be for 30 days. However, it was not mentioned if it applies to all the insures or policies regardless of the premium payment frequency.

    The Insurance Regulator also instructed to life insurance providers in India that they may provide settlement options for Unit Linked Policies' maturity pay-outs. Settlement options refer to the facility to avail maturity pay-outs in installments.

    The Circular mentioned that the ULIP linked plans where fund value and maturity amount is to be paid in a lump sum, the insurer may provide the settlement option to the policyholder. This is a one time option irrespective such an option exists in the product or not. And while doing so the insurance company shall explain the customers the possible downside to it and the risk involved due to NAV fluctuations and should be done with the consent of the policyholder. This is valid for Unit linked plans that have a maturity date on or before May 31, 2020.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 07 January 2021
Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.
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4.5 / 5 (Based on 350 Reviews)
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