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Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance provides coverage throughout the life of the life assured. This insurance plan protects you and your family by providing a life cover for up to 99/100 years. This can help secure the financial interests of your loved ones in your absence. In addition to paying a tax-free death benefit, the whole life policy contains a component of savings in which cash value may be accrued.

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What is a Whole Life Insurance Plan?

A whole Life policy is a type of life insurance that offers coverage for the entire lifetime of the policyholder, i.e. for 99 or 100 years. It guarantees a death benefit to be paid to the nominees/beneficiaries upon the policyholder's death. This type of insurance offers lifelong protection and a savings element, making it suitable for long-term financial planning.

Note: Whole life insurance plans are different from term insurance plans, which only provide coverage for certain years, rather than whole life. Term life insurance plans don't have a cash savings component and pay out only a death benefit. 

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What Are the Best Whole Life Insurance Policies in India 2024?

Here is a list of the best 4 whole life insurance plans in India in 2024:

Best Whole Life Insurance Plans Entry Age (Minimum to Maximum) Maturity Age Policy Term Sum Assured
Tata AIA Sampoorna Raksha Supreme 18 - 60 years 100 years 10 - 67 years 50 Lacs - 20 Crores
ICICI Pru iProtect Smart 18 - 65 years 99 years 5 - 81 years 50 Lacs - 20 Crores
Canara HSBC Young Term Plan 18 - 45 years 99 years 10 - 81 years 25 Lacs - 20 Crores
Edelweiss Tokio Life Zindagi Protect 18 - 65 years 100 years 5 - (100 - entry age) years 50 Lacs - No Limit

Disclaimer: “Policybazaar does not endorse, rate, or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.”

  1. Tata AIA Sampoorna Raksha Supreme

    • You can choose from among 4 Death Benefit options:

      • Life Option

      • Life Plus Option

      • Life Income

      • Credit Protect

    • You can choose Whole Life coverage (up to age 100)

    • You can add to your Sum Assured through top-ups

    • You can receive 50% of the Basic Sum Assured in case of a Terminal illness diagnosis with the inbuilt Payor Accelerator benefit

    • You can get Income payouts starting at age 55, 60, or 65 for a secure future

    • You can access medical second opinions, medical consultations, and personal medical case management

    • You can customize your Policy Term and Premium Paying Term to your needs

    • You can enjoy lower premium rates for females

    • Get tax benefits under applicable sections of ITA, 1961

  2. ICICI Prudential iProtect Smart

    • You can choose to pay the premiums all at once, for limited premiums, or regular policy term

    • Select the payout to be made in a lump sum, monthly income for 10 years, or a combination of both

    • The plan offers accidental death benefits or accelerated critical illness benefits as additional riders

    • You can get comprehensive coverage against death, terminal illness, and disability 

    • Get tax benefits as per the prevailing tax laws u/s 80C and 10(10D)

  3. Canara HSBC Young Term Plan

    • The plan offers two options: Level and Increasing term plans

    • The plan offers various add-on riders that you can add to the base plan at nominal premiums

    • With the plan’s special exit benefit, you can exit the plan early and receive all the premiums paid until that point

    • You can choose for the death benefit to be paid in a lump sum, monthly income, or a combination of both

    • The plan offers a block your premium benefit through which you can fix your premiums at policy inception and increase the sum assured in the next 5 years

  4. Edelweiss Tokio Life Zindagi Protect

    • You can choose from the Life cover option or the Return of Premium options

    • The plan provides a 6% discount on the first-year premiums if the medical test is completed within 7 days of policy initiation

    • You can skip premium payments upto 8 times depending on your premium payment term, with the plan’s Premium Break benefit

    • The plan offers the Child Future Protect Benefit, through which you can increase your life cover till your child turns 25 years old

    • You can cover your spouse within the same plan with the Better Half Benefit

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

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How Does Whole Life Insurance Work?

Let us understand how whole life insurance example works:

Neeraj, a 32 year old non-smoking male, bought a term insurance plan from Policybazaar to financially secure his loved ones. He earns Rs. 12 Lakhs per year and hence, chose a life cover of Rs. 1 Crore for a policy term of 99 years. He now pays a monthly premium of Rs. 2,190 and will continue to pay it till 99 years of age or until he eventually dies during the policy term. This will ensure that he has secured his loved ones for a longer period of time.

Term Life vs Whole Life Term Life vs Whole Life

What Are The Types Of Whole Life Insurance Plans?

A whole life policy protects the life assured against death, whenever it may happen. It means that there is no fixed term under whole life insurance. Most policies provide a dividend to the policyholder, which helps with retirement. These life policies provide insurance until the death of the assured. Whole life policies are classified into.

  1. Limited Payment Whole Life Policy

    Under this option, if you choose a limited payment whole life insurance plan, you are required to pay the plan premium for a limited time during the policy tenure. In most cases, you can pay the amount for the first 10/20 years and continue to get covered for 99 years. The premium rates for these plans are slightly higher but the total savings on premium amounts would be higher than a regular life insurance plan payment. 

  2. Single Premium Whole Life Insurance

    Under this plan option, the entire premium of the policy is paid in one go or as a lump sum payment at the time of policy purchase. Since the premium is paid all at once, no other premium payments have to be made throughout the policy tenure.

  3. Joint Whole Life Insurance 

    A joint whole life policy provides coverage to two individuals instead of one. The premium amount is paid for both the plan owners, and the sum assured amount is provided for both lives. The payout from life insurance plans are right for couples who are planning to save for the financial requirements of their children in case of their absence. 

  4. Modified Whole life insurance 

    If you choose a modified whole life policy, you pay different amounts at varying intervals of the policy tenure. In this, the premium rate is comparatively lower at the inception of the term and increases gradually with time. However, regardless of the premium rate, the plan’s insurance coverage and the benefits remain the same for the whole term.

  5. Variable Whole Life Insurance 

    A variable whole life policy offers life coverage for the whole policy term, ensuring your family members against any financial uncertainty in case of your absence. In addition to this, this plan also helps in meeting your investment objectives by investing your money.

What Are The Differences Between Term Life Insurance And Whole Life Insurance?

Let us briefly understand the difference between a whole life policy and a term insurance policy.

Parameters Whole Life Insurance Policy Term Insurance Policy
Policy Term The whole life policy offers policy cover till 99/100 years of age i.e., for the policyholder’s whole life Term plans provide coverage for a limited period i.e., ‘term’ which is usually between 5 to 40 years 
Coverage The plan offers a chance to create wealth to fulfill future goals The plan only offers death benefits on the unfortunate death during the policy term
Premium Rates Since the policy provides cover for a longer term, the premiums are higher than a regular term plan These plans offer the most affordable premium rates of any life insurance plan
Maturity Benefit These plans provide a maturity benefit in case the policyholder outlives the policy tenure Term plans don’t offer any maturity benefit unless you have chosen the TROP plans
Loan Benefit You can avail of a loan against the cash value in whole life policy Since there is no cash value in term insurance, you cannot avail of any loan under these plans
Additional Bonuses In case you have opted for a participating whole life policy, the accrued bonuses will be paid along with the benefit payout There are no bonuses offered under term insurance plans
Who Should Buy? You can buy a whole life policy if you have financial dependents who may remain dependent for your whole life, like your dependent spouse or child with special needs. You should buy term plan if you have dependents who might not be financially dependent on you anymore in a few years. For eg: for children

What Are The Features and Benefits Of Whole Life Policy?

Let us see the features and benefits of whole life insurance that you should know before buying the best plan in India.

  1. Whole Life Coverage

    These plans provide coverage against death for the policyholder’s whole life i.e., till 99 or 100 years of age. This guaranteed life cover (sum assured) is paid to the nominee of the policy during the policy term in case of the policyholder’s death.

  2. Death Benefit

    In the event of the unfortunate demise of the life assured during the tenure of the policy, the death benefit is paid to the nominee. The death benefit is paid as a total sum assured amount to the beneficiary/nominee of the policy by the insurance company, provided all the premiums are duly paid. This benefit amount will be paid along with the accrued bonuses (if applicable).

  3. Fixed Premium

    The premium rate of a whole life insurance plan is fixed and does not increase or decrease throughout the term period of the policy. So, suppose the policyholder has to pay a premium of Rs. 2,168 per month for a specific policy. In that case, he/she will continue to pay the same premium regularly for the entire premium payment term.

  4. Protection for Life

    Whole life insurance is designed to provide life protection to the family of the assured during the policy term. It is done in the form of payment of a guaranteed sum assured along with bonuses, if any, in the case of the policyholder’s unfortunate demise.

  5. Tax Benefits

    The life assured can avail of tax exemption as per the prevailing tax laws under section 80C on the premium paid towards the whole life insurance policy. Moreover, the maturity claims are also tax exempted under section 10(10D) of ITA 1961.

  6. Offers Loan Facility

    As whole life insurance provides protection up to 100 years of age, the policyholder can opt for a loan facility against the plan in times of emergency. However, the loan can only be availed if the policy has completed 3 policy years if all the premiums of the policy are duly paid.

  7. Family Support

    Further, the spouse's policy will work as a financial backup for the children and the grandchildren after the policyholder's demise. Thus, whole life insurance is a great insurance solution for wealth creation and future planning so that one can provide financial security and a good lifestyle to their family.

Who Should Buy Whole Life Insurance Plan?

Whole life policy offers coverage for a longer term than a regular term plan and secures the nominee in the event of the policyholder’s unfortunate absence. Salaried individuals should plan to provide financial security to their loved ones and family.

  • Individuals who want to create a financial cushion for their future generations.

  • Individuals who want to secure their family financially and want to create a corpus in the long run.

  • Individuals who want to accumulate wealth for retirement should consider buying this life insurance policy.

  • Individuals who want to save on their yearly taxes.

What Are The Whole Life Insurance Riders? 

Listed below are some of the rider options available within the whole life policy:

  1. Waiver of Premium Rider:

    Within this rider, if the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical illness or is permanently disabled due to an accident, the future whole life policy premiums will be waived off and the policy will remain active until the policy term ends.

  2. Accidental Death Benefit Rider:

    Under this rider, the insurer will pay the additional rider sum assured to the nominee in case of the policyholder’s accidental death during the policy term. This payout can help the family take care of their monthly expenses and other financial obligations.

  3. Accidental Total Permanent Disability Rider:

    In case of total or permanent disability caused due to an accident, this rider will provide the rider sum assured to the policyholder. This payout can be used to pay any of the medical costs required for the suitable treatment of the disability.

  4. Critical Illness Rider:

    On the diagnosis of a critical illness during the policy term, this rider can help take care of the medical expenses that might incur due to any critical illness that is included in the plan, including life-threatening illnesses like an organ transplant, any severe heart ailment, etc. These diseases could lead to a temporary or even a permanent loss of regular income, and the rider sum assured can help take care of these expenses in a time of financial crisis.

  5. HospiCare Benefit Rider:

    Under this rider, if the policyholder is hospitalized in general or in the ICU ward, a fixed percentage of the basic sum assured is paid to help the policyholder take care of the medical bills and treatment costs.

  6. Terminal Illness Benefit:

    With this rider, the insurer will payout the entire or a part of the sum assured in case the policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness during the policy term. In case the rider pays a part of the sum assured at terminal illness, the remaining part will be paid to the nominee at the policyholder’s unfortunate demise.

    *Note: Quickly know the terminal illness meaning before you add the rider in your base term plan.

How To Buy Whole Life Insurance Plan From Policybazaar?

Here are the steps to buy whole life plan from Policybazaar:

Step 1: Visit the official Policybazaar website and go to the Term Insurance section.

Step 2: Provide your name, contact details, gender, and date of birth.

Step 3: Select 99/100 years as your maturity age or click on ‘Switch to whole life’

Step 4: Enter the information about your occupation type, annual income, educational qualifications, and smoking/tobacco consumption habits.

Step 5: Choose the best whole life policy from them and pay using your preferred mode to complete the process.

Step 6: Pay using your preferred mode to complete the process.

What Are The Factors To Consider When Selecting A Whole Life Insurance Plan?

Here is a list of factors you should consider while selecting the best whole life policy for yourself:

  • Adequate Life Cover: You should always assess your life cover by taking your family’s requirements into account. Since this amount will be paid to your family in the event of your unfortunate death, the life cover should be enough to cover your family’s financial obligations. The payout can be used by your family to fund your child’s higher education or future wedding or can be used to secure your spouse's life post-retirement.

  • Potential Inflation: Since whole life policy provides policy cover for the whole life, you should take the rising costs and inflation into account while selecting a life cover amount for your family. For example, a cover of Rs. 1 Crore might be enough to cover your family’s needs today, but the amount might lose its value in the next 40 years.

  • Early Investment: The premium rate for whole life policy depends on the age of the policyholder at the time of policy purchase. Since the premium rates are low for young individuals, therefore you should always try buying a whole life policy as early as possible to secure a large life cover for your family at low premiums.

  • Select Suitable Add-ons: You should always go through the list of available add-on benefits in the whole life insurance plan. You can include these riders in the base plan to enhance its coverage. 

  • Choose the Right Insurer: The Indian regulatory body, IRDAI releases its annual report mentioning the CSR of each insurer for every financial year. CSR is the ratio of the number of claims received to the number of claims settled by a company in a financial year. You should compare the CSR values of insurance companies online and go with an insurer with a high CSR value. This ensures that your family’s claim will be settled in your absence.

  • Read the Policy Documents: You should always go through the policy documents to understand the details, inclusions, and exclusions of the whole life policy. This avoids any future confusion during claim settlements.


  • Q: Who needs whole life insurance?

    Ans: Whole life policy works for individuals who want long-term protection and can afford to pay high premium rates. For example, parents make sure their children fund education, etc.
  • Q: What is a whole life policy in insurance?

    Ans: A whole life insurance plan is a type of permanent life insurance, which simply means the life assured is covered for the whole life as long as the premiums are paid on time.
  • Q: What is an example of a whole life insurance policy?

    Ans: The whole life insurance example, if a 30-year-old buys a whole life policy, he will receive a lump sum payout at 45 years of age, i.e., the age at which his 20-year premium payment term will expire. Then, he can use this amount for his retirement, and his cover will continue till he reaches 100 years or till his death date.
  • Q: Is a whole life insurance plan a good investment?

    Ans: Yes, a whole life insurance policy is a good investment option if one wants to leave a corpus for the family. This life insurance plan covers the life assured until the insured passes away or is alive up to 100 years of age.
  • Q: Is buying a whole life insurance plan costly?

    Ans: The premium rate for whole life insurance is slightly more than a regular term or life insurance policy. This is because a whole-life policy covers the policyholder’s whole life. The key advantage of buying the policy is creating a wealth corpus for the family at an affordable price.
  • Q: At what age should I buy a whole life insurance plan?

    Ans: Anyone who is financially independent and is between 18 to 65 years of age can buy a whole-life policy. However, it is advised to check the entry age for different insurance companies as it may vary from one insurer to the other.
  • Q: Which is a better whole life insurance plan or a term life insurance plan?

    Ans: Both a term insurance plan and a whole life policy have their set of advantages. You should assess your lifelong goals and requirements before choosing the most suitable option.
  • Q: What are the 4 types of whole life policies?

    • Limited payment whole life policy
    • Modified whole life insurance
    • Single premium whole life policy
    • Variable whole life insurance
  • Q: What is an example of a whole life insurance plan?

    Ans: Let’s take a whole life insurance example: If a 25-year-old male buys whole life insurance. A lump sum amount is paid to him at 45 years, the age at which his 20-year premium payment tenure will expire. Then, he can use that amount for his retirement and also his cover will continue till he reaches 100 years or till the date of his death.
  • Q: Should I buy a whole life insurance policy for my child?

    Ans: The main reason for buying a whole life insurance plan is to secure the financial future of your loved one in your absence. This is done by providing your nominee with the death benefit in case of your unfortunate death during the policy term. Therefore, if you think your child might need the financial support of an insurance plan, you can buy a whole life policy and select your child as your nominee.
  • Q: Is whole life insurance policy a good investment for retirement?

    Ans: Yes, a whole life policy can be a good investment plan for retirement. In case you have financial dependents, during retirement, like a spouse or child, then you should buy a whole life insurance plan so that your dependents can use this amount to take care of any medical emergencies, pay off remaining loans, or other unexpected expenses.
  • Q: Is whole life insurance good for senior citizens?

    Ans: Yes, whole life policy plans are good for senior citizens. They can buy whole life insurance to leave a legacy for their future generations or secure the financial independence of their dependent spouse in retirement.
  • Q: Are there any riders available with the whole life insurance policy?

    Ans: The different insurance companies in India offer different additional rider benefit options such as hospicare benefit rider, critical illness rider, waiver of premium, accidental death benefit rider, and accidental total and permanent disability benefit rider. You should always go through the list of available riders and their inclusions and exclusions and add the most suitable riders to your base plan.
  • Q: What is the death benefit under the whole life insurance policy?

    Ans: In case of the policyholder’s unfortunate death before the end of the policy term, the sum assured on death will be paid to the nominee of the policy. This death benefit payout can be made in a lump sum, monthly installments, or a combination of both as per the selection of the policyholder at the time of policy purchase.
  • Q: Will the whole life insurance policy premium change as I grow older?

    Ans: No, it will not change, and the policy premium will remain the same until the policy expires.
  • Q: If I surrender the whole life insurance policy, what will happen?

    Ans: In case of policy surrender, the entire surrender value of the whole life policy applicable at the time of surrender will be paid to the policyholder.
  • Q: How to make the premium payment after I retire?

    Ans: Most whole-life policies have a limited premium payment term that ends before retirement. However, some plans offer the option to pay the premiums for the whole policy term.
  • Q: Can I get tax benefits with my Whole life insurance policy?

    Ans: You can avail of tax benefits under sections 80C and 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act of 1961 as per the prevailing tax laws.
  • Q: How much coverage should I opt for while buying whole life insurance policy?

    Ans: You need to determine the amount that will cover the living costs and future expenses of your family before choosing your life cover. It is important to consider your family's household expenses and your unpaid loans (if any) to make sure your family members don’t have to go through any financial stress. Also, consider inflation as a factor. Financial experts suggest that an assured sum is equivalent to 10-12 times your yearly income. You can also use a HLV calculator to calculate the required amount.
  • Q: Can you create a financial legacy with a whole life policy?

    Ans: Yes, you can create a financial legacy with a whole life insurance plan, as these plans cover the policyholder for the long term. This ensures the family’s financial stability for their whole life and provides them with a tax-free benefit amount in case of the policyholder’s unfortunate death.
  • Q: How to use whole life insurance to create wealth?

    Ans: To use whole life insurance to create wealth, pay regular premiums, and over time, the policy accumulates cash value. This cash value can be accessed through withdrawals or loans for various financial needs, potentially growing your wealth while maintaining a life insurance component.

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