A life insurance plan covers the risk to your life and offers financial protection to your family members. If you are an employee, you should buy a policy as per your annual earnings. As a thumb rule, the insurance policy should offer at least 10 times your annual earnings as compensation to your dependents. The lump sum payout will be made to the beneficiary in case of the unfortunate death of the policyholder. The amount paid to the beneficiary will help him/her maintain a normal life without any compromises.
To buy the best life insurance policy, you should, first, be aware of your insurance requirements. Secondly, you should know of all the features offered by reputed insurance companies. Thirdly, the insurance premium should be affordable. You should get a high sum assured. If you opt for a money back policy, the returns should be high.
The maturity proceeds are paid at the end of the term or after the unfortunate event of the policyholder’s death. The greatest advantage of such an insurance policy is that you will get an exemption on the premium you pay and also on the maturity proceeds.
There are special life insurance policies which help you fulfill your obligations towards your family. Children’s plans help you offer the best education to your children in your absence. Your child’s dreams of higher education and his/her professional aspirations will be fulfilled with a children’s plan. You will also be able to take care of the needs of your children’s wedding expenses if you choose the best insurance plan.
There are insurance policies that offer pension payments during your golden years. You can accumulate a corpus through the plan and get a tax deduction on the premium as well. Hence, you can choose various kinds of policies as per your requirements.
Traditional insurance plans
Term plan – A term plan can be instrumental when taking care of your life’s risk coverage to its full potential. You can buy a term insurance plan with the lowest possible premium. The term policy is the purest form of life insurance policy. It will cover the risk, but will not provide returns after the end of the policy term.
The premium can be contributed to the term policy on an annual basis or regular basis. You can opt for a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual payment model as per your convenience. There will be a discount on the premium if you opt for the annual premium. However, salaried employees prefer to go for monthly deductions as it is more convenient for them. The premium paid towards the term insurance policy is exempted from the income tax under Section 80C.
In the event of the unfortunate death of the insured, the sum assured is paid to the nominee or beneficiary. The amount paid to the nominee will be tax-free.
Term plan with return of premium is a modified version of the term insurance plan. If the policyholder survives after the term, the premium paid by the policyholder will be returned by the insurance company. However, the premium will be higher than that of a pure term insurance policy.
Money back or endowment policy
A money back or endowment policy will be helpful in efficiently meeting your financial needs. As per the terms of the policy, you will be paid 25% of the 'sum assured' in the 12th year, 13th year and 14th year in a 15-year term policy. The rest of the sum assured plus annual bonuses will be paid after the maturity date.
If you pay the premium on a long-term basis, the company will share its profits with the policyholders in the form of bonuses. The money back policy is a combination of the insurance and savings. There are various types of money back policies offered by many insurance companies in the Indian market.
The difference between a money back plan and endowment plan is very small. If you chose an endowment plan, the maturity amount will be paid at the end of the term. There will not be any payment before the maturity date. Hence, the amount that you will get at the end of the term will be higher than the money back plan.
Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIPs) will deliver returns that are associated with the market. The premium contributed by policyholders will work to cover the risk as well as to deliver higher returns. A part of the premium will be allotted for investments in the stock market. A fund manager will manage the funds as per the options exercised by the policyholder. It is possible to switch from one fund to another fund within a policy year. A certain number of fund switch options are offered free of cost. The additional requests will be chargeable as per the terms and conditions of the insurance policy.
You can choose funds as per your risk appetite. If you choose funds which participate in the equity market, the risk will be very high. The returns will also be high when the risk perception is high. Unit-linked life insurance policy is ideal for youngsters who are in their 20’s and 30’s. As the earnings are high and the burden family responsibilities is lower at a young age. If you invest in ULIPs on a long-term basis, the ups and downs of the market are absorbed and there is a greater chance of capital appreciation.
ULIPs are ideal to take care of your children’s education, children’s wedding and other important goals in life. You can contribute one’s premium on regular basis or in a single payment. If you have sufficient funds, you can make a single payment.
If the policyholder dies during the term, a lump sum will be paid to the nominee. The policy will continue and the future premiums will be waived off by the insurance company. The beneficiary will get monthly payouts, as per the terms and conditions of the policy.
You should pay attention to the following factors before buying a life insurance policy:
The premium will play important role in the selection of an insurance policy. The premium should be affordable. If you go for a term policy, it is possible to get the highest coverage. However, you should provide accurate information about your health. If the information is false, the insurance company can reject your claim.
If you are submitting a proposal for a high sum assured, the insurance company will offer a policy subject to the underwritten policy of the insurance company. All insurance companies work under the guidelines of the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority). Hence, they are obligated to fulfill their policy terms, as per the regulations. You should get insurance coverage which is sufficient to fulfill the needs of your family members in your absence.
The riders will increase the power of the life insurance plan. You will get additional benefits by including riders. For example, with the addition of an accidental death rider, you will get double the sum assured.
The premium payment term will be similar to the policy term. However, ULIPs and other policies can be subscribed to with a limited premium policy term. If your earnings come down, you will not be able to pay the premium. Hence, you can choose a plan with a limited payment option. There are special policies which can be selected with increasing or decreasing premium rate. The sum assured will increase with the rise in premium on an annual basis.
Before choosing an insurance policy, you should be aware of the claim settlement ratio of the insurance company. If you buy an insurance policy at the lowest premium, the purpose will not be served if there are issues when claiming a settlement. Hence, you should choose the company with the highest claim settlement ratio.
The claims should be processed by the insurance company very quickly. The insurance company should offer assistance in submitting the claims. Reputed insurance companies will send the ‘policy claim’ forms before the maturity date. Alternately, the beneficiary can approach the insurance company in case of the unfortunate death or accident of the policyholder.
The best life insurance product should cover your risks efficiently. You should be able to pay the premium without any difficulty and the returns of the policy should fulfill your personal or family needs in the best possible way. You can subscribe to online life insurance policy and track the policy status very easily.