By Definition Life insurance is meant to protect the policyholder’s family against loss of income in case the policyholder meets a mishap or deceases due to some reason. In essence the insurance cover will replace the income loss due to the mishap with the policyholder. Hence to sell a comprehensive term insurance plan, an insurance company would check your income as well as the tax returns you forgo, this makes it evident that these insurance companies as financial planners feel that there is no need of an insurance cover for a person who has no earnings.
But now many insurance companies have started proposing plans for home makers, who in essence do not have any formal earnings or tax profiles and this is something that received a substantial support from people those have homemakers at their home.
Insurance giants like Aegon Religare life insurance believe that there is an intrinsic economic value associated with a homemaker’s job, though it is without getting certified by salary slips or tax return profiles. This has prompted these insurance companies to offer term plans to the homemakers whose husbands (or wives) have already bought a term plan from them.
New guidelines for endowment plans compelled many women specific products to go off the shelves of insurance companies barring some of them which still offer benefits specifically to women. These benefits must be evaluated comprehensively by the buyers before taking the final decision on these plans. The utility of these plans and not the “exclusively for women” tag should be the deciding factor for choosing one of them.
Tata-AIG's Wellsurance Woman: A life cover for a homemaker has been a topic of debate off late but a health insurance for a homemaker should have no scope of such debates or any doubts. Mr. M Ravichandran, President, Tata-AIG General insurance, feels that uninsured women have higher chances of falling ill with serious health problems as the waiting period for getting the right treatment increases substantially when a person is not financially covered for his or her health emergencies or urgencies and still only 10% of the total women workforce has some health cover while a health cover is essential for both a working woman and a homemaker.
The Wellsurance Woman plan comes as a combo giving hospitalization and critical illness covers in a single plan. A lump sum is paid in case the diagnosis report has any of the 11 specified critical illnesses, including cancer, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. While the daily cash payment in case of hospitalization is also given under this plan. But it is advised that such a plan must be taken in addition to a basic health plan that covers hospitalization.
HDFC Life Smart Woman Ulip: Barring some of the women specific benefits, this plan is like any other ULIP. Mr. Sanjay Tiwari, vice president, Products, HDFC life, explained this plan as the one which shall cover major life changing events in a woman’s life like critical illness, Childbirth or the death of spouse. This product allows a woman to stop paying premiums for three years in case of pregnancy complications, birth of a child with congenital disabilities, diagnosis of malignant cancer of female organs or death of spouse.
Nonetheless, this plan is still, like any other ULIP, more expensive than a mutual fund and not as flexible as well. Charges on Ulips have come down but so have the charges on mutual funds, which make it equivalent. Mr. Uday Dhoot, deputy CEO of the financial planning firm, International money matters, therefore suggests to all the investors to look at insurance and investment decisions separately.
Bajaj Allianz's critical illness cover: Eight women-specific critical illnesses, including paralysis and cancers (breast, ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal and fallopian tube) are covered under this plan. According to Mrs. Renuka Kanvinde, assistant vice-president, health insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, such illnesses have a lengthy and an expensive protocol of treatment along with a lot of lifestyle modifications it brings along with it like renouncing a job, ergonomic modifications at home, etc, this makes the need for a product specifically targeting this segment imperative.