Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) is an important parameter in the selection of an insurance policy. If you are going for a pure insurance plan, a term insurance plan is an ideal option. The term insurance plan is very low and the financial benefits are very high. However, you should understand the fact that the insurance company should pay the death benefit as per the contract executed by the policyholder. The claim should be made by the beneficiary and it should be honored by the insurance company.
The term insurance claim settlement ratio, or CSR, is the ratio of the total number of approved claims and the total sum of claims received by the insurance company. This ratio is measured every financial year. The information is available on the official website of the insurance company. As a matter of fact, the claim settlement ratio is measured for all insurance products and is not confined to the term policy alone.
An insurance company received 1000 death claims in between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. And, the insurance company paid 950 claims successfully and 40 claims were rejected. The company is yet to decide the fate of 10 claims.
Therefore, the claim settlement ratio will be 950/1000= 95%
The claim rejection ratio = 40/1000 = 4%
The claim pending ratio = 10/1000 = 1%
The claim settlement ratio is always mentioned as a percentage. The standardization was done by the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India). The information is published on an annual basis.
If you are buying a term insurance policy, you should have access to the claim settlement ratio of term policies. If you are sure about the claim processing capability, you will settle for the best term insurance plan.
Claim Settlement Ratio.
If you study the annual report of the IRDAI for the year 2016-17, you will find the overall claim settlement ratio of the insurance industry averaged at 97.74% for FY 2016-17. LIC’s success rate dominates the overall claim settlement ratio in the insurance industry. Private life insurance companies are performing well and great improvement was observed in their performance in the past half a decade.
If the claim settlement ratio of a company is higher than 85%, it is considered good. The average value of the claim paid will be high if the sales of term insurance are also high.
Claim Settlement Ration validity
Even though the CSR is an important parameter, it should not the only parameter in the selection of the insurance policy. There are various reasons which undermine the importance of CSR. The reasons are mentioned below:
CSR does not pertain to term insurance alone - The CSR is not applicable to term insurance plans alone. It is applicable to all kinds of life insurance products. Most of the customers who buy non-term insurance plans are interested in investment rather than the insurance as a protection for life.
Scam committed by customers – Some customers submit fraudulent information intentionally. If the life insurance company is unable to catch the fraud during the policy proposal or confirmation stage, the company may notice the discrepancy later. If you avoid stooping to such methods, there will be a positive impact on the insurance premium. The premium will be affordable and you can make the most of your investment.
Early claims – If a claim is filed in less than 2 years after the commencement of the policy, it is termed as an early claim. New insurance companies process more early claims than non-early claims, which negatively impacts their claim settlement ratio.
Vigorous sales – When an insurance company vigorously promotes sales, it is prone to process many proposals some of which, eventually, turn out to be fraud cases. If the insurance company rejects such kind of claims, the CSR is negatively affected. Small and new companies increase promotions to add new policies to enhance the profitability of the insurance company at the risk of poor CSR.
Hence, the above reasons indicate that CSR should not be the sole parameter when subscribing to an insurance policy from a life insurance company.
Term plans with best CSR
The term insurance plan is a ‘value for money’ product. It covers the risk very efficiently. You will pay a minimal premium and it is possible to get the highest monetary benefit.
The ‘sum assured’ is paid on the death of the insured. The insurer is not obliged to pay anything if the policyholder survives after the term. The premium collected from the insured is based on the age, policy term and the ‘sum assured’. It is also based on the CSR of the insurance company. If the CSR is low, the insurance company is compelled to increase the premium.
The following factors will also impact the insurer’s CSR.
To choose the best term insurance plan, you should know about the premium (and if it fits your budget) and sum assured (the financial benefit paid to nominee).
You should be aware of your income and the financial requirement of the dependents. Specific financial goals such as higher education, and children’s marriage, waiver of loans (of the policyholder) and retirement should be fulfilled with the insurance policy.
It is highly advisable to choose an insurance plan at a young age. When you subscribe to a policy during your youth, the premium is low. The same premium will continue throughout the policy term. You can choose a policy term to fulfill the long-term financial needs of your dependents.
Inflation will reduce the worth of your savings. Hence, you should choose a ‘sum assured’ that fulfills your needs in the best possible way.
By choosing various kinds of riders, you will be eligible for a significantly increased financial benefit. If you pay a small additional premium to cover the accidental death, the insurance company will pay double the sum assured. There are other riders such as critical illness and mortgage with which you will get a lump sum money as per your dependents’ needs.
You should definitely be aware of the claim settlement ratio while buying a term policy. With the advent of the online facility, you can subscribe to a term insurance plan very easily. By disclosing information about your health, earnings and other details honestly, you will get high sum assured and it is possible to process the claim very easily. The rejection of insurance policy based on misrepresentation or non-disclosure facts and fraud have a negative impact on an insurer’s CSR. In addition to CSR, you should consider other prominent features as well in choosing the best term policy as per your objective.