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Features and Benefits Of Life Insurance in India

Features and Benefits Of Life Insurance in India

The average penetration and density of life insurance in India is a measly 2.76%. There have been improvements in this arena but overall the growth has been rather slow in India. Not many people are aware of the benefits of life insurance and the numbers for penetration are an indicator of the same.

Accidents and mishaps are strong indicators of how fragile human life can be and how we need to systemically insure our lives. It is an important tool for providing an individual's family with safety and security. It acts as a protective cover to safeguard the insured's dependents. In the event individuals do not insure their lives, their dependents end up facing the tragic loss of their loved one along with a whole host of liabilities such as rent, loans, EMI's and child services.

Life insurance is crucial for families to feel security and a sense of confidence to continue their lives without losing their everyday stability. To help understand the key features and advantages of life insurance, here's a quick lowdown:


Features of Life Insurance Plans

  • Policyholder: Policyholder is the individual who pays the premium for the life insurance policy and signs a life insurance contract with a life insurance company.
  • Premium:
    A premium is the cost the policyholder pays the life insurance company for covering his/her life.
  • Maturity: Maturity is the stage at which the policy term is completed and the life insurance contract ends.
  • Insured: Insured is the individual whose life is secured via the life insurance. After his/her death the insurance company is accountable to provide a financial amount to the dependents.
  • Sum Assured: The amount the insurance company pays the dependents of the insured if those events occur which are specified in the life insurance contract.
  • Policy Term: Policy term is the specified duration (listed in the life insurance contract) for which the insurance company provides a life cover and the time period during which the contract is active (listed in the life insurance contract).
  • Nominee: A nominee is an individual listed in the life insurance contract who is entitled to receive the predetermined compensation, as a part of the policy.
  • Claim: On the insured's demise, the nominees can file a claim with the insurance provider in order to receive the predetermined payout amount.
Key Advantages of life Insurance Policy in India
  • Death Benefits
    life insurance enables individuals to protect themselves and their families, in case of any unfortunate happening in the life of the insurer. The insurer pays an amount equivalent to the sum assured as specified in the contract along with applicable bonuses. This is know as the death benefit.
  • Investment Components
    Certain whole life insurance policies offer two-pronged benefits of both insurance and investment. While one half of your premium is paid toward insurance, the other half is invested in equity, debt or combinations of both. You get the best of both worlds with a protective covering as well as high returns on your investments. You can make the most of this component by investing in funds that align with your investment horizon and risk appetite. Certain policies allow you to switch between funds as per your evolving goals. The Invest 4G plan offered by Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce gives you the option of choosing from a range of 7 unit-linked funds and 4 different portfolio management options as per your preference.
  • Maturity Benefits
    Life insurance policies can also double as a savings instrument by offering maturity benefits. If the insured survives the policy term and no claims have been made, the total premiums paid are returned at the time of maturity of the policy. In this manner, your life insurance plan can have a savings component, while also offering a protective cover.
  • Tax Benefits
    Under the umbrella of Section 80C of the Income Tax Act (ITA), individuals can reduce their tax liabilities by investing in specific instruments. Term insurance is one of them. Under section 80C, the premium paid for your life insurance policy is eligible to attain a maximum tax deduction for up to Rs. 1.5 lakh. In addition to this, under Section 10(10D), any payouts you receive from your insurance policy are completely tax-free (provided your premium does not exceed 10% of your Sum Assured, annually). If you have opted for a health-related rider, such as a critical illness or surgical care rider, you can also avail tax deductions under 80D of the ITA.
  • Coverage Against Liabilities
    To fulfill your dreams and attain your goals, you may have required a certain amount of financial support - in the form of loans, mortgages and other types of debt. Be it student loans or credit card debt, dealing with such liabilities can be a source of great financial strain, without a steady stream of income. While you may have the funds to pay off a part of your loans now, your family may find it difficult to manage such liabilities in the event of your unfortunate demise, owing to the loss of income. Thus, taking a life insurance policy ensures that your family has the financial means to steadily meet your loan and mortgage repayments, even in your absence.
  • Riders
    You can opt for riders to enhance your life insurance coverage. A number of riders, ranging from Critical Illness to Accidental Total Permanent Disability are available and help protect you and your loved ones against instances wherein your life cover may not come into play.

Conclusion

life insurance and life insurance plans are an absolute necessity today. life insurance is a risk minimization and protection tool that can help insured and their dependents in multiple ways while dealing with a variety of life events. By understanding the key features and benefits of a life insurance policy, you can make an informed decision.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to Life Insurance Policies

The premium is one of the most important factors to consider before buying a life insurance policy. Many people buy a life insurance policy with a high sum assured but are unable to process the premiums for the entire premium payment tenure. You can get a better idea of the premium outgo with the premium calculator available in the 'Tools and Calculator' section of www.canarahsbclife.com.

Life insurance plans come with several riders which increase the efficiency of the policy for the buyer. For instance, if you have a history of terminal illness in your family it would be advisable to opt for terminal illness rider with your term insurance plan. Riders or add-ons help in customising the standard policy benefits for the requirement of different families. The iSelect term insurance plan comes with a built-in cover for terminal illness, and option for protection against accidental death or disability. You can also opt to cover your spouse's life under the same policy by paying an additional premium.

Life insurance companies calculate the premiums based on several factors such as age, gender and occupation.

Age: It is one of the biggest factors that influence life insurance premiums. Premiums tend to be low when the life insured is younger as the chance of contracting diseases is low. Young people also opt for the best life insurance policies with longer tenures and pay premiums for a longer duration, which makes the policy cheaper for young people.

Gender: The insurance premium for women is generally lower when it comes to life insurance plans. Women live longer and pose a lesser risk of a claim leading to lower premiums for them.

Lifestyle habits: The premiums for people who smoke or drink is always higher due to higher health risks.

Policy term: Policy terms are also taken into consideration by insurers while deciding the premium amount. Life insurance policies with longer tenure are cheaper as compared to short-duration policies.

Mode of purchase: The platform that you use to buy the best life insurance policy also determines how much you will have to pay for the plan. People who buy life insurance policies online have to pay lower premiums as compared to offline policies.

Occupation: The nature of your work is an important factor that influences the premium amount. Certain occupations like shipping and mining are considered more dangerous as compared to jobs in services industries. The insurance premium rises with the risk profile.

Processing life insurance claim is a transparent and smooth process with Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance.

In case of the death of the life insured, the nominee will have to intimate the company by filling a Death Claim Form and sending it to the nearest branch office.

Once the form is received, the claim is registered by the insurer.

After the registration of the claim, the company will send the claims pack along with the related forms such as physician’s statement form and employer certificate that need to be filled.

Along with the duly filled forms a few documents such as original [policy document, death certificate, copy of bank passbook, hospital or treatment records, photo identification and address proof have to be provided.

The claim is processed on the submission of relevant documents. Once the documents are verified, the claim amount is released post all due diligence.

Household expenses rise with age. The cost of children's education increases along with other lifestyle expenses. The iSelect term plan offers an option to increase the cover according to the life stage. If opted, the insurance cover increases by 25% at every 5-year terminal till the 20th policy year.

Even though a life insurance policy is bought to protect your family in your absence, there are chances of the claim being rejected due to several factors.

False information: If the policyholder provides false information or conceals important information while buying the life insurance policy, the insurer has the right to reject the claim after his/her death.

Type of death: Deaths due to suicide in first policy year, intoxication or pre-existing disease is not covered under life insurance plan.

Premium payment: The payment of premiums on time is of utmost important to avail the benefits of life insurance. Life insurance policy may lapse on the failure to pay the premiums

Nominee details: A life insurance company can put the claim on hold if the nominee details have not been filled or not been updated by the policyholder.

Suicide: If the life insured commits suicide within 12 months of buying the life insurance policy, the insurance companies generally pay 80% of the total premiums paid.

Buying the best life insurance plan online is not only safe but a better option. Online life insurance policies have lower premiums and the individual is not required to visit the insurer's branch or a bank. The best life insurance policies online insurance offer higher benefits. Customers should, however, buy online life insurance policies only from credible insurers and should check for SSL certificate on the website to ensure that the website is legitimate.

The cost of life insurance policies varies depending on factors like age, gender and occupation. The average cost of life insurance plans, especially term plans, is very low compared to the amount of coverage offered.

An individual is allowed to have multiple life insurance policies. People opt for more than one life insurance policy to increase the cover or avoid claim rejection. In case of multiple life insurance policies, even if the claim is rejected by one insurer, the beneficiaries may receive the benefit from a different insurer.

Life insurance policies are of different types. In case of unit-linked or endowment policies the policyholder receives the maturity benefit at the end of the policy term. However, in the case of term insurance plans, there are no maturity benefits. The death benefit is only paid out after the death of the life insured.

When you buy a life insurance policy, the insurance company asks for the nominee details. Only the person named as the nominee in the life insurance plan can cash out in case of death of life insured.

A life insurance policy is generally taken for a specified period. After the policy duration of a term plan gets over, the policy simply terminates and ceases to exist. However, in case of unit-linked plans or endowment, you can use the policy as a tool for retirement planning and the accumulated corpus is used by the insurer to pay you monthly amounts for your entire life.

If a policyholder purchases a term plan for 25 years and dies during the policy term, the beneficiary receives the death benefit. In case of iSelect term plan, the policy provides four payment options to the beneficiaries. If the regular payment option is chosen, the policy works as a source of regular income.

It is a popular misconception that life insurance plans are only for accidental deaths. A term life insurance plan like iSelect Star Term Plan also covers terminal disease along with death. A terminal illness cover is important as health insurance pays only for the cost of treatment and hospitalization, but a terminal illness cover pays you a lump-sum amount which takes care of other expenses. On the other hand, unit-linked policies such as Invest 4G cover death and also provide decent returns for other financial goals such as buying a house of child's education.

It is ideal to buy a life insurance plan in your early 20s because it is the time when people have just started with their professional life and so there are lesser responsibilities and financial liabilities to take care of. Also, if you buy the best life insurance plan at this age, you will be paying relatively lower insurance premiums since it’s a due fact that mortality rate in case of young people is low. And that is why life insurance companies offer lesser premium rates to younger people as they think that they are most likely to be fit and healthier with less chances of filing a claim in future.

Once you have cancelled your life insurance policy, you will instantly lose your life insurance cover. Afterwards, your insurance company will get in touch with you and ask for valid reasons regarding the cancellation of your policy. In case you cancel your life insurance policy within the grace period, i.e. 15 to 30 days, depending on your insurer, then insurance company will reimburse the premium amount paid by you. But, no refunds will be paid to you if the policy is cancelled after the grace period.

Yes, you can take life insurance under Married Women’s Property (MWP) Act, 1984 only if you are a married man and a resident of India. Buying a life insurance plan under MWP Act would be helpful in saving your family’s financial well-being when you are not around. As per this policy, only wife and children would be eligible to receive the death benefits. You can also buy a policy if you are a widower or a divorcee. However, in that case, you can give your child’s name as your beneficiary. It is very simple to buy a life plan under MWP Act. All you need to do is to fill up an MWP addendum while purchasing an insurance policy.

Yes, there are different payment options for you to pay premiums. Here’re some of them

    1. Regular premium payment option – This premium payment option allows you to pay premiums equal to your policy term either monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annually.

    2. Single payment option – Through this premium payment option, you can pay the lump-sum amount in one single payment.

    3. Limited payment option -In this premium payment option, you can pay premiums for a specific period of time less than policy term either monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annually, but benefits of insurance can be enjoyed for a longer period of time.

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