Life insurance helps you safeguard your family’s future. Having a life insurance policy becomes more important when there is only one breadwinner in the family, generally the male spouse. In such cases, the female spouse and the children become hugely dependent on you.
So, life insurance policy takes care of your family when you are the only earner and something unfortunate happens to you. But what if you die with loads of debt and the proceeds from your policy go towards settling your debts.
The benefit amount can also be taken by the creditors and other family members. This will leave your spouse with no money when she will need it the most.
As the breadwinner what you can do is to buy the insurance policy under the Married Women’s Property (MWP) Act. This will ensure financial safety for your spouse.
What is MWP in Life Insurance Plan?
If you buy your life insurance policy under the MWP act then you ensure the fact that the sum assured of the policy will go on to your wife and children only. It makes sure that their interests are the first and foremost.
Parties like creditors, relatives, etc cannot claim the amount. This is because once the policy you purchase is availed under the MWP act, it is not be attached by the court for repayment of any debt that exists.
Thus, in this way, a life insurance plan under the Married Women's Property Act 1874 safeguards your wife’s and children’s financial interest even after you are gone.
What is MWP ACT 1874?
According to section 6 of the Married Women’s Property (MWP) Act:
1. A married man can buy a life insurance policy for the benefit of his wife and child under this Act.
2. The death benefit or any other bonus from the policy will only go to the wife and children.
3. The policy benefits will not be in control or attached to the policyholder.
Thus, buying a life insurance policy under this act can save your dependents from the burden of debts and family disputes.
Other Features of the MWP Act
1. This act came into existence to ensure the safety of ownership of earnings, property, and any investments that a married girl has.
2. This protects the married women’s properties from her in-laws and creditors if any.
3. Neither the husband nor any other relative can have any interest in the wife’s property.
4. The policy cannot be reversed. That is wife cannot take a policy in the husband’s name under this act.
Akshay has a business of tiles. He has taken some loans for the business. He purchased a policy under the MWP act and named his wife the beneficiary.
After some time, he died in an accident. Now, the creditors who gave the loan to Akshaya, approached the courts for them to be paid off from the assets of the family.
Although the court has attached multiple assets owned by Akshay to settle the debt, it cannot attach the MWP policy. Policy’s entire proceeds can only be used for the benefit of surviving wife and children of Akshay.
Who should Buy a Life Insurance Policy Under MWP Act?
Now that you know what is the MWP act, let’s look at who should buy the policy under the MWP act.
Any married man (who has to be a resident of India) can choose to take the insurance policy under the MWP act. This also includes the divorcees and the widowers as they can name their child in the beneficiaries.
If you have a business to run or a salaried person with ongoing loans and liabilities, then you should consider buying your policy under the MWP act.
This can also be considered when you want to protect your wife and children from creditors and relatives who can have bad intentions.
How to Buy a Life Insurance Policy Under the MWP Act?
The process to purchase any type of life insurance policy under the Married Women’s Property Act is simple and is almost the same as buying a normal life insurance policy.
When you decide to buy any plan, you first have to fill an application form. For enrolling your plan under the MWP Act, you need to fill another form apart from the application which will state that you will buy this policy under the MWP act.
You then have to enter the details of the beneficiary, such as the name, your relation, and age. You may also need to decide the share in the benefit in terms of %.
Nomination in MWP Policy
Remember, the beneficiaries that you can choose under this act can only be amongst the following:
3. Both wife and child/children
The beneficiaries once chosen by you cannot be changed at a later time. At the time of death, the policy benefits are received by the trust that is selected by you. These cannot be claimed by the debtors nor will form the part of the estate of the policyholder. It will only be claimed by the wife/child.
The Married Women’s Property Act, thus, is a very important act for a married woman. It becomes even more important for the female spouse who is dependent on her husband.
This act helps safeguard not only Married Women’s existing investments but the proceeds from the insurance as well. After the breadwinner of the family dies, there are lots of expenses still to incur, and life still has to go on.
MWP act ensures that no one else other than the wife can claim the amount. This provides a sum that the wife can use to manage herself and her children. She can also use the death benefit received to fulfil her children’s goals such as higher education and later on his marriage.