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What is Life Insurance?
A life insurance policy is a contract with an insurance company. In exchange for premium payments, the insurance company provides a lump-sum payment, known as a death benefit, to beneficiaries upon the insured’s death. Typically, life insurance is chosen based on the needs and goals of the owner.
Types of life insurance:-
- Term life insurance :A popular life insurance policy option. These have a set expiration date and are a cheaper, more popular option.Term insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a certain period of time or a specified “term” of years. If the insured dies during the time period specified in the policy and the policy is active, or in force, a death benefit will be paid.
- Unit Linked Insurance Plan : It is a product offered by insurance companies that, unlike a pure insurance policy, gives investors both insurance and investment under a single integrated plan.
- Endowment policy :An endowment policy is a life insurance contract designed to pay a lump sum after a specific term or on death. Typical maturities are ten, fifteen or twenty years up to a certain age limit. Some policies also pay out in the case of critical illness. Policies are typically traditional with-profits or unit-linked.
- Annuity: An annuity is a plan that helps you to get a regular payment for life after making a lump sum investment. The life insurance company invests the money of the investor and pays back the returns generated from it.
Why Buy Life Insurance
Life Insurance is a financial cover for a contingency linked with human life, like death, disability, accident, retirement etc. Human life is subject to risks of death and disability due to natural and accidental causes. When human life is lost or a person is disabled permanently or temporarily, there is loss of income to the household.
Though human life cannot be valued, a monetary sum could be determined based on the loss of income in future years. Hence, in life insurance, the Sum Assured ( or the amount guaranteed to be paid in the event of a loss) is by way of a ‘benefit’. Life Insurance products provide a definite amount of money in case the life insured dies during the term of the policy or becomes disabled on account of an accident.
Why you should buy Life Insurance:
All of us face the following risks:
- Dying too soon
- Living too long
Life Insurance is needed :
- To ensure that your immediate family has some financial support in the event of your demise
- To finance your children’s education and other needs
- To have a savings plan for the future so that you have a constant source of income after retirement
- To ensure that you have extra income when your earnings are reduced due to serious illness or accident
- To provide for other financial contingencies and life style requirements
Who needs Life Insurance:
Primarily, anyone who has a family to support and is an income earner needs Life Insurance. In view of the economic value of their contribution to the family, housewives too need life insurance cover. Even children can be considered for life insurance in view of their future income potential being at risk.
How much Life Insurance is needed:
The amount of Life Insurance coverage you need will depend on many factors such as:
- How many dependents you have
- What kind of lifestyle you want to provide for your family
- How much you need for your children’s education
- What your investment needs are
- What your affordability is
How To Make a Claim in life insurance :-
Formalities for a Death Claim –
When a person with a life insurance policy – called a life assured – dies, a claim intimation should be sent to the insurance company as early as possible. The assignee or nominee under the policy can do this. So can any close relative or the agent who handles the policy.
The claim intimation should contain information like the date, place and cause of death. The insurance agent has the duty to help the life assured’s family/ assignee to deal with the insurance company to fulfil the formalities for a claim.
The insurance company will respond to this intimation and will ask for the following documents:
- Filled-up claim form (provided by the insurance company)
- Certificate of death
- Policy document
- Deeds of assignments/ re-assignments if any
- Legal evidence of title, if the policy is not assigned or nominated
- Form of discharge executed and witnessed
- Other documents such as medical attendant’s certificate, hospital certificate, employer’s certificate, police inquest report, post mortem report etc could be called for, as applicable.
Formalities for a maturity claim –
Where a life insurance policy is maturing, the insurance company will usually send intimation to the policyholder along with a discharge voucher at least two to three months in advance of the date of maturity giving details like the maturity amount payable.
The policyholder has to sign the discharge voucher – which is like a receipt – have his signature witnessed and send it back to the insurance company along with the original policy bond to enable it to make the payment.
If the policy has been assigned in favour of any other person or entity – like a housing loan company – the claim amount will be paid only to the assignee who will give the discharge.