The value of life is best realised when we imagine the future of our loved ones without us. All of us have had this dread of leaving the people who we always protected and cared for, alone in this rather cruel world. But no matter how much endearing is the idea of spending our lives with our loved ones, we can never know when life takes an ugly turn. Life isn't assured, but it can definitely be insured.
Quoting V Manickam, Secretary, Life Insurance Council, ", "As part of Indian culture, our elders have always stressed on doing the most essential things first and then opt to carry on with other things. This is an integral part of the day to day conversations. "Sabse Pehle Life Insurance" comes from this very cultural nuance and will help establish an understanding of the essentiality of life insurance in our lives and the need to treat it as a topmost priority while planning for life."
Speaking of culture, saving money has been an integral part of the culture of India. Be it saving by investing in gold, or the day-to-day saving of non-financial assets by women of the household, Indian culture has always stressed upon the need for saving to deal with eventualities.
Life insurance is not only a safeguard measure against unfortunate incidents but also a great financial tool for saving. It is one of the simplest and safest financial instruments and thus has to become the centre of financial planning of individuals as well as households.
Life Insurance thus serves a dual purpose – It is a saving as well an excellent investment. Not only this, it comes with perks like tax benefits, easy loans on the lower rate of interests, affordable premiums, encouraging thrift.
Benefits and Features of Life Insurance
What is Life insurance?
Life insurance is a contract that pledges payment of an amount to the person assured (or his nominee) on the happening of the event insured against. Among other things, the contract also provides for the payment of premium periodically to the Corporation by the policyholder. Life insurance is universally acknowledged to be an institution, which eliminates 'risk', substituting certainty for uncertainty and comes to the timely aid of the family in the unfortunate event of the death of the breadwinner.
The contract is valid for payment of the insured amount during:
- The date of maturity, or
- Specified dates at periodic intervals, or
- Unfortunate death, if it occurs earlier.
- Security: Life insurance secures the lives of the dependants of the breadwinner of a household. It allows the person taking the insurance to choose his/her nominees, ensuring that the needy get the money, even after the death of the policyholder.
- Protection: Life insurance guarantees a certain amount to be paid at the untimely demise of the insured, irrespective of the amount saved so far. This investment is unlike other saving schemes where you only deposit the amount and get suitable interest on it.
- No-Risk: Life insurance doesn’t have market risks as opposed to other investment plans. Also, all the terms and conditions of the policy are clear to the buyer at the time of taking the insurance. This transparency minimises the risk of frauds or forgery.
- Planning Goals: Life insurance helps you to plan your future goals like higher education, loans, marriage, debt etc. and makes you financially sound to achieve them. There are also policies, which come with retirement plans and purchase of a house.
- Low Premium: Life insurance secures yours and your loved ones’ future without having you compromise on your present. The amount of premium may be as small as Rs. 100 and thus, doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
- Tax reliefs: The amount paid in premiums is exempted from income tax and wealth tax as it is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C up to a limit of Rs.1.5 lakh. Assessees can also avail of provisions in the law for tax relief. In such cases the assured in effect pays a lower premium for insurance than otherwise.
- Loans: Life insurance is acceptable as security for most of the loans, including commercial ones.
Many kinds of life insurance are available in India:
- Term Life Insurance Plans: As its name indicates, it is an assurance for a term. If the insured person dies during the selected term, the insurer pays the sum assured to the nominee. It is low-cost and covers your financial liabilities. There may be further convertible term life insurance, increasing term life insurance, mortgage term life insurance or annual renewable term insurance.
- Whole Life Insurance Plans: When the term of insurance extends to cover whole life, i.e. until the death of the life assured (or 99 years), it is known as whole life insurance.
- Endowment Insurance Plans: Endowment policy comes with the benefit that the policyholder will receive a lump sum amount in case if he survives until the date of maturity. Rest details are similar to Term Life Insurance Plans.
- Unit Linked Insurance Plans: ULIP is a life insurance product, which provides risk cover for the policyholder along with investment options to invest in any number of qualified investments such as stocks, bonds or mutual funds. As a single integrated plan, the investment part and the protection part can be managed according to specific needs and choices.
- Child Insurance Plans: Child insurance plans are meant for securing one's child's future at an early age utilising an insurance plan that pays back at the time of need for child's education, marriage or other investments.
- Money-Back Plans: In money back plan, the insured person gets a percentage of sum assured at regular intervals, instead of getting the lump sum amount at the end of the term. This policy is suitable for risk-averse individuals who wish to save through an insurance plan and also maintain liquidity throughout. In case of death of the insured person, the nominee gets the entire sum assured, and the survival benefits are not deducted.
- Pension Plans/Annuity Plans: These policies are useful for old-age provisions. These cover the risk of living longer than the term for which a plan is taken. With the ageing of the population, these are now becoming popular.
Many policy plans are a combination of one or more aforementioned insurance plans.