Here are LIC’s 5 best plans for women in 2018

Women have, time and again, proven to be equal to their male counterparts. Today, more and more women have joined the work force and have become independent. Even in case of life insurance, women are realising the importance of having a cover on their lives. Whether it is purely for protection needs or investment needs, life insurance policies for women are becoming popular. The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), one of the pioneering insurance companies in the market, offers attractive insurance solutions for women as well. So, for all you women out there looking for insurance, here are some of the best plans offered by LIC for your needs –

    • LIC’s Aadhaar Shila

      This is an endowment plan designed and offered specifically for women. Females having an Aadhar Card can buy the plan. The features of the plan are as follows –

      • Loyalty Additions are added after the completion of the first five policy years
      • At least 110% of the sum assured is paid in case of death
      • Optional Accident Benefit Rider is available with the plan. The rider pays an additional sum assured in case of accidental death during the policy tenure
      • Premium discounts are available if the chosen sum assured is Rs.2 lakhs and above.

      Read more about Types of life insurance plans


    • LIC’s Cancer Cover Plan

      Given the high incidence of cancer, women are advised to invest in a cancer insurance plan. LIC’s cancer insurance plan offers the following benefits –

      • Two coverage levels are available – level sum insured and increasing sum insured
      • The sum insured increases by 10% of the basic sum insured in the first five years of the policy or till the first diagnosis of cancer
      • Both early stage and advanced stage cancers are covered
      • In early stage cancer, 25% of sum insured is paid. Future premiums are then waived while the plan continues
      • In major stage cancer, the full sum insured is paid. All future premiums are waived. 1% of the sum insured is, thereafter, paid every month for 10 years whether the insured is alive or not


    • LIC’s e-term plan

      This is a pure term insurance plan which you can buy directly from the company’s website. The features include –

      • It’s a pure term plan where a death benefit is paid in case of death during the plan tenure.
      • Sum assured up to Rs.50 lakhs can be availed under the plan.
      • Coverage is available for up to 75 years.

      Read more about Why should women buy term life insurance?


    • LIC’s New Children’s Monck Plan

      If you want to create a fund for your children which pays regular returns, this money back plan is suitable for you. You can buy the plan for your child. The plan features are as follows –

      • Money back benefits are paid when the child attains 18 years, 20 years and 22 years.
      • 20% of the sum assured is paid as money back benefit
      • The plan attracts bonus additions. Simple reversionary bonus and a final additional bonus are paid under the plan
      • Two optional benefits are available. Under the first benefit, the survival benefits can be postponed. Upon postponement, a higher survival benefit is paid. Another optional benefit is the premium waiver rider. Under this rider, if the parent dies, future premiums are waived off but the plan continues

      Read more about Term life or money back plan which one to buy?


  • LIC’s New Endowment Plus

    For investment savvy women looking for market-linked plans, this plan is the best. It is a unit linked plan which gives you the facility of enjoying market-linked returns along with insurance protection. Notable features include the following –

    • Higher of the sum assured or the fund value is paid as death benefit
    • Accidental death benefit rider is available as an optional cover
    • You can buy the plan with as little as Rs.20, 000 annual premium
    • Four funds are available for investment
    • Maturity benefit can be taken in instalments over 5 years
    • Flexible benefits like switching, partial withdrawals, etc. are allowed

These are some of the best LIC plans for women in 2018. You can choose any plan you need based on your requirements. Go for a cancer care plan or an investment oriented one, but do insure your life. You are, after all, valuable!

Read more about 5 tips to buy life insurance

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Health Insurance- Types of Health Insurance Plans in India

The health insurance universe is large and dynamic. Apart from the all-too-important health plan which pays for your medical expenses, there are other variants of a health insurance plan as well. Each variant is designed keeping a particular need in mind. Since your health insurance needs are varied, each type of a health plan aims to fulfil the varied needs. Do you know the types of health plans available in the market and their suitability?

Let’s find out –

    • Individual health insurance plans

      These are health insurance plans which cover the medical costs incurred on an individual life. These plans, thus, insure only one individual for a single sum insured.

      Suitability – Individual health plans are suitable if you do not have any dependents on you. Unmarried, young individuals can opt for this plan.


    • Family floater health insurance

      Family floater health plans are those which cover the entire family in one plan. Family would mean the policyholder, spouse, dependent children and dependent parents. Many family floater plans also include dependent parents-in-law, siblings and other relations. A single policy is issued with one sum insured covering all the members. The premium depends on the number of members covered and is calculated on the age of the eldest member. All family members can use the sum insured jointly and independently.

      Suitability – Family floater plans are the most popular health plans as they cover the entire family. You should buy this type of health plan for yourself and your family members and get them insured along with you.

      Read more about What to choose family floater plan or individual policy?


    • Group health insurance plans

      Group health insurance plans can be bought by a registered group covering its members. Groups like employer-employee groups, trade unions, club members, bank customers, etc. can avail a group health plan. A single policy is issued which is called the master policy. The policy covers all the group members under a single sum insured. Premium can be paid by the group itself or its members or jointly.

      Suitability – Group health plans are suitable for companies looking to provide health insurance cover to their employees as a part of their employee benefit programs. Other groups can also avail a group plan if they qualify for it.


    • Senior citizen health insurance plans

      Senior citizen health plans are designed for older individuals who cannot avail normal health insurance plans. The coverage under the plan is specially designed for senior citizens with coverage for joint replacement surgeries, cataracts and other age-related ailments. The sum insured level is limited and premiums are affordable.

      Suitability – these plans are suitable for individuals who are 60 years and above. By buying this plan, such older individuals can enjoy health insurance coverage which might otherwise be not available under a normal health plan

      Read more about How to find the right health insurance plans for senior citizens


    • Top-up plans

      Top-up health plans are normal health insurance plans but with a deductible or threshold limit. Only if the claim you make exceeds the deductible limit, the plan comes into action and pays the excess claim. Claims below the deductible limit are not honoured. For example, if a top-up plan of Rs.5 lakhs has a deductible of Rs.2 lakhs, claims which are more than Rs.2 lakhs would be paid. Thus, for a claim of Rs.2.5 lakhs, the top-up plan pays Rs.50,000.

      You can choose the sum insured and deductible limit when buying top-up plans and the premiums are very affordable.

      Suitability – top-up health plans are meant to increase your existing health insurance coverage without burning a hole in your pockets. Since premiums are cheap, you can buy top-up plans and choose a deductible matching the sum insured of your existing health plan. Claims up to the deductible would be paid by the normal health plan while exceeding claims would be taken care of by your top-up plan


    • Super top-up plans

      Like top-up plans, super top-up plans are also normal health plans with a deductible limit. However, unlike a top-up plan, in a super top-up plan, the aggregate claims made in a year are matched against the deductible. If the aggregate claims exceed the deductible, the excess is paid. For instance, in a super top-up plan of Rs.5 lakhs with a deductible of Rs.2 lakhs, three claims are made of Rs.1 lakh, Rs.1.5 lakhs and Rs.1 lakh. The first claim is not paid. However, in the second claim, the total claim is Rs.2.5 lakhs. Since the aggregate is more than the deductible of Rs.2 lakhs, Rs.50, 000 is paid. Even the third claim is paid since the previous claims have exceeded the deductible limit.

      Suitability – super top-up plans are better if your claim frequency is higher and you want your aggregate claims to be considered.

      Read more about Why is super top-up the need of the hour?


    • Disease specific plans

      These health plans cover specific diseases like heart related diseases, cancer, dengue, HIV/AIDS, etc. The plans cover treatments and hospitalisation arising out of the covered illness.

      Suitability – these plans are ideal for individuals who are suffering from a particular ailment and are unable to get health insurance coverage for such ailments.


  • Critical illness plans

    Critical illness health plans cover major illnesses which include extensive complicated treatments and are heavy on the pockets. These plans cover a set of critical illnesses (cancer, heart attack, stroke, major organ failure, etc.) and pay the sum insured in lump sum when you are diagnosed with any covered illness

    Suitability – critical illness plans are universally suitable for everyone as they cover commonly occurring critical illnesses. Premiums are low and the plan should be bought for a more comprehensive health cover.

Read more about Difference between health insurance plan and critical illness plan

So, choose from these types of health insurance plans based on your suitability and enjoy comprehensive health insurance coverage.

Read more about 10 things to keep in mind before buying health insurance

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Want a loan in your life insurance policy? Keep these things in mind

Life insurance policies are multi-faceted. They not only cover you against premature death, savings-oriented plans create wealth too. In fact, there are other benefit features in your life insurance plan too which give you liquidity. Unit linked plans provide you the facility of partial withdrawals so that you can access your money whenever you want. Traditional plans, on the other hand, provide you policy loans. These loans give you funds when you need them the most. Though loans are a good way to way to have access to your funds, there are some things which should be remembered before you take a loan. Do you know what these things are?

Let’s find out –

    • When is the loan available?

      You cannot avail a loan whenever you want to. Only if your life insurance plan acquires a surrender value can you avail the loan. Your plan acquires a surrender value only after you pay premiums for a specified number of years. Usually, premiums for the first two or three years are required before the plan acquires a surrender value. In case of policies where the premium paying term is 10 years and less, the first two years’ premiums are required. If the premium paying term is more than 10 years, the first three years’ premiums are required. So, check the policy to find out when you can avail the loan.


    • Maximum quantum of loan

      There is a limit up to which you can avail a loan. The limit is defined as a percentage of your policy’s surrender value which is available when you apply for the loan. Different plans have a different maximum limit of loan. Usually, you get up to 60% to 90% of the surrender value as loan. You should check the maximum quantum available and whether the quantum matches your requirement or not.


    • Interest applicable on loan

      Loan is a credit which you take from the insurance company. As such, you have to pay an interest rate on the loan. Interest is calculated on an annual basis on the amount of loan which you avail. The rate is determined by the insurance company based on the market rates. Sometimes, you might find the rate to be 2% more than the existing bank rate. So, always keep the applicable interest rate in mind before you apply for the loan to ensure that the repayment would be affordable.


    • Loan in case of paid-up policies

      Paid-up policies are those in which you have stopped paying the premiums. If the minimum premiums have been paid, the policy continues on a reduced sum assured without you having to pay future premiums. In case of paid-up policies, the surrender value is limited as premiums are discontinued. When you apply for a loan, you get a very limited amount. Moreover, if you do not repay the loan and the outstanding liability exceeds the surrender value, the policy is foreclosed. So, try and avoid taking a loan in a paid-up policy. You might lose your coverage


  • Foreclosure

    As mentioned earlier, foreclosure applies when you take a loan in a paid-up policy and the loan with interest exceeds the surrender value. The surrender value is the maximum value which is payable to you in between the term of the plan. If the outstanding liability exceeds this value, the company is forced to foreclose the policy. Foreclosure is an early termination of your policy. The company informs you before foreclosing the policy and requests you to pay the loan to avoid foreclosure. If you do not repay the loan or respond to the company’s notice of foreclosure, the policy is foreclosed. Any remaining surrender value (after deducting the outstanding loan) is refunded to you on foreclosure.

Here are some tips of buying life insurance

So, be careful when you take a loan. Take note of these points before you take a loan so that you don’t face any surprises later on.

Find out the types of life insurance plans available in the market

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Unit linked pension plans- All you need to know

Unit linked insurance plans became a rage among investors when they were launched. With various investor-friendly changes in the plan, ULIPs are now more in demand. Such is the popularity of ULIPs that even pension plans are offered in the unit linked version. However, many of you are unaware of the various aspects of unit linked pension plans. So, here is everything you need to know about such plans so that you can buy one for your retirement funding –

What are unit linked pension plans?

Unit linked plans are insurance plans which are developed along the lines of mutual funds. The premium collected under unit linked plans is pooled together and is then invested in different stocks and shares of the capital market. Investors can, thus, earn market-linked returns along with enjoying insurance cover and other flexible benefits. Unit linked pension plans create a corpus which is specifically designed to fund your retirement. The fund created under unit linked pension plans is used to pay annuities which create a regular source of income post retirement.

How do the plans work?

Here is how unit linked pension plans work –

  • You pay the premium you want to invest, choose the sum assured and the policy term
  • Relevant charges are deducted from the premium
  • The allocated premium paid is invested in a fund which is chosen by you
  • The fund value increases or decreases according to the market performance and the premiums paid

The benefits payable

The benefits under a unit linked pension plan are as follows –

  • If the insured dies during the policy term the death benefit is paid which is higher of the fund value or the sum assured. The nominee can choose to take the death benefit in lump sum or in annuity pay-outs.
  • When the plan matures you get various options. You get an option of receiving 1/3rd of the fund value in cash. This benefit is called commutation of pension and is tax-free. Thereafter, the remaining value is to be taken in annuity instalments. You can defer the annuity date or buy a single premium deferred annuity plan with the remaining fund value.

Charges involved

Unit linked plans have various charges which are deducted from the fund value. These charges are as follows –

  • Premium allocation charge – this is the first charge which is deducted from the premium amount before the premium is invested in the chosen fund
  • Fund management charge – this charge is deducted monthly for managing the portfolio of the fund
  • Policy administration charges – administration charges are incurred in servicing the policy. These charges are also deducted monthly
  • Mortality charge – this charge is deducted for the insurance cover provided with the plan.
  • Discontinuance charge – there is a lock-in period of 5 years before which the plan cannot be surrendered. If you surrender the plan during the lock-in period, discontinuation charge is levied.
  • Other charges – the plan might charge you for any changes in the policy. Moreover, there might be a charge for switching, premium redirection or partial withdrawals if they are not free.

(Here are 5 simple tips to buy life insurance)

Flexible features of the plan

Unit linked plans offer various flexible features which are unique to them. Unit linked pension plans are no different. Here are some of the flexible features you can find –

  • Switching – switching lets you change between the available funds if your investment strategy changes. Specified number of switches in a policy year is free under most plans exceeding which there might be a charge
  • Partial withdrawals – after the first five policy years you can withdraw a portion of your fund value. This is called partial withdrawal. Every plan has a limit on the minimum and maximum partial withdrawal
  • Top-up – investing an additional premium under the plan can be done through top-ups. Top-ups are allowed under some unit linked pension plans which also increase the sum assured.
  • Premium redirection – under this feature you can redirect subsequent premiums to be invested in another fund.

Unit linked pension plans, therefore, not only ensure a retirement income, they also grow with the economy. Moreover, the death benefit or the commuted benefit is tax-free. (Know more about the tax benefits of life insurance here). Thus, if you want to create a substantial corpus for your retirement, unit linked pension plans should be your ideal choice.

Read more about what is insurance and how does it work?

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Check out our video if you wish to know more about charges in ULIPS

Does health insurance cover car accident injuries?

Rahul was involved in a bad car accident on his way to work. He was seriously injured and was taken to the nearest hospital. His family was informed and they rushed to the hospital. The hospital enquired whether Rahul had a health insurance plan or not? His wife, Seema, knew that Rahul had purchased a health plan just a week ago but wasn’t sure of the coverage. She feared that the health insurance plan might not cover Rahul’s hospitalisation so soon. They were a middle-class family and this sudden emergency posed a threat to wipe out their finances. Seema was worried, both for her husband’s safety and also for the financial nightmare that loomed. Was her financial worry justified?

Though many of you buy a health insurance plan, you are often confused about the possible coverage benefits. Just like Seema, many of you don’t know whether a health plan covers accidental injuries. Does it?

Yes, it does. Health insurance plans do cover accidental injuries. As Seema informed the hospital about the existing health plan, she was educated about the coverage benefits which her plan would allow and which is common to all health plans. Let’s see what she found out –

  • Ambulance costs – the first coverage which Rahul’s plan allowed was the ambulance cost incurred in bringing Rahul to the hospital. Like Rahul’s plan, most health plans cover ambulance costs up to a specified limit.
  • Inpatient hospitalisation – the treatments which Rahul would receive, doctor’s fees, room rent, surgeon’s fee, operation charges, etc. would also be covered. Normal health plans also cover these expenses which incur when you are hospitalised for accidental injuries
  • Post-hospitalisation expenses – Seema was also told that the expenses incurred on monitoring Rahul’s health after he would be discharged from the hospital would also be covered. This coverage is available for a specified number of days after being discharged.

Seema’s worries were placed to rest. She was glad that the health plan would take care of Rahul’s medical expenses. Moreover, the fear she had about getting coverage early was also laid to rest. She found out that health insurance plans covered accidental injuries right from the first day of the plan. There is no waiting period. So, Rahul’s medical costs incurred due to accident were covered. He made a speedy recovery and was discharged within a fortnight.

(Read more to find out the myths surrounding health insurance)

The same holds true for all health insurance plans. They cover medical expenses which incur due to accidental injuries. There is no waiting period and coverage is allowed from Day 1. However, there are some facts, about accidental injuries and health plans, which you should know. Here they are –

  • Accidental deaths – health insurance plans pay for the medical costs incurred on hospitalisation, whether such hospitalisation is due to any ailment or accident. In case of accidental death, however, the plan does not pay any benefit. If the death is immediate, the health plan is not even triggered. If, however, post an accident, you are hospitalised and death occurs during successive treatments or after hospitalisation, the health plan would pay for the hospitalisation and treatment costs. No benefit would, however, be paid on subsequent death.
  • Accidental disablements – accidental disabilities are also not paid for by health insurance plans. You would get coverage for treatment of your injuries but if you become disabled, the plan would not pay any special benefits.
  • OPD expenses – in case of minor accidental injuries, if you incur expenses on an outpatient basis, your health plan might not cover you. Many health plans do not cover OPD expenses. Some of them which do have a restriction on the coverage amount. So, find out whether your plan has OPD coverage and up to what amount.

Rahul had no such instances and so he didn’t know what was not covered under his health insurance plan. But you should know. Your health plan would cover your accidental injuries but know the above-mentioned exclusions as well. If you need coverage for accidental deaths and disablements, you can buy a personal accident plan or opt for a personal accident rider, if available, in your health plan. While health insurance would cover for accidental hospitalisation, any major contingency, like death and disability would be covered by a personal accident policy. So, supplement your health insurance plan with a personal accident plan as well for a better coverage.

Does your health insurance plan cover all expenses? Find out now!

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