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A short guide to choosing the right Life Insurance

Buying Life Insurance

10 Questions to Ask While Buying Life Insurance

Choose the right life insurance policy by asking these quick questions

Impact of MWP Act

Impact of MWP Act on Your Life Insurance Policy

Get to know how the MWP Act can impact your life insurance policy.

Whole Vs Term Life insurance

Whole Vs Term Life insurance

Check out the difference between a whole life plan and term plan.

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Types of life insurance we offer

There are 2 types of child insurance plans:

  1. One being the traditional child insurance plans with maturity, bonus (if applicable) and death benefit, if the parent dies.
  2. Unit-linked child plans with maturity (investment premium + growth) and a death benefit if the parent dies

Whole life plan::
Whole Life Plans are unlimited Term Plans. These plans cover individuals till 99 or 100 years of age.

Pension plans:
Pension plans are retirement-oriented life insurance plans. Under these plans, the policyholder creates a corpus from which regular annuity payouts are given till the insured is alive. Pension plans come in two variants – Deferred pension plans and Immediate annuity plans.

Summary table of benefits

Here is a summary table for you to understand the main differences between the different types of life insurance plans easily-

Type of life insurance
Death benefitMaturity benefitTerm of CoverTax savingPrimary purpose
Term LifeYesNoFixedYes, Premium paid is tax-free till Rs 1.5 lakhs p.a. U/S 80C and Death Benefit is tax-free in the hands of the nomineeProtect family against the loss of income so that living expenses can be taken care of after your death
Endowment planYesYesFixedYes, Premium paid is tax-free till Rs 1.5 lakhs p.a. U/S 80C Death Benefit is tax-free in the hands of the nominee Maturity benefit is tax-free U/S 10(10)DCreate a saving corpus
ULIPYesYes, market linkedFixedYes, Premium paid is tax free till Rs 1.5 lakhs p.a. U/S 80C Death Benefit is tax-free in the hands of the nominee Maturity benefit is tax-free U/S 10(10)DCreate a saving corpus while investing in capital markets
Child PlanYesYesFixedYes, Premium paid is tax free till Rs 1.5 lakhs p.a. U/S 80C Death Benefit is tax-free in the hands of the nominee Maturity benefit is tax-free U/S 10(10)DCover child’s education or major expenses
Pension PlanYesYesFixedYes, Premium paid is tax free till Rs 1.5 lakhs p.a. U/S 80C Annuity is taxable in the hands of the annuitant but 1/3rd of the corpus can be withdrawn tax-free at the time of vesting U/S 10(10)A.Saving for regular income post retirement
Whole life planYesYesUntil death (up to 100 years)Yes, Premium paid is tax free till Rs 1.5 lakhs p.a. U/S 80C Death Benefit is tax-free in the hands of the nominee Maturity benefit is tax-free U/S 10(10)DCreate a legacy benefit for heirs

Life insurance premium calculator

Every life insurance policy is different and so are their premiums. The reason why no two insurance premiums are the same is because there are a lot of factors that are considered while calculating an insurance premium. Some of the factors responsible for this are the age of the policyholder, policy duration, type of policy, policyholders debts, if any, etc.
Many companies provide life insurance premium calculators on their websites wherein a policy aspirant can calculate his premium amount. These premium calculators are free, handy, and easy to use.
Steps to using a life insurance premium calculator:

  1. Next, enter the required details like your gender, date of birth, tobacco habits and annual income
  2. Select your desired sum assured
  3. Fill in your name and contact details to view quotes of different insurers.

There are many reasons why you should consider using a life insurance premium calculator before buying an insurance policy. First of all, it’s free of cost and takes the least amount of time. Next, it helps any policy aspirant in comparing different types of plans and selecting the one under their budget. Moreover, it tells the exact amount to be spent on premiums which is very helpful for a policy aspirant.

How to buy life insurance with turtlemint?

When you are buying insurance online you need to be double sure about everything. Turtlemint is a reputed insurance aggregator that offers you the best quotes on life insurance plans from the most popular insurance companies. At Turtlemint you can read about the features and benefits of a plan, compare it with other plans and apply for the same in the easiest way possible.

Turtlemint is connected with a number of life insurance companies and thus brings you the best of their plans. If you are someone planning to go for a life insurance plan then you can start by logging into Turtlemint’s official website and navigating to the life insurance section. The website will present all the necessary information related to life insurance policies and will also showcase the best plans of the year. You can go through the page, compare plans as per your requirements and apply for the same within minutes.

7 things to know about life insurance

However, before you invest in a life insurance plan, here are 7 things that you absolutely need to know –

  1. Insurance is NOT an investment
    This is the first thing you need to acknowledge and accept that insurance should never be considered as an investment. Insurance is a vital part of financial planning. But a lot of people consider it as an investment.
    This is primarily because there are some life insurance plans in India that double up as investments. For example, Endowment Policies have a lump-sum maturity benefit, Money Back Plans have regular payments during the entire policy tenure as pre-defined schedule and Unit Linked Insurance Plans have an opportunity to choose your investments even in equity! But what you need to keep in mind while choosing your Life Insurance Policy is the coverage amount you wish to purchase for your family. Insurance is synonymous to protection and that is the primary and most important objective of ANY life insurance product. They should not be evaluated on the basis of their return, bonus, etc.
  2. Required Coverage amount
    The required coverage amount for your insurance policy is the most important aspect of choosing a plan. It depends on your lifestyle and priorities. You have to consider your standard of living, inflation, needs, liabilities etc. Then, accordingly, decide your coverage amount which would be sufficient for your family.
    For instance, if your family’s monthly expenses are say ₹50,000. You need to opt for a Life Insurance coverage of at least ₹ 1 crore so that a post-tax interest earning is enough to provide for the family’s regular monthly expenses! So, ensure that your coverage amount is sufficient to meet the monthly expense of your family in your absence.
  3. Policy Tenure
    The tenure of Life insurance policies depends on the type of plan you opt for. You can choose any tenure that you think is necessary for you and your family. However, the best way to select an apt tenure for your insurance policy is as long as you are earning and providing for your family. This is typically till the age of 60 or 65 years post which your children will definitely start earning and so your financial dependence will gradually reduce!
  4. Claim Procedure:
    You and your nominee should be completely aware of the claim procedure so as to expedite the claim as and when the requirement occurs.
  5. Benefit Offered: Death and Maturity Benefit
    There are two types of benefits in life insurance plans.
    1. One is Death Benefit, where the beneficiaries will receive a lump-sum amount if the life insured dies within the policy tenure.
    2. The other one is Maturity Benefit, where the claim arises when the policy is matured. It is paid only when all premiums are paid on time.
      Maturity Benefit is payable to all life insurance policies except term plans. Endowment Plans are a type of Life Insurance with maturity benefit. Even ULIPs have maturity benefits. These kinds of policies are relatively quite expensive compared to term insurance, but it protects your family with a coverage amount in case the insured dies within the policy tenure. Alongside, these policies have a maturity benefit payable to the policyholder, if you happen to outlive the entire tenure. Hence, the money is not completely foregone in case you survive past the policy term; as is the case with term plans!

Know these important aspects of life insurance and then choose the right plan.


Basics of life insurance in India

A life insurance plan pays your family a certain sum of money as death benefit (as mentioned in the policy) in event of your death while the policy is in force and/or provides returns as maturity proceeds after a set period (called policy term) when the policy terminates; in exchange of a premium.

There are different types of life insurance plans broadly the pure protection or term-life plans and investment plans.

In comparison to investment-type life insurance plans, term life plans only get you a death benefit and not any other return. However, the death benefits you get is substantial in comparison, typically 500-1000 times your annual premium. It would take an investment earning 10% interest for more than 65 years – a lifetime – to get a 500X return!

Term insurance is also quite cheap, e.g. for a 30-year-old, a cover of 50 lakhs, costs about Rs. 4,000 per year.

Life insurance plans are classified into two major types:
Pure protection policies or term life plans: Life insurance term plan pays your family the death benefit as mentioned in the policy in case of your death while the policy is in force.

In comparison to investment-type life insurance plans, term life plans only get you a death benefit and not any other return.

Investment policies: Investment-type life insurance plan pays your family a certain sum of money as maturity returns after a set time period (called policy term) or the death benefit in event of your death (while the policy is in force); in exchange of a premium.

Typically maturity periods are ten, fifteen or twenty years upto a certain age limit, usually 65 years. Furthermore, these policies are traditional with-profits or unit linked (ULIP) plans. The death benefit you get is lesser in comparison to pure protection (term insurance) plans, typically 7 -10 times your annual premium.

If you have family members who are dependent on your income, you must buy a life cover (a term-life protection plan at the least) to secure their future in your absence.

Life insurance provides financial protection against several risk-hazards in the life of every person:

That of dying too soon leaving a dependent family without any means of regular income

That of living till old age without visible means of support

Paying off loans and other expenses like illness or accidents in your absence

Moreover, the death benefit is tax free to your family u/s 10(10D), and premiums get tax exemption u/s 80C.

The rule of thumb is that you should buy a life cover of at least 10 times, and ideally 20 times your annual salary, so that your family can continue to have similar quality of life even after the breadwinner dies.

Why would you need so much cover? Consider a simple scenario, where Anil, who’s salary is 5 lakhs, took the recommended minimum cover of 10 times salary, i.e. 50 lakhs. On his death, his family puts the 50 lakhs of payout corpus in a fixed deposit. With interest of 8% this would give 4 lakhs of substitute income for his family, to manage their day-to-day expenses. It’s less than before but should be fine since Anil’s expenses are no longer to be borne. Now if Anil had loans to pay or other unplanned costs come up, then the corpus will reduce and so will the interest income. Also with effect of inflation the interest income may not be enough as years pass by. So, to be fully safe ideal cover would be 20 times the salary.

Our experts can help with determining your cover need based on your income and savings. We also can help you and your family, plan for the best way to use the benefit payout, in case of an unfortunate event.

Life insurance provides two types of tax benefits:

The premiums you pay for a life insurance policy are eligible for tax deductions upto Rs1.5 lakhs under Section 80C (to the extent of 10% of sum assured or actual premiums paid whichever is less)

The death benefit (including any accumulated bonuses) received by the nominee is fully tax- free as per section 10 (10 D).

Any maturity proceeds received (other than death benefit) are tax-free provided, the premiums paid in any of the years during the term of the policy do not exceed 10% of the actual Sum Assured.

You can always cancel your life insurance policy by informing your provider about your wish to cancel within the free look period which is 15 days. When you cancel your life insurance policy, you are officially ‘surrendering’ the policy.

Alternatively, if you stop paying your premiums, the insurance policy shall stand cancelled or lapsed and the cover will no longer apply. However, surrender of policy is not recommended since the surrender value would always be proportionately low.

You pay a small premium every year to the insurance company, in return for which you get a large cover, typically 30-100 times the premium you paid. The insurance company collects many such small premiums from a large number of customers to create a pool from which they pay your claim. Insurance companies are able to offer you a cover several times the premium you paid simply because not everyone in the pool falls sick in the same year!

How to save money on your life insurance

The prices on Turtlemint are the lowest you can find anywhere, including insurance company websites. In addition, with us you get the benefit of smart choices, personalised recommendations, and life-long claims support.

Insurance companies price policies based on mortality tables that capture data on death rates for various customer segments. Higher the risk of death higher the premium. Some of the factors that can influence your price include:

  • Your age: older people pay more
  • Your gender: women pay less than men
  • Your tobacco consumption habits: pay more if you consume tobacco
  • Add-on benefits: pay more if you include optional benefits like critical illness cover, etc.
  • Medical history: pay more if you have certain medical conditions/complications

However, once bought, the premium stays constant throughout, as long as the policy is renewed without a break. Prices differ across insurers – so make sure you compare before you buy.

First and foremost, compare quotes across companies. Use our proprietary Value for Money (VFM) score and benefit illustrations to find policies that offer the most bang for your buck.

Choose a company that has a good and fast claim settlement record. You can see this data on Turtlemint.

Choose the right cover amount. Remember the thumb rule of 20 times your annual salary.

Turtlemint helps you with all of the above decisions. In addition, we offer free claims support to all our customers. So, give us a try right now!

How to make claims for your life insurance policy

Once you buy a Life Plan, keep your nominee aware of the latest policy copy. To make the claim, your nominee has to intimate the insurance company and provide necessary documents which will include copy of death certificate, hospital records, if any, identity and bank account proofs.

Your claim could be denied for any of the following reasons:

  • Policy was not in force, i.e. you had not paid the premium or policy was cancelled for some reason
  • You did not fully disclose required information in your insurance application
  • Death cause was in excluded list; currently the only exclusion for life plan is suicide in first 12 months since start of policy

Other FAQs

Life insurance policies have the following types of claims –

  • Maturity claim which is paid when the term of the plan comes to an end
  • Death claim which is paid if the insured dies during the term of the plan
  • Money back claims which are payable during the term of the plan if the insured is alive in a money back policy
  • Surrender value claim which is payable if the policy is surrendered by the policyholder before the term completes

Life insurance plans should be bought only after comparing the available plans. Comparing lets you decide whether the plan is the best among the rest.

To compare life insurance plans, the following parameters should be used –

  • The coverage features in the plan
  • The premium rate
  • The discounts available
  • The claim settlement ratio of the insurance company

Only after the plan is compared on these parameters should it be chosen.

Riders are additional coverage features which are available with the basic life insurance policy. Policyholders can choose any rider depending on their coverage requirements. Each rider has an additional premium. Customers can choose multiple riders under the plan provided that the total rider premium does not exceed 30% of the premium of the basic life insurance plan.

Life insurance policies offer the following common riders –

  • Accidental death and disablement benefit rider – under this rider, an additional sum assured is paid if the insured dies or becomes permanently disabled during the term of the plan due to an accident
  • Premium waiver rider – under this rider, future premiums payable under the plan are waived off if the policyholder dies during the term of the plan or meets with an accident or a critical illness, as is mentioned in the policy bond. In that case, the future premiums are waived off and the policy continues. The policy matures in its scheduled time.
  • Critical illness rider – this rider covers a list of critical illnesses. If the insured is diagnosed with any of the covered illnesses during the term of the plan, an additional sum assured is paid
  • Hospital cash rider – under this rider, a daily cash benefit is paid if the insured is hospitalised during the term of the plan
  • Term rider – if the insured dies during the term of the plan, double sum assured is paid irrespective of the cause of death

Any one or multiple riders can be chosen along with the basic policy.

No, riders do not have a maturity benefit. They are applicable only if the insured contingency occurs.

If the policyholder does not wish to continue with the life insurance policy for the stated duration, the policy can be surrendered. Surrendering means termination of coverage. When the policy is surrendered, the surrender value is paid.

Life insurance plans do not cover death due to the following reasons –

  • When under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Acts of criminal nature
  • Participation in hazardous activities
  • Suicide within 12 months of buying the policy or reviving it

Premiums are payable on the specified due date. If the premiums are not paid within the due date, a grace period is allowed for paying the premium. If the premiums are not paid even during the grace period, the policy would lapse.

Grace period is the additional time which is allowed to the policyholder to pay the outstanding premiums. In case of a claim during the grace period, the benefit is paid after deducting the outstanding premium. The grace period is 30 days for policies where premiums are paid in the annual, half-yearly or monthly mode. In case of policies with monthly modes of premium, the grace period is, usually, 15 days.

If the policy lapses, the concept of paid-up value is applicable if the policyholder has paid the premium for at least 2 or 3 years, as the case may be. In such cases, the policy runs on a paid-up value which is the sum assured reduced to the extent of premiums paid against the total premiums payable. So, if in a policy of 20 years, premiums for 10 years have been paid, the sum assured would be reduced by 50% to arrive at the paid-up value.

If the policy has lapsed, the policyholder can pay the outstanding premiums and revive the policy. Revival is allowed within 2 years of the lapse of the policy.

Outstanding premiums and an additional interest would be required to revive a lapsed policy if the revival is done within 6-12 months of the lapse. If, however, revival is done later, a declaration of continued good health would also be required.

Every life insurance policy allows a free-look period of 15 days for the policyholder to cancel the policy if he/she is not satisfied with the policy. When the policy is cancelled in the free-look period, the premiums paid are refunded back after deducting them for the charges applicable in issuing the policy and the mortality risk for the period the policy was in force.

Life insurance plans can allow premiums to be paid at once (single premium plans), for a limited period (limited premium plans) and also for the duration of the policy (regular premium plans). Policyholder can choose to pay the premium annually, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly.

In a life insurance premium calculator, the premium is calculated depending on the data fed into the calculator. The important data required for calculating premiums include –

  • The type of policy required
  • The sum assured
  • The term of the plan
  • The age of the member to be covered
  • Any riders which are required
  • Premium paying mode and frequency
  • Any discounts applicable
  • Smoking habits of the insured

After these details are entered, the calculator calculates and shows the premium charged by the life insurance plan.

Yes, life insurance plans allow a variety of discounts which include –

  • Discount for females
  • Discount for buying the plan online
  • Discount for non-smokers
  • Discount for choosing a high sum assured
  • Discount for paying the premium annually, half-yearly or quarterly

The actual discounts which would be applicable would depend on the plan.

Life insurance premiums can be loaded for different reasons. These include the following –

  • If the insured is a smoker
  • If the premium is paid monthly
  • If the insured has a high health risk
  • If the insured has any physical hazard like being overweight or underweight.

The actual loading applied on the premium would depend on the underwriter.

If the insured commits suicide within a year of buying the plan, the premiums paid are refunded back. If the insured commits suicide within a year of reviving a lapsed policy, higher of the surrender value under the plan or 80% of the premiums paid are refunded. In case of suicide committed any other time, the promised death benefit is paid.

Yes, savings oriented life insurance plans, except ULIPs, provide a loan facility. Under this facility, up to 90% of the plan’s surrender value can be taken by the policyholder as loan.

If the policyholder has availed a loan under the plan and the outstanding balance of the loan and the applicable interest rate exceeds the surrender value, the policy would be terminated by the insurance company. This early termination of the policy is called foreclosure.

A nominee is a person who is authorised by the life insured to receive the proceeds of the life insurance policy if the insured dies and a death claim occurs.

If the life insurance policy is transferred to the ownership of another individual, the process of transfer of ownership is called assignment. Assignment only changes the ownership of the policy. The insured would remain the same.

If any change is made to an existing life insurance policy, the change is made through an endorsement.

Policyholders can change their address, contact details, premium paying frequency, sum assured, add or remove a nominee, etc. Some endorsements would require the permission of the company while some can be done by simple intimation.

A life insurance policy is issued on the basis of the information furnished in the proposal form. It is a policy of utmost good faith. If you answer anything incorrectly or hide an important information from the company and the said information affects your risk, your claim might be rejected by the insurance company.

The nominee should inform the insurance company about the claim. The death certificate of the insured should be submitted and a claim form should be filled stating the details of the policy. Then the insurance company would check the forms and settle the claim.

Money back plans are anticipated endowment plans. They also have death as well as maturity benefit like Regular Endowment Plans, with the only difference that rather than paying the sum assured in one lump sum on maturity, money back plans pay a portion of the sum assured periodically during the policy tenure. These plans, thus, provide liquidity. The survival, maturity and death benefits are given below:

a. Survival Benefit= % of the Sum Assured as per the policy schedule on the pre-defined year. For example, 10% of the Sum Assured is paid every 5 years, i.e. on survival,

  • On the 5th year, 10% of the Sum Assured would be paid
  • On the 10th year, another 10% of the Sum Assured would be paid
  • On the 15th year, another 10% of the Sum Assured would be paid
  • And on the 20th year, another 10% of the Sum Assured would be paid

b. Maturity Benefit= Remaining Sum Assured + Bonus (if applicable) is paid to the policyholder if the life insured survives the entire policy tenure and the policy ends.

Thus, in the previous example, the remaining 60% of the Sum Assured + Bonus (if applicable) would be paid at the end of the policy tenure as Maturity Benefit.

c. Death Benefit= Sum Assured + Bonus (if applicable) is paid to the nominee if the life insured dies within the policy tenure irrespective of the amount already paid as survival benefit and the policy ends.

Bonus declarations, guaranteed additions or loyalty additions might also be paid with the death or maturity benefit, if applicable.

There are 2 types of pension plans namely Deferred pension plans and immediate annuity pension plans, the details are as mentioned below:

a. Deferred pension plans – under these plans,

  • The policyholder chooses a policy term and pays premiums during the term. These premiums get accumulated into a lump sum benefit. Pension starts from the date of Vesting.
  • Death benefit before Vesting: In case of early death, the death benefit is paid
  • On Vesting: At the time of vesting, the annuitant can withdraw 1/3rd of the accumulated corpus as tax-free withdrawal and the remaining portion is then paid as annuity according to the annuity option selected.
  • Death benefit after Vesting: It depends on the annuity option chosen. If the annuitant has chosen, return of purchase price option, then the same would be paid to the nominee.

b. Immediate annuity plans – under these plans,

  • The policyholder pays a lump sum amount to buy the plan and the annuity starts immediately according to the annuity option selected.
  • Death benefit after Vesting: It depends on the annuity option chosen. If the annuitant has chosen, return of purchase price option, then the same would be paid to the nominee.

*Prices will vary on the basis of your individual profile