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Life Insurance

Insurance is not an investment; it is an important part of a sound, savvy personal financial management.Insurance is protection. It protects the entirety of all that you have worked for in time past. It protects your partner in case of premature death. Your kids go to college because it is place. It holds the family together at a time when money should not be a problem.

You have insurance, but shopping for the right coverage to protect your family and your assets is like learning a new language. Term life insurance, universal life, whole life, real value, dividends, loans against the policy - it is quite an array of insurance products out there and finding the right coverage for your needs may take a little research.

Here is a starter course on getting the most in life insurance and still have the protection for yourself and for your family needs.

The different types of life insurance

There are two basic types of life insurance with plenty of variations.

Term life insurance is very simple to understand. It is also a highly economical protection that money can buy.

Term life insurance is paid as at when the insured (you) dies within a time period - the length of time life insurance in effect. Term life is associated with a range of time frames--five, ten, and thirty too. The younger you are, the lesser the amount of the monthly premium - the amount you pay for the protection each and every month. Premiums are calculated based on two factors - your age (and overall health) and the dollar amount of protection you need. It is easy. A $ 50,000 term life insurance policy will be less in cost when compared to a $ 300,000 policy. Why? You are buying less protection. The insurance company will pay X amount of dollars to beneficiaries when the insured person dies, as far as the policy is in place, i.e., death occurs during the term of the policy, hence the name term life insurance. Term life insurance policy does not accumulate value; you cannot borrow against them and, if you have a short-term and your health changes, you would end up paying more for life insurance than you would normally do if you buy a long-term policy; it covers you for the long term. The other categories of insurance are whole life insurance, also called permanent insurance, variable universal insurance, and universal insurance; all come under whole life insurance.

The first difference that readily comes to mind--that's between term and whole life---is that whole life has a coverage that starts from the day you buy the policy until you die. Of course, this assumes that you pay your whole life premium per month. There is no time limit (duration of the coverage is in force) to life. Buy it when you're young, that way, your premiums will be low, and you will begin to build cash value. That is the other major difference between term and whole life insurance coverage. Whole pays certain amount of dividends that can be used to lower monthly premiums or it can be allowed to earn interest over a period. Life insurance sounds complicated, but if you break it down in simple terms, it is something you can do with a trusted advisor to guide on the right path.

Get life insurance. Get term life insurance if you want lower premiums, and make do with whole life insurance as you build your cash value to which you can take loans.

All About Health Insurance Policy

Types of Health Insurance Plans in India

  • Hospitalization Plans:Hospitalization plans are those health insurance plans that reimburse the hospitalization and medical costs of an individual, subject to the sum insured. Hence, these plans are also known as indemnity plans.
  • Family floater Plans:Family health insurance plans cover the entire family in one health insurance plan. It works under the assumption that not all members of a family will suffer from illness at one time. These plans cover hospital-related expenses which can be pre and post hospitalization. Most health insurance companies in India offering family insurance have a wide network of hospitals that help the insured people in times of an emergency.
  • Senior Citizens Plans:As the name suggests, senior citizen health insurance plans are for the older people of the family. These plans cover health issues arising during old age. As per IRDAI guidelines, each insurer must provide cover up to age of 65 years.
  • Maternity Plans: Maternity health insurance plans provide coverage for maternity and other additional expenses. These policies take care of both pre and post-natal care, and delivery of baby i.e. normal or caesarean deliveries. Just like other health insurance plans, the maternity insurance providers usually have a wide range of network hospitals and also takes care of ambulance expenses.
  • THospital Daily Cash Benefit Plans- Hospital Daily cash benefits is a defined benefit policy that provides a certain sum of money for every day of hospitalization.
  • Critical Illness Plans: These plans are benefit-based policies, where a lump sum benefit amount is paid on diagnosis of covered critical illness. These diseases are usually specific, with high severity and low frequency in nature. Hence, the treatment cost is high when compared to day to day medical / treatment need. Some of these illnesses include heart attack, cancer, stroke etc.

Importance of Health Insurance

  • Medical treatments are a fiscal burden on the family
  • Uninsured people may receive less medical care due to lack of funds.
  • They are prone to more risks as they do not have access to regular medical checkups.
  • It protects one’s family through unexpected, unforeseen health-related financial situations.

What do Health Insurance Plans cover?

The health insurance coverage differs from one insurance company to another. All you can do is compare different health insurance policies provided by different health insurers keeping the coverages and exclusions in mind. Usually, a health insurance plan covers the following medical expenses;

Health insurance plans offered in India provide cover for the following essential health benefits:

  • In-Patient Hospitalization- Medical expenses related to hospitalization due to an illness or an accident, which is for a period of more than 24 hrs.
  • Pre-Hospitalization - Medical expenses that one incurs due to illness during the days immediately preceding the hospitalization.
  • Post-Hospitalization - Medical expenses that one incurs for a certain period after being discharged from the hospital.
  • Day-Care Procedures- Medical expenses for treatments, which do not require 24 hours hospitalization due to technological advancement.
  • Domiciliary Treatment- Covers the expenses for treatment done at home for which hospitalization would be needed.
  • Emergency Ambulance - Costs related to using ambulance service for reaching the hospital.
  • Ayush Benefit - Treatment done using Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy.
  • If there is an organ transplant of the insured, all the donor’s expenses would be covered.
  • Health check-up expense
  • Pre-existing diseases (conditions applicable)
  • Maternity/new-born expenses (conditions applicable)

In case you wish to enhance your health insurance cover, you can buy riders at an additional premium or buy top-up health insurance plans.

The different types of life insuranceWhat do Health Insurance Plans not cover?

Mentioned below is the list of the exclusions in a health insurance:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions Pre-existing medical conditions are the ailments that you might already be suffering from while applying for insurance. In all probability, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered under medical insurance plans. However, health insurance providers have started providing coverage for pre-existing medical conditions after a waiting period ranging between two to four years.
  • Pre-Existing Diseases: In case you are suffering from any illnesses or health conditions before buying a health insurance plan, are known as pre-existing diseases. Usually, every health insurance company has a waiting period of 2-4 years or more that would roughly depend upon the type of disease as well as the risk in case your health insurer agrees to cover it. Certain pre-existing health conditions such as cataract, few chronic diseases, joints treatment, kidney stones, arthritis, etc. could be the exclusions in a health insurance plan.
  • Cosmetic surgeries:Cosmetic surgeries are one of the most common health insurance exclusions. However, cosmetic or plastic surgeries that are performed after accidents are covered in several health insurance plans. Also, joint replacements and dental treatments are usually excluded in health insurance policies.
  • Injuries caused during suicidal attempts:An insured is not covered in case he intentionally causes harm to himself. Hence, injuries caused during suicidal attempts are not covered in health insurance plans by any insurance provider.
  • Therapies: Health insurance plans do not cover therapies such as acupuncture, naturopathy, magnetic therapies and alternative forms of therapies.
  • Pregnancy: Certain medical expenses including child birth, pregnancy, vaccination, etc. could not be covered under a health insurance policy. There would be a waiting period of around 1-2 years. Post completion of this waiting period, you will be eligible for receiving decent benefits in case you plan for a child.
  • Waiting Clause: Almost every health insurance company do not cover illnesses that are a part of the inclusions of the health insurance plan. However, there are certain exceptions such as accidents and deaths. A waiting period of 1-2 months would be applied post which you will get the advantages of the policy.
  • Surgeries: Certain surgeries such as dental surgery, joint replacement, cosmetic surgery, etc. are generally not covered in a health insurance policy.

How can you choose the best health insurance plan for your family?

There are several parameters to be considered before you invest in a health insurance plan. Some of them are-

  • Your budget:- One needs to consider the financial budget of the family, based on which he/she invests in a health insurance plan that covers all risks related to health of the insured and their family members.
  • Co-payment:- Another consideration factor that one must consider is whether or not the health insurance plan provides a co-payment facility. A standard feature, co-payment is defined as a fixed percentage of each claim amount that has to be paid by the insured.
  • Number of family members covered:- While investing in a health insurance plan, one must always consider the number of family members that shall benefit from the policy. Most insurance providers cover up to 4 to 6 family members under a family floater health insurance plan in India.
  • Claim settlement process- Claim settlement was a cumbersome process which obstructed a person from investing in a health insurance plan. All insurance providers in today’s day and age, provide easy, hassle-free claim settlement procedures that makes it convenient for the insured.
  • Addition of new family member-Addition of a new family member is a moment of joy. Hence, when investing in a health insurance plan, one must also consider the conditions in the policy in case you wish to get the new family member added and insured under your health insurance policy.
  • Compare health insurance plans- Before investing in a health insurance plan, one must compare the policies from the best insurance providers and select the one that best suits his needs.

Best Features of Health Insurance Plans

Health insurance companies offer a wide range of policies, tailor-made to suit the unique health requirements of their customers. Hence, varied plans include different features related to medical treatments, surgeries, etc. Here are some of the salient features of health insurance policies:

  • Pre-hospitalization expenditures: Coverage extends to medical expenses incurred between 30 to 60 days before hospitalization is covered like medical diagnostic tests, medication, etc.Hospitalization expenditures: Includes expenses incurred during hospitalization for a minimum period of 24 hours. Expenses generally covered are hospital room rent charges, operation theatre charges, ICU charges, doctors’ consultation fee, surgery charges, and other important expenses like blood, anaesthesia, oxygen, etc.

  • Post-hospitalization expenditures: Expenditures incurred between 60 days and 180 days after hospitalization is generally covered by most insurance companies. These charges include follow-up doctors’ consultation fees, medical diagnostic tests, medication, etc. Domiciliary Hospitalization: Medical expenses incurred due to treatments undertaken at home for a period of more than 3 days.

  • Day Care Procedures: Day care procedures or medical treatments like dialysis, angiography, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, appendectomy, colonoscopy, lithotripsy, hydrocele, eye surgery, amongst others. Certain high-end health insurance plans cover all day care procedures.

  • Expenses for Organ Donation: Some health insurance companies cover medical expenses incurred in the process of organ donation. If you are being donated an organ, your donor will be financially secured by your health insurance plan.

  • Critical Illnesses: Some critical illnesses that are usually covered by health insurance companies are cancer, heart attack, coronary artery disease, stroke, paralysis, major organ transplant, chronic lung disease, Parkinson’s, etc.

  • AYUSH Treatment: Alternative medical treatments or AYUSH, which stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy are covered for those policyholders who have opted for it.

  • Hospital Cash: Daily expenditures for food, hospital stay, etc. that are incurred by your caretaker during your hospitalization may be offered on health insurance plans or may be available as a rider. Health insurance plans also offer compensation for the loss of income due to health issues.

  • Ambulance Cover: Health insurance policies cover expenses for ambulance service.

  • Check-ups: General health check-ups as a preventive measure are covered by some health insurance plans.

  • Vaccinations: Certain health insurance plans cover vaccination costs for bee stings, dog bites, etc.

  • Emergency Evacuation: Under emergency situations when a patient needs to be transferred from one hospital to another, health insurance plans cover expenses involved in the relocation process.

Motor Insurance

New India Assurance Private Motor Insurance Policy can be tailor-made for any private vehicle to get insurance. This policy by New India Assurance Motor Insurance covers Own Damage motor insurance and also, Third Party liability insurance. These categories of motor insurance from New India Assurance help motor owners in case of any accident or mishap.

Inclusions of New India Motor Insurance Claims for motor insurance from New India Assurance are applicable on all types of commercial vehicles and two wheelers. Damage or loss to the insured motor and/or its accessories caused due to any of these natural and manmade disasters can be claimed against motor insurance from New India Assurance:

  • Flood
  • lightning
  • storm
  • hurricane
  • typhoon
  • cyclone
  • fire
  • explosion
  • Earthquake
  • rockslide
  • landslide
  • Burglary
  • theft
  • housebreaking
  • Riot and terrorist activities
  • Malicious acts
  • Accidental external means
  • Loss or damage in transit by road
  • elevator
  • waterway or air
Exclusions of New India Motor Insurance
  • Wear and tear
  • breakdowns
  • Consequential loss
  • Loss when driving with invalid driving license or
  • under the influence of alcohol.
  • Loss due to war, civil war, etc.
  • Claims arising out of contractual liability.
Types of coverage
  • Fire, explosion, self-ignition or lightning
  • Burglary, housebreaking or theft.
  • theft
  • Riot and strike
  • Malicious acts
  • Terrorist acts
  • Earthquake (fire and shock) damage
  • Flood, typhoon, hurricane, storm, tempest
  • inundation, cyclone and hailstorm
  • Accidental external meansWhilst in transit by road, inland
  • waterway, lift, elevator or airBy landslide/rockslide

Third Party Liability:

This policy is mandatory by the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, it is provided by car insurance from New India Assurance that covers any injuries or property damages to the third party. Liability is covered for an unlimited amount in cases of death or injury, and damage to third party property for Rs. 7.5 lakhs.

Owner-driver, passenger and paid driver personal accident cover: The Owner-driver personal accident cover of sum insured of Rs. 2 lakhs in case of permanent total disability or an accidental death is covered with a premium of Rs. 100

Travel Insurance

So, you are a travel junkie and you live vacation to vacation! And you would wonder how a travel insurance would be of your help in your vacation? Well, a travel insurance would help you tackle all the travel and medical contingencies while you travel abroad. You might find buying a travel insurance silly, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Buying travel insurance would not only safeguard you from all the possible unforeseen situations but also help you cherish all the lovely memories of your stay abroad. It is utmost important to add best travel insurance to your checklist while you plan your vacation, be it for leisure or business. Travel insurance is gaining back all its lost significance. To avoid unforeseen conditions like flight delay, loss of baggage, loss of passport as well as medical emergencies, buying travel insurance becomes extremely necessary. It is also convenient and easy, as you can buy travel insurance online.

SINGLE TRIP POLICY Single trip policy is good for one-time travellers. The maximum of 180 days these policies can last for, however, your travel insurance policy can also be extended post a humble request to the insurer. So, have you packed your bags yet? And don't forget to buy travel insurance.

ANNUAL MULTI-TRIP POLICY his policy is ideal for frequent travellers or globetrotters. It's valid for making several trips during the year, each one ranging from 30-45 days, rewarding you with suitcases full of memories. You have the option to choose the coverage and the type of plan basis your needs. However, there are various plans offered under travel insurance.

Key Features of the Best Travel Insurance Plans

  • Medical expenses - Offers coverage for any surgical or emergency medical treatment when you are away from home
  • Curtailment - Offers coverage for any trip that is shortened or cancelled due to a valid reason. This feature helps you to save a lot of money on cancellation of flights or hotel accommodation
  • Personal liability cover - Offers coverage if you damage some one's property or are liable for bodily injuries due to an accident
  • Loss of passport- Offers coverage towards expenses for replacing the original passport if robbed during your travel
  • Terrorism - Offers coverage for your medical and insured losses during an act of terrorism while your visit overseas
  • Repatriation of remains- Offers coverage for expenses to take the insured's mortals or human remains back to the home country

Home Insurance

Structure Cover– This is for the structure of your home. The compensation under this cover will be paid to repair damages to the structure caused by specified natural and man-made calamities.

Contents Cover– This is for the possessions you have inside your home. If these are damaged or burgled, then the insurance covers the loss you incur for the same

You can take either one of these covers individually or opt for both to make sure you are covered comprehensively. The Home Insurance Policy of ICICI Lombard has a comprehensive range of covers to protect your home.

Fire and Special Perils (Structure and/or Contents)

Covers losses to the structure of the house and the contents due to any specified natural and man-made calamities.

Burglary (Contents)
  • Covers the loss of contents due to burglary or an attempted burglary, and loss of jewellery, gold ornaments, silver articles and precious stones kept under lock and key.
  • Apart from the above covers, you can also opt for the following covers:
  • Additional expenses of rent ` 1,00,000 for alternative accommodation
  • This cover provides for additional expenses incurred for the payment of rent, in case you have to shift to an alternative accommodation due to the action of perils covered under this policy.

Terrorism (Structure and/or Contents) It covers losses to the structure of the house and the contents due to acts of terrorism.

Building / Structure of your Home The structure of your home is covered on a Reinstatement Value basis. This is the cost of rebuilding your home with a similar new construction. It does not cover the market value of your home as the land and the status value of the particular location also adds to this price. Only the cost of construction of the house is covered as land is indestructible.

  • Fire
  • Malicious Damage
  • Explosion / Implosion
  • Earthquake
  • Lightning
  • Storm
  • Cyclone
  • Tempest
  • Tornado
  • Hurricane
  • Floods
  • Strike
  • Riot
  • Impact Damage
  • Missile Testing Operations
  • Landslide
  • Inundation
  • Leakage from Sprinklers
  • Subsidence
  • Rockslide
  • Aircraft Damage
  • Bursting
  • Overflowing of Water

ContentsThe contents are covered on ‘Market Value’ basis, i.e. the cost of buying a similar item of the same age. This includes household appliances, personal effects and miscellaneous items. For jewellery and furniture, value is appropriately arrived at in consultation with a valuator.

Marine Insurance

Marine insurance covers the loss or damage of ships, cargo, terminals, and any transport by which the property is transferred, acquired, or held between the points of origin and the final destination. Cargo insurance is the sub-branch of marine insurance, though Marine insurance also includes Onshore and Offshore exposed property, (container terminals, ports, oil platforms, pipelines), Hull, Marine Casualty, and Marine Liability. When goods are transported by mail or courier, shipping insurance is used instead.

Various policies exist, including:

  • Newbuilding risks:This covers the risk of damage to the hull while it is under construction.
  • Open Cargo/Shipper’s Interest Insurance: This policy may be purchased by a carrier, freight broker, or shipper, as coverage for the shipper’s goods. In the event of loss or damage, this type of insurance[5] will pay for the true value of the shipment, rather than only the legal amount that the carrier is liable for.
  • Yacht Insurance:Insurance of pleasure craft is generally known as "yacht insurance" and includes liability coverage. Smaller vessels such as yachts and fishing vessels are typically underwritten on a "binding authority" or "lineslip" basis.
  • War risks:General hull insurance does not cover the risks of a vessel sailing into a war zone. If an attack is classified as a "riot" then it would be covered by war-risk insurers.
  • Increased Value (IV): Increased Value cover protects the shipowner against any difference between the insured value of the vessel and the market value of the vessel.
  • Overdue insurance:This is a form of insurance now largely obsolete due to advances in communications. It was an early form of reinsurance and was bought by an insurer when a ship was late at arriving at her destination port and there was a risk that she might have been lost (but, equally, might simply have been delayed
  • Cargo insurance:Cargo insurance is underwritten on the Institute Cargo Clauses, with coverage on an A, B, or C basis, A having the widest cover and C the most restricted. Valuable cargo is known as specie. Institute Clauses also exist for the insurance of specific types of cargo, such as frozen food, frozen meat, and particular commodities such as bulk oil, coal, and jute. Often these insurance conditions are developed for a specific group as is the case with the Institute Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOFSA) Trades Clauses which have been agreed with the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations and Institute Commodity Trades Clauses which are used for the insurance of shipments of cocoa, coffee, cotton, fats and oils, hides and skins, metals, oil seeds, refined sugar, and tea and have been agreed with the Federation of Commodity Associations.