New LIC Term Insurance relaunched with low premiums

This is a bit old news now – but a lot of you might not know that LIC has relaunched their Term plans (offline) few weeks back. LIC has two term plan policies now called Anmol Jeevan II (below 25 lacs sum assured) and Amulya Jeevan II (Above 25 lacs sum assured) , and now both of these are relaunched (earlier one was Jeevan Anmol I and Amulya Jeevan I) to make sure that they comply with new IRDA regulations which came some months back.

LIC new Jeevan Amulya Term Plan

The main change in the new term plan and the old term plan is – that SINGLE premium option has been removed from these term insurance policies and the premiums have dropped due to change in mortality rates, which was due from long time for LIC to adopt (that was the main reason why LIC term plan premiums were very high compared to other companies)

Lower Premiums for New LIC Term plans

For the simplicity purpose, in this post we will just talk about LIC Jeevan Amulya (Sum Assured above 25 lacs) and not LIC Anmol Jeevan.

So now the premium is lower.  Consider an example where a 30 yr old person wants to buy a 25 yr policy . In this case the old LIC Amulya Jeevan premium was Rs 292 for every Rs 1 lac sum assured, however in the new Amulya Jeevan , its only Rs 196 , which is a reduction of approximate 33% .

Now with this new rates – if a person wants to buy Rs 1 crore term plan with LIC – then it can be bought at only Rs 19,600 , compared to Rs 29,200 earlier !

New LIC Term Plan premiums

Is LIC Term plan premium lower than other companies? 

No , LIC Term plan is still one of the highest even after reduction in its premium rates, but if someone is hell bound on buying a term plan from LIC only, then its a great news for them. If you consider other private companies – then the premiums are much lower for other companies like Bharti Axa, Aviva or HDFC Click2Protect . For example – A policy of 1 crore sum assured (25 yrs tenure) , most of the other companies will charge below Rs 10,000 per year, however in case of LIC its Rs 19,600 which is almost double .

Already bought old term plan from LIC long back , Will your future premiums be lower?

I dont think so, if you already have bought LIC Amulya Jeevan Term plan some time back, you will be paying higher premium which was decided at the time of buying and you will continue paying that only. So now its your choice if you want to re-purchase a new term plan or not, But better check the premiums difference in case you plan to repurchase it now , because if you re-purchase it now, your current age will be considered and it might happen that the premium difference is not much for you.

So now – if you still have not bought a term plan , and if you are only interest in LIC term plan, then its a good time to buy the term plan from LIC – go ahead !

The Shocking story of – How LIC policy was surrendered using Forged Signature

Can someone else surrender your LIC policy and take the money ? I know you have never ever thought this can happen, because this looks so impossible, but I want to share an incident with you all which happened with Muthu (name changed), who is one of our jagoinvestor reader.

insurance fraud surrender

One day, Muthu came to know that 3 of his LIC policies were surrendered by someone else and the money was utilized. He came to know about this only when he got pre-closure letter from LIC for his 3rd policy. Below is the full sharing from Muthu

Hello All,

I was shocked to know that someone has used my identity (signature) to surrender my LIC policies and utilized that money for their benefits.

  • Firstly, my policy # 363934899 was forged and surrendered on 29.01.2013, for which LIC has issued cheque # 926895 dtd 29.01.2013 amounted Rs. 49795/- without my knowledge or consent.
  • Secondly, my policy # 363934900 was forged and surrendered on 29.01.2013, for which LIC has issued cheque # 926894 dtd 29.01.2013 amounted Rs 49795/- without my knowledge or consent.
  • Thirdly, my policy # 364340197 was forged and surrendered on 07.10.2013, for which LIC has issued cheque 959220 amounted to Rs 35645/- without my knowledge or consent.

I came to know about this when I received pre-closure letter from LIC after surrender of my third policy # 364340197. Immediately I raised written complaint to LIC about policies forgery on October 29, 2013. Further to my complaint, LIC recovered forged amount from the concern person and sent a covering letter along with the 4 cheques to me for the forged valve but not specifying the forged person name on the covering letter.

This incident raises some questions which are –

  • When the initial cheques was issued in my name, how the money has been utilized by someone else.
  • Even though requesting, LIC not mentioning forged person name in the covering letter after recovery of the forged amount.
  • Did LIC filed FIR against forged person? If not why?

Who did this Fraud ?

When I came to know about this incident, the first thing which came to my mind was that it was some “insider” from LIC who did this, because its almost impossible to surrender the policy without producing the original policy document, forging the signatures and then redeeming the cheque in your own account. But the truth is that the fraud was not done by anyone from LIC office. Then Who ?

It was his Mother and Younger Brother !

Shocked ! ?

Let me now share in Muthu’s words how his mother and younger brother did this fraud.

The Fraud was done using “re-cycle” procedure

Here is exactly what Muthu shared about the fraud procedure

Dear Manish,

Since the bond was in my mother custody they surrendered that policy with the forged signature (read more about Identity Theft)

When the cheque was issued in my name, LIC agent by name Yeshoda has given a cunning idea to re-submit the cheque received in my name to LIC and another policy to issue for the same value for different name ( This process is called re-cycle procedure).

Finally once the policy has been issued in their name. They can easily surrender that policy and utilized the policy amount.

This is worst ever experience that money can change “ANY ONE”.

Do you have LIC policy ? Are you sure this same fraud can not happen with you ? How will you prevent it ?

Forget IQ – Have you ever thought about your Security Quotient (SQ) ?

Today, on Jagoinvestor, I will coin a new term – Security Quotient. Just as I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) is a score that measures your overall intelligence, Security Quotient (S.Q.) measures how well you have managed the security of different areas of your financial life. By security I am taking about insurance against external factors.

Imagine a warrior – heading to battle and donning various pieces of armor to protect his body. He covers himself from top to bottom and ensures there are no chinks in his armor. A warrior can concentrate on fighting against the opponent only when he is assured that he is secured from all sides. If he leaves himself exposed, he risks getting severely injured every time he is attacked.

How secured is your financial life overall

Now imagine yourself as a soldier too. You head out of your home everyday and brave the perils of your daily job to earn money. You strive to ensure you have enough funds to meet your financial goals and to have a good lifestyle including buying a home, car and other assets. But you are always exposed to various kinds of external risks in life. If you do not take measures to handle them, you can come under attack from them some day and your financial life may be severely crippled or may even collapse. It is therefore imperative that you protect yourself well from all sides and have the resilience to deal with any kind of risk. This should take the form of preemptive action, which ensures that should an adverse situation arise, you already have put things in place to eliminate or minimize the risk.

Now lets look at few areas, both big and small, and how you can take actions to protect yourself from risks in these areas.

1. Protection against Life Risk (35%)

What if you die before you expect to? A few days back I heard the news that 40 people had died in a mishap while travelling from Bangalore to Hyderabad in a Volvo bus. Do you think any of the passengers had expected such a situation to arise while boarding the bus the night before? Similarly, you have no way of predicting when the truck behind you on the road might lose its balance and run you over. So while you can control your actions, you have little to no control over the actions of others and the incidents arising from those actions.

So have you taken sufficient life insurance through a term plan or are you still deluding yourself by having those 3 or 4 traditional life insurance policies, which would not even feed your family for 2-3 years in the unfortunate event of your demise!

2. Protection against Hospitalization Risk (25%)

The wife of a relative of mine was suddenly hospitalized a few months back after having lived a healthy 55 years without any major illness. Her husband had felt that paying premiums for a product that ‘might’ not be needed was a waste of money. Unfortunately, as a result of the unexpected hospital bills, a good part of his retirement corpus is now eroded and he is making enquiries with me for a good health insurance policy. I had to inform him that it would be tough now to get a policy at a reasonable premium. The best time for him to take health insurance had long since passed.

How about you? Are you sitting on a pile of cash to the tune of 5-10 lakhs? You had better be ready with this money it if you are not planning to take good health insurance cover.

3. Protection against illness (5%)

Now what if you catch some major illness? Are you taking care of your health properly? Are you walking, exercising, biking and eating correctly? These are some steps you should be taking today to make sure you lower your risk of illness or disease. Admittedly, this was a non-finance tip, but also consider taking critical illness cover so that in the event you are diagnosed with some thing major, you get support from health insurance companies in form of money.

4. Protection against Theft at Home or Fire (5%)

I know the probability of these things occurring is miniscule – but there is still some risk you are exposed to. The more I watch Crime Patrol on Sony TV, the more I am convinced that world is not as safe as I assumed it to be! The courier boy might not be a courier boy – He might be a burglar!. A few years back, a relative’s house almost caught fire at Diwali time as a result of children carelessly bursting crackers inside the house.

Again, though chances of something like this happening are minimal, the risk will always be there. It is therefore your choice if you want to be prudent and get insured against home damage due to theft, fire or other natural disasters. The good thing is, it does not cost a lot of money. A Few hundred rupees are all you need to pay for reasonable coverage against these risks.

5. Protection against Frauds on Credit Card and Banking (5%)

The Internet is filled with millions of complaints against credit card frauds and banking related frauds yet at the same time it is also filled with credit card numbers, PAN card numbers, bank account numbers and so many important details.

The frightening thing is that smart people have lots of tricks to exploit the fragile systems to mine this information and loot investors. The ideal way to protect yourself is to know and apply the best practices to secure your information and also study the rules about banking and credit cards. You also have the option to take insurance cover against credit card theft and frauds, if that appeals to you.

6. Protection against Job loss (10%)

The shock of job loss is high because most people are immediately concerned about two things – “Will I get another job?” and “How will I handle my expenses for next few months?”

You can actually handle the second issue by maintaining an emergency fund that is sufficient to cover your expenses for a predefined number of months in the event of job loss. Say for example your expenses amount to Rs. 50,000 per month. You should be setting aside Rs. 3 lakhs only to be used if you lose your job. You could deposit the money in a F.D. and earn good interest on it – but it has to carry the mental label of ‘for emergency use only’! . You should read this article to learn how I created a job loss insurance product hypothetically

You also need to make sure you enhance your job skills and also build a strong position in your company. The ideal situation is when your employer needs your expertise more than you need that specific job! Achieving this outcome is purely in your control.

7. Protection against your Car Accident (10%)

I recently had to get a replacement for my car’s windshield. I was not worried about the expense because I had covered it already. A stone struck the windshield and shattered it. While this was a small incident, there are bigger problems lurking on Indian roads. What if your car were to be in a major accident and get badly damaged? What if it were to get stolen? What if you were to hit someone by accident and have to foot a bill of Rs. 35,000? Who will pay for all these expenses? (A similar analogy can be applied to 2-wheelers as well)

The way you can protect yourself against these risks is by taking auto insurance. Thank god it is almost mandatory in India and no one makes a fuss about getting it (like they do about term insurance).

8. Protection against loss of key documents (5%)

There was an instance when I was convinced that I had lost my Passport, original driving license and a few other key important documents (thankfully they were not lost – just misplaced). I panicked and was cursing myself for not keeping a scanned version of the documents with me, even though I had planned on doing so a lot of times.

After some frantic searching I managed to find the documents and the first thing I did was to create duplicates, keep one copy at my wife’s home and the other in my bank locker. I now make sure, that I am more careful about handling these critical pieces of paper. While I will do my best to ensure I never lose them, I always have a backup somewhere should I misplace the originals. The same goes for the keys to my home as well my important emails and digital documents!

So whats your Security Quotient between 0% – 100% ?

Just look at all the 8 points above. If you think you have secured yourself against that risk, give yourself a score from the number written next to each point. Tally up your total points and let me know how much you scored?

5 major changes in life insurance policies from Jan 1, 2014 – How it affects you ?

Some major changes are going to happen in life insurance industry from Jan 1, 2014, especially in traditional policies like Endowment Plans, money-back plans and even ULIP’s. You will surely have a LIC policy or any other private sector traditional plans or might buy them in coming times. Here are 5 major changes which you should be aware about and they will come  into effect from Jan 1, 2014.

1. Service Tax introduced in LIC Policy Premium

Till now LIC was not charging the service tax of 3% from the customers and paying it to govt from the pool of money collected itself, but now the service tax will have to be charged separately from policy holders. Which means that if your LIC premium was Rs 50,000 per annum, now it will be 3.09% higher in first year, which is Rs 51,500  and after 1st year, it will be 1.545% as per moneylife article.

While customers see it as additional burden, note that its not the case exactly, Earlier – LIC was paying the service tax from the pool of money collected from investors only, which reduced the bonus amount given back to them. But now because it will not be taken out from the funds, that means the bonus declared each year will go up by that much margin and will come back to investors only. Note that Pvt companies were charging the service tax already, so nothing changes on their side. Only LIC was not charging it separately, which they will have to do from Jan 1, 2014 deadline.

2. Increase in Surrender Value

One of the major changes which has happened, is the change in surrender value for policy holders. The rules of surrender value depends on the premium paying term of the policy. If the premium paying term for policy is less than 10 yrs. Then the policy will acquire the surrender value after paying premium for 2 yrs (earliar it was 3 yrs), however if the premium paying tenure is more than 10 yrs , then the surrender value will be acquired only after paying 3 yrs premium.

In both the cases, the minimum surrender value would be 30% of the premiums paid without excluding the first year premium. Note that earlier, if you used to surrender after paying 3 premiums, you got 30% of premiums paid MINUS first year premium, but now as per new rules, the first year premium will not be deducted. Learn everything about LIC policies working before Oct 1

Another good change is that, from 4th-7th year, the minimum surrender value would be 50% of the premiums paid, and has to reach 90% of premiums paid in last 2 yrs of policy paying tenure.

3. Possible Decrease in Premium on LIC Policies

There is a great possibility that the premiums on LIC policies will come down by some margin, because the mortality rates will now be revised by LIC in calculating the premiums.

Mortality rates are the rates at which the insurance company deducts the fees for insuring you based on your age. LIC had been using old mortality rates till now, but now they will have to use new mortality rates . Just to give you an idea on reduction of premium, when I check the mortality rate for a 40 yrs old person in old table, its 0.001803 . But in new rates its 0.002053 . Which is approx 10% better. Lets not go into detailed calculation at the moment, but your risk premium part should go down by 10% (not the full premium, because only some part of whole premium in traditional policies are risk premium and rest is investment part) .

4. Higher Death Benefit

If the policy holder is above 45 yrs of age, then the Sum Assured has to be more than 10 times the annual premium, and for those who are less than 45 yrs old, it can be minimum 7 times the premiums. Note that for claiming the tax exemptions, your sum assured has to be 10 times the base yearly premium. So when you buy the policy in-case, you need to keep it in mind. BasuNivesh has done a great point by point notes on each aspect of regulation, in-case you want to go into details.

5. Agents’ incentives have now been linked to the premium paying term

Now agents commissions is linked to the premium paying tenure. Earlier a lot of agents used to sell the policies which had higher maturity tenure, but limited premium paying tenure (like 30 yrs policy with 10 yrs premium payment) . Here is the new commission structure taken from Moneylife article 

In case of regular premium insurance policies, a policy with a premium paying term (PPT) of five years will not pay more than 15% in the first year. Products with PPT of 12 years or more will have first year commissions up to 35% in case the company has completed 10 years of existence and 40% for the company in business for less than 10 years.

The funny aspect is that a lot of LIC agents tried to mislead many new investors by projecting date Jan 1, as the deadline when a lot of LIC products will stop giving good features using the official notification. LiveMint has even captured it in this image.

misleading ads by LIC agents

What should you do ?

The insurers have to refile all their products to IRDA and already lots of products have been approved and many are still waiting for approvals. So if you have a insurance policy, then you will get the communication from your insurer about any changes if any. Right now, for sure the traditional plans have got better, compared to their past avatars.

If you are adamant on buying endowment plan, better wait for some time and let things get more clear. Let me know about your thoughts on this change ?

5 reasons why you should not take Term insurance till 75 yrs !

Got a term plan for your family? Or may be you’re planning to take the term plan in a few days. If you are, good for you! . One of the biggest questions, every person considering term insurance has, is – “Should I take the cover for the maximum period?” . This is exactly what Chetan also asked on our questions and answers forum

Aegon provides coverage upto 75 years of age. or 20 25 30 35 40 years. I am confused which policy term is better to get maximum benefits?

Just like him, hundreds of investors have asked me this question over and over again, and I tell them, “Just take it only until you reach 60 years of age.”

And they happily ignore my suggestion; as if I am crazy, suggesting this to them. The “Insurance only till 60 years” looks kooky to them – kind of a “wrong deal” and they want to get “maximum benefit” out of the term plan. “The chances of my family receiving the  claim amount is higher when I am covered for long” is the common thought process of every person who is in the mad rush of buying the highest possible tenure.

term insurance plan for higher tenure

Trust me, that’s flawed thinking and I will explain why today. More than a sermon, think of this article as a discussion, where I put some points in front of you and you reflect and ask yourself – “Does it really make sense? or not?” and then make your own decision. So here are those 5 reasons on – why you should not take Insurance till the age of 75 years or more

1. You don’t need it beyond your working life

You really need to ask yourself the question – “Why am I taking Life Insurance?” and the answer is – “Because right now, I don’t have enough net worth, which will help my family if I am gone” or in other words – “Because my family is financially dependent on me.”

For a person who is not earning and does not bring money home, his death will cause family only emotional loss; not financial loss. Hence, logically you need to cover yourself through a life insurance product, only for the time you are working and others are financially dependent on you.

2. You will have “probably” have enough wealth by the time you retire anyway

Stretching the 1st point, if you are taking life insurance cover until you are 70-75 years, will you really need it at that time? Do you really feel that you will have any reason to have a cover of 1 crore that time (after 30-40 years?) . I am sure (more confident than you), that you would have completed all your financial goals by that time, you will have your own home by that time and you will have done everything in your life by that time. You focus area at that old age will be very different than what you focus on right now.

To understand this point, you have to stop for a moment and go into 2040-50; when you are retired and close to the heaven’s door. Are your children really financially dependent on your income – which does not exist? Is your spouse dependent on your income? You must have already accumulated enough wealth by that time and you must be getting some income out of that. Your death has nothing to do with family cash flows at the time.

3. The premium factors in your tenure already

Most of the people who feel that they are smart enough to take term plan till 75 years, forget that on the other side is a professional business running for decades now. They have hired people who are 10 times smarter, who design products (they are called Actuaries) that generate large profits for companies and not investors. Life Insurance is a “for-profit” business. They design things, so that they earn profit. If a company allows you to take a plan that lasts until you turn 75, why have they done that? Why did they allow that to happen? The premiums they charge already factor in everything. You pay premiums to get that term plan, it does not come free!

4. You will live longer – and they already know that.

Like I said in my last point, companies are “for-profit” businesses. They will not issue you a policy if your chances of living beyond 75 is not high. If you are a healthy person, already earning well, have access to good health care, what are the chances you will live beyond 75 years of age? Extremely high, that’s what!

Look around you – Are people dying early on average? No, you see people living beyond 80-85 already and here we are talking about your future which is 30-40 years away, when the average life expectancy of an average person in India would be closer to 73-76 years anyway (as per projections by govt studies.)

Now just imagine this … Compared to the 1.25 billion people in our country, are you in top 25% or lower?

Which means that you have much much better prospects to live beyond 80-85 years.  Which brings me to another point, that you should seriously worry about about your retirement planning a lot more than the less important question of insurance beyond 70-75 years.

Even when we do financial planning for our clients, we make sure that we plan for their retirement beyond 85 years and have them covered only till 60 yrs or even lower if they feel they will retire earlier. The important point to understand here is that, a life insurance coverage is just a support for your family in your early life when you are making money, your financial replacement, if you will. So when a life insurance company issues you a term plan until 75 years, it’s not you who are smart, but the company! They know, with a really high degree of probability, you will keep paying the premiums till 75 years.

It’s all chance. Yes, there will be people who will die before they reach 75 years of age and yes, their family will get a lot of money, but it really is just the game of chances … Companies make profits because of those who will live beyond 75 years and not by those who die before that.

5. The value of your sum assured is peanuts later

I hear it most of the time – “I am taking the term plan till 75 years, so that even if I die, my family will get the money. So, the higher the tenure, higher the chances of making money.” But they forget that by doing so, they are actually helping the insurance guys make profit, but lets say you die at 70 years. Celebrations! Your family will get that 1 crore, which at this moment sounds good, but will not be worth a lot that time.

Let me show you the mirror that lets you look into the future 🙂

Let’s say you are a 30 year old guy, and your monthly expenses are 40k per month. You say to yourself, “Let me take that term plan worth 1 crore so that in case, I die my family can get 1 crore which will provide them some good monthly income.”

It would be very good number if you die early in your life! . With each passing year that 1 crore will be worth less. If you die the next year of taking the term plan, the worth of that 1 crore is pretty much same, 1 crore. But if you die after 10 yrs, that 1 crore will be worth 50 lacs in today’s world. So getting 1 crore after 10 yrs is same as getting 50 lacs right now. Are you getting my point? The money you get in term plan is a constant number, not linked to inflation!

So imagine you have taken the term plan till 75 years and you die at 70 (after 40 yrs of taking the term plan), what is the worth of that same 1 crore at that time? Hold your breath! It’ll not more than 6-7 lacs assuming a inflation of 7% and even if inflation for next 40 yrs is a small 5%, it would not be worth 15 lacs today! . So when your family gets that 1 crore after 40 yrs, it’s kind of worthless. No one would be depending on that money anyway; it’s just a bonus on your children’s inheritance money!

Act like a real informed and smart investor

I have been seeing this madness for many months now and was constantly wondering why people are focusing so much on this small thing called “long tenure” in the term plan. I see investors abandoning one insurance company for another just because the other company is offering a term plan till 75 years.

You are allowing yourself to fall into a trap if you do this. If you have already taken the term plan till 75 years, do not worry … do not cancel it, just let it run it’s course. Stop paying premiums when you feel that your family can be taken care of, by the wealth you have generated. If you are planning to take a term plan right now, take it for as long as it takes you to retire, probably till 55 to 60 years, but not beyond that.

Would be happy to hear your thoughts and your views on this topic! . You have taken the term plan for very high tenure ! .

Mistake in your Medical report while taking Term Plan – Real Life Experience

What happens when your hospital goofs up and your term plan premium goes up because of that mistake? When you take a term plan, the insurance company either asks you to take up medical test in some hospital or a doctor comes to your home and does the checkup. Things mostly go well and at times some kind of health issue comes up, and you say

“Ahh … you say, I didn’t know there was this issue, Thank God! a medical test was done.”

Then the insurance company increases the premium because there was some issue in your medical report. You pay the increased premium, feeling secure now that things are black and white. But, what if the medical report was wrong because of some mistake the hospital made? What if there was a TYPING Error? Yes! It happens and we have a real life experience today.

wrong medical report term insurance plan

Nitin shared his experience on our Question and Answer forum while buying his term plan from HDFC and Aviva. Below are his experiences

Experience while buying HDFC Click2Protect

After some analysis I found below 2 plans suitable for my term insurance needs: [list style=”check”]

  • HDFC Click2Protect
  • AVIVA i-Life

After considering some factors, I had chosen HDFC Click2Protect and applied for it. My medical test has been performed in 4-5 days. Few days later I got notification from HDFC that my proposal is postponed because of ‘elevated level in my blood sugar’. It was a shocking news for me because I am a healthy person and never had any problem (touch wood). I called hospital people (where my medical check-up was conducted) and after request they informed me that my sugar level count is 173 (normally it should be between 70-100). I still not believed that and went for medical check-up again by myself and found sugar level count is 72(which is normal).

Then I decided to go for AVIVA i-life plan and applied for the policy. Fortunately/Unfortunately, my medical examination was scheduled at same hospital, where it was conducted before for HDFC. This time I carried my medical report (which I had done by myself) and asked hospital about the reason for differences in both reports. According to their report my count was 173 & according to my report count was 75. They checked again and found that it was a TYPING MISTAKE, actual count was 73 but they wrote it 173 by mistake.

Now, because of this mistake HDFC postponed my application & also my insurance records gets affected. Hospital GM apologies for the mistake and sent clarification note to HDFC about the mistake. Currently, my AVIVA application is under processing.

Lesson Learnt & Message DON’t trust on any medical report if it looks surprised for you. Please double check it with multiple doctors or Hospital if you think it is not correct and challenge it.

After this incident, he went for Aviva Term plan and the same kind of issue happened this time also. Below is the experience.

Experience while buying Aviva Term Plan

My medical examination for AVIVA ilife plan happened in same hospital (where I had for HDFC C2P plan). After few days, I got information from AVIVA that they have raised my premium by 50% because of ‘Increased liver enzymes’ in my body and waiting for the balance payment to issue a policy. It’s again a shocking news for me, since I didn’t expect it this time. But the good thing is that AVIVA has shared my medical report with me. I checked with 2-3 doctors about my report and according to them this increase in liver enzymes is possible for those people who drink alcohol or having fever in last 1 months.

But for my case, I don’t take alcohol nor having any fever in last months, so doctor suspect that this time also report may be not correct. So again, I went for a medical test (only for Liver part this time) by myself and found that my liver report is NORMAL (as expected). I informed AVIVA about the same and also shared my Normal medical report. After 2-3 days, finally got mail today that they have issued my policy without any extra premium. Hmmmmm……buying a online term insurance looks like winning a war for me.

Important Points Regarding Medical Tests

  • Make sure you do minimum 12 hours of Fast before the medical tests
  • After doing the medical tests, check if you can get the medical test copies or at least the results
  • For any point you are concerned about, better take a second opinion from another clinic
  • If possible, go for medical tests once again at your own cost to double check if you suspect anything

Did you double check your medical reports which you did for your term plan or health insurance plan? If not, its time to just have a second look and check if you are fine with it.

Why you should fill the Insurance Policy form yourself ?

If I ask you to fill an application form that has 10 Objective questions and 10 subjective questions, would you consider filling it up yourself? NOPE!

Similarly, while taking a life insurance or health insurance policy (term plan, ULIP, Endowment, Health Insurance), we are lazy to fill up the form ourselves. Why? Obviously because it’s too much of work . So, agents take up the task of filling up the form and now the power is in their hands. Some agents, whose whole focus is on their commissions, make sure that no information is disclosed which can lead to policy application rejection or increase in premium etc. just to make sure the policy is issued quickly (hassle free). They will chose ‘NO’ in for all the questions like “are you a smoker?” -NO, “Do you have any illness?” NO, “Did your parent die because of any serious illness” NO, etc etc… and you don’t even bother to check it out. You just put your signature as you are already in hurry to submit the documents for tax claim in your office.

Insurance Policy Form

Claim Rejection due to wrong Information in Form

This is a serious issue and your claim will be rejected because the information provided in the proposal form is wrong, because you never followed the procedure to buy insurance properly. So make sure that you fill up the form yourself or in worst case let your agent fill it up, but check each and every point before submitting it to the insurance company or let your agent fill it one by one and tell him what to fill at each place i.e. dictate your answers.

Let me share with you some cases where agents filled up the form and what were the experiences of different people

Case 1 : I have sbi life saral shield term insurance plan of 15L for 30 yrs term for which i m paying 4953/- premium. After reading this article, i have gone through my policy document in which they have given scanned copy of filled up form. actually agent has filled up the form. i m a smoker but in the form it shows non-smoker.  – Alpesh

Case 2 : Recently, I tried to purchase a term plan through an LIC Direct Marketer. He wouldn’t let me fill the form and insisted that I just sign at various points on the form. When it came to filling up the information about family, his comment was: “Let’s just say old age as the reason for your parents’ demise. LIC won’t bother to check if the age is 60 and beyond.” That comment broke the deal. I didn’t buy the policy. – Vinaya

Case 3 : Funny thing. I just signed up for a term policy today with Kotak. The agent filled in the form on his own. And then was hesitant to correct it when i pointed out that my parents have high BP. Also, I’m in between jobs right now. But the agent insisted on writing my previous employers name & address under “current employer” – saying that he cant write it as ‘in between jobs’ or ‘unemployed’. – Richa

You can see that in all these cases, the agent tried to fill up information without even discussing it with client. May be they are used to it and are very sure that even clients don’t pay any attention to it, but at some point of time it’s going to hurt you very badly.

How many of you have/did not fill your proposal form or never checked your proposal form and what information was given in that? Note that it’s your proposal form, so whatever is mentioned there is given by you and only you, irrespective of who filled it.

Kindly share your cases and experiences

Not disclosing your old Insurance policy can lead to Claim Rejection

Everyone makes mistakes and are not aware about it ! . A lot of people who buy more than one insurance policies, do not declare about their existing policies to the new company. Some do this because they are not aware about this “compulsory” rule, but some do it intentionally! & there are some who do not pay much attention to it thinking that they will be able to “escape” it and fool the company. However, you should know that companies are very careful about the rules and regulations as mentioned in the policy and declaring your old Insurance policies is a mandatory and important rule. No matter how much your policy sum assured is for, even if its 1 lac, you have to declare it when you take a new life insurance policy (This means term plan, ULIPs with insurance cover, Traditional Policies) . For an example see how Debajyoti was confused on this non-declaration of old policies question and I told him how it was a very important thing to do.

Declare old Life insurance policies while taking a new policy

Today, I am going to discuss a recent case I saw in Crime Petrol (a tv show showing real life cases, must watch) and it is an eye-opener for those how have not declared their existing insurance policies while taking a new life insurance policy. Because in this real life case, a guy family was rejected 1.25 crores of life insurance claim just because the guy did a small mistake, he never disclosed his old policies. Read on –

Real Life Story of Sandip from Gujarat

Sandip was in a lot of debt. His business was not doing well and he was very much worried about his family and what will happen to them. The only solution he could think of is Life Insurance money which they would get after his death, but his life insurance was very very small (few lacs). So he took around 1.25 crores worth of life insurance, thinking that after his death, their family would get all the money.

But there was an issue, a big-big issue. He could not commit suicide, as it was not covered for the first year and his life was becoming really hell and he didn’t want to live anymore. So the only solution was that he should be killed in an accident or some one murders him. He asked his friend to kill him in a way that no one comes to know about it and it looks like murder. This way, he would die and his family will get the life insurance money and his family would live happily.

His friend was scared to death to kill him and really was not able to do it as he was a good friend of Sandip, but finally he killed him on his request. Police came, verification was done and finally Police was able to crack the case and catch his friend. The family figured out about the insurance policy when Sandip’s wife saw the documents in an almirah . The family went to insurance company and asked for claim amount, but the insurance company pointed out the violation of terms and conditions and said that the claim will NOT be paid as there was violation of rules. Family freaked out and gave all sorts of reasons why they should get a claim , but rules and rules. The family filed a case against the insurance company in court, but that was of no use as the court also gave judgement in favour of insurance company.

The family never got any money.
Here is the youtube episode of the Crime Petrol Story I was talking about for those who want to watch it

Have you declared your old policies to new insurance company?

You have probably done the same mistake. If you were holding any endowment/moneyback policy, ULIP, Term Plan or any kind of Life Insurance and then you took a new policy and didn’t declare all the old policies, then after your death, your family is not going to get any money! Please take it seriously.

So your action item is to check with your insurance company customer care about the declaration of old policies and incase you have not given that information at the time of taking the policy, better give them this information, because I don’t think you should be doing that big charity!

Why you should take more than 50 lacs of term insurance

Are you planning to buy a term insurance for less than 50 lacs of sum assured? I would suggest better take it for more than 50 lacs sum assured and there are two main reasons for it- which I will share with you in a moment. A lot of people who want to split their life insurance cover into 2 policies, split it in such a way that the sum assured of both the companies are below 50 lacs.

For example– If you want to take a cover of 80 lacs, you might want to take 40 lacs from first company and another 40 lacs from some private company, or any similar combination. But did you know that the premium you would be paying can get you much more sum assured than you had imagined. It might be the case that you can take 60 lacs life cover from each company you were planning and still pay the same premium. So now lets see in detail those 2 reasons why you should be taking a sum assured of more than 50 lacs from a particular company term insurance plan.

Reason 1: Discounted Premiums For 50+ lacs Sum Assured

Have you ever noticed how the premiums for online term plan keeps on increasing till you move upto 50 lacs, but the moment you reach 50 lacs and move beyond, the premium suddenly reduces? Now you must be thinking, what logic on this earth makes premium for 60 lacs policy lesser than the premium for 40 lacs? See an example for recently launched Bharti AXA eProtect online Term insurance plan. The premium changes when you change the sum assured from 40 lacs to 60 lacs for 30 yr old make with 30 yrs tenure.

Term Insurance premium for more than 50 lacs

Why the premium reduces when the sum assured increases beyond 50 lacs? Sourav Shah of Aegon Religare helps us to understand this –

At higher insurance rates, the medical tests are compulsory for most companies. Mostly this limit is over 49.99 lakhs. So as such when a customer goes for medicals, the company is sure that they are insuring a better quality of life with a higher life expectancy. As such the risk with insured population of customers undergoing medicals and being issued a policy, is much lower than with customers who opt for lower sum assured and are not required to undergo medicals.

It’s a risk-reward mechanism. The company offers an incentive to the customers to undergo medicals by offering lower charges for higher cover. Only people who do not have enough time to go for medicals opt for life cover of lower amounts where premiums are higher. But this doesn’t mean that customers who do not undergo medicals and pay higher premiums should worry at all. Once they have declared all details correctly to the insurance company and are issued a policy, they are as secured as those customers who have undergone medicals. Also the medical costs are borne by most companies. For instance AEGON Religare bears the cost of medicals for all customers.

So from this statement what I can understand is that if you take the policy for more than 50 lacs, the company makes you go through medicals (mostly all of them) and that way they can sure at the start itself, if they want to issue a policy to you or not. In case you go for lower sum assured, then they charge higher premium because they dont make medicals compulsory! . So this reason for lower premium for more than 50 lacs should be the first reason why you should opt for more than 50 lacs cover. As you can see from the snapshot above, premiums for 40 lacs and 60 lacs are almost same, so why settle for 40 lacs ?

Reason 2: Medicals are compulsory for Term Insurance of more than 50 lacs

It’s mentioned that even those people who do not go for medicals, don’t have to worry about their claims if they are not around, because they are generally paying more premiums, for the reason they don’t have more than 50 lacs of cover. However, personally I think it’s a grey area despite all the regulations. Let’s take a case, suppose you are suffering from high BP, but you are not aware about it and then you take a term plan for 30 lacs where in there are no medicals and in the declaration you mention that you don’t have any illness, because basically you are not aware about your own illness. Now in this case, what difference does it make if you are really aware about it yourself or you are not aware about it. Later on after 5 yrs suppose if you die, then company can prove the point that you had high BP at the time of taking the policy, but how will they prove that you were aware about it or not.

You all know that ICICI iCare has no medicals in their term plan upto sum assured of Rs. 1.5 crores and that’s the reason why their premiums are higher than other companies term plans because they factor in this point that there would be many people with illnesses. Some might be aware about it and some might be not. But today if you have the option of clearing things in black and white and have your medicals done, then its better that you do it, so that tomorrow there is no chance of any confusion and repenting (oh .. you will not be around even).  Even Sourav Shah of Aegon Religare thinks alike .. here is what he says about this “no medicals” term plans.

Yes, you are right. A term plan without medicals will obviously factor in the cost and be planned accordingly. But it dosent mean that there should be problems at the time of a claim. If the customer at the time of taking the policy declares all facts correctly then there shouldn’t be a problem. But as a personal view Yes, I would definitely recommend that a customer goes for medicals and then applies for a term plan as this leaves no room for ambiguity or any doubt that the customer was absolutely healthy when he undertook the plan. But then this is strictly my personal view.

So were you planning to split your term plan and take two term insurance plans for less than 50 lacs? Better take plans for more than 50 lacs each and mostly it will not affect the premiums. What do you think about these 2 points which I have mentioned? Do you agree about these points about term insurance !

Should you repurchase a new Term Plan ?

Did you buy a term plan few years back? Many of you did. Aegon Religare was the first company to launch its term plan in India and from that point, lots of companies have launched their online term plans. Recently I got a comment from one of the reader who had bought his term plan from Aegon religare long back and they increased his Sum Assured by 25% because they have reduced the premiums recently

I had taken AR iterm couple of years back. today i received an email saying my sum assured is increased by 25% of original to keep it at part with the new iterm rates. This is a good experience from AR – Says Muthu Krishnan

Term Insurance premium is constantly coming down from many months and new companies entering this online term plan business are making sure they keep down the premiums due to competition. The new entrant in this field is Bharti Axa eProtect plan which has lowest premiums compared for 25-30 yrs group at the moment.

“Term life insurance premium depends on the mortality experienced by a life insurance company,” says Suresh Agrawal, executive vice-president, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance. “As the mortality experience of the insurer improves over a long period of time, it is passed on to the customers in the form of lower life premium for the new customers.”

However the point we are raising today is, what about those people who had already taken term plan 2-3 yrs back? It can be online or offline doesn’t matter, the point is that they are paying a very high premium compared to a new policy which they can buy.

For instance, someone who had bought a policy with sum assured of 50 lacs before 1-2 yrs must be paying around 7,000-8,000 premium, however if they dump their old policy and take up a new policy they will get it much cheaper despite their higher age now. So the good idea would be to look back at your term plan and see how much are you paying and how much is latest premium in the market for the same company or some new company?

Important point before you take a new term plan and change your Policy

1. Older the Policy, better it is

A very important point worth noting here is that in Life Insurance any claim which comes within 2 yr is considered as “early claim” and it’s scrutinized in detail, very detail. However a policy which is more than 2 yrs old does not come under “early claim”. So, if you have already completed 2 yrs or close to completing 2 yrs, this is one thing you will lose out when you take a new policy. However its just a point you should know, it’s not something which should stop you.

2. Look at your health changes

You need to see how your health has changed after you had taken the term plan, if you have developed any illness in between then for you the premium will increase (loading) after the medical tests. So even if the premium might show cheaper on the calculator, after you do the medical, the new premiums can actually be much higher than your old premium. So better look at that aspect.

3. Take a new term plan and then close the old one

The best way of moving ahead with new policy and dumping your old one is to first apply for the new term plan and once you get it, then close the old one. Do not just close the old one and then take a new one because in case there is some issue in getting a new term plan or if you are unsatisfied in between, it will be a bad situation to be in.

This topics brings another question in mind – Should there be Life Insurance Portability in Future ? Do you think its something desired or not ? Did you understand when you should switch to a new term plan ?