What is Life Insurance?
Life Insurance is a financial cover for a contingency linked with human life, like death, disability, accident, retirement etc. Human life is subject to risks of death and disability due to natural and accidental causes. When human life is lost or a person is disabled permanently or temporarily, there is loss of income to the household.
Though human life cannot be valued, a monetary sum could be determined based on the loss of income in future years. Hence, in life insurance, the Sum Assured (or the amount guaranteed to be paid in the event of a loss) is by way of a 'benefit'. Life Insurance products provide a definite amount of money in case the life insured dies during the term of the policy or becomes disabled on account of an accident.
Why Life Insurance is required?
Let's proceed on the assumption that you're taking out an individual construction loan. Such loans, which can be tough to get without a previous banking history because of the lack of collateral (a finished home),
- To ensure that your immediate family has some financial support in the event of your demise
- To finance your children's education and other needs
- To have a savings plan for the future so that you have a constant source of income after retirement
- To ensure that you have extra income when your earnings are reduced due to serious illness or accident
- To provide for other financial contingencies and life style requirements
Who needs Life Insurance?
Primarily, anyone who has a family to support and is an income earner needs Life Insurance. In view of the economic value of their contribution to the family, housewives too need life insurance cover.
How Much Life Insurance is needed?
The amount of Life Insurance coverage you need will depend on many factors such as:
- The number of dependants you have
- What kind of lifestyle you want to provide for your family in your absence
- The amount you need for your children's education
- Your investment needs
As an Investment
Apart from risk cover life insurance also offers the benefit of regular savings. Whole life plans, Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIP), endowment or money-back policies etc offer a mix of life cover and savings. In a whole life plan the policy holder is covered till death or on reaching 100 years of age. If the insured individual lives beyond the age of 100, he/she receives a maturity benefit and in the case of any unfortunate event, his/her nominees receive the death benefit. A whole life insurance policy also accumulates a cash value that's accumulated throughout the life of the policy.
Providing Financial Security
Life insurance provides you with that unique sense of security that no other form of investment provides. By buying life insurance, you buy peace of mind and are prepared to face any financial demand that would hit the family in case of an untimely demise. It can also help your family to enjoy their current lifestyle in your absence without compromising on their dreams.
Life insurance can be a valuable tool in tax planning. Apart from helping you save tax on insurance premium paid by you up to the extent of 1.5 lakhs yearly, it also offers tax free maturity in most insurance policies.
As an Emergency Fund
The cash value accumulated on your insurance policy can be used as an emergency fund in case of financial crisis. Most regular life insurance policies also offer the facility of loan which can also come in handy if you are facing a cash crunch.
For Your Retirement Planning
Life insurance is a long term investment. So over a long period of time you can accumulate a substantial amount along with the policy bonuses which can help you to supplement your income after retirement.
Different types of Insurance Policies
Life insurance policies can be broadly classified into three categories, such as pure insurance plans, traditional polices (endowment, money back, whole life insurance plans), pension plans and unit linked plans.