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Did You Know | How to find out the amount of life and health insurance cover you need

Did You Know | How to find out the amount of life and health insurance cover you need
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First Published: Tue, Nov 22 2011. 10 49 PM IST

Updated: Tue, Nov 22 2011. 10 49 PM IST
If you are planning to buy a life or health insurance policy and are not sure how much is enough, here is a quick guide to help you out.
Life insurance
The general thumb rule on life insurance says that you should not have less than 8-10 times your gross annual income as life insurance cover. So if your annual gross salary is Rs 1 lakh, then you should take an insurance of Rs 8-10 lakh. Anything less that this amount means you are under-insured. In other words, in case of your death, your dependants may not have adequate funds to meet their needs. Keep in mind that while going in for a life insurance policy, a term plan is the best bet.
Health insurance
As far as health insurance goes, there is no thumb rule to guide you about the amount of insurance you need. Financial planners say that keeping in mind the average cost of major surgeries these days, a cover of Rs 4 lakh is good enough. Also, if you are covered by your employer for say Rs 2 lakh, you can go in for an individual health policy of another Rs 2 lakh, provided that you work at a reputable company and don’t change jobs frequently. If you are someone who changes jobs often, it’s best to have an individual health cover of Rs.4 lakh.
If you have a family, you can top up your individual policy with a family floater. Keep in mind that even though a family floater policy covers all the members of the family, even if you make a claim for one member of the family, the amount that was claimed will reduce the sum insured by that much. For instance, if your family floater policy offers a sum insured amount of Rs 3 lakh and one member makes a claim of Rs 1 lakh, the sum insured for the rest of the year would be reduced to Rs 2 lakh.
What should you do?
The above-mentioned figures are just guidelines and do not take into account your specific individual situation. These one-size-fits-all thumb rules come handy when you don’t have immediate access to the Internet and your agent is trying to sell you a life insurance policy. These will help you ensure that the agent is selling an amount that you actually need. There are many online insurance amount calculators, which can provide you an in-depth view of the total life insurance amount you need based on your age, life stage and lifestyle. These calculators are available on the website of many insurance companies.
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First Published: Tue, Nov 22 2011. 10 49 PM IST