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Ask Mint | Can’t take all riders once policy is issued

Ask Mint | Can’t take all riders once policy is issued
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First Published: Tue, Jan 05 2010. 11 02 PM IST

I bought a term plan a few years back. Now I feel I need to upgrade. My policy offered me a rider, through which I could have twice the sum assured. But I didn’t take it then. Can I opt for the rider now?
—Subhash
You may be able to opt for the rider. Riders are benefits that can be clubbed with a basic life insurance policy and most of them can be opted at any time during the term of the the policy. To take it now, you will have to make a written request to your insurer. However, some riders can’t be added after the issuance of a policy. You should refer to the terms and conditions given in the policy bond to know about the post-issuance eligibility to add a particular rider. Riders help manage one’s policy better than taking additional covers. While choosing a term plan, you should look at an investment tool that is transparent and also give you market-related investment benefits.
I have an insurance policy from the Life Insurance Corp. of India for almost five years now. In a year’s time, I would get some payout. I wanted to know when I would get it. I tried contacting my agent but he is unreachable. What is my recourse?
—Megha Arora
You can refer to the maturity date mentioned on the policy bond. The maturity amount is released by the insurer on receipt of the policy bond along with the discharge form duly signed by the policyholder or assignee. For any query, you should get in touch directly with the insurer, in addition to your agent, broker or distributor. You can reach the customer care centres through telephone, email or fax. In case you do not receive a satisfactory response from the insurer, you can escalate the issue with a registered ombudsman in your area.
How will capping of charges in a unit-linked insurance plan (Ulip) affect my returns?
—Kuldeep Gupta
The main purpose of the guidelines is to reduce expenses charged to customers. Companies who have products which do not follow these guidelines would have to lower the charges suitably. From 1 January, most companies would have modified and relaunched their Ulips in line with these guidelines. The capping of charges would offer better value to customers. I foresee the modified Ulips to increase benefit for the customers. I would also like to emphasize that Ulips offer twin benefits of life protection and market-related investment over a long term. Ulips are ideal for long-term goals and it helps to balance market volatility by averaging the purchase price per unit at various net asset prices (NAVs). If you are aiming for good returns, you need to be patient and remain invested for the entire term.
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First Published: Tue, Jan 05 2010. 11 02 PM IST