The insurance business in India isn’t just growing, but also becoming more sophisticated in terms of product offerings. To help readers keep ahead of developments in this business, Mint features a Q&A on insurance every Monday.
I am 30 years old. My company has provided me with a health insurance plan. Is it adequate for my needs?
In this age of increasing healthcare costs, everyone must have a health insurance plan and if you don’t have one, I strongly recommend that you buy one at the earliest. We live in an age where “job hopping” is the norm rather than the exception. With employer-provided plans, you cease to be covered the day you leave the job. There could be a gap between the time you leave your former employer and join the next one. This “in between” period could leave you and your family vulnerable. It is important that you plan for this exigency.
You should ideally choose a plan that pays you a benefit over and above your employer-provided plan. There are such plans available for you to choose from. While choosing a policy, please make sure that you read through the entire policy documents before you make any purchase. Also, watch out for exceptions and clauses that may deny coverage.
I am 30 years old. I don’t have a life insurance plan but am now thinking of buying one. I would like to have your advice on which life insurance plan I should go for, including pension plans.
India lacks a well-defined social security system and the traditional support system is weakening. So, a vast majority of us are left to fend for ourselves post-retirement. Life insurance and pension plans help us plan our finances and provide a strong security net in case we outlive our savings. Life insurance is one of the best financial planning tools available to us.
There are broadly two kinds of plans available in the market: pure protection and protection plus savings plans. Pure protection plans are also called term insurance—they provide risk cover alone. In protection plus savings plans, life insurance and savings are rolled into a single plan. Such plans provide protection plus tax-free savings. A pension plan provides pure savings and tax deferral benefits.
Irrespective of what you purchase, please understand the features and benefits of the life insurance plan, and ensure that it meets the requirements of your lifestyle.
Readers are welcome to write in with their queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The questions will be answered by senior executives from leading insurance firms.
This week’s expert is Rajesh Relan, managing director, MetLife.