The insurance business in India isn’t just growing, it’s 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 28 years old and have been a regular smoker since the age of 17. Can my smoking affect my ability to buy life insurance?
If you are a smoker, you might have to pay a little more for your life insurance than a non-smoker of similar age and health. Also, if you have a smoking-related medical condition, the life insurance company would take that into consideration when deciding whether to offer you life insurance and the rate you should be charged.
I have a penchant for adventure sports such as auto racing, parachute jumping, white water rafting, etc. I am healthy but like to participate in these risky activities. Will this become an issue when I buy life insurance?
The insurance firm will probably want to know some details about these activities and how frequently you engage in them.
This may result in a higher premium or even in difficulty getting insurance.
Certain insurance firms maintain a specialized capability to underwrite activities such as these. You might want to look for one of these firms.
Who is responsible for ensuring that the customers are not cheated and there is no mis-selling of life insurance policies?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) has the duty to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance and re-insurance business in India. The private insurers and Irda have started off well by laying down important guidelines and firms need to adhere to them.
The agent selling the policy has to be certified by Irda. He/she has to undergo at least a training programme of at least 100 hours and an examination before being certified as an insurance agent.
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 T.R. Ramachandran, managing director and CEO, Aviva India.