MetLife launches new ULIP product

MetLife launches new ULIP product

New Delhi: MetLife India Insurance Company on Tuesday launched a new equity-linked insurance product, Met Smart Platinum, which complies with new Irda guidelines.

Met Smart Platinum is a market linked product and is targetted at individuals to meet the changing financial needs at various stages in their life. The plan covers and individual till 99 years of age, the company said in a statement.

“Customer centricity has been the mainstay of MetLife and we have always designed products that meet the financial and protection requirements of customers. Met Smart Platinum also aligns with the recent Irda-Ulip regulations," MetLife managing director Rajesh Relan said.

The product offers the customers the option to choose the distribute allocation of desired percentages of their investment between a high risk fund (Flexi Cap) and a low risk fund (Protector II) depending upon their risk appetite, the statement added.

“The flexibility offered to the customers by Met Smart Platinum allows them to make top-up investments apart from allowing partial withdrawals in case the customer needs emergency liquidity of funds. The plan also allows customers to increase and decrease the life coverage depending upon their changing lifestyle needs as they cross different stages of their life," it added.

MetLife currently has over 55,000 financial advisers and bancassurance distribution channel offering products to 17 million customers.

As per the new Irda guidelines effective from 1 September, the commission paid to distributors and expenses charged by insurers will no longer be front-loaded and will be distributed over the lock-in period of the schemes, which has been raised to five years from three years earlier.

Currently Ulip products account for about 80% of the total premium collected by the 23 private life insurance companies.

The new guidelines from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) would protect Ulip-holders from mis-selling by agents and onerous commissions are likely to make the equity-linked instruments more investor-friendly.

Under the new guideline, Irda has fixed the floor on guaranteed returns from Ulip pension plans at 4.5%, which will greatly benefit policyholders saving up for retirement.