I have a unit-linked insurance plan (Ulip) for which I pay Rs50,000 every year. I have another Rs30,000, which I want to put in the policy. My policy has run two years now. Can I top it up now? Will I get tax benefit on this additional Rs30,000?

A few years back I bought a term plan. Now I feel I need to upgrade. My policy offered me a rider, which was essentially a term plan so that I could have twice the sum assured but I refused. Can I opt for it now?

Riders are benefits that can be clubbed with a basic life insurance policy and can be opted at any time during the policy term by making a written request to the insurer. However, not all riders can be added after the issuance of the policy. You should refer to the terms and conditions of the policy to know about post-issuance eligibility to add a particular rider. Riders help manage one’s policy better. While choosing a term plan, you should look at an investment tool that is transparent and also give you market-related returns.

I surrendered my Ulip after paying the first year’s premium. But the insurer told me that I could withdraw the fund only after three years. Why is that so? Will my surrender value be tax-free? What are the tax implications if I withdraw money now?

Post-July 2006, insurance policies need to have a lock-in period of at least three years as directed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda). The policy can be surrendered, subject to the terms and conditions applicable to the policy. The surrender value amount would be tax free, but the benefits, if any, availed on the premium will be reversed if the policy is discontinued before five years.

I have an insurance policy for almost five years. In a year’s time I would get some payout. I wanted to know when exactly I would get it. My agent is unreachable. What is my recourse?

You can refer to the maturity date mentioned on the policy bond. The maturity amount is released by the insurer on receipt of policy bond along with the discharge form duly signed by the policyholder. For any queries, you should get in touch directly with the insurer. If you do not receive a satisfactory response from the insurer, you can escalate the issue to a registered ombudsman in your area.

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