Ask Mint | Not all life policies need medical tests

Ask Mint | Not all life policies need medical tests

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 a 28-year-old working woman. I plan to invest in a life insurance policy. My agent has proposed a life insurance plan that requires a medical test. I find medical tests to be time-consuming. Do all life insurance policies require a medical test?

All life insurance plans do not require a medical test. The need for a medical examination might vary from company to company, and also depends on the type of plan. It also depends on your age and the sum assured. There are many plans sold on the basis of a simple declaration of good health. These plans are simple over-the-counter, “tick and take" plans. A customer just needs to answer a few health-related questions for acquiring such a plan.

I am a 30-year-old based in Mumbai. I am confused whether I should invest in a unit-linked insurance policy or a mutual fund.

Mutual funds and unit-linked insurance plans are both very different products, and they serve different needs. If you have a shorter investment horizon in mind, you could look at mutual funds, and if the need is a bit long-term, life insurance would help achieve your plans. Most insurance companies, today, offer you multiple fund options where you have the flexibility of choosing where your money should get invested, depending on your risk appetite. Also, there are payment options in an insurance plan where you could pay small sums regularly, rather than paying a large sum of money at the beginning. If you have a three- to six-month horizon in mind, it may be better not to look at a life insurance plan.

Readers are welcome to write in with their queries to The questions will be answered by senior executives from leading insurance firms.

This week’s expert is Rajesh Relan, managing director, MetLife.