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Business News/ Opinion / Online-views/  A term insurance cover should be 10 time annual income
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A term insurance cover should be 10 time annual income

It broadly provides financial security to a family for 10 years if the main wage earner dies prematurely

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I suffer from diabetes and want to buy a term plan. Will there be a loading and how much will the premium vary? If a particular insurer rejects my case, will other insurers provide cover?

—Avinash

It is very likely that insurers will increase premiums for you. The increase can vary between 25% and 150%. Insurers consider several factors while loading a policy. However in case of diabetes, fasting blood sugar level is the key. Empirically, we have noticed that if sugar level is above 200mg, a case is likely to be rejected. The loading across insurers is similar. It is unlikely that an insurer will accept your case if it is rejected by another on medical grounds.

Some insurers will conduct a pre-medical test wherein they conduct the medical tests before you formally apply for insurance. This saves you the effort of completing your proposal form and paying the premium in advance. In such cases, most insurers will make you pay for medical tests but refund the money if your insurance is finally placed with them.

I am a 30 years old married person. I earn around 12 lakh per year. I have a term plan of 50 lakh. Should I increase the cover amount? I have another life insurance policy for a cover of 10 lakh started two years back. Should I continue the policy?

—Rakesh

I generally recommend a sum assured that is 10 times annual income. This level of insurance broadly provides financial security to a family for 10 years if the main wage earner dies prematurely.

According to this rule of thumb, you should have 1.2 crore of sum assured whereas you currently have 60 lakh. I suggest that you purchase an additional 60 lakh of term cover. This should cost you less than 10,000 for a 30 year term.

Typically, it is expensive to discontinue a life insurance policy in the initial years. Surrender charges tend to be high. So, I suggest that you continue your second life insurance policy.

Can I buy term insurance for a 6-year-old or is it not advisable and why? How much should be the cover amount?

—Indra

You cannot purchase term insurance for a 6-year-old. There are two reasons for this, both of which I agree with. First, a child does not earn an income that needs to be replaced if the child dies. Second, selling insurance to children subjects them to what insurers call “moral hazard". This means that there may be a possibility of the child being harmed to claim insurance benefits.

Instead make sure the parents are adequately covered with term insurance so that the child is financially secure even if an earning parent were to die prematurely.

Kapil Mehta is managing director and principal officer at SecureNow Insurance Broker Pvt. Ltd

Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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Published: 23 Oct 2012, 07:31 PM IST
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