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Remember the days when buying an insurance policy involved filling out many forms? It often took time to process the application and you also had to undergo a medical test to complete the process. Normally, an insurance broker filled out the forms for you and collected the payment.
But with the advent of the Internet, buying and renewing insurance became extremely easy. The digital medium has made it much easier to transact and enquire about insurance online. You can buy term insurance online in a matter of minutes, without the help of an insurance broker.
If you are about to buy term insurance online for the first time, do peruse the following steps to know what is expected of you.
Assess your requirement. The term insurance must safeguard your family when you are absent. The policy corpus must account for future inflation, annual household expenses, children’s education costs, emergency costs, savings, and retirement fund for spouse, etc. Your family might have some unique needs as well, so these must be factored in. Multiply this number by 10 and add future rate of inflation to it. This is the amount of sum assured you need from the policy.
Do your research online. You can easily compare plans and benefits online before shortlisting the best term plans. Make it a point to browse for the best plans basis any awards won, customer testimonials, ratings provided by prominent business and finance publications, etc. Look up the purchase process for the plan as well, and zoom in on those that have the highest recommendations for quick online purchase.
Use a premium calculator. Though most people buy term insurance online for its low premiums, it is advisable to know if you can budget for the premium before you sign up. Find out the premium payable by using an online premium calculator provided on the website of the insurance provider. You can compute the premium payable basis the sum assured and the tenure of the plan. Do note that these figures are illustrative and not to be considered final.
Apply online. The insurer will now provide you with an online application form. Fill out the required personal details, income details, etc. Some insurers do not insist on a medical test before the customer buys term insurance online. Once you fill the form, you can proceed to pay for it online.
Pay online. At this stage, you can pay the first premium for your policy by NEFT or debit/credit card to activate it (unless the insurer indicates that a medical test is necessary to complete the process). Once the payment is debited and processed by the insurer, the policy is deemed purchased and is live.
Making a living and setting aside funds every month in the savings bank account becomes difficult as living costs and inflation rise. On most days, it seems like one spends more than one earns! However, a basic money mistake most people make is that they depend entirely on their salaries or business income to see them through to the future. Merely setting aside a portion of one’s income every month may not translate into a large sum of money.
Thus, the money one makes must be channelled into the right instruments so that it may grow into a savings corpus for the future. While people look at conventional instruments such as bank FDs or life insurance plans to grow the surplus funds they may have, a more viable option to consider is the Endowment Savings Plan.
This excellent plan is a traditional savings and investment plan. It helps build a robust savings portfolio with long term systematic savings and protection.
Endowment savings plans work thus: the policy holder makes monthly or annual payments. A part of the payment goes towards the premium for the plan, while the remaining is invested in equities or unit-linked market instruments. This latter portion earns returns in the form of bonus for the investor; it comes from profits generated by the companies one holds shares in. These returns help create a savings fund for the investor.
Endowment Savings Plan provides long term savings from 10 to 30 years (basis the tenure chosen) and tax benefits on the purchase of the policy under Sec 80C and 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The policy holder can choose from the insurer’s flexible payment options for premiums.
This plan comes highly recommended owing to its several benefits:
- Maturity benefits are augmented with Reversionary Bonus and Terminal Bonus.
- There is a death benefit in the plan: on the unfortunate demise of the policy holder while the plan is active, the next of kin receive the death sum assured (with accrued reversionary bonus or terminal bonus) or 105% of all premiums paid, whichever is higher.
- If the policy holder survives the plan tenure, the plan provides the base sum assured plus simple reversionary bonus and terminal bonus. These two bonuses are tacked to the policy from the third policy year till plan maturity or termination, whichever is sooner.