Life insurance is a contract signed between a person and an insurance company. Upon periodic premium payments, the insurance company is bound to pay a lumpsum amount to the beneficiaries of the policyholder on the unfortunate demise of the policyholder. The intention of the life insurance is to provide a financial benefit to the dependents of the person buying the life insurance, to guard the loved ones against financial pitfalls in case of unfortunate demise of the insured person.

Life Insurance plans are of two categories: one that offers pure protection and the other that offers both protection and savings.

Types of Life Insurance Plans

Term Insurance

Term insurance is a pure protection plan and the premiums for term insurance are lower when compared to other life insurance products. The premiums are also more affordable if bought early in life. Some term plans also give you the option to add riders, like critical illness coverage (providing a lump sum for the treatment of specified critical ailments) and accidental death benefit+ (paid over and above the sum assured in the unfortunate event of death due to an accident). These riders can provide you and your family with an extra layer of protection at a nominal increase in the premium.

Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs)

ULIPs are a combination of insurance and investment. They provide life cover that offers financial protection for the loved ones and also gives the potential to create wealth through market-linked returns from systematic investments.

ULIP plans come with options for investment in different funds based on individuals’ risk-return preferences. They typically come with a 5 year lock-in period and the money is invested in bonds, equities, hybrid funds, etc.

Endowment Plans

Endowment plans are ideal for those requiring who want guaranteed returns along with the protection of life insurance. They provide life coverage along with an opportunity for regular savings. This entails receiving a lump sum amount on policy maturity. In case of demise during the policy term, the nominee(s) also receive final benefits.

As with ULIPs, endowment plans are also quite flexible w.r.t method and time frame for premium payments. Endowment plans also offer bonuses that are paid additionally over and above the sum assured of the policy. The returns generated on maturity from endowment plans are tax-free.

Money Back Insurance Plans

Money-back plans are Life insurance plans wherein insured person gets a percentage of sum assured at steady intervals. A money back plan is an endowment plan with the benefit of increased liquidity with systematic payouts. Money back plans are designed to help you meet short-term financial goals.

Whole Life Insurance Plans

Whole life insurance plans are those that give life coverage for 99 years. Unlike other policies that have a relatively shorter term of 10-30 years, the long coverage period of such plans ensures protection for the family for an extended period of time.

Such plans are ideal for those having financial dependents even in their old age.

Child Insurance Plans

Everyone aspires to do the best for their children and Child Insurance plans help attain that. Child insurance plans help in building a corpus for the future of the children and is an important tool for parents to plan their children’s education and marriage.

Such plans provide maturity benefits either in the form of annual instalments or as a one-time pay-out after the child turns 18. A built-in insurance coverage exists for the parent too. In case of an unfortunate event where the insured parent passes away during the policy term, child plans can give immediate payment to cover a child’s expenses. Such plans also offer flexibility in choice and means of investment.

Who needs life insurance?

The income earners of the family and those who have dependants to support require Life Insurance.

Loved ones are adversely impacted by the untimely demise and also subsequent loss of income. Life insurance plans ensure that the financial burden is protected.

Having a life cover also helps family to pay off your debts with the help of the payouts received against the insurance claim in case of policyholder’s death.

In the event of the insured person's unfortunate demise, Life insurance plans not only help financially, but can also be an avenue for sound long term investment by helping meet life goals such as children's education, building retirement corpus or making other long term investments.