ask the expert

Investing in Insurance

Questions Answered (9)


Yashish Dahiya

CEO & Co-Founder

At your age, you should ideally buy a ULIP plan. This will help you build a handsome corpus amount.Difference between a normal ULIP plan and a plan specific for pension is the withdrawal at the time of maturity. For a normal plan, the return is paid out at maturity. This is all tax free and can then be utilized to buy annuity. For a pension plan, it is about discipline. At maturity, only one- third of the amount can be withdrawn and rest two-third needs to be put under annuity of the same insurer or any other insurer of your choice. Breaking this structure makes the withdrawal amount accountable for tax.

Hi, I want to know investing in ULIP or Term and MF. Which option is best one ?

Yashish Dahiya

CEO & Co-Founder

This is a long debate actually and various investment advisors will have different things to say. You might also get a feeling that people chose the side in which they are. However, facts will help us deal with the question in a better way.Unit Linked Insurance PlansULIPs basically are very much like fund operated investment tools in which charges are deducted for operational matters and rest goes as investment in various funds. Every ULIP thus has a cost linked with it.-Essentially they have insurance/ Life cover linked with it.-They provide transparency and flexibility as compared to other investment options in insurance segment-Triple tax benefit structure is applicable. -Initial tax is saved under 80 C. so premium paid upto 1 lakh can save upto 30K depending on tax bracket.-The final amount at maturity is tax free under section 10(10D). Thus the income is tax free for self as well as the nominee. -The whole investment amount does not bear any service tax other than the mortality charge.Mutual Funds Term PlanMutual funds are again market linked products maintained by fund managers helping with investments in right instruments, thus helping in balancing risk.Like UIIP, MFs too has cost attached. Term plan added brings additional cost.-Life cover is provided by the term cover (mortality cost turns out to be cheaper for a healthy, young, non smoker individual)-Transparent product. All costs are declared.-80C is provided by specific schemes only. These schemes have a lock in for 3 years essentially. Cost structure work differently for these schemes and are on a higher side.-Long term/ short term capital gain taxes are applicable.-Other than these tax saving ones, lock in is not applicableHere, you can clearly see that ULIP has higher cost in the initial 4 years post which MF plus term takes over. *Please note that term cover will have a constant life cover of 5 lakhs here throughout these 20 years whereas ULIP product has 5 Lakhs or Fund value whichever is higher paid out. Hence, in later years life cover of ULIP has decreased. There are few ULIPs (Typre II Ulip) which has a constant life cover too. I have not taken those while calculating here.* Also note that tax saving has not been taken into consideration while showing the illustration. ULIPs will come out to be much more attractive in that case. You can simply deduct the tax saving from the premium you pay to get a glimpse of what that offers. The return is tax free as well.Another fact to note is, ULIPs have a lock in for 5 years. The regulator beliefs the risk to be too high, in case policyholder opts out of the policy in the initial 5 years. Thus the restriction is in place. Market trend shows the same. In Mutual fund there is no such restriction. This enables the policyholder to opt out any time he wishes to. However, someone who does not track market that often, this can turn out to be a very risky business.In my opinion, the most valuable point offered by ULIPs is investment discipline. You know that you have to pay premium by due date in order to avoid policy from getting lapsed. This will make you pay these premiums. Thus a regularized saving is ensured. Thus, a big corpus amount by the end. In Mutual funds there is no such restriction. You can rater opt for Systematic investment plans so as to get into a habit. Still, there are no penalties in case you opt out. So to summarize, one should look up to investing in ULIPs if they belong to any of these categories:-They have tax savings to do under 80 -They plan to invest longer than 10 years.

Tell me about whole life term insurence for a spouse with health insurance & accidental insurance

Yashish Dahiya

CEO & Co-Founder

Whole life Insurance provides life cover till a defined age (generally 85 years or 99 years) and the money paid as a premium is invested in company funds. If there is any bonus earned by the company, the same is paid. This translates into income as well.You can buy it for your spouse. These policies allow few riders as well and thus very well customizable. Most common riders are:-Waiver of Premium Rider (WoP)(Waives off premium in cases of death, policy continues to run and pays to the nominee)-Term Plus rider (Provides additional life cover at nominal cost)-Accidental death benefit rider (ADB) (Provides additional cover in the event of accidental death)-Critical Illness rider (CI) (Pays fixed amount for treatment/support on getting diagnosed with one of the listed critical illnesses)If you want to purchase a whole life insurance, you have choices amongst Bharti Axa eAjeevan Sampatti , Edelweiss Tokio Cash Income

Is there any policy with which I can plan for my retirement?

Yashish Dahiya

CEO & Co-Founder

Now being a defense person, you are provided good medical coverage and support at military hospitals. However, this may often not be sufficient for your case. The problem is that not all insurance companies would offer medical insurance to defense personnel, however, you should get individual (or family floaters) for your non defense family members (parents, children, spouse). If you are personally not part of the insurance cover, then the companies would offer this protection. You should also look at investing your money into multiple investment tools, these could be investment insurance products or could even look at non insurance alternatives for investment mediums. Look at long term investments that can help you with financial needs on different stages of life (marriage, birth of children, children education and retirement). It is critical that this is started as early as possible. Long term investment of monies can gives some really good returns which make life a lot easier in the times to come.Is there any policy with which I can plan for my retirement? You have not mentioned your age, family and financial status. Hence it will be difficult to pin point on a plan. However, I will talk of a thumb rule. If you are less than 40, get a ULIP plan. You have options of ULIP pension plan by HDFC and ICICI etc. You could also buy online ULIP plans with low cost structures so that the return is maximum. The amount you thus get at maturity can be then utilized to buy annuity products. These will serve as pension to you. You can assume 7% rate for calculation purposes of your annuity. If you are above 40 years, go for a mix. Get a traditional guaranteed structure product for half the amount you plan to invest. Plans like Reliance Super Endowment and HDFC Sanchay will help you with their flexible structure in opting for a product which can suit your retirement age. These allow policy for a range starting 15 years to 30 years. The much needed life cover will be an add on for you.Mix this with HDFC Personal pension plus. This product will give you ULIP mix along with a mix of guarantee on capital paid. IS LIC good for long term insurance?In my opinion the real question here should be based not on a company, but on particular products. Every company has some great products, some good products, some not so good products and some bad products. Insurance products have evolved over the years and now every company has good products, especially if you are willing to invest for the a long period of time. For investment/insurance policies, if you are willing to invest for a long term, then there are some very good new ULIP policies that have been launched recently (Aviva, Max Life have launched) which give returns which are comparable and often can beat Mutual Funds and at the same time give you the added advantage of insurance cover.Now LIC products have recently been on the more expensive side when compared to the returns they give. However, a lot of customers still prefer LIC due to the fact that LIC is perceived to be more stable as a company and a brand since. Now in this aspect, I always suggest to customers that if you are willing to pay a little extra premium for having mental peace for the next 23-30 years of your policy period, then LIC is definitely an option for you to explore. Many customers are vary of buying insurance from private players since they are not convinced that these players would be around 20-30 years from now. Now while this ideally shouldnt be a concern for the customer, since IRDA does make rules that ensure that customers are taken care of incase any company does want to exit, it is a call which each customer must make for themselves. LIC does have good stable products which may not necessarily give you the best returns in the market, but do offer you good returns.

If I have health insurance, is there a need to take personal accidental insurance?

Yashish Dahiya

CEO & Co-Founder

Personal Accident insurance is a product which should definitely be part of your insurance portfolio regardless of whether you have a health insurance or not. It is a product which covers a very different need. A health insurance will give you good medical expense coverage in the event you need to be hospitalized for certain diseases and illnesses. PA cover would provide you with a lump sum payment in the event of an temporary or permanent total or partial disability due to an accident or injury. While there are certain portions of these products which may over lap, most of the benefits of a PA insurance are independent on medical insurance. There are many companies which offer these products online and depending on the sum assured chosen and the profile of the customer, the policy may be issued instantly online. Some PA insurance policies also provide a cover for legal expenses, transportation expenses and give a payout in event of death. So as you can see, a PA policy has aspects of health and life insurance along with its own properties and can be bought with no medical tests (as it does not offer payout for illness or disease). So all in all, please consider buying a good personal accident cover for yourself.

I need to take an insurance policy for my parents. The age of my dad is 59 and mom is 51. Please suggest me insurance that can cover preexisting condition with less duration and having critical illness cover with low premium.

Yashish Dahiya

CEO & Co-Founder

incase your parents have a pre existing condition, then the products you should consider would be Religare Care, and L

How much insurance do I insure me and my family for?

Yashish Dahiya

CEO & Co-Founder

Since you have not provided any information about your age, income and family details, I would unfortunately not be able to give you a customized recommendation. I can however give you a broad rule of thumb you should follow.There are 4 basic products which should be part of your overall insurance portfolio. They are: Term Insurance: This is a risk only cover for your life. There are no returns associated with this product, however, it offers you a huge sum assured at very nominal premiums (if bought online). Ideally, the amount of insurance required should be calculated on the following rule. Your annual income into 10, plus any outstanding loans/debts. For eg, if you annual income is Rs. 15 lakhs and you have a 50 lakh home loan still outstanding (which isnt secured), then you should have (15 X 10) 50 = Rs. 200 lakhs (Rs. 2 crores) as your term insurance amount. If you dont have any home loan, car loan, educational loan etc, then in the example above a Rs. 1.5 cr cover would be sufficient. This for a 30 year old healthy non smoker male, can come at a premium of as low as Rs. 7-8 thousand a year. This product should ideally be bought for each earning member of the family. Health Insurance: Assuming you have a spouse and 2 children, then you should look at buying a family floater of approximately Rs. 10 lakhs minimum to cover your entire family. There are many options available from Religare, Max Bupa, Apollo Munich, HDFC, Reliance, L

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Which documents are required while claiming property insurance?

Copy of policy

Copy of FIR






What is the right age to buy a Health Insurance Policy ?

Today's fast paced life leaves us with little time to take care of our health. High stress life, irregular & unhealthy eating habits and no physical exercise make us susceptible to health concerns. People across the age groups run the risk of falling ill at regular intervals. Even though we now have cures for most of the diseases but it has also lead to increasing medical cost year on year. This has direct impact on our savings. Health insurance provides us the required support in these times of need so that an individual can be with his family giving emotional support rather than being concerned of financial burden.

What is Fund Value and how it is determined?

The value of policy is the fund value. In simple terms, it is the total value of units that you hold in funds. Fund Value = (Number of equity fund units x NAV of equity fund) + (Number of bond fund units x NAV of bond fund) + (Number of money market fund units x NAV of money market fund)

Which Policy is better - from General Insurance co, Health Insurance Co. or Life Insurance cos ?

Health Insurance companies operate only in the field of health and travel insurance. This limited scope helps them to build specialization in the field and deliver better service to their customers.

Which type of policy is best suited for me ?

The type of policy that suits you best depends on many factors, such as your insurance objectives, your income, assets, liabilities, number of dependent members in your family and family expense. Life insurance policies are broadly classified in to three categories Endowment policies Whole life policies Pension policies Endowment policies Endowment policies cover the insured for a specified period. Thus, the insured may select to insure himself until retirement; e.g. if he is 25 years old, he may choose to insure himself for 35 years, until he reaches the age of 60. • Upon the death of the insured (during the term of the policy), the nominee receives the sum assured plus the bonus, if any. Bonus is paid for the number of years the policy was in force. • Upon surviving the term of the policy, i.e. upon maturity, the insured receives the sum assured plus the bonus for the term of the policy, if any. Thereafter, the insured is not covered by the policy. • Endowment policies are usually more expensive in comparison to whole life policies. Endowment policies are broadly classified into two types - Endowment - Without profit and Endowment - With profit. • Endowment - Without profit or Term products - offer the nominee the sum assured only, upon death of the insured. Upon surviving the term of the policy or upon maturity, the insured may receive the sum assured or a portion of the sum assured or a refund of the premium only. Typically, such policies are low-cost policies. • Endowment - With profit policies - offer a bonus (which could be guaranteed) in addition to the sum assured, upon death of the insured or at the end of the term of the policy. These policies cost more than the Endowment - Without profit policies. Currently, four types of Endowment - With profit policies are offered in the market: Endowment with profit policies • Upon death of the insured, the nominee receives sum assured plus bonus for the number of years the policy was in force. • Upon surviving the term of the policy or upon maturity, the insured receives sum assured plus bonus for the term of the policy. The amount receivable upon maturity is tax-free. • Many people prefer to buy such policies for terms that mature during their retirement period. Often, the maturity amount is utilized to supplement the pension income (pension income is taxable). Money back policies During the term of the policy, the insured receives a fixed portion (percentage) of the sum assured at regular intervals. This money received during the term of the policy is tax-free. Upon surviving the term of the policy or upon maturity, the insured receives the balance amount of the sum assured plus bonus for the term of the policy. Upon death of the insured, the nominee receives full sum assured plus bonus for the number of years the policy was in force. (Money received by the insured during the term of the policy is not deducted from the amount paid to the nominee.) Money back policies cost more than Endowment - With profit policies. Many people prefer to purchase such a policy to utilize the money receivable for going on a holiday, re-furnishing their homes or even re-investing the same amount. Child Plans • The child receives sum assured plus bonus (if any) at a pre-determined time. This money is receivable irrespective of the fact that the proposer is dead or alive. • The proposer for such a policy could be the parent/guardian/grand parent; he pays the premium for the policy. • In the event of death of proposer, usually no further premiums need to be paid by the family. However, depending upon the policy type, the child may or may not receive the sum assured upon the death of the insured. However, the policy continues and the child receives the sum assured plus bonus, if any, at the pre-determined time of the policy. • Upon survival of the term of the policy, the child receives money at the pre-determined time. • Such policies are best suited for planning children's higher education and marriage expenses. Unit-linked Insurance Plans • A portion of the premium is invested in the stock market or in a mutual fund. Thus, the returns earned on such a policy are transparent (unit-linked) since they can be tracked on a daily basis. • The company utilizes balance part of the premium to cover insurance and administrative costs. • In the event of death of insured, the nominee receives sum assured plus returns earned in the market by the insurance company. • Upon surviving the term of the policy, the insured receives the returns earned in the stock market by the insurance company. Whole life Plans Whole life policies provide insurance until the death of the insured person. • Upon the death of the insured, the nominee receives the sum assured plus the bonus, if any. • Whole life policies typically offer no survival benefits, since there is no definitive term to the policy. However, the insured could make withdrawals or take loans against the cash value of the policy. • Typically, the cash value (the interest or bonus earned on the premium) of a Whole Life policy is higher than that of an Endowment with Profit policy. • Moreover, the premium for a Whole Life policy is paid for a longer duration of time (since the insurance coverage term is longer). However, the insured has the option of selecting the premium paying term. Pension Plans • Pension policies provide a regular sum of money to the insured or to his nominee for a fixed period. • The insured has the option of selecting when and for how long (term) she or he would like to receive the pension amount. • In the event of death of the insured during the term of the policy, the nominee has the option of taking a lump sum amount or receiving a regular pension for the remaining term of the policy. It is advisable to have a portfolio of policies with varied benefits, as a single policy cannot meet all your insurance objectives. Source: SBI Life Insurance

What is a Guaranteed Surrender Value?

You can surrender the policy for cash only after the premiums have been paid for at least three years. The minimum surrender value allowed is equivalent to an assured percentage of the total amount of premiums paid by the holder excluding the premiums for the first year and all extra premiums for riders.

How can Insurance Repository provide free service to policy holders? Where is the catch?

The Insurance Repositories will be paid directly by the Insurance Companies whose policies are held in electronic form in the respective Insurance Repository so that no charges are levied on policy holders. Insurance Companies will be able to pay these fees out of the savings that will accrue to them by the migration to issuance and maintenance of policies in electronic form.

What is the difference between health insurance plan of General Insurance Companies and Life Insurance Companies?

Health insurance plan of general insurance company works on the principle of reimbursement. In which hospitalization expenses (provided that of min of 24 hrs hospitalization) is paid upto sum assured. Health insurance plan of life insurance companies works on the principle of compensation. In which hospital daily cash benefit (provided that of min 48 hrs hospitalization) and major surgical benefits are paid as per the fixed amount under plan opted irrespective of actual expenses. In this type of plan premium are allocated in two parts one is investments and another is for providing benefits. Generally, premium and expenses are on higher side in such type of plan.

What is the guaranteed Savings/bonus applicable under a Life Insurance Policy?

There are some insurance policies that guarantee the amount of money you would receive upon maturity. Typically, this amount is a proportion of the sum assured such as a bonus or a guaranteed addition. Lets say bonus is Rs 50 per Rs 1000 of the sum assured and you have an insurance policy for a sum assured of Rs 100,000 then you earn a bonus of Rs 5,000 each year on the sum assured. Other policies may offer you a guaranteed bonus as a percentage such as a guaranteed addition of 3.5% per annum on a compounded basis.

Which Life Insurance Plan I should opt?

If you need pure protection then Term Plan is best for you.

Who is an Authorized Representative (AR)?

A policy holder who opens an e IA shall appoint an Authorized Representative (AR) who shall be entitled to access the account in the event of demise of the policy holder or in his incapacity to operate the e Insurance Account. The AR is entitled only to access the e IA so as to know the portfolio of insurance policies and the nominees of the respective policies held under that account. The Policy Holder can change the AR, at his discretion, during the term of the eIA. The AR is different from a nominee and has only access rights to the e IA in the event of demise of the policy holder.

If there are problems with claims what can I do?

First you should write to the company and give them sufficient time to respond suitably. If they don't respond, or it is not a response satisfactory to you, then you can approach the appropriate judicial channel. For complaints relating to personal insurance covers upto a value of Rs.20 lakh, you may approach the Insurance Ombudsman in your area. The Ombudsman has a technical team that will go into the merits of your case and give an award) If you are unhappy with the outcome with the Ombudsman you still have recourse to consumer courts. The IRDA also has a Grievance Cell.

How do I reduce the cost of buying life insurance?

The cost of a policy could be lowered if one starts buying insurance at an early age (while the risk is lower). A longer duration policy along with large sum assured would also reduce the cost. Also you will avail discounts if you offer to pay premium annually. Select a low cost policy such as a Term product. Do not buy riders or additional benefits that may not be of additional benefit to you.

Is it compulsory for all Insurance Companies to offer electronic policies?

Yes. It is the policy holder's prerogative to opt for a policy in electronic form. If a policy holder wants his/her policy (either new purchase or existing) in electronic form, then the Insurer is bound to fulfill his / her requirement. The choice of a Repository for opening an e IA is the prerogative of the policy holder and hence all Insurance Companies will need to work with all the Insurance Repositories. Initially, repository service will be available for life insurance only; over time, health and general insurance (personal lines only) will also be brought within the ambit of repository services.

Can the eIA be operated by the Policy holder only?

Yes, the e IA can be operated by the account holder only during his life time, unless, of course, he has been unfortunately rendered incapable to operate it (incapacity due to mentally unsound means or terminally ill as certified by a medical practitioner). In such circumstances, the e IA may be operated by the Authorized Representative (AR) appointed by the account holder (pl see below for details). The account holder is strongly advised to keep the log In ID and password for online access of his e IA confidential and not share it with anyone else.

What is insurance?

We face a lot of risks in our daily lives. Some of these lead to financial losses. Insurance is a way of protecting against these financial losses. For a payment (premium), an insurance company will take the responsibility of compensating your financial losses.

What are the Tax benefits applicable to me if I invest in a Life Insurance Policy?

If you invest in life insurance policy, you will get deduction under Section 80 C of the income tax act, 1956 of the premuim paid within overall limit of Rs. 1.50 lacs per year along with other eligible items like Provident fund, EPF, NSC, ELSS, tuition fee, repayment of home loan etc. However in case the amount paid towards life insurance premium exceeds 10% of the amount of the sum assured, you will get the deduction only upto 10% of the sum assured. Moreover When the maturity proceeds are received the same will be fully exempt if the premium paid on such policy did not exceed 10% of the sum assured in any of the year.

What are the benefits of group life insurance?

This scheme provides insurance coverage to a group of people under one contract. These schemes are provided for employees, associations, societies, etc. Group insurance are more affordable than other individual insurance plans and also beneficial to those who cannot afford individual life insurance.

What are the documents required to open an eIA Account?

ID Proof: • AADHAR CARD or • PAN Card Address Proof: A copy of any one of the following documents should be submitted as proof of address; the original of the relevant address proof should be produced for verification by the Insurance Repository: I. Ration Card II. Passport III. Aadhar letter IV. Voter ID card V. Driving license VI. Bank Passbook (not more than 6 months old) VII. Verified copies of a) Electricity bills (not more than 6 months old), b) Residence Telephone bills (not more than 6 months old) and c) Registered Lease and License agreement / Agreement for sale. VIII.Self‐declaration by High Court and Supreme Court judges, giving the new address in respect of their own accounts. IX. Identity card/document with address, issued by a) Central/State Government and its Departments, b) Statutory/Regulatory Authorities, c) Public Sector Undertakings, d) Scheduled Commercial Banks, e) Public Financial Institutions, f) Colleges affiliated to universities; and g) Professional Bodies such as ICAI, ICWAI, Bar Council etc. to their Members.

If I get heart attack, cancer, stroke will I get covered in a health Insurance policy ?

Yes, all these would be covered under health insurance if it has not happened as a result of any pre-existing disease. All the pre-existing diseases would be covered after 4 continuous years of coverage.

Can anyone become or set up an Insurance Repository?

No, only entities approved by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) can become an Insurance Repository. Insurance Companies cannot set up an Insurance Repository on their own nor can they hold more than 10% stake in any Insurance Repository. Source: CAMS

What kinds of policies are there?

Most general insurance policies are annual - that is, they last for one year. Some policies are given for longer periods - like fire insurance for residences - and some for shorter periods - like insurance for goods transportation or for emergency medical treatment during foreign travel.

What do I get if I insure?

The insured person will get satisfaction that his family is completely insured in case something happens to the major earning member of the family. His family will get assured sum after his death. In monetary terms, you can claim tax-deductions under section 88. Premium paid towards a life insurance policy, up to Rs 1,00,000, can be claimed as a tax-deduction u/s 88. Survival benefits or Interim benefits, i.e. money received during the term of a money back policy are tax-free. Maturity benefits or the amount received at the end of the term of a policy is also tax-free. Proceeds of a life insurance policy, received by the nominee, are tax-free. For a Health insurance policy, you can claim the premium amount, up to a maximum limit of Rs 10,000 u/s 80D. Moreover, the money you receive from the insurance company, during the term of the policy and/or upon maturity, is tax-free.

Is it compulsory to issue policies in only electronic form? (i.e. is dematerialization of insurance policies compulsory, as in the case of shares?)

No, it is not (yet) compulsory to issue insurance policies only in electronic form. Policy holders can choose the form in which they want their policies issued - paper or electronic.

How much should I insure for?

The amount you insure for is called the sum assured. Normally a policy should cover the value of the asset - either the market value while insuring, or the cost of replacing the asset should it be lost or destroyed. The premium will depend on the sum assured.

What is Pre existing, Waiting periods and Exclusions in a health Insurance policy ?

Pre-existing are the diseases from which a customer suffers from before taking a policy cover. Most of companies in industry provide coverage to these pre-existing diseases after 4 continuous years of coverage. Waiting period is also called the cooling period. It is the time after the purchase of policy under which no claim is paid other than in the situation when claim has resulted due to an emergency situation. It varies (from 30 days to 90 days ) from insurer to insurer.



A brief history of title to land

Accelerated death benefit

A percentage of the policy?s face amount, discounted for interest, that can be paid to the insured prior to death, under specified circumstances. This is in lieu of a traditional policy that pays beneficiaries after the insured?s death. Such benefits kick in if the insured becomes terminally ill, needs extreme medical intervention, or must reside in a nursing home. The payments made while the insured is living are deducted from any death benefits paid to beneficiaries.

Accident & Accidental Death Benefit

In the context of life insurance, accident or accidental death is defined as a sudden and unforeseen happening that causes disability or death of the policyholder.

Accident and health insurance

Coverage for acci-dental injury, accidental death, and related health expenses. Benefits will pay for preventative services, medical expenses, and catastrophic care, with limits.

Accidental death benefit

An endorsement that pays the beneficiary an additional benefit if the insured dies from an accident.

Accidental Death Insurance

Accidental Death Insurance provides coverage in the event of death due to accidental injuries, but not illness. In the event of death, payment is made to the insured's beneficiary. And most of these covers provide for cases for bodily injury (e.g., the loss of a limb), where the insured receives a specificed sum.

Accounts receivable (debtors) insurance

Indemnifies for losses that are due to an inability to collect from open commercial account debtors because records have been destroyed by an insured peril.

Accumulation Period

The time interval between the commencement of the policy and the time when benefits are paid out. It is established by the insured.

Activities of daily living

Activities-such as eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, and continence-that trig-ger payment in a long-term care insurance policy, if at least some of them cannot be performed by the insured.

Acts of god

Perils that cannot reasonably be guarded against, such as floods and earthquakes.

Actual cash value

A form of insurance that pays damages equal to the replacement value of damaged property minus depreciation.

Actual loss ratio

The ratio of losses incurred to premiums earned actually experienced in a given line of insurance activity in a previous time period.

Actuarial cost assumptions

Assumptions about rates of investment earnings, mortality, turnover, salpatterns, probable expenses, and distribution or actual ages at which employees are likely to retire.

Actuarial Cost Method

A method that determines contributions that would be made under an insurance plan.


An insurance professional skilled in the analysis, evaluation, and management of statistical information. Evaluates insurance firms? reserves, determines rates and rating methods, and determines other business and financial risks.


Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefits

Additional insureds

Persons who have an insurable interest in the property/person covered in a policy and who are covered against the losses outlined in the policy. They usually receive less coverage than the pri-mary named insured.

Additional living expenses

Extra charges covered by homeowners policies over and above the policy-holder?s customary living expenses. They kick in when the insured requires temporary shelter due to damage by a covered peril that makes the home temporarily uninhabitable.

Adjustable Life Insurance

A facility allowing a life insurance policy owner to change the insurance plan, increase or decrease the premium and make changes in the protection period.


An individual employed by a property/cas-ualty insurer to evaluate losses and settle policyholder claims. These adjusters differ from public adjusters, who negotiate with insurers on behalf of policyhold-ers, and receive a portion of a claims settlement. Inde-pendent adjusters are independent contractors who adjust claims for different insurance companies.

Admitted company

An insurance company licensed and authorized to do business in a particular state or country.

Adverse selection

The tendency of those exposed to a higher risk to seek more insurance coverage than those at a lower risk. Insurers react either by charging higher premiums or not insuring at all. In the case of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, adverse selection concentrates risk instead of spreading it. Insurance. works best when risk is shared among large numbers of policyholders.

Affinity sales

Selling insurance through groups such as professional and business associations.

Affirmative warranty

An agreement between an insurance company and an agent, granting the agent authority to write insurance from that company. It specifies the duties, rights, and obligations of both parties.

After Tax Rupees

This refers to the disposable income that the policy holder has in his hands after paying all tax dues during a particular financial year under the Income Tax Act.

Age Limits

The maximum and minimum ages above or below which an insurance company will not accept applications for insurance from or will not renew a policy with a person.


Insurance is sold by two types of agents: inde-pendent agents, who are self-employed, represent several insurance companies and are paid on commission, and exclusive or captive agents, who represent only one insurance company and are either salaried or work on commission. Insurance companies that use exclusive or captive agents are called direct writers.

Agent (Life Advisor)

A representative of an insurance company authorized to sell insurance policies.

Aggregate deductible

A type of deductible that applies for an entire year in which the insured absorbs all losses until the deductible level is reached, at which point the insurer pays for all loses over the specified amount.

Aggregate limits

A yearly limit, rather than a ?per occurrence? limit. Once an insurance company has paid up to the limit, it will pay no more during that year.

Aleatory contract

A legal contract in which the outcome depends on an uncertain event. Insurance contracts are aleatory in nature.

All-risk agreement

A property or liability insur-ance contract in which all risks of loss are covered except those specifically excluded; also called ?open perils policy.?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Alternative to going to court to settle disputes. Methods include arbitration, where disputing parties agree to be bound to the decision of an independent third party, and mediation, where a third party tries to arrange a settlement between the two sides.

Alternative markets

Mechanisms used to fund self-insurance. This includes captives, which are insurers owned by one or more non-insurers to provide owners with coverage. Risk-retention groups, formed by members of similar professions or businesses to obtain liability insurance, are also a form of self-insurance.

Ancillary charges

In hospital insurance, covered charges other than room and board.

Annual statement

Summary of an insurer?s or rein-surer?s financial operations for a particular year, including a balance sheet.

Annual-premium annuity

An annuity whose purchase price is paid in annual installments.


: An individual receiving benefits under an annuity.

Annuity Certain

An insurance contract that provides an annuity for a certain number of years, irrespective of whether the insured is alive or dead.

Annuity Consideration

The payment that an annuitant makes for an annuity.

Annuity units

A measure used in valuing a variable annuity during the time it is being paid to the annui-tant. Each unit?s value fluctuates with the performance of an investment portfolio.


The dividing of a loss proportion-ately among two or more insurers that cover the same loss.


A survey to determine a property?s insura-ble value, or the amount of a loss.


Procedure in which an insurance company and the insured or a vendor agree to settle a claim dispute by accepting a decision made by a third party.


The deliberate setting of a fire

Assessable policy

A policy subject to additional charges, or assessments, on all policyholders in the company.

Asset-backed securities

Bonds that represent pools of loans of similar types, duration and interest rates. Almost any loan with regular repayments of principal and interest can be securitized, from auto loans and equipment leases to credit card receivables and mortgages.


To use life insurance policy benefits as collat-eral for a loan.


Assignee is the person to whom the title, rights and benefits under a life policy are assigned.


Assignor is the policyholder who transfers the title, beneficial interest and rights under the policy to another individual.

Asymmetric information

An insured?s knowledge of likely losses that is unavailable to insurers.

Attained Age

It is your current age.Your attained age is one of the factors life insurance companies use to determine your premiums. As the older you are, the probability of death during the period of insurance cover i.e life insurance risk increases and so does the premium. Higher the risk, higher the premium.


The Insurance Regulatory and Development authority, IRDA established under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 is the regulator for the insurance sector.

Auto insurance premium

The price an insurance company charges for coverage, based on the frequency and cost of potential accidents, theft and other losses.

Automatic coverage

An insurer agrees to cover accidents from all machinery of the same type as that specifically listed in the endorsement.

Automatic treaty

An agreement whereby the ceding company is required to cede some certain amounts of business and the reinsurer is required to accept them.

Average adjusters

A name applied to claims adjusters in the field of marine insurance.

Aviation insurance

Commercial airlines hold prop-erty insurance on aeroplanes and liability insurance for negligent acts that result in injury or property damage to passengers or others. Damage is covered on the ground and in the air. The policy limits the geographical area and individual pilots covered.

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