Life is the most valuable asset for anyone and we all shudder at the thought of losing someone we love or for that matter about the loss that our loved ones would endure in case of one passing away. Though one cannot do anything about the emotional loss that befalls the family in case of death of a loved one but one can take measures to ensure that they do not suffer (especially in the case of dependents) any financial hardships. This is where a life insurance policy comes in; the right life insurance policy would make sure that the dependants are taken care of financially in the event of death of the primary or sole breadwinner. So what should you keep in mind when buying your first life insurance plan?
- What Life Stage are You In?
If you are buying your first life insurance plan then most likely you are at a stage in life where you have started working recently or have just started a family. However there may be times when you may have missed getting an insurance policy then; better late than never. Each life stage has different requirements and since a life insurance plan is bought primarily to take care of the dependents you need to keep their requirements in mind. As life stage changes so does the number of dependents and the requirements of the family. Insurance needs will be different for an individual who is recently married, both partners are working and they do not have any kids as compared to an individual who has spouse and two kids to support. As the life stage changes so should the insurance cover.
- How Much Life Cover Do You Need?
The amount of insurance one needs will be dependent on your life stage, your lifestyle and your liabilities too. It is possible that two individuals who are at the same life stage may have different liabilities and hence their requirements may vary. The rule of thumb says that the insurance cover must be ten times the yearly income but there are various methods of calculating how much cover one should have. If one has a loan to service then that should be taken into account when calculating the required life cover, the number of dependents, their education and other requirements etc also must be factored in.
- Which Plan Suits Your Requirements
There are numerous plans available to take care of the needs of an individual. Term plans give high coverage at low premiums as they are pure insurance plans. Endowment or money back plans guarantee a saving corpus by paying regular premiums and they also provide insurance cover. ULIPs help in wealth creation, though insurance is also provided but the cover provided vis-a-vie the premium is pretty low. Insurance premiums are dependent on the age, medical health and of course the amount of cover one seeks. Another factor that may impact the premiums is the CIBIL score! Based on the CIBIL score the company will calculate its own insurance score which will indicate the likelihood of a claim. Choosing the right plan based on your requirement is important; for somebody who has just started working and has no liabilities an endowment plan or ULIP could be an option but for someone who wants maximum insurance at lowest premium the Term Plan is the best bet!
- How is the Claim Process?
As we said earlier an insurance policy is bought to serve the needs of the dependants in the absence the breadwinner. However the policy would be useless if the family is unable to get the funds when they require or the process is too complicated for the family members to follow. Thus before buying the policy check about the claims process, what is required, how much time it takes and other important aspects related to filing a claim. Do not forget to check the Claim Settlement Ratio of the company as it will give you a fair idea about how the company is at processing claims; it obviously makes sense to choose a company that has higher settlement ratio.
So if you are looking at buying an insurance policy, do keep the above in mind. Also do not forget to try and focus on how to improve CIBIL score so that you can buy a policy without paying higher premiums. A suitable insurance policy is very important for every individual.