Life can be pretty uncertain. The death of a loved one is always painful, but it can have pretty serious financial consequences if it happens to be an earning member. Life insurance was devised to protect a family in the event of the death of an earning member. So let’s look at what is life insurance in some detail.
Life insurance definition is that it’s a contract between an individual and an insurer. The individual takes out an insurance policy and pays monthly or annual premiums. If the insured person meets with an untimely death, a lump sum is paid to his family, whether it’s parents, spouse or children.
Now that we have understood life insurance meaning, let’s look at the various types of products available to you.
When you are finding out what is life insurance policy, you should also understand all the different options. Among them is term insurance. This plan is for a certain fixed period of time. For instance, many people choose to have a life insurance policy till the time they are earning, so that their families do not have to suffer loss of income. The lump sum or death benefit paid will ensure that the families will be able to continue the lifestyle they are accustomed to. Some policies cover permanent disability as well. You can take out a term insurance that lasts for as long as you wish – till you are 60 years old or even a hundred! Of course, you will have to pay higher premiums if you take longer policies.
Whole life insurance
Here’s another term you need to learn while learning what is life insurance policy, and that is whole life insurance. This will provide you with lifetime coverage. Of course, you will have to pay premiums for your entire life for this kind of policy.
An endowment policy is one that combines insurance with investment. The policy is for a fixed period and the policy holder gets a certain amount at the end of it, if he or she survives that period. If the policyholder does not survive, the nominee will get the sum insured.
Unit Linked Insurance Plan
The Unit Linked Insurance Plan or ULIP is a type of endowment policy which combines life insurance with investment. A portion of the premium goes to cover life insurance, while the remainder is invested in either equity or fixed income instruments. The policyholder has the option of selecting the mix of instruments depending on his or her risk appetite and investment goals.
Benefits of life insurance
Now that we have seen what the meaning of life insurance is, let’s look at the benefits.
Protection for family
Obviously, the biggest advantage of life insurance is that it provides financial protection for your family in the event of an untimely death. Ideally, you should take a life cover that is 10 times your annual income to protect your family’s interests.
There’s another reason to invest in life insurance, and that is tax benefits. Premiums paid are eligible for a reduction in taxable income under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. However, the amount is limited to 10 percent of the sum assured.
There are many choices available, from plain term insurance to ULIPs that combine insurance and investment.
Policies like endowment or ULIPS will help you save for long periods.