Today, the insurance companies in India offer a variety of life insurance plans to suit people's different protection needs. Among the host of polices, one of the most common policies is the term insurance policy.
Often, first-time life insurance buyers compare term plans with other types of policies. But, is the comparison justified? How do you decide whether to buy term insurance or life insurance? Firstly, the comparison is not justified. The term insurance policies differ from other types of life insurance policies in various aspects. You must understand these differences to make the right buying decision.
What is a term insurance policy?As the name suggests, term insurance is a type of life insurance policy that offers protection only for a specific duration (based on the policy tenure). It covers the risk of premature death. If you pass away before the end of the policy term, the insurance company will pay the death benefit (equal to the sum assured of the policy) to the nominee.
However, if you outlive the policy duration, you don't get any survival benefit. One of the significant features of a term plan that makes it a popular choice among insurance buyers is that it allows the buyers to purchase a policy with a high sum assured at an affordable premium.
What are other life insurance policies?Apart from a term insurance policy, there are several other types of life insurance plans, including Child plans, ULIP (Unit-Linked Insurance Plan), Endowment policy, Money back plan, Whole life insurance, etc.
Term Insurance and other Life Insurance Policies – Knowing the DifferenceNow that you know what term insurance is, it would help to know the difference between a term plan and other life insurance policies. The differences can be outlined based on the following factors:
- Coverage The coverage offered is one of the important aspects of a life insurance policy. A term plan provides coverage only against the premature death of the policyholder. The insurer pays the death benefit only if the insured passes away before the policy's term.
- Premium The premium of a life insurance policy has a direct impact on affordability. Since a term plan provides only basic protection, it has an affordable premium. You can easily purchase a term plan with a premium as low as Rs. 500 per month.
- Policy Duration Life insurance policies are generally considered to be a long-term financial instrument. Term insurance plans usually offer coverage for longer duration; the policy tenure can range from 10 to 30 years. Other life insurance policies can be taken for a shorter duration, and the tenure ranges from 5 to 20 years. So, if you are looking for long-term protection, it is better to purchase a term plan.
- Types There are different types of term insurance plans, vis-à-vis – Level term insurance plan, increasing term insurance plan, decreasing term insurance plan, and return of premium plan.
Other life insurance policies, on the other hand, offer different coverage benefits. Some plans, apart from paying the death benefit, also promise to pay survival benefit. Plans like ULIP, which allows you to invest in the money market, pays valuable returns on the investment upon maturity.
For other life insurance policies that offer wider coverage, the premiums are high; the amount you pay depends on the coverage. Higher the coverage and sum assured, higher the premium, and vice-versa.
|Term Insurance Type||Meaning|
|Level Term Insurance||In level term insurance plan, the sum assured remains constant throughout the policy tenure.|
|Increasing Term Insurance||In an increasing term insurance plan, the sum assured increases after a specific period throughout the tenure, and consequently, the premium increases proportionately.|
|Decreasing Term Insurance||In decreasing term insurance plans, the sum assured decreases during the policy term.|
|Return of Premium Term Insurance||As the name suggests, in return of premium term plans, the insurance companies pay back the premiums paid through the policy duration if the policyholders survive the policy tenure.|
Thus, the term insurance plans are divided based on the coverage they provide. However, the purpose of these plans is to provide financial security to the family in your absence.
In the case of other life insurance policies, different types serve different purposes. Endowment plans allow you to create wealth, unit-linked insurance plans give you exposure to the money market and get returns on investment. Thus, you can choose from different plans to suit your specific goals.
- Flexibility Today, a lot of insurance buyers look for flexible insurance plans. A term life insurance policy is one of the simplest insurance products in the market and does not offer much flexibility. They don't have a surrender value, nor do they provide any maturity benefits.
- Bonus A term insurance policy does not offer any bonus, interest, or loyalty benefits. It only pays the death benefit if the policyholder passes away within the policy duration. Other life insurance plans offer additional payments apart from the death benefit. For instance, an endowment policy or a child plan pays an additional bonus like a loyalty bonus, which widens the policy benefits.
The other life insurance policies are flexible. For example, you can avail of a loan against the whole life insurance policy to cover your emergency needs. The ULIPs, allow you to withdraw the accrued returns from your investment partially.
Are there any similarities between term insurance and other life insurance policies?While there are many differences between term insurance and other life insurance policies, one of the significant similarities is tax implications.
The premium you pay for both the term plan and other life insurance policies is eligible for tax benefit under Section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1969. You can get a maximum deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs in a financial year. So, irrespective of the type of life insurance policy you hold, make sure that you take advantage of the tax benefit to reduce your overall tax liability.
Additionally, the death benefit received by the nominee is exempted from tax under Section 10 (10D) of the IT Act.
As a smart investor, you must understand that a life insurance policy is a crucial part of financial planning and a must-have investment. Many experts recommend investing both a term insurance plan and other life insurance policies. One plan helps secure your family's financial future, and other policies allow you to get the benefit of returns on investment plus life protection. Ensure that you choose the coverage amount carefully; it must be sufficient to cover your family's expenses, including debts (if any).
The information contained herein is generic in nature and is meant for educational purposes only. Nothing here is to be construed as an investment or financial or taxation advice nor to be considered as an invitation or solicitation or advertisement for any financial product. Readers are advised to exercise discretion and should seek independent professional advice prior to making any investment decision in relation to any financial product. Aditya Birla Capital Group is not liable for any decision arising out of the use of this information.
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