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Life insurance for women is a crucial part of financial planning for the whole family. Imagine the matriarch of your family becoming ill or passing away. A tragic event will not only result in an emotional loss but a substantial impact on the operations of the household as well as the finances.

The impact of being a wife, mom, caregiver, and so many other hats women wear can take a toll on your body. While an illness or tragic event is never a happy topic to discuss, it is very important to ensure you have the right plans in place, especially if you are a contributor to your family income or the sole provider.

If you are single, life insurance can help pay off your debts, taxes, medical bills as well as offset expenses your family may incur. If you are a caregiver, single parent, or a working mother, life insurance can help buffer the loss of your income. It can also support future expenses for your children or family. Considering these factors, women should seriously consider investing in life insurance that offers living benefits.

Don't underestimate your worth
A common mistake when it comes to life insurance for women is underestimating their worth, aka not having enough coverage. Whether you are a female breadwinner or a stay at home mom, you need to ensure you have insurance coverage for your family's financial needs. This is a huge amount that could be beneficial to your family if something were to happen unexpectedly.

Of course, everyone's financial situation is different. Determining the amount of life insurance you should have can be a challenge. One of the most recommended methods is known as "The dime formula." This formula has you take a more detailed approach to your finances. It has you consider your total debt, final expenses, mortgage payoff, and the cost of education for your children. Similar to creating your financial plan, you will need to plan out precisely what type of coverage you should have.

About Living Benefits
Living benefits can be part of your term life or whole life insurance and provides coverage while you are living in addition to the death benefit. This key benefit is a lifesaver for many families who experience a terminal, critical, or chronic illness and require steady income to cover expenses. This is where living benefits kick in to provide supplemental income to the insured. Living benefits can provide coverage in three major categories of illness.

1.Terminal illness: An illness that will result in death in 24 months of diagnosis by a physician.

2.Critical illness: Examples include ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Heart Attack, Stroke, Cancer, Blindness, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Major Organ Transplant, etc.

3.Chronic illness: A doctor has certified, within the past 12 months, that you are unable to perform 2 out of 6 "activities of daily living" for a period of at least 90 consecutive days without assistance or you are cognitively impaired.

At the end of the day, you want to protect yourself and your family with the right life insurance. One that ensures you are all well taken care of in the event of illness or a tragic accident.

Budgeting your life insurance policy
As with any expense, you want to be sure you budget for the cost of your life insurance policy. This is a necessary expense, and if it means cutting out other unnecessary expenses to cover it, you should do it. Again the cost of life insurance for women will vary based on age, health history, occupation, policy type, etc. Remember to speak with an agent to ensure you get the best policy that fits you and your family's financial needs.

When should you invest in life insurance?
Investing in life insurance is best done while you are still young and relatively healthy. The older you are, the higher the risk class you could be placed in. This impacts the cost of how much you will pay for insurance.

When is the best time to buy life insurance for women?
When it comes to life insurance, regardless of gender, it's best to purchase a policy you can afford at a younger age. This is because life insurance premiums are the lowest when you are younger. However, if you are older and in good health, you can shop around to get the best possible rates based on your age, depending on the underwriting process. If you are thinking about life insurance, the next best time to buy it is today.
Distressing tales of people infected with COVID-19 paying exorbitant hospital bills for the treatment of the novel coronavirus have been surfacing all over for quite some time now. Recently, a 44-year-old Delhi resident – Rakesh Bakshi — who was admitted to a plush private hospital in the national capital for treatment of COVID-19 was charged over Rs 23 lakh for 21 days of hospitalization. What’s more, his health insurance claim was for just around Rs 10 lakh and he had to pay the remaining amount from his own pocket for which he had to ask for help from family and friends. Rakesh was lucky that he had health insurance that covered him to some extent, though the cover was not sufficient to pay for the entire hospitalization cost. While people do opt for a health insurance policy, not everyone opts for the right coverage amount or the sum insured which often lands him or her in a deep financial crisis.

Insurance experts address health insurance with an inadequate sum insured as a ‘leaking bucket.’ While you may feel you are financially well protected against any medical emergency, due to the lower sum insured, the core objective of health insurance is not delivered. Even at times, people with inadequate health insurance coverage have to sell-off their financial assets, or even worse, borrow money at a massive interest rate to pay for the hospital bills.

In case a medical emergency strikes a family, a majority of times the person needs to be rushed to a private facility for treatment. And then, private hospitals charge a hefty amount even for minor treatment, and hence it is important to have a health insurance policy with a high sum insured.

With hospital bills running into lakhs for hospitalization of a single-family member due to COVID-19, two or three members of the same family being hospitalized can turn to be a shocking nightmare – both physically and financially. While you may avoid this situation by maintaining social distancing and following government mandated protocols, it is equally important to stay financially prepared for any such situation and the only way out is having a health insurance cover with adequate coverage – sum insured.

For those unaware, the sum insured is the total amount up to which the insurer promises to pay your hospitalization bills.

You have the option of either enhancing your sum insured with the current insurer or if your current insurer does not offer a higher sum insured policy, you can port your policy to a different and better insurer. For those stuck with a lower sum insured health insurance policy, porting is the only and most affordable solution available. It is always better to port your health insurance policy rather than buying a fresh policy all together as you may lose all the benefits attached with your previous health cover. By buying a fresh policy, you will loose on the No-Claim Bonus benefit and will have to serve a fresh waiting period on various pre-existing conditions.

Porting your health policy to a higher cover plan will not only enhance the coverage but also help you avail a plethora of exclusive features like no room-rent capping, no co-payment clause, and no sub-limits on specialized procedures. In fact, many insurers also allow you to earn wellness points while maintaining your health as per the program and redeem the points for discounts on premiums or get a membership for yoga centres and gyms.

With the intervention of the insurance regulator, for the benefit of customers, the porting process has been made very smooth and you can easily switch your insurer online if you are unhappy with the current insurer and wish to port to a better policy. By following a few simple steps, you can port from one insurer to another. With the several changes in the underwriting rules, customers do not need to serve a fresh waiting period when porting the insurer and also all other benefits like No-Claim Bonus continue to work without any break. In fact, when porting to a new insurer, you also have access to features like no room-renting capping, zero co-payment and no sub-limits.

Since we buy life insurance to protect our family in the long run, it is beneficial to buy certain key riders along with the base policy by paying an extra premium. Riders are additional benefits which a policyholder can opt for along with the basic cover to expand his life insurance coverage. Riders can help in customising the life insurance policy, give additional protection against risk on top of the basic sum and can be useful in times of financial crises, especially at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has taken lives of many breadwinners.

While some life insurance companies offer plans which have in-built riders in the basic plans, others have flexible-plans and a policyholder can choose according to his needs. Life insurers offer various types of riders such as critical illness, permanent disability, accidental death and waiver of premium riders. In fact, accidental disabilities and life-threatening illnesses, which entail expensive treatments, can cause financial stress to the insured and his family.

Riders can mitigate that to a large extent.
Buying a rider is much more affordable than buying a separate insurance policy and the insured can get tax deductions under Section 80C, 10(10D),115BAC and other provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Policyholders can buy riders to any insurance plan—term plan, endowment plan or even unit-linked plan. However, the premium on the critical illness riders cannot exceed 100% of the premium under the basic product and premiums under all other life insurance riders in total cannot be over 30% of premium paid under the basic policy.

Critical illness rider
Under this rider, the insurance company will pay a lump sum or give periodic payouts, over and above the sum assured, in case the policyholder is diagnosed with any of the specified critical illnesses listed in the policy document such as heart attack, cancer, brain tumour, kidney failure, etc. Policyholders must see the entire list of critical illnesses covered in the policy as it varies from company to company. The lump sum can be used for medical treatment and even for household expenses and paying loan EMIs.

As the policyholder will suffer loss of income because of the critical illness, the pay-out will help him pay for the treatment costs, support his family financially and compensate for the loss of income immediately. After payment of the lump sum, the insurer terminates the additional rider. However, the policyholder’s base policy continues. Experts say critical illness rider has gained a lot of traction after the Covid-19 pandemic because of its multi-organ effects.

Waiver of premium rider
Under this most popular rider, if an insured person dies during the policy term, or suffers a disability and is unable to pay future premiums on the policy, the insurer will pay all premiums due if the insured had opted for the waiver of premium rider. On maturity, the beneficiary of the deceased policyholder will receive the full maturity benefits according to the terms of the policy. The waiver of premium rider is available along with the accidental and permanent disability or the critical illness rider. However, if the insurance company is not offering it then the insured can buy it separately.

Permanent disability rider
This rider helps in case the insured is permanently disabled due to an accident which renders them incapable of working for a living. The insurer pays a certain sum assured for a period depending on the policy terms. Typically, most insurers pay a percentage of the benefits accrued due to the rider every month for a specified number of years. Moreover, all future premiums on the base insurance policy are waived off by the company. If the policy holder dies during the tenure of the policy after having suffered from the permanent disability, the outstanding sum assured is paid to the nominee of the policyholder.

Accidental death benefit rider
If the life insured dies due to an accident, the nominee is paid the death sum assured in addition to the basic sum assured of the policy. So, if one does not have a separate personal accident insurance policy, then this rider can be a very-cost effective one to purchase to protect the family financially.

If you are planning to buy a life insurance policy, look at the riders that are offered by your insurance company, understand the inclusions and exclusions and the additional premium that you have to pay. Look at the maturity period of the riders as some riders like critical illness may expire before the maturity of the base life cover. So, after accessing your needs, decide on the specific riders to buy and make your life insurance cover a comprehensive one.

Since the emergence of the coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19), the world has come to a standstill, forcing governments to impose lockdowns and people to confine themselves to their homes.

The pandemic-declared COVID-19 has resulted in a health crisis, destroying healthcare infrastructure and economies worldwide. It is the third recorded outbreak of a coronavirus. Till now, the virus has infected more than 147 million people and claimed more than 3 million lives.

Today, India ranks among the top three countries which have been hit worst by Covid-19. This health crisis has resulted in high inflation, especially medical inflation, and unemployment in the country.

One of the biggest challenges of COVID-19 is its huge treatment cost which can take a toll on the finances and mental well-being of different sections of society, especially the poor and the middle-class. The growth reflects that now more and more people are starting to consider a health insurance plan as essential as other necessities for survival, in a country where insurance penetration stood below 4% in the pre-covid times.

Over the past year, we saw a steep upward trend in the sale of comprehensive health insurance plans. During the pre-covid times, the number of people who purchased comprehensive insurance plans was approximately 32%, while now after being hit by one of the biggest pandemics, this percentage has shot up to 55%. The data shows that COVID-19 has increased consciousness circling the importance of preventive health insurance in the country.

One of the key reasons for the increase in the sales of health insurance plans is the fact that all health insurance providers were mandatorily made to provide coverage for COVID-19 treatment under their regular health insurance plan by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

In July 2020, the IRDAI also made it mandatory for insurance companies to offer COVID-19 specific short-term health insurance plans namely Corona Kavach Plan and Corona Rakshak Plan. These two plans were specially designed to help policyholders meet the healthcare cost incurred due to the coronavirus disease. The regulator had also earlier in the year launched a Standard Health Insurance Product (SHIP) by the name Arogya Sanjeevani Policy to help people enjoy a standard and comprehensive health insurance coverage. All these steps by the IRDAI contributed positively to the health insurance well-being of the policyholders by keeping them insured against medical contingencies during these tough times.

In a nutshell, the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all realise the importance of health and health insurance plans. It has made us come to terms with the fact that how crucial it is to remain financially shielded as emergencies, especially medical emergencies, come without a warning sign and can result in a financial strain along with emotional grief. However, while purchasing a health insurance plan it is also important to check the coverage of the plan.

You must check if your plan provides enough coverage for pre and post hospitalisation, inpatient and outpatient hospitalisation, annual health check-ups, or for any specific disease against which you wish to remain shielded. You can also enhance the coverage of the plan with the help of various rider options like critical illness cover, maternity cover, OPD cover, room rent waiver cover, etc., and customise the plan as per your exact requirements.
Please mark all your queries / responses to
Information provided on this newsletter has been independently obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, such information may include inaccuracies, errors or omissions. and its affiliates, information providers or content providers, shall have no liability to you or third parties for the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or correct sequencing of information available on this newsletter, or for any decision made or action taken by you in reliance upon such information, or for the delay or interruption of such information. , its affiliates, information providers and content providers shall have no liability for investment decisions or other actions taken or made by you based on the information provided on this newsletter.