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Q 1.What should I do if I get calls asking me to cancel my policy?
A genuine insurer will never ask you to cancel or replace your policy as it is against your interests. Do not follow such advice â€“ it is against your long-term benefit. Also take care not to share any personal or policy details with such fake callers. In case of any doubt about the identity of the caller, call back your own insurance company on their authorised numbers to clarify.
Q 2.What happens if I don't pay my premium on time?
Insurers typically allow a grace period to pay your premium. If you do not pay within this period (this is a bad idea), your policy lapses and your life cover will end. You may get back less money then you paid in premiums. You can revive your policy by paying the unpaid premiums â€“ but there may be charges. For ULIPs, if you stop your policy in the first five years, your money will get moved into a separate fund.
Q 3.What is the difference between ULIP and traditional plans?
The simplest policy is a traditional term plan which offers life cover for a fixed number of years and nothing else. Other traditional plans offer an investment component where you get come money back; the insurance company takes care of this and offers some sort of minimum returns. With a ULIP, there are no guaranteed minimum returns. Your investment return may be more than a traditional plan; it may also be less. However, you get more control because you can choose and change how your money is invested during the life of the policy.
Q 4.What should I keep in mind while buying a child plan?
When you save for your child's education or marriage, make sure that: â€¢ The policy has a 'waiver of premium' feature so that, in case of your death, the policy continues and your child's corpus grows undisturbed â€¢ The Life Assured in the policy is the parent on whom the child is financially dependant â€¢ The policy continues until the child reaches the age when the funds are needed You should also consider a plan that gives you a monthly payout to help you pay regular education fees.
Q 5.Why should I review my insurance amount periodically?
Your life cover should change in line with your income and your family responsibilities. If your income and family responsibilities have increased over the years, your life cover should increase too! Your family is counting on you!
Q 6.At what age should I purchase a Life Insurance policy?
You should buy Life Insurance as soon as possible, and definitely as soon as you start earning. Buy when you are young so that your family's future is secure and you get insurance at a cheaper cost. In insurance-cum-investment plans, buying early also gives a greater chance for your wealth to grow.
Q 7.What is the advantage of insurance-cum-investment products?
Insurance-cum-investment products provide for your family in case of death, as well as the opportunity to build a corpus. They help you take care of two scenarios â€“ dying early (by giving you life cover) and living long (by providing enough money for your retirement years).
Q 8.I have heard about doing a need analysis before buying Life Insurance. What is this?
Need analysis is about identifying what's right for you. This includes retirement, child's future education costs and insurance for your family. These needs vary for each person, so the need analysis ensures that your policy suits your needs.
Q 9.Can I withdraw money from my policy before maturity?
Yes! Many policies have the option where you can withdraw part of your funds before the policy matures. In case you need cash urgently, you can do this. The remaining funds will continue to stay invested in the policy, until maturity. However, this is not always a good idea, especially in the early years. Try to avoid it.
Q 10.Why are Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) considered risky?
When you buy a ULIP, the value of your policy goes up and down in line with the underlying investments. Due to this movement, the value at any given time is uncertain. However, you can choose (and change) the underlying investments to reduce the volatility and the risk. If you don't like this idea, take a 'traditional' plan where the return could be guaranteed.