Life insurance is a contract that pledges payment of an amount to the person assured (or his nominee) on the happening of the event insured against.
The contract is valid for payment of the insured amount during:
- The date of maturity, or
- Specified dates at periodic intervals, or
- Unfortunate death, if it occurs earlier.
Life insurance, in short, is concerned with two hazards that stand across the life-path of every person:
- That of dying prematurely leaving a dependent family to fend for itself.
- That of living till old age without visible means of support.
Life Insurance Vs. Other Savings
A contract of insurance is a contract of utmost good faith technically known as uberrima fides. The doctrine of disclosing all material facts is embodied in this important principle, which applies to all forms of insurance.
At the time of taking a policy, policyholder should ensure that all questions in the proposal form are correctly answered. Any misrepresentation, non-disclosure or fraud in any document leading to the acceptance of the risk would render the insurance contract null and void.
Savings through life insurance guarantee full protection against risk of death of the saver. Also, in case of demise, life insurance assures payment of the entire amount assured (with bonuses wherever applicable) whereas in other savings schemes, only the amount saved (with interest) is payable.
Life insurance encourages ‘thrift’. It allows long-term savings since payments can be made effortlessly because of the ‘easy installment’ facility built into the scheme. (Premium payment for insurance is either monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly).
For example: The Salary Saving Scheme popularly known as SSS, provides a convenient method of paying premium each month by deduction from one’s salary.
In this case the employer directly pays the deducted premium to LIC. The Salary Saving Scheme is ideal for any institution or establishment subject to specified terms and conditions.
In case of insurance, it is easy to acquire loans on the sole security of any policy that has acquired loan value. Besides, a life insurance policy is also generally accepted as security, even for a commercial loan.
Life Insurance is the best way to enjoy tax deductions on income tax and wealth tax. This is available for amounts paid by way of premium for life insurance subject to income tax rates in force.
Assesses can also avail of provisions in the law for tax relief. In such cases the assured in effect pays a lower premium for insurance than otherwise.
A policy that has a suitable insurance plan or a combination of different plans can be effectively used to meet certain monetary needs that may arise from time-to-time.
Children’s education, start-in-life or marriage provision or even periodical needs for cash over a stretch of time can be less stressful with the help of these policies.
Alternatively, policy money can be made available at the time of one’s retirement from service and used for any specific purpose, such as, purchase of a house or for other investments. Also, loans are granted to policyholders for house building or for purchase of flats (subject to certain conditions).