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Insurance cover for the handicapped

Monday, October 18, 2010

I had applied for a LIC Amulya Jeevan term insurance plan. Before approaching the agent, I went to the site and calculated the premium for my age and required sum assured which came up to Rs 8,220. But after application and the medical check up, the agent told me the annual premium applicable to me will be Rs 11,700 and that the difference is because they have levied an extra load premium. Is this true?
Yogesh Dhawle, Daishar
Loading is a standard feature in the calculation of insurance premiums. If the insurance company feels that the risk associated with a particular individual is higher than the standard guidelines, then they have the right to levy additional premium, other than the pure premium for that particular individual. This extra premium over and above the pure premium is called as load premium. There could be variety of reasons for charging load premium, namely - obesity, below average hemoglobin levels, past medical history, etc.
Are there good life insurance policies structured for women or is it the standard policy with a discounted premium?
Nilkanth Varde, Matunga
Usually there should not be a separate insurance policy for females, but because of aspects like pregnancy and related physical differences, insurance companies have to make some change to the policy structure. Also in our country, majority of the females are still associated to be homemakers and not pursuing outdoor activities or working, which is where many insurance plans did offer a lower premium rate as compared to that of male. But with the changing times, increasing number of women are employed and they carry an equal amount of risk as that of a male. There isn’t any sizeable difference in the policy but some companies may add attractive benefits, like for example the LIC policy for women has an option to encash the survival benefits as and when needed and it also offers flexibility to pay premiums in advance.
Do insurance companies provide cover to handicapped people? If yes, what are the conditions or fine print clauses?                                                                Abhijeet Sen, Malad West
Yes insurance companies do provide benefits to handicapped people – physically handicapped as well as mentally handicapped. There are 2 ways in which insurance for a handicapped person can be availed – First, whereby the earning member of the family takes a policy for the sole benefit of the handicapped person in the family. On the death of the policyholder benefits in the form of regular annuity are paid to the handicapped person. Second, if it is a minor disability then the disable person can get an insurance policy in their name with a few exclusions in relation to their disability. People who are blind, dumb and deaf also can be covered by an insurance policy. Insurance companies may charge them a slightly extra load premium than the normal individual.
I have short listed few child insurance policies – now one of them has a waiver of premium rider which the agent says is a must-have in any child policy. Can you explain the rider and whether I should take it?
Aaryan Singh, Lalbaug
As the name suggests, this rider means that the premium will be waived off in occurrence of a specified event. This rider is available in many insurance policies like child insurance, pension plans, endowment policy, etc., but yes it is popular with the child insurance policies. In case of child insurance plan, if the policy holder / life insured (parent) dies then the future premiums of the policy are waived off and the child gets the sum assured + bonus (as it was intended originally) at the end of the policy term. So the insurance company is trying to protect the intended benefits of the child even when the policyholder is no more and the premium payment will discontinue. It is a good rider and you may avail it as the additional premium usually is not so high.
(The author is Vice President at www.MyInsuranceClub.com," target="_blank">http://www.myinsuranceclub.com/">www.MyInsuranceClub.com, insurance comparison website in India. You may write to him at )

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