Three years ago I took a policy of ICICI PRUDENTIAL called the LifeTime Super Policy which started from the month of October where I pay an annual premium of Rs. 45,000. I have completed my 3 years lock-in period and the fund value is not at all looking good. In fact it is much lesser than the total of my premiums. Should I continue this policy or should I surrender this policy. The idea is to get better returns from this policy so please suggest me where should I invest my money for better returns. Is this policy a good bet or should I move out my money?
Jayesh Dighekar, Santacruz (W)
ICICI Prudential Life Time ULIP has been one of the most popular plans of the company. The charges of all ULIPs were high in those days and hence the amount that finally gets invested used to be very low. The returns will take some time to grow and look attractive, say a minimum of 5 to 6 years. Now since your lock-in period is over, the major chunk of charges have been deducted from the policy. You may want to keep this going and start another policy like a unit-linked pension plan. If you want to start a new unit-linked insurance plan then LIC Pension Plus is a good option. Other ULIPS which are popular are HDFC SL Crest, Birla SunLife Dream Endowment and Bajaj Allianz Max Advantage. SIPs are good options too but consult a proper financial planner and then invest into financial products.
I am looking for a cheap Term Insurance Policy. I came across some cheap online term plans such as Aegon Religare / Kotak / ICICI Prudential Iprotect plan. My doubt is about the claims processing and settlement of such plans. Insurance agents say that if we buy the policies through them then the claim settlement and other formalities will all be managed by them. So if I buy an online term insurance plan then will the claim settlement be difficult for the nominee? But as far as I know that even if I buy the term plans through an insurance agent, there is no guarantee that agent will be available for help. So how do I go about it? Shall I buy the term plan from an agent or pick up an online term plan? Also please suggest some latest term plans
Nalini Parekh, Vile Parle East
The reason people are worried about an online term plan is because there is no agent to follow up with like it used to happen in the good old days of LIC Agent. He reminds you every year for the premiums and other new plans. Since you stick to one agent and are in touch with him / her, the claim process never used to be a worry. But please remember that the product belongs to a company and not individual. Almost all companies have really good customer service departments. Some of them have dedicated teams within customer service to handle claims servicing. So whether there is an agent or not the claim process is managed professionally by the insurers. Go for the online term insurance plans if you like it and save money.
The recent term plans that are popular because of the low premiums being offered are –
Age 25 years
Term 30 years
Male Non Smoker
Approx Annual Premium
Sum Assured 50 lacs 1 crore
ICICI Pru iProtect 5,555 9,680
Aviva LifeShield Platinum 5,600 10,976
Kotak Preferred Term 5,950 11,000
SBI Smart Shield 7,375 12,250
Aegon Religare iTerm 9,000 18,000
Met Suraksha Plus 9,045 16,545