We all need Insurance at some point of time in our lives. Choosing the best insurance plan which best fits your requirements is an important decision not just for you but also for your family and it can be complicated. Be it Life Insurance, Health, Motor, Personal Accident, Retirement Plans, Travel, Home Insurance, etc.With more than 30 insurance companies, offering over 300 products, the challenge customers face today is not that of buying a policy but purchasing the right policy, that best suits their needs.
But Insurance is deemed as a complex subject and not many have the time or inclination to understand the nitty-gritty of the policies. So the need of the hour is to have simple, jargon-free explanation of Terms & Conditions and a step by step guide for customers, to pick the right policy.
Follow these simple steps if you are planning to purchase any insurance policy:
1) Be sure about your requirements- Not all policies are the same. For example, under Life Insurance comes Retirement Plans, Child Plans, Term Insurance, Endowment Plans and ULIP. So it is important you choose a plan that will match your requirements. If you are looking for pure protection plans, then a Term Plan is for you.
But if your goal is to have a combination of savings with protection then your options are Child Plans, Retirement Plans or ULIP’s. Over here your goal would decide what kind of cover you should go for. For instance, if your goal is to save for Child’s future then Child Plan would be ideal but if you want to save for your retirement then Pension Plans is the best bet.
2) Calculate the Cover you need- A lot of factors come into play while deciding the cover you need. For example in Health Insurance, your age, medical history, city of residence, lifestyle habits, etc. is considered while deciding the amount of cover. On the other hand, in Life Insurance factors such as your income, liabilities, number of dependent family members, etc. help to decide the coverage amount. So a 30-year-old person who has a home loan and 2 school going kids should take a higher cover, while a 45-year-old person who has no liabilities and whose kids have started working can opt for a lower cover.
3) Compare Plans- Comparing plans doesn’t mean just comparing the price. Cheapest is not always the best. You should compare the features, benefits, exclusions and select the plan that suits your needs. For example, while selecting a Health plan for your parents, you should go for a plan that has minimum waiting period, as old aged parents could anytime require hospitalization. Besides, comparing Motor insurance every time, during renewal can be very beneficial plans you can get a discounted premium and may even get additional add-on riders.
4) Read, Understand & Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the policy- After you have zeroed in the policy that you need read, understand and familiarize yourself with all the terms and conditions. This is important to avoid any surprises and heartaches later. For example in a Health Insurance, you should know what is the Room Rent Limit, Waiting period, Exclusions, Day care procedures, Network hospitals, etc. Similarly, in a Life Insurance Policy, you should be aware of Maturity benefit, Death Benefit, permanent exclusions etc. For example, death or hospitalization due to taking part in adventure sports or war is not covered by many Health and Life insurance policies.
5) Seek expert advice- If you ever get stuck with any policy then you simply need to seek expert’s help. If you ever fail to understand the policies or if you are not sure which is the best plan, just speak to a specialist who can analyze your needs and suggest the best option.