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    • Growth of life insurers driven by protection business

      In the third quarter of the financial year 2020, an Annualised Premium Equivalent (APE) growth of 4% to 18% was delivered by the top four life insurance companies. Even though October was weak, most of the companies saw an increase in November and December.

      The year-on-year growth of HDFC Life was on par most likely due to the launch of its new product. In the case of Max Life, non-par policies that have a regular income, the return of premium protection policies, and limited pay were the key factors. Therefore, even though there was a fall in interest rates and high ULIPs, most of the large players used different strategies to deliver healthy growth. The trend shows the ability of life insurance companies to manage growth via a combination of channels and products. This also helps insurance companies to sail through any challenges in the near future. A moderate pace of growth has been reported by most life insurers due to competition, a muted growth, or slowdown at NBFCs. According to various sources, reinsurance rates on term policies may be increased by reinsurers. The higher APE growth was mostly driven by the strong value of a new business.

      12 February 2020

    • Life Insurance harder to sell following Budget 2020 announcements

      Budget 2020 saw the government offer lower tax rates to taxpayers if they do not avail exemptions or deductions. One of the avenues that offers such an exemption is life insurance. Experts say that people who fall in the tax bracket ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.7.5 lakh may migrate to the new tax regime. As a result, life insurance providers in the private sector may have to work harder to ensure the sales of insurance products. And in their defense, they have been promoting life protection in their ads rather than the tax benefits on offer. However, many insurance agents across the country are still brining in the tax element when trying to sell insurance products to people in India.

      Another decision that affected insurance companies was the doing away with Dividend Distribution Tax. Dividends will now be taxable in the investor’s hands, and the government will get a sizeable part of their earnings. According to estimates by Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Pvt. Ltd., removing Dividend Distribution Tax will reduce 5% to 10% of new businesses in case pricing is not changed by insurance companies.

      11 February 2020

    • ‘Project Roar’ launched by Future Generali

      Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited launched ‘Project Roar’ under which 28 new branches were inaugurated to enhance it countrywide footprint. The new branches are spread across the country, in cities and towns such as Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurugram, Ambala, Noida, Dimapur, Keonjar, Trichy, Udhampur, Kozhikode, Mohali, Patiala, etc. The operational presence of Future Generali India Life Insurance Company would widen in India with the new expansion plan. Demographic parameters were assessed before selecting the aforementioned areas. The World Bank released the Economic Potential Indicator data which also contributed towards the selection of the aforementioned cities. The aim of the company is to recruit around 350 employees in addition to more than 2,000 distributors in 2020. They also have hopes of raising the number in the next two years. Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited has been concentrating on expanding their agency channels by recruiting more new agents as well as opening more new branches in the country. Over the past three years, Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited has experienced tremendous profitability as well as progress, thereby contributing to its overall development.

      7 February 2020

    • Shares of life insurance firms fall with new income tax regime announcement

      Following the Union Budget announcement by the Finance Minister, offering reduced tax rates for those who don’t claim any tax exemptions, there was a sharp dip in the shares of life insurance companies by 5% to 10%. SBI Life Insurance Company and ICICI Life Insurance Company each suffered a slump of 10%. HDFC Life Insurance Company had a 5% dip. The Nifty was down at 11836.25 points which was 1.7% down. This is because many people use Unit-Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) and life insurance policies to fill up their tax deduction quota. If they choose the new tax system, these deductions would no longer apply. However, even under the old system, which still remains, around 70 deductions have been eliminated. There are other factors that led to a decline, such as the initial public offering made by the Life Insurance Corporation of India and an overall decline in the stock market due to economic conditions. General insurance companies also saw a decline in shares with the decline in the benchmark index. However, deductions were not applicable for many of the general insurance policies under the old tax structure.

      5 February 2020

    • Expectations high on enhancing of tax benefit under Section 80C

      According to a statement by the MD and CEO of IndiaFirst Life Insurance, RM Vishakha, mentioned the importance of the upcoming budget to be focusing on the consumer. There are expectations on the increase of the tax limit under Section 80C from the current Rs.1.5 lakh.

      The government is also expected to emphasise on the consumption of goods in the domestic sphere in order to get back on the growth track. Moreover, the individual tax exemption for income tax is expected to be raised to Rs. 3 lakhs. By doing so, it will provide the required push for the people falling under the lower and middle-income population.

      To add, another aspect which could contribute to growth would be for the pension and retirement scheme. Expectations are to move the annuity pay-outs from the current EET (Exempt Exempt Tax) structure into an EEE regime (Exempt Exempt Exempt).

      3 February 2020

    • Expectations of the general and life insurance sector from Budget 2020

      Budget 2020 is coming up soon and the media has been talking to different experts from the sector to find out what their expectations are from Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, when the Budget is rolled out on the 1st of February. One of the moves that will be closely followed by both the general insurance as well as the life insurance sector is the potential increase in the FDI limit from the present rate of 49% to 74%. Besides, life insurers across the country have been wanting an increase in the income tax deduction limit under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. A decline in GST rates applicable to life insurance products has also been requested by life insurance companies. The general insurance sector, meanwhile, has been asking for incentives when purchasing home insurance plans, either via rebates or via home insurance plans sponsored by the state, such as Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. The sector is also monitoring the situation regarding the recapitalization of 3 PSU general insurers and any documents pertaining to their merger.

      30 January 2020

    • Valuations of life insurers are coming under the lens even though they maintain growth

      Over the last nine months that ended in December, the performance of listed life insurers has largely justified their valuations. However, there have been concerns that their stocks might have outrun their performance.

      The stock trade of HDFC Life Insurance Co. Ltd is 5 times its embedded value for the financial year 2020. There has been a 58% increase in the insurer’s shares and investors have received a 109% return. The value of business margins of HDFC Life has been the main reason for its valuations. The margin of the insurer has been better than that of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. Due to the upswing on return-guaranteed products and market-linked products, margin moderation is expected as well. However, according to Jefferies India, insurers could be hurt in the long run as this is an opportunistic play. According to various analysts, the growth of new businesses will continue to remain high and the margin will be supported due to an increase in business protection. Term plans have been hawked aggressively by life insurance companies and this is working well for them now. SBI Life has done a better job in terms of business growth when compared to its competitors. The premium growth of SBI has increased by 35%.

      29 January 2020

    • Life Insurance Guaranteed Income Plans

      Life insurance guaranteed income plans, as the name implies, provides the option of getting a monthly income on a regular basis. These guaranteed payouts on a regular basis also come with maturity benefits. The regular income depends on a percentage of the sum insured that is predefined by the policyholder. The policyholder also decides the interval at which the income is received. This is done at the time of buying the policy. The frequency of income can be monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually. The duration of the policy is also decided by the policyholder. At the time of the policy getting matured, the additions that were accrued over the period are paid out to the policyholder. In case the policyholder passes away before the policy matures, the payment of premium is waived off for the survivors. The policy and benefits will continue, however. The death benefit is passed onto the nominee. The death benefit is the combination of the basic sum assured and the bonuses. The guaranteed payouts will be paid out to the nominee at intervals that were decided by the policyholder. This kind of policy offers long-term returns that are conservative and ideal for investors who are risk averse. The return benefits are paid out in the final 3 to 5 years of the policy. However, this also depends on the term of the policy as decided by the policyholder. At the time of maturity, there is also a reversionary bonus and a terminal bonus. Apart from tax deduction, there is also tax exemption for the maturity amount.

      27 January 2020

    • 11.5% increase in premium recorded by non-life insurers in December 2019

      Non-life insurance companies in India recorded an increase of 11.5% so far as premium collections were concerned. The total amount collected in December 2019 was Rs.15,980.81 crore, according to data released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. 34 non-life insurers in the country reported an overall premium of Rs.14,334.98 crore in December 2018, marking an increase of 11.5% in the space of a year. Of all the insurance companies, it was reported that 25 general insurance companies saw a 4% increase in their combined premium in the last month of the year. 7 stand-alone health insurance companies from the private sector collected Rs.1,258.14 crore in premiums during the month, registering an increase of 16.3% in comparison with a year ago. ECGC Limited and Agricultural Insurance Company of India Limited – 2 specialized private sector insurance companies, recorded collection of premium income to the tune of Rs.685.16 crore in December last year.

      20 January 2020

    • Airtel launches prepaid plans with life insurance cover

      Two new prepaid plans have been launched by Bharti Airtel with life insurance coverage included. The prepaid plan of Rs.279 comes with a life insurance cover of Rs.4 lakh. This is a term life insurance policy from HDFC Life.

      6 January 2020

    • Indian women say yes to life insurance

      One of the indications that women are increasingly becoming more financially independent. The number of Indian females buying life insurance has increased manifold. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), in its annual report 2018-19, said that women had bought 36% of the 28.6 million policies sold in FY19.

      In FY18, women purchased 32% of the policies. Data showed that, out of the 10.3 million policies bought by women, one-third of the policies have come from three states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. One of the insurance companies which has been the most trusted by women is Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) as compared to other private insurers. The percentage of policies sold by LIC is 39% while it is 27% in the case of private insurers.

      In 17 states and union territories, the share in number of policies bought by women is higher than the all-India average of 36%. One can also note that life insurers are also working on niche insurance products for women. These products aim to take care of specific life-stage needs of women including marriage, childbirth and menopause.

      Life insurers are also of the opinion that the more the number of women selling policies, the better will the sales to females be.

      At the end of FY19, there was a total of 6,03,208 women working as life insurance agents of which 52% worked for private life insurers while 48% worked for LIC.

      Among private life insurers, Max Life had the highest percentage of women agents at 45%, followed by IDBI Federal Life at 41.2% and Star Union Dai-ichi Life at 35.9%.

      19 December 2019

    • Different types of life insurance policies

      There are different kinds of life insurance policies for different requirements. While life insurance policies also offer tax benefits and even investment returns, their core benefit is that even after the death of the policyholder-cum-breadwinner, the family continues to receive an income that would assure their standard of living, education, healthcare, and future plans without any interruption. When choosing a life insurance company, it is important to ensure that it is registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). There are currently 24 such life insurance companies in India, including the government-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. The other life insurance companies are promoted by Indian as well as foreign investors and business firms. These are some of the different types of life insurance policies available in India: An endowment policy provides both life cover and investment returns, usually pre-fixed. Term policies offer coverage on the death of the policyholder during a specific term with no maturity value if the person survives at the end of this term. Since the premium is only charged for risk of death, it also has the lowest premiums, making it one of the most affordable and cost-effective policies. A whole life policy offers coverage for the entire lifetime and has premiums to be paid for a specific term. Unit-linked policies offer both life coverage and investment returns.

      18 December 2019

    • Tobacco consumption impacts life insurance premiums and claims

      When taking a life insurance policy, it is mandatory to fill up personal details including habits such as drinking and smoking. However, smokers may end up paying more premium than a non-smoker. Concealing such details in order to avoid paying a higher premium may result in dire consequences later, from making benefits non-applicable at the time of the claim to even the policy getting cancelled. This is because of the many diseases that can be caused by smoking, ranging from strokes and heart disease to lung cancer, esophageal cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, type 2 diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A higher premium is charged for smokers because of the higher risk exposure. If details of smoking have been concealed at the time of taking the premium, and it comes to light later, for example at the time of death, then even death claims can be rejected by the insurer. This would mean that the beneficiaries may not even receive the death benefits that are entitled to them. Therefore, it is important not to conceal such details, even at the cost of paying higher premiums. More importantly, changes in habits can be gradually made over time in order to benefit both the policyholder and the beneficiaries.

      17 December 2019

    • Life insurance vs PPF for your child: Which one is better?

      When investing to ensure that your child receives adequate financial resources for higher education or marriage, there may be questions about the different financial products in the market that are geared towards children. Some of the options that you have are the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SMA). You can invest in PPF both in your name and in your child’s name. However, the overall limit for both accounts together will remain Rs.1.5 lakh per annum. While the PPF returns are tax-free, tax deduction is only available for up to Rs.1.5 lakh. The Sukanya Samriddhi Account is only open to girl children. This is a social welfare scheme under the Indian government. Up to one account can be opened for each child with a maximum of two accounts for two girl children. The interest is compounded annually and is tax-free. There is also tax deduction available for the contributions to the account under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Returns from the SSA are higher than from PPF or National Savings Certificate (NSC). Under Section 10 (32), A tax exemption of up to Rs.1,500 per year can be claimed for investments made in each child’s name. This is for a maximum of two children.

      21 November 2019

    • Airtel prepaid users to get life insurance cover on recharging for Rs.599

      Airtel customers who recharge an amount of Rs.599 will be eligible to receive a life insurance cover from Bharti AXA after the telecom company and the insurance company entered a partnership together.  Bharti Airtel announced that customers who subscribe to the Rs.599 plan will get 2 GB data per day along with unlimited calls to any network, 100 free SMS per day, and a life cover of Rs.4 lakh. The customer will also receive a physical copy of the life insurance cover document upon request.

      18 November 2019

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    Customer Reviews

    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Need to improve their services"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      For the tenure period of 28 years,I have taken life insurance from LIC. I have taken this policy on 7 years back. I have faced an issue , for the premium amount to pay amount use to auto debit through ECS mode but for the past 4 months amount was not detected, so I raised to the concern company. They told that I haven't maintain a sufficient amount in my account then I have provided my bank statement. Then the amount was debited via ECS . I need to pay the premium amount of 2,162 rupees. It cover up to myself.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , chennai
      Reviewed on Feb 22, 2020
    • HDFC Life
      HDFC Life Life Insurance
      "Good insurer"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken a life insurance from HDFC Life on 5 years back. It cover up to myself. I am paying the premium amount on yearly basis of 50K which is high but it is fine to pay the amount. While taking this insurance the agent has given all the details about policy.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , chennai
      Reviewed on Feb 22, 2020
    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Good Service"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken maturity benefit policy directly through lic agent .I am paying the premium online .The policy tenure is for 15 years and the agent shared all the relevant details about the policy .The policy was closed and i have not faced any issues so far and everything is good on this policy it is for famiy benefits.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , ahmedabad
      Reviewed on Feb 22, 2020
    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Good Service"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken life insurance policy directly through LIC agent . This is a money back policy for the tenure period of 15 years. I was paying the premium through online on before but later the premium is paid through agent. Everything was good to me so far. I have closed this policy successfully and the policy details was clearly shared by the agent .
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , ahmedabad
      Reviewed on Feb 22, 2020
    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Best policy"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken a Life Insurance policy from LIC and the policy is Jeevan Anand term is for 30 years, after 30 years i am getting some returns.This policy is going to be completed and not get matured. I am getting as a pension as every month Rs. 28000. LIC is the back bone of Indian economy.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , hyderabad
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2020
    • Bajaj Allianz Life Life Insurance
      " the easiest and best investments "
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      Bajaj Allianz life insurance has been one of the easiest and best investments I have made to date. Right from the initial customer service to the easy availability online, it has made me secure and relaxed about my investment. True value for money
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , chennai
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2020
    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Best policy"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken a life insurance policy from LIC. I am paying premium on yearly basis Rs. 32,000 through online. The policy term is 20 years and will be getting some returns after this maturity. Service was good and plan benefit was super and it has good payment options.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , kolkata
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2020
    • HDFC Life Life Insurance
      "Good"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I have taken a life insurance policy from HDFC LIFE. The premium i am paying yearly Rs.26,000 with the term of 20 years, after 20 years i will be getting good returns. Customer service and responsiveness was good. This policy has good plan benefit and it has good coverage.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , kolkata
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2020
    • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance
      "Not recommendable policy"
      0.5 2.0/5 "Expected more"
      I have bought the life insurance from ICICI prudential on 8 years back. This is a market based policy and I have invested the money of Rs. 1L and I have paid the premium amount of Rs. 3000 on every month. After 4 years when I withdraw the money, I got only Rs. 64,000 and I had a loss of this policy. My friend told me that this policy is good for investment. This is a tax benefit policy.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , chennai
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2020
    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Good Service"
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken my life insurance from LIC because its a guaranteed policy since its Government based company. Whatever the commitment they are making to the customer, they are keeping the same. They have their own standard as well. Jeevan Anand is a good plan after the policyholder's death the nominees will get the money other than this there are several benefits are available.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , chennai
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2020
    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Best policy"
      0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
      I have taken a Life Insurance policy from LIC and the policy term is 15 years, after that I will be getting good return. I am paying premium Rs. 30,000 on Yearly basis through online and he given all the plan benefits properly. LIC always provides me a good service.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , hyderabad
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2020
    • LIC Life Insurance
      "Best policy "
      0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
      I have taken life insurance policy through LIC agent which was a money back policy for the tenure period of 10 years. I am paying the premium through yearly basis. I will be getting maturity amount but not sure about the value. Customer service was fine.
      Was this review helpful? 0
      , dindigul
      Reviewed on Feb 20, 2020
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