Your questions – Insurance: can my NRI brother buy a term plan in India?

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Life insurance is a contract with fixed terms and conditions, including the premium due date and policy renewal dates.

by, Kamlesh Rao

Q1. My 45 year old NRI brother wants to buy a term plan. Will it be possible for him to buy a plan in India?

Yes it’s possible. All insurance companies in India refer to a standard list of countries when addressing Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). If your brother currently resides in one of the countries listed, he may choose to purchase temporary policies in India, subject to specific product guidelines. Most Indian insurers apply for the same policies from NRIs as they do from Indian residents. The easiest way to do this will be to contact the desired insurer and understand your brother’s eligibility, regarding his current country and profession. Once eligibility is determined, your brother can complete the additional NRI questionnaire with the policy proposal and move forward with the appropriate coverage options.

Q2. I have a 9 year refund policy. Is it possible to change the premium due date?

Life insurance is a contract with fixed terms and conditions, including the premium due date and policy renewal dates. Therefore, you will not be able to change the premium payment or policy maturity dates once the policy is processed and active. However, one has the option of changing the frequency of premium payment for the policy. For example, instead of paying premiums on a monthly basis, one can opt for annual, semi-annual or quarterly premium payment terms.

Q3. My friend’s father passed away a year ago. My friend just found out that his dad had a life insurance policy he was applying for. What is the process for claiming such an unclaimed amount?

Your friend can contact a physical agency or the insurer’s online hotline and let them know about the situation as soon as possible. Ideally, they will be asked to submit the copy of the death certificate, the claimant’s declaration form declaring their father as insured and your friend as a nominee, standard KYC documents that will help establish their identity and relationship with the insured. He must also submit a void check or bank statement to the insurer to effect NEFT payment of claims. Most importantly, he will need to submit the original policy documents. If he does not have the same, he can present a compensation bond for the loss of the policy. These documents will be further evaluated by the insurance company before payment of the claim is processed.

Q4. I took out life insurance 10 years ago. After 9 years I took out a loan against the policy and paid the loan premiums regularly, but now the company has closed the plan. What should I do?

There is no need to worry because your policy will remain active. You must continue to pay premiums and loan EMIs, depending on the terms and payment dates of your plan. A life insurance policy is a contract and its terms and conditions must be observed by all parties involved. Therefore, even if the plan has been discontinued by the company, you will receive the designated maturity amount according to the product guidelines. Of course, one can always contact the insurer and get more clarity on the matter. I suggest keeping all of your questions and policy details ready in advance before reaching out.

Q5. Is it possible to assign a life insurance contract to anyone? Let’s say I want to take out a loan from an acquaintance and, in return, I want to surrender my policy. Is it possible? If so, what is the procedure?

Yes, this is possible because you are the applicant of the policy and have the right to assign the policy through conditional or absolute reassignment. I recommend that you contact your insurer to understand and confirm eligibility as well as to obtain the transfer form. Once completed, submitted and processed, the policy will be assigned to the named person.

The spokesperson is the Managing Director and CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance.

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