Insurance Uncovered

I am a retired bank employee and senior citizen (born in September 1956). My life insurance policy matured with my retirement. Now I don’t have a life insurance or medical insurance policy. I want to take term insurance for life and medical policy. What is your opinion in this regard? I get a monthly pension of ₹34,000.

Which insurance company offers the above insurance covers to senior citizens?

M R Vaidhyanathan

Life insurance is always for the bread-winner of a family. It provides financial support to family members and makes good the income loss after the breadwinner passes away. In your case, as you have retired, there is no need for a life insurance cover. Your pension, if it goes to your spouse/nominee, will pose practically no financial challenge to them after your life time.

However, if you still have an outstanding financial liability or plan to leave a legacy for your children and family, you can consider buying a term insurance policy. In Max Life’s Online term plan plus, ICICI Prudential Life’s iProtect Smart and LIC’s e-Term policy, the entry age cannot be more than 60 years; these are ruled out for you.

You can consider policies from Bharti Axa Life (coverage up to 85 years) and Aegon Life (coverage up to 100 years) where the maximum age to apply for term cover is 65. However, given your age, the premium will be expensive. The annual premium for you for ₹25 lakh sum assured with Aegon Life’s iTerm is ₹34,000.

A health insurance policy is actually what you need now. If you are in a reasonably good health, go for regular health plans — Royal Sundaram’s Lifeline Supreme, Max Bupa’s Health Companion and Apollo Munich’s Optima Restore are some options you can consider. The advantage of regular health insurance plans is that most of them do not have sub-limits or ‘co-pay’ requirements. ‘Co-pay’ is asking the policy holder to share a portion of the hospital bill.

If you are looking specifically for senior citizen plans, the premium may be lower, but these will come with mandatory co-pay requirement of 10-30 per cent. For pre-existing illnesses, the co-pay may be as high as 50 per cent.

Health insurers accept senior citizens till the age of 65. So, look up and sign for a policy soon.

As per the regulations, no insurer can refuse renewal of health policy till you pay premium.

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