Health insurance has been getting a lot of attention lately. The sales of health policies are rising not only in the metro cities where the awareness levels are relatively higher but also in smaller towns and rural areas. People in India have realised that the only way to fight the spiraling cost of health care and safeguard them against critical illness is by buying a comprehensive health insurance plan. Every day thousands of visitors search for health insurance plans on us but most of them have no idea on how to pick one for themselves or their family. Hence, we compiled a list of few things which you should avoid at the time of buying a health plan -

Calculate Health Premium for You Now

1. Hold back facts about your medical history – In their eagerness to get a health policy, many individuals do not declare their medical history in the policy application form. Some do this because they are aware that declaration of condition/s (like diabetes, high/low blood pressure, etc) may result in rejection of their application and others skip it out of sheer laziness. Please note – any nondisclosure of facts is considered incorrect by the insurance companies and they may reject your claim.

2. Rely on employer-provided health plan – Several companies (employers) offer group health cover to their employees. Due to this many individuals feel that there is no need to buy a separate health insurance plan. Please understand that the employer-provided group cover will terminate once you leave the job.

3. Choose co-pay – In an effort to reduce premiums, people sometimes proactively opt for a co-pay facility. Co-pay means that during the event of a claim, the policyholder will pay a certain percentage (for example 10%) of expenses himself. The idea of a health insurance policy is to protect your own money as much as possible. Plus by opting for co-pay, the discount in premium is not very high.

4. Assume that all health plans are the same – Today, there is a wide array of health policies available in the market such as the staple health plan, accident policies, special cover for critical illness, etc. The benefits offered under each type of policies are different so do not pick any plan off the shelf without reading about its enefits in detail.

Penny wise and pound foolish5. Expect your money back – For a lot of people, insurance still continues to be an alternative to fixed deposits and mutual funds. People search for health plans which will give them a part of premiums back on maturity. We should not look for such features in health plans. The idea is not to save a few thousand rupees in premium but to save an expense of lakhs of rupees if it occurs. 

6. Overbuy – While there is low awareness of health insurance in most parts of the country, there is a small set of population who are obsessed with health insurance. They buy multiple health policies, higher coverage amount with extra riders and end up spending a sizeable part of their income on health insurance. Please stay away from overbuying insurance plans. The idea of insurance is to create a back up and not splurge money in the name of protection.

7. Make claims for petty expenses – Then there are people who think of health insurance policy like an ATM machine which will pay for their day-to-day medical bills and treatment costs. Again, this is a wrong notion under which people buy health plans. If a policyholder makes frequent claims then s/he will lose the No claim bonus (NCB) on renewal. This bonus percentage compounds every claim-free year and the discount goes as high as a 50% of premium. Save the petty claims for a hefty bonus!

8. Delay policy renewal – Renewal of insurance policies is often taken lightly by most Indians. The fight to improve ‘persistency’ rate is an ongoing battle in the Indian insurance industry. Every year, large number of policyholders fail to renew their policy. Renew your insurance policies as religiously as you pay your utility bills.

Do not delay renewal of insurance policies

Indians are known for using products / appliances without reading the safety instructions or product manuals. But sometimes failing to read the product literature can cost us a lot of money and stress. So let’s make it a habit to read the product literature and understand the benefits before buying a health insurance plan.
Online transactions are completely secure and are done directly on the insurance company’s website. Today almost all financial transactions including banking, stocks, etc have moved completely online. Even Indian Railways and Airline ticketing is completely online and lacs of people are making online payments everyday.

They are as secure as any other online purchase - you use your credit card or net banking options. There is no difference here. Increasingly more and more insurance plans will move to the online sale mode. The benefits of the online process are manifold as it not only cuts costs but also provides a more transparent method of sale. You will see more and more of this in the coming years.

And yes it is a Greener process!

Why Compare Term Insurance with us? There are a large number of term insurance policies available for the consumer today. Selecting the one for your family is an important choice as it is by far the best and most important form of financial protection that you provide for your family.

At we realise the importance of this step and have designed the process whereby you can compare and select the plan with the optimum premium and features. You can compare and buy the term insurance policy online itself and ensure that all information is entered by you correctly. Displays premiums and features of plans from a large number of insurers Comparison should take you less than 30 seconds Our comparison is completely un-biased It's a FREE service!

Basic Features offered by almost all Online Term plans are –

  1. Offers death benefit only (Sum assured is paid to nominee on the death of policyholder)
  2. All type of deaths covered (except suicide which is covered from 2nd policy year)
  3. No benefit on policy maturity (policyholder is still alive at the end of term)
  4. Offers tax benefits on premiums paid u/s 80c of IT act
  5. Tax exemption on proceeds that are given to the nominee
  6. Preferential premium rates for women, non-smokers and high sum assured
Life is full of ifs and buts. None of us knows what might happen even the next minute. If your child, life partner or your parent(s) depend on your income then you need to have Life Insurance plan.

In this post, let us shortlist and understand some of the best Online Term Insurance Plans in India. These best Term Life Insurance plans can be purchased through online.

What is “Term Life Insurance Plan?”

Term insurance is the simplest and most fundamental insurance product. Term insurance plans are designed to ensure that in the event of the policyholder’s death, the family gets the sum assured (the cover amount). Term plan provides risk coverage for a certain period of time (policy term/duration). If the insured dies during the time period specified in the policy and the policy is active – or in force – then a death benefit will be paid. It is the cheapest form of Life insurance in terms of premium.

Online Term insurance Plans are,

Cheaper than conventional plans like money back life insurance or endowment plans (or) offline term plans. Online term insurance plans are roughly 30-40% cheaper than the offline plans.
The entire application submission process happens online through the company’s website. So, it is hassle free.
You may not be influenced by an agent/advisor during the buying process.
7 Best online Term Insurance Plans in India for 2015

I have selected and shortlisted the below best plans based on;

Claim Settlement Record of the Life Insurance Companies as per IRDA’s (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India) latest Claim/Death Settlement Ratios (2014-2015)
Affordability (Premium amount).
Brand name.
Quality of service provided to its customers during the online buying process and after issuing the policy (policy life).
Ease of buying the Term Life Insurance plan online.
Feedback received from my friends/clients who bought online Term Life Insurance plans directly.
Below is the comparison of best online Term Life insurance Plans. (Click on the image to enlarge and open it in a new window)

Comparison of Best online term insurance plan 1

All the above premium amounts are for 30 year old male, non-smoker, for Rs 1 Crore Sum Assured. Optional Riders like Accident Death Benefit/Critical Illness are not considered. Premium Amount is for yearly mode.

ICICI Prudential iProtect Online Term Insurance Plan

ICICI Prudential is the second best (after LIC) as per the latest Claim Settlement data, with 94.10% of the claims received were paid/settled. ICICI Prudential’s online term plan is known as ‘iProtect.’ The premium amounts of this term insurance plan are very reasonable and are competitively priced. This term insurance plan also provides the optional Accidental Death Benefit (ADB) rider. The maximum Sum Assured that is offered under ADB Rs 50 Lakh.

(Click here to know more about or purchase ICICI’s iProtect plan)

 HDFC Life’s Click 2 Protect Online Term Insurance Plan

The premiums of HDFC’s Click2protect plan are lower than ICICI Prudential’s iProtect plan. The claim settlement ratio of HDFC Life is 94%. The maximum Sum Assured that one can buy is Rs 10 crore under this plan. HDFC Life offers advanced version of this basic online term plan, which is known as HDFC Click2protect plus. (Click here to read my review on HDFC Click2protect plus)

LIC’s e-Term Plan Online Term Insurance Plan

LIC of India had launched its online Term insurance plan on 17th May, 2014. LIC was a late entrant with respect to the launch of online term plans. But, one good point about e-term plan is that it is about 35% cheaper than Anmol Jeevan/Amulya Jeevan (LIC’s offline term plans). However, when you compare the premiums of LIC’s e-term plan with private insurance players’ online products, you may find it very costly. But, LIC has the highest claim settlement ratio (98.14%) among the life insurers. You can surely consider buying LIC e-Term plan. The minimum Sum Assured offered under LIC e-Term online insurance plan is Rs 50 Lakh.

(Click here to know more about or purchase LIC e-Term Plan)

Max Life Insurance’s Online Term Plan

Max life insurance company has a decent claim settlement record (which is 93.86%). The premiums are also comparatively very less. Max’s online term plan provides optional Accident Death Benefit rider. Besides basic cover the Max’s online term plan offers two options;

Basic Life Cover plus Monthly Income
Basic Life Cover Plus Increasing Monthly income
The premium rates are slightly higher if you opt for any these features. (As mentioned in the table, the premium for the basic cover is Rs 8,314, for Monthly income option it is Rs 10,100 and for Increasing monthly income option the premium is Rs 11,100).

(Click here to know more about or purchase Max’s online term plan)

Kotak Life Insurance’s Preferred e-Term plan

Kotak’s Preferred e-Term online insurance plan is one of the cheapest online term insurance plans. The company has decent claim settlement ratio (90.69%). Like Max’s plan, Kotak’s plan also has the option called ‘Recurring payout’ wherein part of the claim is paid on policy holder’s death and a fixed monthly/yearly amount is paid for next 15 years to the nominee.

(Click here to know more about or purchase Kotak’s online term plan)

SBI Life Insurance eShield online Term Plan

SBI’s e-shield premiums are a bit higher than that of Kotak’s, Max’s, ICICI’s and HDFC’s online term plans. SBI Life’s e-shield plan can be an alternate to LIC’s e-term plan. The premium of e-shield plan is very low when compared to LIC’s e-term plan.

SBI Life’s e-Shield plan offers four options;

Level Cover (basic plan)
Level Cover with Accidental Death Benefit
Increasing cover (Basic sum assured is increased at the rate of 10% simple interest after every 5th policy year without increasing the premium)
Increasing Cover with Accidental Death Benefit
(Click here to know more about or purchase SBI Life’s e-Shield plan)

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance iSecure online Term insurance Plan

This plan has a special feature wherein you can opt for individual or joint life insurance coverage (for your spouse and yourself).

 Aegon Religare iTerm Plan

Though the claim settlement record of Aegon’s is low (at 81%), we need to talk about their online term insurance plan. They are the pioneers in online term insurance plans. They have changed the rules of the game by offering the cheapest online term insurance plans. Aegon’s iTerm plan offers optional riders like Critical Illness and ADB. On diagnosis of any critical illnesses (as mentioned in the policy document) the future premiums are waived off.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) while choosing best Online Term Insurance Plans:

FAQ 1 – Do I need to check the claim Settlement record of Life Insurance companies before opting for the best online term insurance plan?

Every year IRDA publishes the claim settlement (death claims) details of all the Life Insurance companies. Unfortunately this data is not segregated based on type of insurance plans (like term insurance, money-back or endowment). If you analyze the latest data, the average claim amount settled by LIC is very small, which is around Rs 1.14 Lakh per policy. (LIC settled death claims to the tune of Rs 8,475 crore and the total no of policies received for claim settlement are around 7.5 Lakh).

Claim settlement data is important but it should not be the sole criteria for choosing the best online term insurance plan. In future, if IRDA provides claim settlement details separately for Term insurance plans then this can be used as the main yardstick while opting best online term insurance plan.

FAQ 2 -How much insurance coverage (sum assured) should I purchase?

The quantum of insurance coverage can be based on your future income potential (income replacement method) or need based method (your financial obligations + liabilities – existing insurance plans/assets etc). You may use the below comprehensive calculator to know how much insurance coverage is required. (It is based on Need based method)

“Life Insurance coverage calculator” ( This calculator has been developed by Sri Pattabiraman, a physicist & Associate Professor working at IIT, Madras)

FAQ 3 – Till what age should I take the term plan cover?

The ideal answer is, up to your retirement age.

If you are confident that you may not have any financial obligations, loans and dependents (who are financially dependent on you) when you attain say 50 years, you can consider term plan duration accordingly.

FAQ 4 – Should I purchase two Term plans from two different Life Insurance Companies?

I believe, diversification across different companies may not be required. As long as you are honest and provide complete/accurate details (in proposal form) while purchasing the insurance plan, your life insurance company has to settle the claim (if any). In any unfortunate event, your nominee has to submit multiple death claims which may be a challenging task.

But, you may consider splitting the life insurance amount into two policies. For example – If you decide to buy Rs 1 crore worth insurance coverage, you may consider taking two Rs 50 Lakh worth term insurance plans (preferably from same life insurance company). The main advantage of splitting is, you can stop paying the premiums on one policy, in-case if you think that you do not require so much insurance coverage.

FAQ 5 – Can NRI buy online term insurance?

Non Resident Indians can buy online term insurance plans. The NRI can purchase the policy from overseas through written communication with the insurance company in India. There may be certain additional costs in such case. For instance, if you purchase the policy from abroad, you would have to do the medical examination and send the report to the insurance company in India. You would have to bear the costs of this medical examination yourself. However if you purchase the policy in India, you would not have to bear this cost as it would be inbuilt in the cost of your policy. The insurance policy purchased in India will cover death that occurs anywhere in the world.

FAQ 6 – Is it better to take riders separately or can I take along with the Term insurance?

As mentioned in the above list of best online term insurance plans, some life insurance companies provide optional riders (like Accident death benefit & Critical Illness) and optional features (like waiver of premium or monthly income options etc.,)

Do not complicate the things. Buy a simple term insurance plan with sufficient basic cover. I believe most of these online term plans do not provide “Total Permanent Disability rider” which I think is a very essential one. (TPD cover entitles you to receive a lump sum insurance benefit if you become Totally and Permanently Disable). You can consider taking stand alone Personal Accident plan. Also, you can ignore plans with ‘return of premium’ option.

 FAQ 7 – Can I take single policy which offers joint life cover (for my wife and myself jointly)?

It is advisable to take separate or independent term insurance plans.

FAQ 8 – What are the required documents to purchase an online term insurance plan?

Generally you will be asked to submit; Identity proof, Address proof, Age proof and Income proof (Income Tax returns of 3 years / Form16s / Profit & Loss statements). You have to undergo medical tests too.

FAQ 9 – Should I buy online term insurance plan through Aggregators?

Aggregators are companies like (Accurex marketing & consulting), and quickbima. I suggest you to use these websites to just compare and calculate premiums of various term plans.

You can then buy the selected best term plan directly by visiting that Life insurance Company’s website itself. Why do you want to add one more layer between you and the insurance company? Keep it simple. Buy direct.

FAQ 10 – Online Vs offline Term insurance plans? Why are online term plans so cheap?

Online policies are cheaper than offline term plans, because there is no agent’s fee involved and other administrative costs of the insurance company are also lower.

Most companies cite incomplete documentation or concealment of facts as the primary reason for rejecting death claims. Hence, while buying a life insurance it is of utmost importance that you furnish accurate information. You may just pick any one of the above best online term insurance plans as per your requirements and comfort level.

Let me know your views on best online Term insurance plans. Do you have a Term plan? Which one did you purchase? Did you buy it online? Share your comments.
Business school admissions committees want to see leadership and quantitative experience.​

MBA applicants will impress the admissions committee right out of the gate by showing strong communication skills.

​Every MBA candidate brings something unique to the table, but business schools are always on the lookout for specific qualities as they review the thousands of applications that cross their desks each season. If you can convince the admissions committee that you possess the following five qualities, you'll put yourself leagues ahead of everyone else within your applicant pool.

1. A leadership track record: Business schools want to develop leaders who will contribute positively to society, and applicants should show how they have begun to lead others even before setting foot on campus. But this does not have to mean coming up with grand and sweeping examples that forever changed the course of history at your company.

Think about a time when you motivated others to do something, when you marshaled resources to solve a problem, when you brought a fresh idea or new way of thinking to your organization and most importantly, how you worked to inspire others and bring out the best in them. The aim is to show where you made an impact, no matter the size.

One former client, George, had participated in an annual charity bike ride for the past five years. He felt his application lacked compelling examples of leadership, so we suggested that he volunteer to lead the coordination of the next ride. His responsibilities included recruiting volunteers, coordinating vendors and collecting funds.

George's leadership of the team ultimately helped to increase the amount raised in the ride by 14 percent. George used this experience to write a strong leadership essay for each of his target schools, and it ultimately helped him gain admission to MIT Sloan School of Management.

2. Display quantitative competency: While you don't need an undergraduate degree in economics to go to business school – MBA programs warmly welcome diversity in the form of applicants from the humanities, arts and social sciences – you do need to show that you won't be in over your head with the information business school is designed to teach.

To get your foot in the door, strive for a GMAT or GRE score that aligns with the average at your target schools. It will set the admissions committee's minds at ease knowing that, assuming you have relatively minimal academic experience in quantitative subjects, it won't be a hindrance once you hit those core courses.

If this is a problem area for you, tackle it head-on. Allow ample time for test prep, retake the test a few times, complement your score by acing a college-level quantitative course or point out any quantitative skills used on the job to support your ability to handle the material of the program.

3. Exhibit excellent communication skills: The general principles of finance and accounting are easily learned at business school, but recruiters frequently gripe ​that even MBA graduates from the most elite institutions need to work harder at cultivating soft skills.

You'll impress the admissions committee right out of the gate if you can demonstrate that you already possess strong communication skills. Highlight experiences that show you work well with others and that prove you can make a presentation in a persuasive, professional manner. Or, show how your effective communication skills have helped you land a client or seal a deal.

If this is an area you need to work on, reach out to mentors or supervisors whose communication skills you admire and ask for advice on how they read their audience, navigate meetings, and how they have cultivated their own interpersonal abilities for business success.

4. Set realistic post-MBA career plans: It's not uncommon for MBA applicants to be uncertain about their career goals. Nevertheless, you need to be very concrete about short and long term goals in your application. Explaining why you chose your career path is crucial.

As you describe your career trajectory, make sure you explain what has led you to pursue it and why it resonates with you. The answer doesn't need to be elaborate or dramatic, but it should be convincing and real.

Whether they discuss it openly, business schools are very concerned with job placement statistics. If they can't help their MBA graduates find jobs, the ripple effect leads to fewer applicants in the future and lower yield.

Are you sure that the industry you want to work in is one that typically hires MBAs? The admissions committee needs to know your career plans are achievable with an MBA degree.

5. Get enthusiastic recommenders: Letters of recommendation are one of the most compelling components of the application, and also the most unsettling for applicants since it's the one aspect you cannot entirely control. Make sure your recommenders are close enough to provide specific and relevant examples of your work and, above all, make sure they share in your excitement about going to business school.

Whether the mistake is choosing someone who doesn't know you well enough to provide a convincing recommendation, not adequately preparing your recommender, or unwittingly selecting a supervisor who is not 100 percent supportive of your MBA plans, there's nothing worse than discovering your chances at admission were torpedoed by a lukewarm endorsement.

So there you have it – five essential details that can make or break your MBA application. Study them well and with any luck, you'll sail through the admissions process and sidestep many of the common red flags plaguing lesser-prepared applicants.

Stocks are among the best ways to build a person’s wealth and networth. Few other strategies or methods work as successful as long term investing. I was having a conversation with my friend’s brother yesterday. He was looking for few tips to succeed in the stock market. He has been in the stock market for nearly 1.5 years but had not seen much growth.

Evergreen strategic tips for long term investment success in stocks market

I asked him how much he has made so far. “Not much Brother!”. If one was an investor and started 1.5 years ago in Indian stocks he should have made some really good profits. Why?. Because 15 months ago was one of the best times to invest in India.

There was lot of gloom and doom in the Indian stock market then. In last 8 months,we all know how the tides have turned and risen after the new Modi government was formed in May2014. So I just asked him two questions.
1. How many times do you trade?
2. Are you dealing in Futures and Options?

The reply was “I trade daily . I’m doing through Options. Whatever profit I make in other trades is lost in 2 or 3 trades. So am pretty close to the initial money I started with”.
I was somewhat expecting this reply and so was not surprised. I was sure he was trading frequently. But din’t expect him to have started trading in derivatives so soon.
These are typical mistakes which almost every investor does in early stages. Lucky that markets were on an uptrend. This has prevented him from suffering much capital loss. Here are some tips I gave him to succeed long term in stock market.

Strategic Tips to long term success in stock market

 1) Have a proper financial plan

Yes. The first step to successful long term investing has nothing to do with stocks. It involves your overall financial health. How can you invest in stocks when you don’t have money to spend for routine expenses?.

Will you invest long term if you need to spend money continuously for medical expenses of loved one?. If you do not have a proper financial plan, you can never make long term investments. You will constantly be in and out of stocks. Before you make investments, check if
  • You have an emergency fund (atleast 6 months gross expenses).
  • You have Proper and adequate term life insurance.
  • You make full use of efficient tax saving options.
  • You have adequate Health Insurance for all your family members.

Don’t even think about stocks before you fulfill these. Neglecting these are a sure way to make you in-disciplined. When some emergency occurs , you will be forced to liquidate stocks at existing lower prices. This leads to permanent capital loss.

2) Understand yourself

The next step is to categorize yourself. To succeed long term in stocks, you may have average IQ to succeed but need great emotional control.
Ask yourself these questions
Am I disciplined enough to make regular investments.
Am I an emotional decision maker.
Can I sleep peacefully if I lose big money in stocks.
Am I looking for quick methods to get rich.
Will my stock failures spill over to other parts of my life decisions.
These questions will help you to self-analyze if you’re suited for direct equity investments. If you’re emotional decision maker or looking to get rich quick, then you will end up making bad decisions.
Such persons better stay away from direct equity investing. Choose trusted mutual funds and let the professionals handle the investments.

3) Start As Early As Possible

It is often said “For long term success in stocks, Timing is not important. Your time in the long term investing tips, market is important”. This means the longer you stay in good stocks, better returns you will get.
Did you know that Buffet just managed 25.42% CAGR continuously to generate so much wealth. Einstein described “Compounding is the 8th wonder of this world“. Investing in high quality stocks and let the wonderful effects of compounding do the magic.
You need to double your investments each month if you delay investing by 5 years to reach the same final corpus. For eg., if you invest Rs. 5,000 from age 25 years to reach X amount at age Y, then if you start at age 30 years you need to invest nearly Rs.10,000 to reach same X amount at age Y.

4) Minimize your investing expenses

Expenses like brokerage costs, STT, taxes, expense ratios, sales commissions may seems trivial when isolated. Combine them together and you’ll see they add up to huge proportions.
As Graham said “Wall Street makes money on activity. You make your money on inactivity“. The more you trade, more brokerages and commissions you pay. This dilutes your long term performance big time.
Pick good stocks at reasonable prices and stay with them. Use low cost mutual funds, adopt buy and hold strategy to save on brokerage and capital gains tax.

5) Diversify and Optimize your portfolio

A good portfolio decides your investment return on your wealth. Some say 90% of your wealth performance will be decided by how you diversify and optimize your portfolio.
You portfolio must have efficient asset allocation. This can be done by diversifying within asset classes (stocks from different industries, stocks within same industry) and among different asset classes (bonds, gold, cash, stocks).

6) Invest only for long term and stick to it

Investment is nowadays confused with trading and speculation. Gone are the days when holding more than 5 years was considered long term investment. Even people who hold for one year call themselves investors.
If you’re holding less than 3 years call yourself trader or speculator.Investing is an art and it needs lot of patience. Patience with high quality businesses yield rich dividends in the long run.
If you had invested Rs.1,00,000 and held great businesses like Wipro, Asian Paints, HDFC, Infosys, Reliance for last 15-20 years you would have become a millionaire by now.

7) Don’t chase the next hot tip or penny stocks

Another common mistake committed by newbies. When they’re new to the stock market they get attracted to these tips and penny stocks. Later only do they realize they have become honey bees trapped in the wax.
Greed is a powerful emotion which sweeps anybody off its feet. All rationality and common sense is thrown at the window. Your greed defines your decision making which is a sure way to disaster.

8) Buy quality business at reasonable cost per share

warren buffet lessons
This is one proved and tested strategy for long term investing success. You must have heard the phrase ‘buy low and sell high’ and ‘buy and hold’.
All these denote the1 importance of buying at bargain prices.It is just not enough to buy at bargain prices. These are lot of crappy stocks trading at bargain prices.
You must make sure you buy really great businesses at bargain prices if you want to make good profits.
When you’re buying a share, it means you’re buying part of a business. Crappy businesses always lead to loss making stock investments in long run.

9) Be Patient – Opportunities are available in plenty

Stock markets existed long before you were born. They will exist long after you are dead. So don’t fret if you lose an opportunity. Another one is on the way.
Investing is like a swing with baseball bat. You just need 2 or 3 hits for a home run. And those great investments will make up for the majority of the returns in lifetime.
Wait patiently for that investment or trading opportunity. As long as greed and fear exist in minds of men, there will always be a chance for you to exploit them. BE PATIENT!

10) Be informed and do periodic review

Long term investing does not mean buying stocks and forgetting. You have to be on the watch and guard your investments. Hold the stock as long the fundamentals do not change.
It would be foolish to sell at the first sign of trouble or two quarters of bad results. Instead analyze if there is change in trend or fundamentals which made you buy that stock. Some include
Change in management philosophy.

  • mis-allocation of capital.
  • corporate governance issues.
  • failure to improve technology  or product/service going obsolete.
  • Do a review every 4-5 months. If a stock fails any criteria, keep it under watch. When a stock gives a bad signal in two consecutive reviews it is a red signal to sell.

If you follow these strategic tips then you can be sure make money in the stock market. This is not a complete list but includes important points to remember. I also gave some tips for trading success.I will cover that in a future post. So stay tuned for that. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive instant update when we do that.

I often get asked “what is the one decision which affects or improves a person’s financial life”. My reply “Term Life Insurance” .This will be the best investment or financial decision one can make in your life.

Best Term Life Insurance Plans-Policy for common people

Have you have just started earning or have a family? You should spend your first salary on the best term life insurance policy you can find. Agreed you can’t enjoy the benefits of your term plan. But it secures the financial requirements of your family when you’re gone.

I don’t want my daughter’s education or my mother’s medical treatment to be unavailable because of lack of money. I also don’t want to burden/thrust my wife with these responsibilities.

Considering how important family is to me (and I assume same for you), a term plan becomes inevitable. To have peace of mind that the claim will be paid, you need to choose the best. So which is the best term life insurance plan in India ?. Let us try to brainstorm that.

Best Term Life Insurance Plans in India

There are different life insurers operating in India after the insurance industry was opened up. We have stalwarts like LIC, ICICI, HDFC and newbies like ING, Future Generali, Exide Life all operating in the same space.

Since we want to be covered by a good policy we have had some filtering criteria. We’re not

Get peace of mind with term plans as interested in variety , we’re interested only in the best. So what are the filtering mechanism or criteria used? Following in order of preference
Good claim settlement ratio. (minimum 80%)
Reputable management.
Good financial background (solvency ratio) or trust factor ( minimum net worth of Rs.200 crore)
Policy features, add-on and riders.
Premium rates.
Customer service or satisfaction.
Average time to settle a claim
Sl.NoCompanyNumber Claims ReceivedClaim Settlement Ratio (%)
2ICICI Prudential Life1494896.3
3HDFC Standard Life625395.8
4SBI Life1342694.4
5Max Life905194.3
6Kotak2 Life308992.1
7Bajaj Allianz2728288.7
8Reliance Life2141286.4
9Birla Sunlife987182.6

When we applied these filters, most of the new insurers got filtered out. As a consumer I’m interested in how quick and often our claim will be honored. We’re not looking to test any waters. Rather I’m interested to go with the sound & tested insurers and their policies.

Claim settlement ratio of insurers

Claim settlement ratio is nothing but how many claims were paid by the insurer against claims submitted. IRDA releases claim settlement ratio every year on its website. A company with high claim settlement ratio means a consumer friendly insurer.

Claims Settlement Ratio = (Total Claims Approved / Total Claims Received)

Solvency Ratio=(Net Profit+Depreciation/Total Liabilities)
Company NameSolvency Ratio(as of March 2013)
ICICI Prudential3.96
HDFC Life2.17
SBI life2.15
Birla Sun Life2.672
Bajaj Allianz6.34
Max NewYork2.07
Reliance Life4.29

.This is one of the important criteria for selecting the best term insurance plan. So when you choose a term plan you need to look for a high settlement ratio. Below is the tabulation of latest year claim settlement ratio from IRDA website(download PDF and refer page 173) of big insurers.

A point to note is that there are also other insurers who have high settlement ratio.For eg Star Union Daichi – 89.8 %, Bharti Axa – 89.5%. But they have low number of policies (in range of 700 – 1200). 

Good Financial Background (Solvency ratio, Trust factor) Solvency Ratio is a financial ratio that denotes the ability of a company to meet its financial obligations and debts. The solvency ratio of an insurance company is defined as the ratio of the size of capital divided by cumulative risk taken based on its premium. For more details check Wikipedia.

It should be a minimum of 1.5 as per IRDA . Higher the ratio the better. A good solvency ratio ensures that a company can meet all its obligations in of case large claims in a short period like earthquake, tsunami etc.,

However a high ratio is not just enough. You need to check for good financial background, reputation, longevity and trust factor. Every company in Insurance industry takes 7-10 years before turning profitable. So better to be associated with insurers who have deep pockets, trust, making profits consistently and been around a while.

For eg., LIC, HDFC, ICICI, Kotak are well-known brands with deep financial muscle. LIC is the most trusted brand in India not just in insurance. LIC is the most trusted company in India for 5 years in a row across all industries.

Premium Rates- Price of policy

Sl.No Company Policy Name Online Option Premium(Rs)
1 Reliance Life Online Term Plan Yes 5,720
2 Max Life Online Term Plan Yes 6,395
3 HDFC Life Click 2 Protect Yes 8,250
4 Kotak Life ePreferred Plan Yes 8,827
5 Bajaj Allianz Life iSecure Yes 9,395
6 SBI Life eShield Yes 9,699
7 Birla Sunlife BSLI Protector Plan Yes 10,291
8 ICICI Prudential Life iCare II Yes 10,845
9 LIC e-Term Yes 11,280

The premium and cost of the policy are among the major influences when buying life insurance India. But the best term insurance plan cannot be decided just based on the cost factor. Agreed, it’s important but must not be the sole criteria.

I have tried to compile the premium rates for standard life insurance policies.The values are close and may vary slightly based on your input criteria. The values are provided based on Rs.75 lakh Sum Assured for a 30 year non-smoking male.The term is 30 years.

We hope the above premium rates will give you a fair idea. Remember, the cheapest option is not always the best. Shop around, compare features, settlement ratios and then decide.

Tip: Don’t try to be smart and hide facts. Provide all truthful information. If you smoke or drink then mention them in your application form. Hiding facts is one of primary reasons for insurance claims to get rejected.

Average Claim Settlement Time

SL.NoCompanySettlement time(<30days)Settlement time(31-90days)Settlement time(>90days)
2ICICI Prudential Life13736362295
3HDFC Life533860248
4SBI Life11217137980
5Max Life71191252160
6Kotak Life2326398119
7Star Union Dai-Ichi246231185
8Bharati Axa65421369
9Bajaj Allianz1763551751382
10Canara HSBC217187124
12Reliance Life132214731559

A good settlement period is also good factor and criteria to measure customer service.

Policy Features and Riders

Policy Features and additional Riders are usually added to term life insurance plans. There are multitude of options among riders to accommodate with term life plans. However, pure life coverage is the only criteria you must focus on. Also note that, there is additional premium payable when you opt for riders.

Why? Because the other riders and add-ons like accidental death cover, critical illness and partial disability claims can all be purchased separately. These are decided based on the requirements of every individual. We present some common types of riders below
1) Accidental Death Benefit

– This is an addition to the sum assured. Normally, it is used by people who are frequent travelers. For eg., if your sum assured is 40 lakhs and you have an accidental death benefit riders for Rs. 10 lakh. The total amount paid to your nominee in case you die by accident will be Rs.50 lakh.
2) Critical Illness Rider

– You are paid when you are diagnosed with one of the diseases listed under the rider clause. Each insurer has their own list of Critical Illness diseases . The common ones include Heart attack, major types of Cancer, kidney/renal failure.

The difference between a critical illness and mediclaim is that as follows:

Critical Illness – You get the fixed Sum assured you’ve opted under Critical Illness rider upon diagnosis. This is irrespective of medical costs. For eg., if you have Rs .10 lakh critical illness rider which includes heart attack, then you’ll be paid that amount once diagnosed with heart attack even if you spend only Rs 5 lakh.

Mediclaim – You’re paid the actual medical expenses upon submission of bills. So the benefit is restricted to actual expenses.
3) Partial or full Permanent disability Rider

– In this rider, you will be paid the sum assured under the rider when you get disabled as defined under your policy terms. The settlement is different for full and partial disablement.

Note: In all these riders, the sum assured benefit refers to sum assured of the rider and not the whole sum assured of the policy.

For riders from HDFC check here

For ICICI policy check here

For more information on type of riders check here

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not compensated or paid any commission for above links. They’re provided for reader to get more information and enhance convenience

Best Term Plans in India – my picks

An online term plan is a better option than an offline plan. You can eliminate the commission paid to the agent which makes an online term plan attractive. The following is my opinion of the best term plans in India now in order of preference.

1) LIC Online e-Term – LIC recently launched an online term plan after long demand from customers. The plan has become hugely popular for looking for trust of LIC and economical value of an online plan.

There are no additional riders at the moment but this is not a major drawback. At the moment it costs around Rs.11000 for a 30 year term for 30 year male for Rs75 lakh Sum Assured. There are 2 categories like smoking and non-smoking for sum assured above Rs.50 lakhs.

2) HDFC Click2Protect – HDFC is a financial powerhouse in India. They were among the first to enter the insurance industry when it was opened up. They teamed up Standard Life Insurance initially. They charge around Rs.8300 for 30 year male for a 30 year term for Rs75 lakh Sum Assured.

The user interface is extremely friendly. So far we have received good customer service response based on client interactions. You need to pay extra for additional riders should you choose to add them.

3) Kotak Life ePreferred Term Plan – Kotak’s ePreferred plan is among the comprehensive well made online term plans. There is option to increase life cover in event of marriage (50%) and child birth.

The additional riders have been priced economically. Kotak also seems to have a consistent claim settlement ratio of 90% and above last 3 years.

4) MaxLife Online Term Option I

5) ICICI Prudential iCare

I personally have two term insurance plans – one is HDFC Click2Protect and other is LIC Online e-Term. It is always advisable to split your life cover into policies. I will write a post soon explaining why. So stay tuned for that.


The above is my personal opinion. You should decide your plan based on your requirements. What suits me may not suit you. I have chosen my term insurance based on my own needs. You should evaluate your options and choose accordingly. The above options seem a right fit for majority of Indians.

Also some may not agree with above order. It is totally fine as long as you know what you need. We hope the best term life insurance plans in India will help you to evaluate your best fit. Compare real-time price quotes on PolicyBazaar here

Was this post useful? Then share it with your friends to benefit them. What is your opinion on my list? Do you think I left some points or disagree with something? Do you have some doubts? Let me know in the comments below.