May 27, 2009

Understanding Life Insurance - Ask Yourself a Few Questions

Photo by bookgrl

Here’s another question by a reader (see Amazing Fact about Life Insurance comment no 5 dated 25 April, 2009), who thinks that LIC’s Endowment Plans and Whole Life Plans are really value for money insurance policies. He writes,

“What about LIC policies like Jeevan Anand which provide a life cover throughout life even after maturity and lump sum payment (tax free).

I say this because I have one and people consistently suggest me to terminate it in favour of a term insurance, which I feel is not prudent under the circumstances!”

It doesn’t matter whether the policy is named Jeevan Anand, Jeevan Mitra, Jeevan Surabhi, Jeevan Shree, Jeevan Nidhi, Jeevan Amrit, Jeevan Saathi, Jeevan Tarang, Jeevan Bharati or Jeevan Varsha. They are all traditional life insurance plans, (whether endowment, money-back, whole life or a mix of those) the worst kind of life insurance policies.

Anyway, try answering the following questions:

1. What’s the difference between insurance and investment?

2. What is the sole purpose of life insurance?

3. Do you really need insurance in your old age?

4. What’s your life insurance coverage ratio? Put another way, how much life insurance coverage do you have in relation to your annual income or your needs?

5. What if something unfortunate happens to you? Would the money from the so- called life insurance policy be enough to take care of the financial needs of your family / dependents in the near future? How long the claims proceeds will last?

6. What’s the ratio of sum assured (S.A.) to annual premium? In other words, how much premium you’re paying in relation to the sum assured? What if you face a sudden liquidity crunch and unable to pay your premium?

7. What’s the expected IRR of your insurance policy?

I hope that by the time you finish answering all the above questions, you’ll become wise enough to understand and appreciate the true purport of insurance.

Furthermore, regarding the notion of “tax free returns”, let me tell you another amazing fact – the real beneficiary of these tax concessions are the insurance companies and not the insured. It’s sheer mockery of the tax incentives! But I know you won’t understand it because we hear only what we want to hear. This is how our mind works which makes the job of insurance companies a lot easier. Confused? Read another post – Is it Complexity or Confusopoly? , Or feel free to put your views in the comment box.

Also see:


  1. ultimate post man.
    i have never read such a post which shapes my investment
    thanks a lot
    again thanks.

  2. > the real beneficiary of these tax concessions are the insurance companies and not the insured. It’s sheer mockery of the tax incentives!

    >> Would you please explain more ?

  3. Thank you for your posting. I find it very insightful and beneficial for consumers as they are many insurance agents out there who are not offering what's best for the clients.


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