What is Life insurance .
Life insurance in India made its debut well over 100 years ago.In our country, which is one of the most populated in the world, the prominence of insurance is not as widely understood, as it ought to be. What follows is an attempt to acquaint readers with some of the concepts of life insurance, with special reference to LIC.
It should, however, be clearly understood that the following content is by no means an exhaustive description of the terms and conditions of an LIC policy or its benefits or privileges.
For more details, please contact our branch or divisional office. Any LIC Agent will be glad to help you choose the life insurance plan to meet your needs and render policy servicing. What IS Life Insurance?
Life insurance is a contract that pledges payment of an amount to the person assured (or his nominee) on the happening of the event insured against.
The contract is valid for payment of the insured amount during:
The date of maturity, or pecified dates at periodic intervals, or
Unfortunate death, if it occurs earlier.
Among other things, the contract also provides for the payment of premium periodically to the Corporation by the policyholder. Life insurance is universally acknowledged to be an institution, which eliminates 'risk', substituting certainty for uncertainty and comes to the timely aid of the family in the unfortunate event of death of the breadwinner.
By and large, life insurance is civilization’s partial solution to the problems caused by death. Life insurance, in short, is concerned with two hazards that stand across the life-path of every person:
That of dying prematurely leaving a dependent family to fend for itself.
That of living till old age withoutisible means of support.
Life Insurance Vs. Other Savings
Contract Of Insurance:
A contract of insurance is a contract of utmost good faith technically known as uberrima fides. The doctrine of disclosing all material facts is embodied in this important principle, which applies to all forms of insurance.
At the time of taking a policy, policyholder should ensure that all questions in the proposal form are correctly answered. Any misrepresentation, non-disclosure or fraud in any document leading to the acceptance of the risk would render the insurance contract null and void.
Savings through life insurance guarantee full protection against risk of death of the saver. Also, in case of demise, life insurance assures payment of the entire amount assured (with bonuses wherever applicable) whereas in other savings schemes, only the amount saved (with interest) is payable.
Aid To Thrift:
Life insurance encourages 'thrift'. It allows long-term savings since payments can be made effortlessly because of the 'easy installment' facility built into the scheme. (Premium payment for insurance is either monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly). For example: The Salary Saving Scheme popularly known as SSS provides a convenient method of paying premium each month by deduction from one's salary.
In this case the employer directly pays the deducted premium to LIC. The Salary Saving Scheme is ideal for any institution or establishment subject to specified terms and conditions.
In case of insurance, it is easy to acquire loans on the sole security of any policy that has acquired loan value. Besides, a life insurance policy is also generally accepted as security, even for a commercial loan.
Life Insurance is the best way to enjoy tax deductions on income tax and wealth tax. This is available for amounts paid by way of premium for life insurance subject to income tax rates in force.
Assessees can also avail of provisions in the law for tax relief. In such cases the assured in effect pays a lower premium for insurance than otherwise.
Money When You Need It:
A policy that has a suitable insurance plan or a combination of different plans can be effectively used to meet certain monetary needs that may arise from time-to-time.
Children's education, start-in-life or marriage provision or even periodical needs for cash over a stretch of time can be less stressful with the help of these policies.
Alternatively, policy money can be made available at the time of one's retirement from service and used for any specific purpose, such as, purchase of a house or for other investments. Also, loans are granted to policyholders for house building or for purchase of flats (subject to certain conditions).
Who Can Buy A Policy? Any person who has attained majority and is eligible to enter into a valid contract can insure himself/herself and those in whom he/she has insurable interest.
Policies can also be taken, subject to certain conditions, on the life of one's spouse or children. While underwriting proposals, certain factors such as the policyholder’s state of health, the proponent's income and other relevant factors are considered by the Corporation.
Insurance For Women
Prior to nationalization (1956), many private insurance companies would offer insurance to female lives with some extra premium or on restrictive conditions. However, after nationalization of life insurance, the terms under which life insurance is granted to female lives have been reviewed from time-to-time.
At present, women who work and earn an income are treated at par with men. In other cases, a restrictive clause is imposed, only if the age of the female is up to 30 years and if she does not have an income attracting Income Tax.
Medical and Non-Medical Schemes
Life insurance is normally offered after a medical examination of the life to be assured. However, to facilitate greater spread of insurance and also to avoid inconvenience, LIC has been extending insurance cover without any medical examination, subject to certain conditions.
With Profit and Without Profit Plans
An insurance policy can be 'with' or 'without' profit. In the former, bonuses disclosed, if any, after periodical valuations are allotted to the policy and are payable along with the contracted amount.
In 'without' profit plan the contracted amount is paid without any addition. The premium rate charged for a 'with' profit policy is therefore higher than for a 'without' profit policy.
Key man Insurance
Key man insurance is taken by a business firm on the life of key employee(s) to protect the firm against financial losses, which may occur due to the premature demise of the Key man.
History of Insurance
1956, that life insurance in India was nationalized. About 154 Indian insurance companies, 16 non-Indian companies and 75 provident were operating in India at the time of nationalization. Nationalization was accomplished in two stages; initially the management of the companies was taken over by means of an Ordinance, and later, the ownership too by means of a comprehensive bill.
The Parliament of India passed the Life Insurance Corporation Act on the 19th of June 1956, and the Life Insurance Corporation of India was created on 1st September, 1956, with the objective of spreading life insurance much more widely and in particular to the rural areas with a view to reach all insurable persons in the country, providing them adequate financial cover at a reasonable cost.
LIC had 5 zonal offices, 33 divisional offices and 212 branch offices, apart from its corporate office in the year 1956.
Today LIC functions with 2048 fully computerized branch offices, 100 divisional offices, 7 zonal offices and the Corporate office. LIC’s Wide Area Network covers 100 divisional offices and connects all the branches through a Metro Area Network. LIC has tied up with some Banks and Service providers to offer on-line premium collection facility in selected cities. LIC’s ECS and ATM premium payment facility is an addition to customer convenience. Apart from on-line Kiosks and IVRS, Info Centres have been commissioned at Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, New Delhi, Pune and many other cities. With a vision of providing easy access to its policyholders, LIC has launched its SATELLITE SAMPARK offices. The satellite offices are smaller, leaner and closer to the customer. The digitalized records of the satellite offices will facilitate anywhere servicing and many other conveniences in the future.
LIC continues to be the dominant life insurer even in the liberalized scenario of Indian insurance and is moving fast on a new growth trajectory surpassing its own past records. LIC has issued over one crore policies during the current year. It has crossed the milestone of issuing 1,01,32,955 new policies by 15th Oct, 2005, posting a healthy growth rate of 16.67% over the corresponding period of the previous year.
From then to now, LIC has crossed many milestones and has set unprecedented performance records in various aspects of life insurance business. The same motives which inspired our forefathers to bring insurance into existence in this country inspire us at LIC to take this message of protection to light the lamps of security in as many homes as possible and to help the people in providing security to their families.
the life insurance business in India are:
1956: 245 Indian and foreign insurers and provident societies are taken over by the central government and nationalized. LIC formed by an Act of Parliament, viz. LIC Act, 1956, with a capital contribution of Rs. 5 crore from the Government of India.
General insurance businesses in India are:
1957: General Insurance Council, a wing of the Insurance Association of India, frames a code of conduct for ensuring fair conduct and sound business practices.
1968: The Insurance Act amended to regulate investments and set minimum solvency margins and the Tariff Advisory Committee set up.
1972: The General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972 nationalized the
general insurance business in India with effect from 1st January 1973.
107 insurers amalgamated and grouped into four companies viz. the National
Insurance Company Ltd., the New India Assurance Company Ltd., the
Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. and the United India Insurance Company
Ltd. GIC incorporated as a company.
HELP US TO SERVE YOU BETTER
Admission of Age:
Age is the main basis of calculation of premium under life insurance policies. The following are accepted as evidence of age:
Certified extract from Municipal or Local Body’s records made at the time of birth.
Certificate of Baptism or Certified Extract from Family Bible, if it contains age or date of birth.
Certified Extract from School or College records, if age or date of birth is stated therein.
Certified Extract from Service Register in the case of Govt. employees and employees of Quasi-Govt. Institutions or
Passport issued by the Passport Authorities in India.
Payment Of Premium:
By cash, local cheque (subject to realization of cheque), Demand Draft at Branch Office.
The DD and cheques or Money Order may be sent by post.
You can pay your premiums at any of our Branches as 99% of our Branches are networked.
Many Banks do accept standing instructions to remit the premiums. So by providing a standing instruction to your Bank to debit your account for the premium amount and send it vide a banker’s cheque to LIC, on the due dates and months mentioned on your policy bond.
Through Internet : Payment of premiums can be made through Internet through Service Providers viz.HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Times of Money, Bill Junction, UTI Bank, Bank of Punjab, Citibank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank and BillDesk.
Premium payment can also be made through ATMs of Corporation Bank and UTI Bank.
Premium payment can also be made through Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) which has been launched at Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Kanpur, Bangalore, Vijaywada, Patna, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Nagpur, Secunderabad & Visakhapatnam. A policyholder having an account in any Bank which is a Member of the local Clearing House can opt for ECS debit to pay premiums. The policyholders wishing to use this system would have to fill up a Mandate Form available at our Branches/DO and get it certified by the Bank. The certified Mandate Forms are to be submitted to our BO/DO.
Policy can be anywhere in India.
Citibank Kiosks at Industrial Assurance Building, Churchgate, New India Building, Santacruz, Jeevan Shikha Building, Borivili are dedicated for collection of premiums through cheques.
Days Of Grace:
Policyholder should pay the premiums on due dates. However, a grace period of one month but not less than 30 days will be allowed for payment of yearly/half-yearly/quarterly premiums and 15 days for monthly premiums.
When the days of grace expire on a Sunday or a public holiday, the premium may be paid on the following working day to keep the policy in force.
If the premium is not paid before the expiry of the days of grace, the policy lapses.
Revival Of Lapsed Policy:
If the policy has lapsed, it can be revived during the life time of the life assured, within a period of five years from the date of the first unpaid premium but before the date of maturity subject to certain conditions.
The Corporation offers three convenient schemes of revival viz., Ordinary Revival, Special Revival and Installment Revival. Policies can also be revived under Loan-cum-Revival and SB-cum-Revival schemes.
Request for revival may be made to the Branch Office servicing the policy.
Change Of Address And Transfer Of Policy Records:
The policyholder should immediately intimate the change of his/her address to the Branch Office servicing the policy. The correct address facilitates better service and quicker settlement of claims.
Policy records can also be transferred from one Branch Office to another for servicing, as requested by the policyholder.
Loss Of Policy Document:
The Policy Document is an evidence of the contract between the Insurer and the Insured. Hence the policyholder should preserve the Policy Bond till the contracted amount under it is settled.
Loss of the Policy Document should be immediately intimated to the Branch Office where it is serviced.
Loans are granted on policies to the extent of 90% of Surrender Value of the policies which are in force and 85% of the Surrender Value in case of policies which are paid-up, inclusive of the cash value of bonus. The rate of interest charged at present is 9% p.a. payable half-yearly.
Loans are not granted for a period shorter than six months. The Conditions and Privileges printed on the back of the Policy Bond states whether a particular policy is with or without the loan facility.
Relief To Policyholders:
The Corporation generally allows concessions on payment of premiums, settlement of claims, issue of duplicate policies, etc when the policyholder are affected by natural calamities such as droughts, cyclones, floods, earthquakes, etc.
Nomination is a right conferred on the holder of a Policy of Life Assurance on his own life to appoint a person/s to receive policy moneys in the event of the policy becoming a claim by the assured’s death. The Nominee does not get any other benefit except to receive the policy moneys on the death of the Life Assured. A nomination may be changed or cancelled by the life assured whenever he likes without the consent of the Nominee.
Ensure nomination exists in the policy for easy settlement of claims.
Assignment means transfer of rights, title and interest. When an assignment is executed, all rights, title and interest in respect of the property assigned are immediately transferred to the Assignee/s and the Assignee/s become the owner/s of the policy subject to any lawful condition made in the assignment.
Assignment can be either conditional or absolute. On assignment (other than to LIC), Nomination automatically stands cancelled. Hence, when such a policy is reassigned, the policyholder will have to make a fresh nomination to avoid delay in settlement of claim.
Survival Benefit/Maturity Claims:
LIC settles survival benefit/maturity claims on or before the due date.
Policyholders are intimated well in advance by the Branch Office which services the policy regarding the payment, and the necessary Discharge Voucher is also sent for execution by the assured. In case the policyholder does not get any intimation from the Branch Office concerned, he/she should contact them, quoting the Policy Number.
Survival Benefit payment up to Rs.60,000/- are settled without insisting for Policy Bond and Discharge Voucher.
If the life assured dies during the term of the policy, death claim arises. The death of the policyholder should be immediately intimated in writing to the Branch Office where the policy is serviced along with the following particulars:
The No./s of the policy/ies
The name of the policyholder
Death Certificate issued by concerned Authority
The date of death
The cause of death and
Claimant’s relationship with the deceased
On receipt of the intimation of death, necessary claim forms are sent by the Branch Office for completion along with instructions regarding the procedure to be followed by the claimant.
The claims which have arisen after a period of three years are treated as non-early claims and settled within 30 days from the date of receipt of all requirements.
The claims that have arisen within a period of two years from the date of commencement of the policy are treated as early claims and investigation is compulsory in such cases.
The claim is usually payable to the nominee/assignee or the legal heirs, as the case may be. However, if the deceased policyholder has not nominated/assigned the policy or if he/she has not made a suitable provision regarding the policy moneys by way of a Will, the claim is payable to the holder of a Succession Certificate or some such evidence of title from a Court of Law.
The Corporation grants claims concessions under certain Plans whereby payment of full sum assured is made, subject to the deduction of unpaid premiums with interest till the date of death and unpaid premiums falling due before the next anniversary of the policy, in the event of the death of the life assured within a period of six months or one year from the date of the first unpaid premium, provided premiums have been paid for at least three years and five years respectively.
Claim Review Committee:
The Corporation settles a large number of Death Claims every year. Only in case of fraudulent suppression of material information is the liability repudiated. This is to ensure that claims are not paid to fraudulent persons at the cost of honest policyholders. The number of Death Claims repudiated is, however, very small. Even in these cases, an opportunity is given to the claimant to make a representation for consideration by the Review Committees of the Zonal office and the Central Office. As a result of such review, depending on the merits of each case, appropriate decisions are taken. The Claims Review Committees of the Central and Zonal Offices have among their Members, a retired High Court/District Court Judge. This has helped providing transparency and confidence in our operations and has resulted in greater satisfaction among claimants, policyholders and public.
Initiatives in Policy Servicing Areas:
All 2048 Branches of LIC are fully computerized covering all policy servicing aspects to give prompt computerized services from new policy introduction, acceptance of renewal premium, revivals, loans, etc to final claims settlement.
Green Channel facility has been introduced for the speedy completion of proposals.
Payment of premiums can be made through internet through service providers, viz., HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Times of money, Bill Junction, UTI Bank, Bank of Punjab,Citi Bank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank and Bill desk.
Citizens' Charter was presented to the Nation in November, 1997. In the Charter the bench marks were prescribed for 30 servicing areas.
INFORMATION FOR LIC
LIC has been one of the pioneering organizations in India who introduced the leverage of Information Technology in servicing and in their business. Data pertaining to almost 10 crore policies is being held on computers in LIC. We have gone in for relevant and appropriate technology over the years.
1964 saw the introduction of computers in LIC. Unit Record Machines introduced in late 1950’s were phased out in 1980’s and replaced by Microprocessors based computers in Branch and Divisional Offices for Back Office Computerization. Standardization of Hardware and Software commenced in 1990’s. Standard Computer Packages were developed and implemented for Ordinary and Salary Savings Scheme (SSS) Policies.
FRONT END OPERATIONS
With a view to enhancing customer responsiveness and services, in July 1995, LIC started a drive of On Line Service to Policyholders and Agents through Computer. This on line service enabled policyholders to receive immediate policy status report, prompt acceptance of their premium and get Revival Quotation, Loan Quotation on demand. Incorporating change of address can be done on line. Quicker completion of proposals and dispatch of policy documents have become a reality. All our 2048 branches across the country have been covered under front-end operations. Thus all our 100 divisional offices have achieved the distinction of 100% branch computerization. New payment related Modules pertaining to both ordinary & SSS policies have been added to the Front End Package catering to Loan, Claims and Development Officers’ Appraisal. All these modules help to reduce time-lag and ensure accuracy.
METRO AREA NETWORK
A Metropolitan Area Network, connecting 74 branches in Mumbai was commissioned in November, 1997, enabling policyholders in Mumbai to pay their Premium or get their Status Report, Surrender Value Quotation, Loan Quotation etc. from ANY Branch in the city. The System has been working successfully. More than 10,000 transactions are carried out over this Network on any given working day. Such Networks have been implemented in other cities also.
LIC ON THE INTERNET
Our Internet site is an information bank. We have displayed information about LIC & its offices. Efforts are on to upgrade our web site to make it dynamic and interactive. The addresses/e-mail Ids of ur Zonal Offices, Zonal Training Centers, Management Development Center, Overseas Branches, Divisional Offices and also all Branch Offices with a view to speed up the communication process.
PAYMENT OF PREMIUM AND POLICY STATUS ON INTERNET
(You have to register for these services) LIC has given its policyholders a unique facility to pay premiums through Internet absolutely free and also view their policy details on Internet premium payments. There are 11 service providers with whom L I C has signed the agreement to provide this service.
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