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 Insurance Basics

Types of Insurance

Insurance provides compensation to a person for an anticipated loss to his life, business or an asset. Insurance is broadly classified into two parts covering different types of risks:

  • Life Insurance
  • General Insurance

Life Insurance
Insurance against risk to one's life is covered under life assurance. Life assurance can be further clasified into following types:

1. Whole Life Assurance
In whole life assurance, insurance company collects premium from the insured for whole life or till the time of his retirement and pays claim to the family of the insured only after his death.

2. Endowment Assurance
In case of endowment assurance, the term of policy is defined for a specified period say 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. The insurance company pays the claim to the family of assured in an event of his death within the policy's term or in an event of the assured surviving the policy's term.

3. Term Assurance
The basic feature of term assurance plans is that they provide death risk-cover. Term assurance policies are only for a limited time, claim for which is paid to the family of the assured only when he dies. In case the assured survives the term of policy, no claim is paid to the assured.

4. Annuities
Annuities are just opposite to life insurance. A person entering into an annuity contract agrees to pay a specified sum of capital (lump sum or by instalments) to the insurer. The insurer in return promises to pay the insured a series of payments untill insured's death. Generally, life annuity is opted by a person having surplus wealth and wants to use this money after his retirement.

There are two types of annuities, namely:
Immediate Annuity: In an immediate annuity, the insured pays a lump sum amount (known as purchase price) and in return the insurer promises to pay him in instalments a specified sum on a monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/yearly basis.

Deferred Annuity: A deferred anuuity can be purchased by paying a single premium or by way of instalments. The insured starts receiving annuity payment after a lapse of a selected period (also known as Deferment period).

5. Money Back
Money back policy is a policy opted by people who want periodical payments. A money back policy is generally issued for a particular period, and the sum assured is paid through periodical payments to the insured, spread over this time period. In case of death of the insured within the term of the policy, full sum assured along with bonus accruing on it is payable by hte insurance company to the nominee of the deceased.

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