One of the most striking features of pandemic-struck is the role that insurance played in our lives. From protecting one’s income for the benefit of surviving family members to having a risk-cover to meet hospital bills, the importance of insurance has risen in 2020. This makes it extremely important to review one’s insurance needs and make up for any inadequacies at the earliest.
“The purpose of insurance is to protect against unforeseen risks. While life insurance is meant to provide financial aid in case of the untimely death of the bread earner in a family, the health insurance helps to meet the medical cost in the case of hospitalization. So, it is always better not to leave anything to chance and review the insurance needs at the start of the year itself,” said Sanjiv Bajaj, Joint Chairman & MD, Bajaj Capital.
Several factors affect the need for an insurance plan at different stages of life. Here are some significant reasons why one should review their health or life insurance plan:
To ensure coverage sufficiency
Insurance works to your advantage only when the coverage is sufficient to handle your losses. “If the rising medical costs are any indication, you need a high sum insured in your health insurance plan. Even your life insurance policy should have good coverage so that your family is secured in your absence. Reviewing your existing insurance plans is, therefore, necessary to ensure that you have sufficient coverage,” said Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, Co-Founder, Turtlemint, an InsurTech Company.
For instance, as the age of an individual or the number of family members increases, there arises a need for a better health insurance plan with higher coverage that would easily suffice both the individual and family’s medical needs. This is a significant stage where an individual should consider rechecking the current insurance portfolio and further identify the family’s and his/her future needs. Also, the increasing expenses demand an increase in the life insurance portfolio which again signifies the need for a review.
Continuing lifestyle changes
“It has been observed that a gradual change in both the health and life insurance need of an individual also depends on his or her changing lifestyle. Reviewing both the health and life insurance plan would help the individual get financially equipped in case of medical emergencies or any life event,” said Rakesh Goyal Director, Probus Insurance, Insurtech Broking Company. “This would also eventually help the individual to experience the perks of a good lifestyle without worrying about been sufficiently insured,” he added.
Income level changes
Any change in the income, that is, increase or decrease is one factor that would impact the need for your insurance plan review.
In case of a raise in your current salary, opting for a higher sum assured insurance plan could be beneficial as it would ensure you more coverage and higher financial security in case of emergencies. On the other hand, a decrease in the salary or pay cut also asks for a review of the plan as it makes more sense to opt for a lower sum assured than to surrender the policy (due to non-payment).
Bajaj said, “If you have plans to buy a home or change jobs, you should immediately revisit your insurance requirements. Life changes fast and in a blink of an eye, it’s a new moment to deal with. Even though planned earlier, the big-ticket purchases often take its shape at the spur of a moment. As life rolls on, new liabilities come on to the forefront and have to be dealt with full responsibility.”
To opt for new-age coverage benefits
Both life and health insurance plans have evolved with time. Mahyavanshi said, “New age coverage benefits have become common like lifelong coverage, international coverage, coverage for modern treatments, etc. It is, therefore, time to review whether your existing plans have these new-age coverage benefits. If they don’t, it’s time to mix things up and port to plans to offer such benefits.”
To align one’s financial goals
Certain life phases such as children’s education or marriage, buying an asset like house, car, plot etc, planning for retirement, looking for post-retirement travel plans, etc. may call for a review of your both health and life insurance plan. Here, it becomes imperative to understand which plan would suit you best as per your plans.
For instance, “Raising kids and providing them with the best of what you can is really important and having a proper insurance plan during such an event is extremely important. One must review his or her current health insurance plan to ensure that the sum assured is sufficient to fulfil the kid’s medical needs,” said Goyal. “Also, having a good life insurance plan would help raise your child comfortably without stressing during the inflation period or increasing cost of basic requirements,” he said.
The bottom line is people usually consider buying insurance as the ultimate goal. However, reviewing the plan on a timely basis is necessary as it helps to understand if the purchased plan works for them or not. (Courtesy: https://www.livemint.com/)