Affordable premiums are definitely one of the most important features of an insurance plan, however it should also have a balanced share of benefits to offer as well. Here in this article we discuss the basic types of premiums and some of the common modes of payments available with the life insurance plans in market.
Types of life insurance premiums:
There are basically two types of premium payments namely single premium and regular premiums. At the time of opting for the plan, every policyholder would be explained in brief by the insurance agent or company about these two terms in particular. These two types of premiums are determined by the quantum of payment and the frequency decided by the person insured. Single premiums require a lump sum payment to be made by the insured at the time of entry while in regular premiums, he/she will be required to makes payments on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly basis. Both single premium and regular premium plans have their own benefits, yet the former proves to be more efficient when considering the total cost involved. The below example illustrates the basic difference between the two types of premiums.
A 32 year old woman pays a yearly premium of Rs.13,000 for 10 years on her life insurance policy, that offers survival benefits of Rs.2,00,000 on maturity. Going by this mode of payment, she will pay a total amount of Rs.1,30,000 by the end of the term period. However, the same plan comes with an option for single premium whereby a person is required to pay a lump sum amount of Rs.90,000 at the time of enrollment. In the second instance, the person insured can save up to Rs.40,000 on premiums. Taking into account the time value of money and rate of inflation, lump sum payments can often supersede the benefits of regular premiums. But again, making payments in one go may not be feasible for many customers and it is finally on their part to choose the type of payment after evaluating budgetary requirements. Therefore, make sure that you opt for the single premium mode only if you can afford the same without straining your finances.
Premium paying frequency:
Under regular premium mode, policyholders are required to pay premiums throughout the term period, while for some policies, the premium term is less than the policy term. For example, if your purchase a policy that offers life insurance coverage for 10 years, you can either choose to pay the premium for the entire length of the plan or choose a reduced payment term of 7 or 8 years. As a general rule of thumb, the number of installments is directly proportional to the sum insured, ie.,higher the sum insured more the number of installments. Once you have chosen the regular payment option, you then need to decide the frequency of premium payments which is either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Your premium payment term is also linked to the surrender value of the policy. Generally, a life insurance plan acquires surrender value after completion of 2 premium years. So in case you surrender your policy after the first year, you will not be eligible for the same.
Different method of paying your insurance premiums:
Gone are the days when one had to wait in long queues at the branch counters to deposit life insurance premiums. Going in line with the digital advancements of today, even insurance companies have launched apps and web platforms to offer a comprehensive range of services online. Given below are some of the most common methods of insurance premium payments:
Insurance agents – An insurance agent visiting your home to collect premiums was a common scene in early days, when private companies had only started to secure a foothold in the Indian insurance industry. Even with the changed times and latest digital enhancements, you can always get in touch with a collection agent of your insurer to come and collect your payments.
Mobile wallets – Post demonetization, the importance of mobile payments have increased so rapidly that a number of e-wallet companies have entered the market within a short span. The e-wallets offer a lot of facilities ranging from booking a ticket to paying off your monthly bills. Some of the mobile wallets have linked up with the insurance companies to facilitate fast and convenient premium payments for policyholders.
Online payments – As already mentioned, you can simply login to the insurer’s website and pay your premiums through internet banking, credit cards, or debit cards
Standing instruction on credit card – You can give a standing instruction to your insurance company to deduct the premium amount on your behalf. You just have to submit an application for the same along with the details of your credit card.
Electronic Clearing System – It’s an automated system of payment where the premium amount gets deducted from the bank account of the customer on due date. You can register for this service by filling out the ECS mandate form and submitting it along with other relevant details to the concerned branch of your insurance company.