Claim Settlement Ratio for Life Insurance Companies (2009-2010)

by Gopal Gidwani on March 16, 2011 · 242 comments

in Financial Planning

Claim Settlement Ratio for Life Insurance Companies for 2013-14
Click here to read about latest claim settlement ratio for 2013-14

Insurance business today is not the same anymore as it used to be a few decades back. In the earlier days one would not need to worry so much before buying an insurance cover since there were limited choices in the market. Infact till a decade back, the only choice that was available was Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. But now, with 23 life insurance companies fighting for market share and with so much of choice available, it has become difficult to easily judge which plan of which company to go for. One might do ample of research, take many suggestions from family and friends but still reach no conclusion as to finally what to select?
So how do you make a choice?

Factors to be considered for buying insurance
In life insurance, there can be a number of criteria based on which people select which insurance plan to go for. Some of them include the premium payable, the benefits offered, features and flexibility offered and objective / purpose for which the plan is being bought etc. One important thing that lot of people take into consideration nowadays is the claim settlement ratio of the insurance company and the timeframe taken to settle the claim. However it really depends on personal choice of an individual about what matters to him the most.

It makes sense for people to invest in a plan of a company that has a good claim settlement ratio and a company that has a good track record of settling the claim in a reasonable timeframe of filing the claim with the company. After all what good is an insurance plan during your lifetime if your beneficiaries are not able to settle the claim with the insurance company within a reasonable time in your absence.

However, every convenience nowadays comes for a price. If you look at the data produced by IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) for the year 2009-10, many facts like these become clearer to us.

What is claim settlement ratio?
In very simple words claim settlement ratio is the number of claims settled for every 100 claims received by the life insurance company. For example if an insurance company has received 100 claims in a year and it has settled 98 claims out of it, then the claim settlement ratio will be 98%. Higher is the claim settlement ratio for the company, the better.

Industry average claim settlement ratio
If you look at just a comparison between private insurance players and LIC in death claim settlement, it becomes clear that LIC’s death claim settlement ratio is almost 11% better than the average of all private players taken together.

InsurerTotal claimsClaims PaidClaims pendingClaims repudiated and written back
Private Insurers10084.887.487.64

(Data obtained from IRDA Annual Report 2009-10)

While LIC settled 96.54% claims in the year 2009-10, private players settled only 84.88% of the total claims.

One needs to see how well established the insurance company is. As the operations of the insurance company get stabilized, their member base and investment base gets stronger. Life insurance is a very capital intensive business with long break even periods. For the year 2009-10, along with LIC another seven insurance companies reported profits which show their operations have stabilised and now these companies are strong enough to handle large number of customers.

Although most things look positive for LIC, one fact is that their plans are not very cost competitive. The premiums are one of the highest in the case of LIC. Because of this very fact, many people prefer to go for private insurance covers rather than going for an LIC cover. Since late 2009 with online term plans coming into the market, people can now take insurance cover for a higher amount for very low premiums. Many who do not understand the importance of high death claim settlement ratio or are not aware of it go for these insurance covers. However, there are still a bigger number of customers who believe in investing in insurers who have better claim settlement statistics rather and are ready to pay a higher price for it as well.

Detailed analysis of annual claim settlement ratio for individual companies
Claim Settlement Ratio
Data as shown in the chart is obtained from IRDA website as published in their annual report 2009-10.

In the chart the insurance companies have been arranged according to their death claim settlement ratio. LIC as seen earlier tops this list. The point to note here is that even between the top two insurers, there is a gap of 5% in their claim settlement ratios. This means that LIC is still much ahead in claim settlement than the rest of the private players.

Also, LIC has still the biggest customer base. Total claims received by LIC was 6,77,374 as compared to the next player being Bajaj Allianz receiving only 23,040 for the year 2009-10 and ICICI prudential following it by a claims figure of 16,057. There is a massive difference between LIC and other players and indicates that LIC still has more than 50% of the customer base as far as life insurance industry is concerned.

In order to avoid hassles at the time of claim settlement it is better to declare all information in the proposal form like date of birth, age, medical history, habits correctly. The proposer should not hide any material information at the time of taking the policy. During its claim investigation if the insurer finds out that there was any type of misrepresentation from the policyholder at the time of taking the policy, the insurance company may reject the claim and declare the policy as null and void and forfeit all the premiums.

Information published in IRDA website also shows that Aegon Religare settled only 24 claims out of the 50 claims it received in the year 2009-10 ending the year with a claim settlement ratio of 48%.

Comparison of premiums between LIC and private insurers
One thing that goes in favour of the private insurance companies is the pricing of their products. If we study the premiums charged by private insurance companies for term plans as compared to the premium charged by LIC for its term plan Jeevan Amulya, in some cases the premiums of private life insurers are as less as 50% compared to the premium charged by LIC. So there is a huge disparity in the premiums charged by private insurers and LIC. While LIC still commands a major market share, private insurers are using the low premium bait to woo customers towards them. Even though there are 23 players operating in the market fighting for a share of the customer’s wallet, due to the huge under penetration of insurance in India and the huge untapped opportunity there is room for everyone to attract new customers rather than competing for each other’s customers.

Many people are still very sceptical of buying insurance from private life insurance companies. They would rather go for LIC only. LIC still enjoying the biggest trust factor among people even though the competition around it is very stiff. Death claim settlement ratio is a key factor (apart from the other factors discussed above) that helps people in selecting the right insurance company for buying an insurance cover. However in the end, decision is personal.

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{ 242 comments… read them below or add one }

Rohit Sistla March 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Your reading is interesting , also is there any published data to refer to in terms of avg value of claims settled by the insurance firms ?


Rohit Sistla


Gopal Gidwani March 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Hi Rohit,
You can refer to the IRDA Annual Report which you can download from the IRDA website for the information that you are looking for


Emmaneal January 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hi Gopal,

Iam interested to take a online policy for 5 yrs from icici because of low premium and high coverage, is it safe to take that type of policy from private companies instead of taking the LIC policy. Please give a conclusion


ashok January 29, 2012 at 11:11 am

go to goole search type ICICI Prudential denies widow’s policy claim by ‘forging papers pune mirror will open read the article then decide to go for low premium or lic


Gopal Gidwani January 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hello Mr. Ashok,
I have modified your comment and removed your email id. Please dont use this forum for promoting LIC against other insurance companies. I agree LIC is a great company and I am myself a big fan of it. But this is a neutral forum and not for promotion of one single company. From next time onwards please dont post any email ids or website urls in your comments.

If the case that you are talking about ICICI Prudential has been published in the Times of India then chances are lot of people already know about it and there is nothing new that you are sharing. And besides if ICICI Pru has done something wrong then the policyholders / nominees can escalate the matter to IRDA, Insurance Ombudsman, Consumer Forums and Courts. These channels have the authority to decide who is right and who is wrong and its best that we leave it to them to give the verdict and not we ourselves.

nipun April 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I saw the annual report for the year and found these numbers to be correct, however picture will be more clear if these ratios are taken not just by no of policies but alos by amount of claim settled in terms of rupees paid

if we take those ratios After LIc at ~95%, there is SBI life at ~89% then Icici at ~87% and then HDFC at ~83%


Gopal Gidwani April 9, 2011 at 8:53 am

Hello Nipun,
Thanks for your input.
Even though in the article I have presented the claim settlement ratio I feel while buying insurance policies going by the claim settlement ratio is not the appropriate way of looking at it. I say this because at any point of time there a large number of claims under settlement which have neither being settled nor rejected. The claim settlement ratio does not take these claims under settlement into account. Most of the new insurance companies that have started business in the last 3-5 years have a major portion of claim request under settlement and hence the final claim settlement ratio is very poor.

I feel another way of looking at this will be the claim repudiation ratio. Claim repudiation ratio in percentage terms is the number of claims rejected by the insurance company out of every 100 claims it has received. The IRDA annual report also shows the claim repudiation ratio. If you carefully observe the IRDA Annual Report 2009-10 and study the Claim Repudation Ratio of insurance companies then LIC beats the entire industry hands down. LIC received a huge 6,77,374 claims during the year. Out of these LIC settled 6,53,909 (96.54%) of the claims. 9527 (1.41%) claims are pending for settlement. And 8227 (1.21%) claims were rejected. Now the 8227 claims that were rejected during the year in absolute terms seem huge, but in percentage terms it forms only 1.21% of the total claims that were received during the year. So that way on such a huge base (number of customers) that LIC has and the huge number of claims (6,77,374) that they received during the entire year, only 1.21% of the claims were rejected. So in that sense LIC has done a commendable job. Whereas if we take the entire private life insurers together the repudiation ratio is 7.6% and for the life insurance industry as a whole the claim repudiation ratio is 1.93%, but that is because of the good claim repudiation ratio of LIC.
I plan to come out with one article on Claim Repudiation Ratio’s of life insurance companies. I am not sure of the timelines when I will be able to come out with the article. But whenever I do, I will inform you about it.

Best Regards
Gopal Gidwani


chintan May 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi Gopal,

Your article is very useful and looking forward to read more articles from you. I am planning to take term insurance but am bit confused whether to go for private company or LIC. Also amongst private companies which company to go for.

Can you suggest based on your analysis. Certainly your opinion will not be binding and will not catch your neck if things go wrong.



Gopal Gidwani May 14, 2011 at 8:26 am

Hello Chintan,
LIC Plans are a little costly than the private insurers. You can consider buying a term insurance plan from ICICI Prudential (iProtect Plan) or from Kotak Life Insurance (e-preferred plan)


Sekhar May 23, 2011 at 6:17 am

Hi Gopal,

How’s Aviva’s i-Life which is also a online product. I have a 25 lak SA term plan from LIC which has been lapsed since 1.5 years. Does it make sense to get in renewed or should i go for a new plan from others.

Bitu August 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Looking for selection of a term insurance company.
iLife of Aviva seems the cheapest. But its repudiation rate is also very high and the company in india is much younger in comparision to LIC. But, do companies practice such methods to make money. IRDA has no role to regulate such cases were wrong repudiations were reported? How to make a judgement. Will you kindly guide me. Regards.

Satyen May 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

Dear Gopal,

Thanks for your article. I have two Term policies from LIC (Anmol and Amulya) amouting to 46 lacs and the premium paid by me is 18500 per annum. I recently got a quote from Aegon Religare, who has offered a term policy of 1 crore costing 20320/- per annum. Your above report mentions a bad claim settlement ratio for this company. For a policy of 1 crore, you would agree with me, that they will do all the medical tests on me and only then give me a policy. In spite of this, do you still feel that they may have reasons to reject claim made by my legal heir.
I dont want to pay less premium now and then have my family to lose out on a genuine claim. Please Advise.

Thanks in advance.


Gopal Gidwani May 29, 2011 at 6:48 am

Hi Satyen,
For a cover of 1 crore they will definitely do the required medical tests. Also while filling the application form make sure that you fill all the details correctly and honestly and don’t hide any information whatsoever. This will help in smooth settlement of the claim, if it happens. Also disclose the details of life insurance that you already have.

Regarding your query on poor claim settlement record of Aegon Religare, all companies have a poor claim settlement record in the first few years as the claims are scrutinized in detail, which takes longer time for settlement. So that is normal for the industry as a whole and Aegon Religare should not be isolated as they are still a relatively new player and started operations only in 2008-09.

Still if you are skeptical about their claim settlement ratio, then consider buying iProtect Plan from ICICI Prudential. This is an online term insurance plan where the premiums are very competitive as compared to iTerm from Aegon Religare, but ICICI Prudential has a good claim settlement record of above 90%.

I hope that answers your query, else please write back.


Satyen May 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Dear Gopal,

Thanks fo your response as it has helped me taking a decision. Basis your comments, I feel i-protect from ICICI Pru seems to be a good option.

Thanks once again.


LIC May 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

LIC or the Life Insurance Corporation of India is an entirely government owned entity and enjoys the position of being India’s largest insurance company apart from being nation’s biggest investor. LIC was incorporated in 1956 and has been functioning pretty consistently.


Satyen May 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Totally agree that LIC is the best in the industry but when it comes to paying the premium, it is more than double of what is been charged by pvt insurance companies. This is the reason for people shifting to pvt insurance companies. If your are from LIC, you should make this point clear to your management and help in reducing the premium.


Gopal Gidwani May 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Mr. LIC,

Agreed that LIC enjoys the position of being India’s largest insurance company. But this happened because LIC had monopoly over life insurance business from 1956 to 2000 which is 44 long years. If LIC would have had competition during these 44 years then it would have been interesting to see whether it would have enjoyed the same position of being the largest insurance company in India.

LIC is big even now because of the large base it has build over these 44 years. But since 2000 when private players were allowed to transact life insurance business, LIC has been losing market share. It will be interesting to see whether 15-20 years down the line if LIC manages to maintain the same position it is in now……..


ashok August 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm



SUDEEP November 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I completely agree with the gentleman that LIC has created a trust for itself and continues to do so.
Its been 12 long years since private player entered the market and still LIC is enjoyin a market share of 76% which has gone up in last couple of years..
We saw what happened to other public sector companies after privatisation notably Air India..Hats off to LIC for standing the test of times..


Baba Ramdev January 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

LIC’s biggest terrorists are its own AGENTS. They are the real culprits. I do not understand why LIC is not having an online term plan which will reduce its premiums drastically as the agents are getting a bigger chunk of the premiums paid a customer. Why THE HELL agents will get % from EACH premium ??? If LIC wants to spread its business with their agents LIC can consider paying commission ONCE only. Goto HELL LIC agents.


Gopal Gidwani January 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

LIC had made an announcement last year that they are coming up with an online term plan. Lot of people are eagerly waiting for it. But there is no update on it from LIC after that.


Santha Kumar N. June 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Happy Evening Gopal!

As I was comparing the online Term plan from where I found Aviva, ICICI, MetLife & AEGON Religare are with low premiums. Apart from settlement ratio and premium what should be the criteria I should use to evaluate the company

Or How do evaluate which company is covering online term plan considering the claims for Natural Calamity, Natural Death, Accidental death, Terrorist attract, Suicide (after one year).

Appreciate if you could share your thoughts

Santha Kumar N.


Gopal Gidwani June 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Hello Santha,

The points that you have raised for evaluating term insurance plans of life insurance companies like Natural Calamity, Natural Death, Accidental death, Terrorist attract, Suicide (after one year).

Well natural calamity and natural death are covered by almost all companies.

Also accidental death is covered by all companies wherein you get the sum assured and if you have taken an accidental death benefit rider you get additional sum assured.

With regards to terrorist attacks, well in the online ads of iTerm from Aegon Religare I have seen them advertising death due to terrorist attack is covered. Well I have seen the product brochures of the term plans of many life insurance companies. So far I have NOT come accross in the brochures of any company in the exclusions section mentioning death due to terrorist attack is not covered. So it implies that terrorist attack is covered as it is explicitly not mentioned in exclusions.

With regards to suicide after one year, all companies have this standard exclusion of death due to suicide is not covered in the first year. So this implies that death due to suicide is covered after one year as it is explicitly stated that it is not covered only within the 1st year.

Now coming to companies, ICICI Prudential has a claim settlement ratio of 91% for the year 2010-11 which is the 3rd best in the industry after LIC and HDFC Standard Life. You can also give a try to online term plan – ‘AnyTime’ Plan from IndiaFirst Life Insurance (joint venture between Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and Legal & General of UK as the foreign partner).


Gautam Biswas June 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hi all !

i am planning to take Aviva ilife plan for 25 lacs for 32 years………..can anybody tell me or guide me in this regard !!

Shall i go for ICICI Pru or Aviva online term plan !!


Gopal Gidwani June 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hi Gautam,

I would suggest you to go for ICICI Pru. They have a much better claim settlement ratio of 91% as compared to Aviva. Also you can consider ‘AnyTime’ Term Plan from IndiaFirst. It is promoted by PSU Banks.


Ajit Parab June 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Hello Mr Gopal,
I was viewing your comments and suggestions. Are u marketing pvt insure Co.
I feel what ever advise u give should not be price based. As we all know any good things in life come at a good price to be paid in advance.
When it comes to Insurance how can price determine the selection of buying Ins. From Various company’s. I think claim sttlement history should be the 1st priority as all claims will be settled in the absence of the person.
Check up on your strategy advise i think u are guiding people wrongly. I am a hotelier but i can understand what is the value of advise means? Thank u
Ajit P.


Gopal Gidwani June 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Hello Ajit,
You are the first person who has criticised me for the replies that I have given for the comments posted by people. So hearty congratulations to you for that!!! All this time I was in this illusion that I am doing a good job by guiding people correctly.

Now coming to replying to the issue that you have raised that I am marketing a private insurance company. Well for your kind information I am not associated with any private insurance company. If you read my articles you will find that I ask people to choose from 3-4 different companies or a mix of private and PSU life insurers. So I dont understand how you got this notion that I am marketing a private insurance company.

Also the article that you have commented on is based on the Claim Settlement Ratios of life insurance companies. So the objective of the article itself is to make people aware of the claim settlement ratios of life insurance companies and then accordingly take their decisions on from whom to buy life insurance. So I very well understand the importance of claim settlement ratio.

As far as guiding people is concerned, well I give answers based on the questions asked by readers. So if people ask me questions based on pricing of products then I will give answers based on pricing of products. And if people ask questions based on claim settlement ratios of companies then I will give answers based on claim settlement ratios of companies. So I dont think there is anything wrong with the way I am guiding people. So I dont know how you developed this conclusion about me. So now I request you to go through all the comments posted by people in this article again and check if I have given answers to people based on the questions (subject – product pricing or claim settlement ratio) that they have asked.

And lastly we live in a democratic country and people are free to form their conclusions and voice it.

Best Regards
Gopal Gidwani


akshay tyagi October 8, 2011 at 10:37 am

Ajit jee you may be right but not in case of poor people of india .Yes LIC is best & biggest in india but its too much high pemium is not good for those poor if you copare these with other private counterpart like kotak mahindra or bajaj ….etc.


Rakesh Kumar July 6, 2011 at 11:28 am

Good article.


Gopal Gidwani July 6, 2011 at 11:39 am

Hi Rakesh,

Thanks for the compliment!!!


Vipin Arora July 7, 2011 at 3:18 am

Hi Gopal, This is a very good article and provides good guidance. Ofcourse, people are expected to use their own preferences or priorities in taking final decision that suits their own specific needs. I found this informative and this has given me good data points to take my final decision on purchase of a high value policy. Looking forward to your next article on ‘rejection ratios’. Thanks


Gopal Gidwani July 7, 2011 at 5:24 am

Hi Vipin,

Thanks a lot for your compliment. It was good to know that the article helped with good data points to take a final decision on buying insurance


Dinesh Khanna July 12, 2011 at 7:04 am

Hi Gopal,
The artical is really good but i am unable to find Claim settlement ratio on IRDA website. Please help me in that.
One more thing, if you’re able to help me….
Why go for an online insurance product…Why not normal Insurance??


Gopal Gidwani July 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

Hi Dinesh,

You will find the details of Claim Settlement Ratio in the IRDA Annual Report. So you can go the the IRDA Website and download the IRDA Annual Report and in that you will find the claim settlement ratio of the insurance companies and lot more other details.

Regarding choosing between normal insurance plans and online insurance plans, well the premium for online insurance plans is much much lower than normal insurance plans as there are no agents commissions involved. The premium for an online term insurance plan is cheaper by 30-50% compared to a normal insurance plan.


k.mahesh August 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Dear ,
online product is good when the nominee is well educated. because calim process also online which is one way sometimes.
if offline local company persons will follow the same.


Gopal Gidwani August 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Hello Mahesh,
Thanks a lot for your comment. Can you please tell me where did you read that the claims for online insurance products have to be made online only? I never read anywhere that the claims for online products have to be submitted and processed online only. If you can help us with this information, it will be helpful to me and to the other readers of this blog.


Lakshman July 17, 2011 at 3:50 am

Hi Gopal,
Thanks for this informative article. The comments and your replies are equally informative and helpful. You are doing a great service. Yesterday I had a meeting with the employee of a Private Insurer. I asked him why I should pay higher premium for term insurance when the online plans were lot cheaper. And pat came the reply the claim settlements for online insurance plans is only 20%. I found this article while goggling for this sort of a statistic. I was under the impression that the premium is lower due to the lower cost involved, as there is no agent commission to be paid, etc. But this guy argued that the online plans do not ask a lot of questions at the time of issuing the policy. However, at the time of claim settlement, he implied, that the insurers reject the claim by stating that it was a pre-existing condition, etc which would not be the case if I did all the paper-work (and paid higher premium). Immediately I asked him that in that case I would go for 10% of my coverage needs through him and the balance through his company’s online portal. As the Insurer would have all my details he cannot reject my claim. And this guy says still there is a 20% risk that my claim will not be settled. Was this guy making up statistics as the discussion progressed? Is it possible to find this information?


Gopal Gidwani July 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Hello Lakshman,
You can ask the agent what supporting document he has to substantiate his point that claim settlement for online insurance plans is only 20%? The claim settlement ratio for companies is released by IRDA on an annual basis in its annual report. The claim settlement ratio for each company is the overall claim settlement ratio for all the products/ plans of that company. There is no break up given of the claim settlement ratio of each product separately. So I dont know how this agent mentions that the claim settlement ratio for online plans is only 20%.

Also companies do ask detailed information in online application forms. Also if in case some point is missed out by the insurance company (which normally doesnt happen); it is the duty of the insured to declare it in the form so that later there is no problem in settling the claim. Also as per Section 45 (Indisputably Clause) of the Insurance Act after completion of 2 years of the policy, an insurance company cannot reject / dispute a claim on grounds of misrepresentation (suppression of any information) by the insured unless the company proves that such misrepresentation was done intentionally (fraudulently) by the insured to cheat the insurance company.

So you can go ahead and buy a policy online. Please note that there are no problems whatsover in buying an online policy.

With lot of companies introducing online plans bypassing agents to cut costs and passing the same benefits to customers in the form of lower premiums, the agent’s survival is at stake. Agents who are full time in this business feel the pinch even more from online plans as they directly eat into their business and thereby their income.


Lakshman July 21, 2011 at 4:13 am

Thank You Gopal,
Your reply puts everything in context. The guy who visited me had no supporting documents. He tried to give me the impression that he had inside information of the industry (which I did not). He was an employee and not an agent. But my friends tell me that even the employees have incentives based on the business that they have brought in. So, I plan to go for online policies with multiple insurers. Thanks for the help.


Gopal Gidwani July 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hi Lakshman,

You can go for online insurance policy, it is the same as normal policies. As you have mentioned it is better to spread your insurance cover over multiple insurers so that at the time of the claim if one insurer pays the claim and the other does not, then you can use the same to ask the second insurer to settle the claim who has rejected it.


Sachin July 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hello Mr. Gopal,
my age is 31 and and alreday have LIC term Plan amulya jeevan for 30lakhs. i want to increase my risk cover and take another 1 crore cover thru online term plans, on comparison of online term plans for 1 crore and 30 years, i have shortlisted 2 plans Aviva ILife and ICICI Iprotect. in the first one i am getting a premium of around rs 8513/- and for iProtect im getting a premium of 12685/-. iProtect does not cover terrorist attack risk cover. i am not able to decide which one to go for. considering both cost, claim settlement ratio which one would u prefer.


Gopal Gidwani July 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Hello Sachin,
I would suggest split your term cover of 1 crore into 2 policies rather than going for one. For 49 Lakhs cover you can go for ‘AnyTime’ Plan of IndiaFirst Life Insurance. It is a joint venture between PSU Banks: Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank. I say 49 lakhs for this policy because this is the maximum amount they offer. For the remaining 51 Lakhs cover you can go for iProtect from ICICI Prudential. ICICI Pru is slightly costlier than Aviva, but then it has a better claim settlement ratio of above 90% as compared to 87% of Aviva. Also where did you read that iProtect is not covering Terrorist Attacks? I went through the iProtect Brochure and could come across only the ‘death due to suicide in the 1st year’ exclusion. Apart from this I did not see any other exclusions. For ‘Accident Death Benefit’ amount payment they have some other terms and conditions. But for the iProtect Option 1 plan (without accident death benefit) I did not find any exclusions apart from suicide clause. So can you please clarify from where did you get this information? It will be useful for me and the other readers of this blog.


Yogesh July 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

Hi Gopal,
Let me first thank your for extracting good piece of information for us from IRDA report and also for diligently replying all the insurance queries.

I was just goggling some of the reviews for the low cost online term plans like Aviva i-Life, Metlife MetProtect etc.
In of the review, someone mentioned that after medical, they increase premium amount by 60-100% sighting underwriter decision although medicals are fine, you get annoyed and ask for cancellation and full refund, they deduct 50-80% of the premium amount you originally paid thinking you are making an investment 🙂 .. call customer care .. they tell its the system although its nowhere written and in fact initially you will be told medicals is free of charge and the website says you will be charged medical, stamp fees etc only if you decide to exit yourself during freelook period. .. customer care further tells u its no use to complain, escalate, try reaching his/her supervisor etc.. you may be told that someone/supervisor will get back but no replies, no replies to emails etc

Check te below link

By reading all this, i think it’s better to go with LIC by paying some extra bucks but at least live in peace with better assurance that your loved ones future is secured .



Gopal Gidwani July 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Hello Yogesh,

Thanks for your comment.
Don’t use one example to generalise the same for all online plans of insurance companies. Yes I agree in some cases insurers increase the premiums based on the risk assessment done by the underwriters and in some cases insurers even deny insurance cover. But these are rare cases and the decision taken by the insurers depends on how the case has been rated by its underwriting team. No insurance company would like to refuse business that is coming their way.

Regarding deductions made by the insurance company for policies cancelled during the freelook period, insurers can deduct stamp duty, medical examination charges and the premium for the risk cover provided till the plan was in force. Well, as you have mentioned no insurance company would deduct 50-80% of the premium for that. Also some companies as a goodwill gesture dont deduct these charges and refund the full premium amount, although nothing stops them from deducting these charges before processing the refund amount.
You can give a try to ‘AnyTime’ plan from IndiaFirst Life Insurance or ‘iProtect’ plan from ICICI Prudential. Well if you are still not convinced and still would like to go for LIC, then you can do so. Afterall at the end of the day you should buy insurance from someone whom you are comfortable with. Mind you I have nothing against LIC. LIC is a great company and stood the test of time for more than 5 long decades and it still continues to be the market leader by a big margin. I admire the company a lot and have the highest respect for it. Only thing is their term plan is little more costly than term plans of other companies and also they dont have a online term plan. Buying insurance is more important, from whom you buy is secondary!!!


Mohammad Shabbir Khan July 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Dear Gopal
You said “Buying insurance is more important, from whom you buy is secondary!! !”

This mean that taking medicine is more important , which medicine you take is secondary. Are logo ko marvaoge kya yar.

I strongly believe it is equally important from whom u buy as buying insurance.

your statement is very loose dear, and u are misguiding people.

It is good that you have knowledge about insurance but how u use your knowledge for your profit is called wisdom. If you dont have wisdom the knowledge is waste.

Thoda to akal ka istemal karo yar. kyu thode se paise bachane ke chakkar me risk le rahe ho. Jab claim ka mamla aayga na to ye yaad nahi rahega ki kitna premium kam diya, yad sirf yahi rahega ki yaar kaash thodha jyada premium hi de diya hota.
Think the difference between NOKIA and CHINA MOBILE.


Gopal Gidwani July 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Hello Mohammad,
Thanks for your comment. Appreciate it!!!

I think you have misinterpreted my comment. Let me try to explain what I meant by that statement.

Lot of people ask about comparison between LIC and other private insurers. So I present them cheaper options compared to LIC if they are comfortable buying insurance from private insurers. Private insurers also have a good claim settlement ratio like LIC. Its just that LIC has a better claim settlement ratio than other insurers. If they are still not convinced then I suggest them to go for LIC plans by paying a little higher premium. Thats why I said they should buy insurance (which is primary rather than not buying at all) and whether they buy from LIC or private insurer is secondary. Now this does not mean I am against LIC and favouring private insurers. If LIC comes out with a cheaper term insurance plan then definitely lot of people will go for it. I will also go for it!!!

So when people ask me, I just give them my opinion which is not binding on them to follow. I am not here to misguide people as you have mentioned. Also people are intelligent enough not to be misguided by me or anyone else. I hope I have clarified my point.

Also companies dont reject claims without any valid reasons. If they do that then IRDA and other bodies like insurance ombudsman, courts etc are there to help people and penalise insurance companies for wrongly rejecting any valid claims.


Girish January 9, 2012 at 7:10 am


Your response is SPOT ON. One example is not enough to show. I recently bought an iLife policy of 1.5Cr for a premium of 15.5k and after the medical tests there was no increase in premium. Now I have no idea about the claims (hope they are good) but so far its been a good experience. Even my brother did buy iLife insurance and he also got the same premium as what was initially quoted.


Gopal Gidwani January 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

Hi Girish,

Thanks for your comment.

The claim settlement ratio of Aviva Life Insurance according to the IRDA website is 87.11% for 2009-10 and 84.15% for 2010-11. Please note that this is the overall claim settlement ratio for the company and not for iLife plan. IRDA does not give product wise break up of claim settlement ratio.

Don’t worry about the claim settlement ratio. If the applicant declares everything required honestly, the insurance company settles the claim.


Sachin Bassaiye July 26, 2011 at 8:13 am

i m planning to buy a term plan of SA 1.5 crores, wt criteria i should be viewing to buy the plan, i m thinking to buy ICICI term plan,
Guide me on the same,


Gopal Gidwani July 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hello Sachin,
Apart from premium you should look at things like claim settlement ratio, customer service, features of the product, maximum tenure, maximum maturity age, what all is covered and what all is not covered (exclusions) etc etc. ICICI Pru has a claim settlement ratio of 91% which is third best in the industry after LIC and HDFC. You can also split your cover between 2 companies instead of one to spread the risk.


Rakesh July 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

Can you give your inputs for comparision between i-Life from Aviva and iProtect from ICICI? Which one is better?
I had a word with HDFC regarding their term plan. There premium is higher when compared to Aviva and ICICI. When I asked him to prove why his bank’s insurance is better, the talked about “claim settlement ratio” and “marginal solvency ratio” being better than Aviva and iProtect. Apart from these 2 reasons, he only talked about Brand value.


Gopal Gidwani July 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Hello Rakesh,
Between ICICI Pru and Aviva the claim settlement ratio of ICICI Pru is slightly better at 91% than Aviva’s 87%. Also if you compare ICICI Pru’s 90% with HDFC’s 91%, then HDFC is just marginally ahead. For comparison purpose apart from premium you should look at things like claim settlement ratio, customer service, features of the product, maximum tenure, maximum maturity age, what all is covered and what all is not covered (exclusions) etc etc. You can also split your cover between 2 companies instead of one to spread the risk.


Mahesh Shinde July 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

Hi Gopal,
Nice Article.

I am planning to buy 1 crore term plan from ICICI (on line, i-protect). I asks about smoking and non smoking option. I quit smoking about 2 years back. Which one should I select?
Currently I have Amulya Jivan (50 Lakh), I find it very expensive when compared to i-protect. Planning to discontinue this policy, please suggest.

Best Regards,
Mahesh Shinde


Gopal Gidwani July 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Hello Mahesh,

In the comments section you can mention that you have quit smoking 2 years back. In case they dont have a column for additional comments, then I suggest you speak to their customer care and get it clarified before filling the form. Regarding discontinuing the existing plan that you have, I will suggest don’t discontinue it till the new policy is not issued. Once the new policy is issued then you can discontinue with the existing policy after some time.


ashish July 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm

hello sir ,
i read all ur articles and they were very informative ,
i was planning to go for aviva online term policy , but as i went to ur articles i got confused between aviva and ICICI . on to that my friend suggested me to go for MAX NEWYORK LIFE insurance,,,,,,, kindly give ur valuable opinion based on claim settlement ratio and premium


Gopal Gidwani July 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Hello Ashish,
You can split your insurance cover between ‘Anytime’ Plan from IndiaFirst Life Insurance and ‘iProtect’ Plan from ICICI Pru.

ICICI Pru has a good claim settlement ratio of 91%.


raj July 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm

i m working in merchant navy and wanted to buy a term plan for 1 crore.
but i don know whether to mention my merchant navy job, dont know if there is any additional premium to be paid for that.
i spoke wid many lic agents but they dont know abt this….
can someome suggest anything about this.


Gopal Gidwani July 31, 2011 at 8:03 am

Hello Raj,

It is never a good idea to hide anything. If you are working in merchant navy, you should declare it in your application form. Regarding whether you will be required to pay any additional premium, well you can get this clarified by speaking to the insurance company’s customer care or emailing them before applying for the policy. Make sure you declare everything in good faith. This makes claim settlement process smooth.


Santha Kumar N July 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I thought to add few points to Gopal Gidwani on Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR), Claim Pending Ratio (CPR), Claims Repudiation Ratio (CRR). Please find the defenition of CSR, CPR & CRR which helps you to narrow down the product. Below details I collected when I interacted with Aviva iLife Insurance product

Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR): This is basically linked to how many claims a company received vs claims settled. For example a CSR of 30% would mean that only 3 out of 10 claims that the company receives is being settled and will be considered low. As per independent analysis, for a company which has been in operation before 2007, a CSR of below 78% is a concern area.

Aviva’s Response: CSR is at 87% as per the recent IRDA report (2009-10) and we rank 7th among private players.

Claim Pending Ratio (CPR): This means what percentage of claims are pending out of total number of claims booked. a CPR of 50% means 5 out of 10 claims registered were pending at the end of 2010 fical. For a company that’s more that four years old, a high pending claims ratio means poort claims settlement standards.

Aviva’s response : Aviva’s CPR is 3.14% as per the IRDA report (2009-10) which is among the 4th best among private players. (The actual pending ratio is 1.17% only as 1.97% cases are admitted for payment but are pending for want of Succession certificate from the claimants)

Claims Repudiation Ratio (CRR) : This means how many claims were rejected out of the total number of claims booked. For example a CRR of 40% means that 4 out of 10 claims made get rejected by the insurance company. The CRR is as much a reflection on the underwriting standards of the insurer as well as a reflection on the policyholder who gives incorrect or shoddy information at the time of buying the policy.

Aviva’s reponse : Aviva’s CRR is 9.75% as per recent IRDA report (2009-10) and we rank 10th in the industry. For us to move up the ladder, the onus is on us to ensure that we encourage the customers to fill in the correct details when buying an insurance policy and encourage the sales person who is the primary underwriter in any life office to explain the importance of utmost good faith in an insurance contract and elicit complete and correct information at inception.


Gopal Gidwani August 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Hello Mr. Santha,
Thanks a lot for the valuable inputs. This is really very helpful!!!


Anand August 2, 2011 at 7:10 am

Hi Gopal,
Which are the profitable Insurance companies that you mentioned earlier ? Does it make sense to buy from one of them?

Also, what is your take on the Aviva Life Shiel Plus which returns the premiums at the end of the policy term?


Gopal Gidwani August 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Hello Mr. Anand,

Out of the 23 life insurance companies operating in India, I believe 7-10 companies were profitable last year. I don’t have the exact statistics for this year. But the insurance company not being profitable will not affect claim settlement. Life insurance business is a very capital intensive business and all private companies made losses in the first few years before turning profitable. But they never rejected any claims because they were making losses. Claims are settled from the life fund.

As per IRDA Rules the solvency margins to be maintained by life insurance companies is 150%. This in simple words means for every Rs. 100 of insurance business (cover) the company undertakes, it has to keep aside Rs. 150 for claim settlement.

Regarding ‘Return of Premium’ (ROP) plans, I would suggest you go for a pure term insurance plan. You can invest the difference between the premium of a ROP Plan and a pure term plan in diversified equity mutual funds. You will make much more returns than the premium you will get back from the insurance company on the maturity of your ROP Plan.


Abid Ali August 8, 2011 at 6:07 am

Hello team
Thanks for Showing claim ratio of all the insurance comp .. its realy helpful to copair to ther insurance comp..


Gopal Gidwani August 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Hello Abid,
Thanks for your comment. It was nice to know that the article was useful to you!!!


manoj somawan August 8, 2011 at 9:40 am

hi Gopal,
I was going through the IRDA report to refer the claim settlement ratios of various companies.But they have categorised the same in LIC and private companies only.How can you refer the same according to company.


Gopal Gidwani August 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Hello Mr. Manoj,
You are referring to the data on page 18 of the IRDA Annual Report where the categorisation is done as LIC and private companies. But if you go to page 105 and 106 of the IRDA Annual Report you will get the break of the Claim Details of all individual companies.


Himanshu August 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

Hi Gopal,

First of all let me congratulate and thank you for providing such a detail and good information on all premium insurance policies. I have 2 Questions
1. I had taken LIC-Money back insurance some years back when i did not have much idea about insurance and i took it as cover + investment. I regret that decision as I am paying hefty yearly premium and still not getting significant coverage. So I am planning to move to ICICI/HDFC Term Insurance policy now. My question is what is the diff if I terminate the LIC policy first and then take new one or first take the new one and terminate LIC policy after some months
2. As a typical conservative person, i have some apprehension about going for private insurance with fear that there may be the case that these private companies can do bankrupt or close in some years so how my money is safeguard as compared to LIC.


Gopal Gidwani August 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Hello Himanshu,
I will suggest you first take the new policy and continue with the old policy for the next one year and then close it. This will make sure that you have insurance cover during the transition period. If you close the existing policy first and then apply for a new policy and in the interim period if something happens, then what? You will be without insurance cover during that period.

With regards to the safety of your money with private insurance companies: Please note that IRDA stipulated a Solvency Margin requirement of 150% for life insurance companies. This in simple terms means that for every Rs. 100 cover that insurance companies underwrite, they have to keep Rs. 150 aside for claim settlement. So dont worry about claim settlement. All insurance companies have more money than required to settle their claims.


rajendra August 17, 2011 at 9:25 am

what is the meaning of term plan for 25 years, 20 years? and maximum age limit 65 years, 75 years?


Gopal Gidwani August 20, 2011 at 11:12 am

Hello Rajendra,
The meaning of term plan for 25 years, 20 years means at the time of taking the plan you can choose for how many years you want to take the plan. It means whether you want to take the plan for 20 years or whether you want to take the plan for 25 years. According to the tenure choosen you have to pay the premium for that many number of years.

Regarding Maximum Age, there are 2 things.

One is maximum entry age. In some cases the maximum entry age specified is say for example 60 years. This in simple terms meaning any person who is less than 60 years or upto the age of 60 years can buy the plan.
The other is maximum maturity age. In some cases the maximum maturity age specified is say for example 75 Years. This is simple terms means all persons who have taken the plan, for them the plan will mature when they complete 75 years or before that according to the tenure chosen.


ADITYA August 18, 2011 at 3:22 am

Hi, i want to purchase Term plan from Kotak Prefered Term Plan or LIC of India.
i want max. details including medical details, documents required terms & conditions etc. Can anybody help me?

thanks for your support


Gopal Gidwani August 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

Hello Aditya,
You can download the product brochures from the company websites. They have all the details that you are looking for.

Regarding Medicals; well this depends on the sum assured that you go for. If the cover amount is high the company will ask for a medical check-up. This limit varies from company to company. Also if a person has some family medical history, or are engaged in some hazardous occupation, or if a person smokes and/or drinks, then in such cases also the company will ask a person to go through a medical checkup.

Regarding documents you will have to submit one photograph, one photo id proof (PAN Card or Driving Licence or Passport etc), one address proof (electricity bill, phone bill, bank statement, Other insurance company premium receipt etc), one income proof if required (Bank statement, salary slip, Form 16, Income Tax Returns Receipt etc)

Regarding the terms and conditions; well for this you should read the product brochure.
Thanking You!!!


ashok August 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm



Sachin August 21, 2011 at 6:37 am

Hi Gopal,

I am planning for a term life insurance. I want to know that if after paying first premium of the policy and thereafter undergoing health check up as required by the provider, i am asked to pay a higher premium due to any of their findings in the medical report, to which my not agreeing to, what charges will i have to pay for not continuing the policy.
Also need to know what medical tests are done at the time of checkup. I am asking this as medical examination charges can be fictiously escalated by the provider in case of my decision on not continuing the policy.

Best Regards


Gopal Gidwani August 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Hello Sachin,
In case you apply for the policy (premium paid) and later decide to discontinue due to premium being increased, the company may deduct charges for 3 things:
1) Medical Examination Cost
2) Stamp Duty Charges (if already paid) – Stamp Duty is applicable in case of Life Insurance Policies
3) Mortality Charge (cover for risk of death) for Life Insurance cover offered till the time of cancellation of the policy.

But some companies as a goodwill gesture may refund the entire amount in case you decide not to continue due to premium increased after medical examination. One example that I am aware of is IndiaFirst Life Insurance. Their executive told me that they refund the entire premium in case the applicant does not wish to continue after the medical test if the premium is required to be increased. I was told this by the customer care on the phone and so I dont have a written confirmation of this. Please confirm from your side with the company on this point before applying (in case you decide to apply with them).

Regarding your second query most insurance companies divide medical check-ups into categories. Some insurance companies may call it Catergory 1 Heath Check-up, Catergory 2 Heath Check-up, Catergory 3 Heath Check-up, Catergory 4 Heath Check-up etc. etc.. Some insurance companies may call it Catergory A Heath Check-up, Catergory B Heath Check-up, Catergory C Heath Check-up, Catergory D Heath Check-up and so on and so forth. Now which category you will fall in is decided based on your Age, the Cover applied for and the declarations made by you at the time of applying for the policy.

So you will know in advance which medical check up you are going for. Also insurance companies have costs fixed for each of the categories of medical check-ups. So you will know in advance the category of medical check-up and the cost for it. Check with the insurance company on the details of this before applying. So dont worry the insurance company wont fictiously escalate medical examination charges in case you decide not to continue with them.


ashok August 21, 2011 at 8:14 am



Gopal Gidwani August 21, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Hello Mr. Ashok,
You can write to me at


aditya August 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Ashok Ji,



ashok August 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

thanks for reply
check for attachment in ur mail policy holder complaint to irda and irda reply


Gopal Gidwani August 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Hello Mr. Ashok,
Thanks for your email. I did go through it. These documents are dated back to 2010. At that time IRDA may not be interfering in individual claims. As I have not come across any such cases I cannot comment on that. But courts and insurance ombudsman were there to help policyholders at that time also and now also.

But now IRDA has set up a grievance redressal cell to help policyholders in faster settlement of claims. IRDA can be reached at 155255 or through email. Also apart from grievance redressal cell, IRDA has also come up with the Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS). Through IGMS through the IRDA policyholders can complaint to insurance companies and IRDA monitors these complaints from time to time to ensure faster resolution of complaints.


dr.sanjay kripalani August 25, 2011 at 7:33 am

I am having term plans of Rs.50 lac from lic. I have other insurance plans from: lic-jeevanshree(reg. premiums)-10 lacs,kotac(ulip-3 premiums–already paid)-10 lacs,bajaj allainz(ulip-2 premiums–already paid)-10 lacs.
I want a term plan of Rs.1 cr. what do u suggest- which companies should i select online


Gopal Gidwani August 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Hello Mr. Sanjay,

You can choose from the below options
AnyTime Plan from IndiaFirst Life Insurance
iProtect Plan from ICICI Prudential Life Insurance
iTerm Plan from Aegon Religare Life Insurance
ePreferred Plan from Kotak Life Insurance

You can read more about these plan at the below link


Pawan August 30, 2011 at 4:31 am

Hi Gopal,

My age is 55 years and I am tobacco user. I need a term plan of 15 years for sum assured of 5 or 10 lakhs . I stay in a place called Shamli. Can you please let me know which term plan to take?

Looking forward for your reply!


Gopal Gidwani August 31, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Hello Pawan,
Most of the online term plans are offered in select cities. You can check with ICICI Prudential if they are offering iProtect plan in Shamli. Else you will have to go for an offline term plan. In offline term plans you can consider Preferred Term Plan from Kotak Life Insurance or Aviva Life Shield Plus. In your case the premium will be higher compared to other people as you are a tobacco user.


Pawan September 5, 2011 at 6:12 am

What is the diffence between online and offline term plan? And what about IndiaFirstLife insurance, thet cover every city of India? Do you have any inputs on them?


vimal vajir August 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm

What is Accident Death Benifit ?
Wich type of Accident is cover in accident death benifit ?


Nitin Sindhi September 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm


You have in several cases advised AnyTime’ plan from IndiaFirst Life Insurance . However, their claim settlement ratio is around 53%. Should we still go ahead with this plan?




Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Hello Nitin,
The claim settlement ratio of all insurance companies is low in the first few years. But that does not mean they are bad companies. In the first few years insurance companies do lot for detailed investigations than normal and hence claim settlement takes lot more time than normal, established companies.

So you can go for IndiaFirst. In case you want to buy an online term plan from an established company then do consider ‘Click2Protect’ from HDFC Life


SATHISHWER REDDY September 10, 2011 at 7:38 am

Dear Gopal,

Thanks for your information and study you have done on insurance,

I want to have
30 lac coverage of normal death and Permanent disability
50 lac coverage of accidental including normal
reasonable amount for critical illness
and also other riders which gives other benefit part of Term plan

Please suggest the best policy which covers the terrorism also

Sathishwer Reddy


Anupam September 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm


Mai Term Plan lena chah reha hu per ye decide nahi kar pa reha hu ki Offline lu ya Online… log online lene ke lie mana kar rahe hai kahte hai claim settelment me dikkat hogi! jabki online lene me primum mujhe kum pay karna par reha hai …or dusra Question ? hai ki kis company ka achha rahega (1) ICICI (2) Kotak (3) India First ya phir koi or


Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Hello Anupam,
Online plan mein claim settlement mein koi dikat nahi hogi. Aap HDFC Life ka ‘Click2Protect’ plan le sakte hai.


Saraswathi Narayanan September 12, 2011 at 8:15 am

Hi Gopal

I have read your article and find it very useful. I have a question – can the agreed insurance premium amount be changed by the insurance provider during the term of the policy? The reason why I ask this question is – when I check for a term plan premium from ICIC prudential for a term of 30 years for Rs.50 lakhs, it is Rs.7300, whereas from LIC, for a similar plan it is Rs.23,000 – more than three times higher. So where is the catch..? Can private players increase the premium once we take the policy later..?


Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Once the premium has been fixed, it cannot be changed by the insurance company anytime between the tenure of the plan


viren September 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

Dear Gopal,

Thanks for information of insurance claims and premiums, and also the descriptive details in replying various queries from readers.

I got 2 queries if you can find some time to reply –

1. Are there any stats available regarding –

a. Average settlement time for each company (on a wholistic basis), similar to settlement ratio? Usually more than claims rejected, the process kills the heirs, and many times they are minors who are in their primary schools, having no idea about the complex world knit by insurance companies.

b. Break-up of claims settlement ratio and settlement time averages for various categories such as term plans, endowment plans, and others on death of the insured? That will give us the idea if a person only has a term plan, then how he is treated VS if he is a multi-product subscriber for the same company.

2. Regarding IndiaFirst, I have only seen the website today after your suggestions, and I must say its an impressive website. But its a new entrant, and providing a cheap plan. Moreover it is founded by PSU banks backing to bring their attitude, lethargy in processes and apaty to customers. Finally, there is no advertising done by this company so people won’t even know if we have to call a witness in a legal case to testify that they have seen so and so advertisement in so and so medium for this company. As such, how sensible is it to go with them even if they seem to be a solid option with good financial backing and cheap premiums? Someone who already has a good LIC/ICICI option and wants to have additional plan, can choose to do so with the risk involved.

Thanks in advance.



Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Hello Viren,
You can refer the IRDA Annual report for details like average time taken to settle the claims. IRDA does not give the plan wise claim settlement ratio. Normally insurance companies dont differentiate between policyholders based on the type of plan they have bought.
Regarding IndiaFirst, I have seen quite a few of their ads on television and on the internet. They are spreading awareness about themselves. If you want a second policy after first with LIC, then it makes sense to go with IndiaFirst. When a person has 2 policies and if one company pays the claim, the same can be used to pressurise the other company to settle the claim


Anupam Kashyap September 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm


I am 31 year old( DOB 18-09-1980) looking for Term insurance plan of Rs.25 Lakh for (20yrs Term) , I am confused which company should is select due to huge premuim difference.
Aviva I life for 30 years offer on Rs. 3470/year whereas Kotak offers Rs 3832. Which Company is best for me

Pls suggest.


Anupam Kashyap


Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Apart from premium, you can look at things like customer service and claim settlement ratio to decide which company to go for. Recently HDFC Life has also come out with an online term plan ‘Click2Protect’


Pavas Bhatnagar September 22, 2011 at 7:40 am

Hi Gopal,

Very informative article..I am basically looking for a really affordable Term Plan and after evaluating the same. I have concluded that I should go with Aviva i-Life plan but still confused if something happens to me during the tenure of the policy, will Aviva people provide the Sum Assured to my family or not.

I am confused regarding the claim settlement from Aviva Life. Please suggest whether I should go for this plan or not?


Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Hello Pavas,
Aviva has a claim settlement ratio of 87% which is good. In case you want to go for a company with higher claim settlement ratio then you can look at HDFC Life which has recently come out with an online term plan ‘Click2Protect’


Johnson September 1, 2012 at 11:00 am

LIC may have 98% claim settlement ,the rejected people may mostly opted term insurance also. we cannot justify with overall claim settlement ratio.


Gopal Gidwani September 4, 2012 at 5:53 am

Hello Johnson,
IRDA does not give a break up of the claim settlement ratio as per the plans. So it will not be appropriate on my part to comment on it.


sudhanshu badola September 27, 2011 at 8:54 am

Hi Gopal,

Thanks for the valuable inputs. I am a 28 years old healthy person. I am a non smoker and planning to take 2 policies with 1 crore as sum assured for a span of 30 years. I have one endowment policy from LIC and 1 pension plan from ICICI which provide some sum assured in the case of death. Do i need to mention this while opting for the Life insurance policy?
I want to opt for Accidental death rider + accidental disability rider + critical illness rider in my policy. Can you please help me in finalizing the 2 companies for which i should go for?
Do companies include terrorist death in settling the claims?
I have history of having diabetes in my family. Though i havent chekced for it, do i need to mention this to insurance firm so that they can conduct medical test for that also?
Can insurance company increase the premium amount after medical test?
I have heard that some of the riders which are available in offline policies are not available in online policies. Is this true?

I will be very much thankful to you if you can reply to my queries.

Thanks and Regards


Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Hello Sudhanshu,
You have raised quite a few questions. Let me answer them one by one
1) You should mention the details of all the existing policies that you have in the application form when applying for a new policy.
2) Yes it is true that some of the riders that may be available with offline term plans may not be available with online term plans. The rider that is commonly offered by lot of online term plans is accidental death benefit rider. Other riders offered vary from company to company
3) These days lot of companies do cover terrorist attacks. But before you finalise any plan of any company, it is better to get this point clarified from the company. AnyTime plan of IndiaFirst Life Insurance and iTerm Plan of Aegon Religare do cover terrorist attacks. I cannot comment on the plans of other companies as I am not aware of whether they cover terrorist attacks or not
4) Any family medical history should definitely be mentioned in the application form
5) Yes, insurance company can increase the premium after medical test. After the medical test if the insurance comes to a conclusion that this is not a standard risk, then they can accept the insurance proposal on modified terms. This can include increase in premium or exclusion of certain things or addition of some other terms and conditions. Some companies can also alltogether reject the insurance application and refund the premium.


Pawan Rawat October 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Hi Gopal,

Thanks for this very nice and interesting article. I am planning to buy Aviva’s iLife plan (actually ICICI’s iProtect is closed now and this the cheapest plan i have found as compared to other online term plans). Please suggest me whether i should go with this plan or is there any better plan avaliable.



Gopal Gidwani October 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Hello Mr. Pawan,
Lot of people these days buy two term insurance policies. One from LIC for a small amount and the second from a private insurer (online term plan for lower premium and higher cover). The rationale they given behind this is if LIC settles the claim it will automatically put pressure on the other private insurance company to settle the claim, irrespective of whatever reason the private insurer give for rejecting the claim. So in your case also you can go for a smaller amount term policy from LIC and for the remaining higher amount you can go for Aviva’s iLife Policy.
In case you want to consider any other plan apart from Aviva’s iLife, then you can have a look at Anytime Plan from IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company or iTerm Plan from Aegon Religare Life Insurance or e-Preferred Term Plan from Kotak Life Insurance Company. You can read about the comparison of these plan at the following link:


Pawan Rawat October 11, 2011 at 5:13 am

Thanks Gopal ji,

Your advice is really helpful.

Pawan Rawt


Gopal Gidwani January 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Hello Pawan,
It was good to know that the advise helped you!!!


Deepak October 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

Dear Gopal
Thank you very much for articles which is very helpfull to me grow in my insurance carrer


Gopal Gidwani January 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Hello Deepak,
I am happy to know the articles on the website have helped you in growing your insurance cover. Please do share the website articles with your family and friends.


Shreyas October 14, 2011 at 6:16 am

Few more questions on Term insurance policy:

1) Does every term insurance policy covers death due to Air plane crash/accident (in India and abroad) plus Nuclear attack/spillage?
2) Since policy does not state covering of specific un-natural deaths, how do one know the exclusions on type of deaths especially when a person is not knowing the type of un-natural deaths as per the insurance company?
3) At the time of claiiming the sum assured value, will there be any deductions by the company from the sum assured value? Are there any taxes deduction by government from Sum assured value?
4) Who will get the sum assured value in case of policy holder death along with a nominee (e.g. in an accident)? What is the procedure to get the sum assured amount in that case?


Gopal Gidwani December 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Hello Shreyas,
The questions that you have raised, even I dont have answers to some of them
1) I am not very sure of the 1st point raised by you. Some insurance companies require the insured to inform them at time of travelling abroad.
2) The only exclusion that lot of policies have mentioned in their wording is about death due to suicide in the first year of the policy. Unless until something is not explicitly mentioned that it is not covered, it implies that things other than those mentioned in exclusion section, are covered.
3) Normally there will be no deductions from the sum assured by the insurance company. Some exceptions to this rule that I can think of will be things like unpaid premium/s, loans outstanding, interest on such loans
4) In case the life insured and nominee die at the same time, the policy money will go to the legal heir. This can be decided by a ‘Will’ or in case there is no will then the court can decide that.


Ajay October 19, 2011 at 8:08 am

Hi Gopal,

Thanks for providing comprehensive information on term plans. I am looking for a cover of 50L. From your posts, i can see that you are in favor of ICICI’s iprotect. However, currently there is no product by this name on their website. Instead, they have a product by name of iCare with a maximum cover of 1.5 crore (age band – 18 to 50). I am also considering HDFC Life and Kotak’s e-preferred.
Currently, i am not suffering from any major ailments. However, my elder son currently 3.5 years underwent treatment for malignant tumor. Do i need to disclose my son’s medical history as well?


Gopal Gidwani November 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

i-protect has been replaced with i-care by IPru.

HDFC has recently come out with an online plan – Click 2 Protect. Other that you can consider include
anytime plan from indiafirst life insurance or
i-life from aviva or
i-term from aegon religare or
metprotect from metlife or
e-preferred term plan from kotak life insurance

You can mention about your elder son’s tumor treatment in family medical history, but that will not affect your medical underwriting. Medical history affects if the applicant’s parent/s are suffering from some hereditary or critical illness.


Mukesh October 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

HI Gopal,

I need ur advise. My monthly income 28000 & my age 30. I have a baby girl less than a year old. I am planning to take term plan with accident & critial illness rider.
i wish to take 20 Lakh normal death & 20 for Accidental. in this case if the death is thro accident the insurer will be paid 40 lakh or only 20. Also advise me which insurance comp i can go for. I do not want the family to suffer to get the settlement after the loss.


Gopal Gidwani November 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm

With regards to the scenario that you have given above, if death happens due to accident then the company will pay Rs 40 lakhs. If death happens due to any reason other than accident then the insurance company will pay Rs 20 lakhs.
You can choose from
anytime plan from indiafirst life insurance or
i-life from aviva or
i-term from aegon religare or
metprotect from metlife or
e-preferred term plan from kotak life insurance


Vikas October 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Hello Gopal ji,

I bought a 50 lacs online term insurance from Aegon last year @ 6500 premium. This year, I just checked other companies, and Aviva is offering the same @ 5000 premium.

Would you recommend a switch ?



Gopal Gidwani November 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hello Vikas,
If you switch the new policy underwriting will be done again. Which means you may be required to undergo a medical test again. If there is no loading on premium after medical check-up then you may consider a switch. You will save Rs 1500 per annum


Pradeep November 2, 2011 at 6:47 am

Dear Gopal,
Your article is very useful, I am planning to buy Term Insurance for 25 Lac.
Do I have to consider the claim settlement ratio for policies which are sold online ? If yes, which Insurance company has the maximum Online claim settlement ratio.

Please suggest me cheapest online Term plan for me. I am a occasional smoker, and planning to quit smoking soon.


Gopal Gidwani November 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Hello Pradeep,

IRDA does not give bifurcation of claim settlement ratios for companies for online plans and offline plans separately. Infact there is no difference in claim settlement by insurance companies whether the policy was bough online or offline


SURENDRA KUMAR November 3, 2011 at 5:29 am

hello Friend,


Gopal Gidwani November 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Hello Surendra,
Your point is well taken. I also agree that premium should not be the only point to decide which company a person should take insurance from. Claim settlement ratio is one of the important criterion to decide which company to buy insurance from. This article has been written with the same thing in mind to educate readers about the claim settlement ratio of all insurance companies and the importance of claim settlement ratio


kirti arya November 3, 2011 at 10:11 am

i m a government employee of age 25yrs. with annual package of 4.5 lakh
i m planning to take a life insurance plan of 1 cr. plz tell me i should go for only lic or i can take other private plans also?if i should take lic only thn what r its benefits?i should concentrate on premium amount or claim settlement ratio?how about going for money back insurance plan?i can take lic plan online or nt?if nt thn latest by whn i can expect it ?


Gopal Gidwani November 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Hello Kirti,
Currently LIC does not have a online term plan. In September they made a announcement that they will soon come out with an online term plan. For the time being you can go for a term plan from a private insurer. Once LIC comes out with an online term plan then depending on the terms and conditions of the plan you can decide whether to switch to LIC.


Naresh November 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Hello Gopal,
Appriciate your knowledge. I want to buy one crore term plan. But my criteria will be long policy term. I can find LIC and Aviva for 35 Years term. I am more impressive with Aviva with low Premium. Please guide me for long policy term shall I go with Aviva? I also check ICICI but they have only 30 Years policy term.


Gopal Gidwani November 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Hello Naresh,
You can split your cover among LIC and a private insurer like Aviva. In September LIC also made an announcement that they are coming out with a online term plan. Once that happens you can completely switch over to LIC


Naresh November 21, 2011 at 6:22 am

Thanks for feedback!! My next question is these both insurance company will cover if death will happen out side India. I mean if I will be on Business trip out side India and my death will happen, they will pay the claim? Death out side India in any mode like plane cresh, Terrorist attack or Natural etc!!!


dhaval November 20, 2011 at 7:19 am

i want to buy term plan for 50 lacs my age is 29 years so i want to buy it for 30 years.
i have some analysis and based on that i found that aviva i-life is much more better for my requirement so i want your opinion regararding aviva i-life
thanks in advance 🙂


Gopal Gidwani November 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Hello Dhaval,
Currently i-life from Aviva is the cheapest product in the market. But it is advisable to split your cover among 2 life insurance companies. This helps when at the time of claim if one company pays and the other rejects the claim.


Prasad November 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Dear Gopalji,

I have been waiting got LIC’s online term insurance policy, but it has not come yet. Do you have any idea when are they planning to roll out it ?
As my birthday is approaching so I’m planning to buy term insurance before my age counter gets incremented. I am planning to buy 50 lakhs coverage from Aviva-iLife and once LIC’s come, I may go for another 25 to 50 lakhs. Once I take the policy can I change the coverage during the course ? Will they charge original rates or current rate while updating the coverage ? Pl advice.
I found Aviva is best in premium rates and Term duration (35 years) however moderate in claim settling. Still it is very close (87%) to other competitiors(88% to 91%) with reasonable premium cut.


Gopal Gidwani November 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Hello Mr. Prasad,

LIC made an announcement in September 2011 that they are planning to come out with an online insurance plan soon. But so far there is no announcement on the launch of the product. It is not a good idea to wait. For now you can buy i-life from Aviva. Later once LIC comes out with an online plan you can go for additional cover from LIC.
You are allowed to increase the cover midway only if the terms and conditions of the plan allow. Some plans give the option to increase the cover at the time of important events like marriage, child birth, buying a house or some plans allow to increase the cover after certain number of years like 3 years, 5 years, 7 years etc.


arvind December 6, 2011 at 6:13 am

Hello sir,

I am intrested in term plan but some company’s sugest me to get investment plans which is beter then term plans.

what is your advice please reply.



Gopal Gidwani December 6, 2011 at 6:19 am

Hello Arvind,
I prefer to keep insurance and investments separate. For insurance I recommend a pure term insurance plan. For investments I recommend mutual funds. In mutual funds also it is better to have a mix of diversified equity mutual funds, mid-cap & small-cap mutual funds and balanced mutual funds.


Manoj December 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

Hi Gopal,

I am 25 years old. I am having below queries.

1. I want to purchase term plan of Rs . 50-60 lacs. What are the best plans..It may be online or offline…

2. I am wondering as as the time of settlement, we have to submit the original documents like Dealth certificate, PM report…Then will it be appropriate to take 2-3 companies for term plans. As is there possibility that the claim will be directly rejected in case of unavailibility of original documents…

3. What will be the documents required for raising the claim…

4. How many nominees can we keep in one term plan…

Pls. advise..




Gopal Gidwani December 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Hello Manoj,
I will suggest you break up your policy into 2 parts. Take one policy from LIC (Jeevan Amulya) and the other policy from a private insurer. Among private insurers you can choose from HDFC (Click2Protect), Kotak (ePreferred Term Plan), IndiaFirst (AnyTime Plan), Aviva (i-Life) etc.

You can get multiple original copies of death certificates from the Municipal Corporation. So dont worry, the death claim will not be reject because of non-availability of original death certificate.

For death claim some of the documents that are required to be submitted include:
Policy document
Death certificate
Discharge form

If it is an early death claim (death has happened within 3 years of taking the policy) then some additional documents are required to be submitted
Statement from the doctor who last attended the life insured
Statement from the hospital
Statement from the person who attended the last rites

Also if death is due to accident or suicide then following additional documents are required
Police FIR
Forensic report
Post mortem report

If required the insurer may ask for some more documents depending on case to case basis

With regards to nomination, yes multiple nominees can be made for the policy, but with no specific share for each nominee


surya December 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Hello Gopal ji,
Thanks a lot for all the useful information.
how to buy HDFC life’s click2protect, there is nothing mentioned on there website about this prodect.also I wanted to know my premium for the product but didn’t get it anywhere on there website.
please help


Gopal Gidwani December 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Hi Surya,
Please refer to the below links
This link is for the product brochure

This link is for the premium rates

I also checked the HDFC Life website. This information is not available on the website directly in the protection plans section. I dont know why this plan is not included on the website in the protection plans section. Maybe you can get in touch with HDFC Life Customer Care and ask them for clarification.


surya December 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Thanks for the reply Gopal ji,
which other company(relaible when claim settlement is considered) I can consider to buy a policy?


Gopal Gidwani December 14, 2011 at 4:43 am

Hello Surya,
LIC has the best claim settlement ratio of 96% but they don’t have an online term insurance plan. They have an offline term plan – Jeevan Amulya.
You can also consider i-Life plan from Aviva (claim settlement ratio of 87%), e-preferred term plan from Kotak (claim settlement ratio of 87%)


Shobha December 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

we bought a term insurance from icici prudential last year for my mom in law.
This year we paid the premium online well within the due date.we thought everything is fine..but we recieved the refund on credit card 12 days later.We called customer support, sent emails..and after all this they say that the policy cant be reinforced and we have to buy a new policy..Now of course the age slab had increased and we have to pay higher premium..Is there anything we can do about this?I have totally lost faith on online insurance products..


Gopal Gidwani December 14, 2011 at 5:10 am

Hello Shobha,
This is very strange to hear that ICICI Prudential did not renew your policy. Since I dont know the details of the case, I can’t comment much. But I do believe that they should have renewed the policy and not declined it. If they decline they have to give a valid, justified reason for that.

For further course of action, you can take the following steps:
1) Get in touch with their Customer Care. If that does not help contact their Grievance Redressal Officer, Ms. Gayatri Nathan (Vice President- Customer Services & Operations). If that also does not help get in touch with their Senior Grievance Redressal Officer, Mr. Deepak Kinger (Executive Vice President – Legal, Compliance, Secretarial & Internal Audit). If that also does not help write to their Grievance Redressal Committee.
The contact details of all the above are given in this link

2) Apart from that you can get in touch insurance ombudsman at

3) Apart from that you can can approach the IRDA Grievance Cell directly on Toll Free Number: 155255 or write to IRDA at

4) Also you have the option to approach the IRDA through Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS) through the IRDA Website

5) And the last option is to approach courts or consumer forums


Ankush December 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

Dear Gopalji,

I am interested in buying a pure i/e-Term plan for a cover of 1-2 crore and I am also looking for an insurance to cover for permanent disability and/or critical illness separately. Can you help please?

I have a Rs.5 lakh medical insurance cover from my employer. However I want to opt for one more medical insurance which also covers my parents and it wont be bad if it covers my inlaws too. Please comment.

Ankush Goel


Gopal Gidwani December 14, 2011 at 4:59 am

Hello Ankush,
I will suggest you split your term insurance cover between LIC and a private insurer. LIC has Jeevan Amulya which you can go for. From among private insurers you can choose from
Click2protect from HDFC Life
e-preferred term plan from Kotak life insurance
Anytime plan from Indiafirst life insurance or
i-Life from Aviva or
i-Term from Aegon Religare or
Metprotect from Metlife

With regards to health insurance plans which can cover your in-laws, have a look at Max Bupa Health Insurance Company. They have a plan called ‘Family First’ which covers 13 relationships which includes father-in-law and mother-in-law as well. Also the plan has life long renewal. You can also have a look at ‘Easy Health’ plan from Apollo Munich. This plan also comes with life long renewal, but in-laws are not covered under this plan.


Prabhu December 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm

You are doing a wonderful job by guiding lot of people in right direction. I request your advice on the Health insurance plans. In brief, I am looking for a best health insurance for my parents and myself. Please advice, which insurance company provides the best health insurance policy.


Gopal Gidwani December 15, 2011 at 5:27 am

Hello Mr. Prabhu,
You can have a look at health insurance plans of Apollo Munich and Max Bupa. The health plans of both companies come with life long renewal and there is no loading (no increase in premium due to claims) in the event of claims at the time of renewal. These 2 features are important highlights of the plans offered by these two companies.

The difference between the plans of 2 companies being: Apollo Munich follows a age slab system of charging premium. So all people falling in a particular age group have to pay the same premium for the same number of people covered for the same sum insured. Out of the family members covered in the plan, once the eldest person in the family moves to the next age slab, the premium gets revised and then stays constant throughout that age slab. After the age of 70 the premium stays constant throughout. All the premium rates for different age slabs are mentioned on their website, brochures etc.

Whereas in case of Max Bupa they dont follow the age slab system for charging premium. They increase the premium every year on renewal. How much premium they will increase and how they arrive at this increase in premium is something that they don’t disclose. So there is some ambiguity on as to what your premium will be next year.

Apollo has a family floater plan by the name of ‘EasyHealth’ and it comes in 3 variants. Max Bupa has a family floater by the name of ‘HeartBeat’ and it comes in 3 variants. The higher variants offer more facilities off course at a little higher premium.

Since the plans of the 2 companies offer lifelong renewal and no loading on claims, their premiums are higher than other plans available in the market.


Girish January 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm


Isn’t health insurance premium like life insurance premium? I mean once you start early and lock in a lower premium, will the same premium be not applicable for next year?

I was looking at ‘Optima Restore’ Plan from Apollo Munich and I am 34 years of age. I was happy thinking I will be able to pay 15k per year for the rest of 30 yrs like my life insurance premium. Can you clarify if I am totally wrong?



Gopal Gidwani January 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

In health insurance we have something called as loading. If there is a claim made by you in a particular year, then at the time of renewal the health insurance company may increase (loading) the premium due to the increased risk.
The second thing is, if the overall claim experience of the health insurance company is bad, the insurance company may revise the premium for all the policyholders.

So depending on the claim experience (individual level/ company level) the health insurance company may revise the premium on renewal.

As far as I am aware Apollo Munich has a policy by the name of ‘Easy Health’. In that there is no loading in case of claim at individual level. In that policy Apollo has a age slab wise premium. The premium for all people falling in a particular age bracket is same, other things being equal. But last year the company increase the premium slightly, but that was applicable to all policyholders for that products. I think IRDA approval is sought for such price increases, to ensure the company does not do irrational price increases to the disadvantage of the policyholders. IRDA works for the protection of policyholders


arvind December 20, 2011 at 11:30 am

Dear Sir,

I am looking for term policy and i want to ADB also. is it better to get ADB? and one more thing please guide me which policy i have to select.
as per my knowledge i prefer Kotak e-term or ICICI i protect.

please reply me and suggest me in this regard

with warm regards



Gopal Gidwani December 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

Hello Arvind,
ICICI has withdrawn i-protect and introduced i-care.

For term insurance I suggest you consider any of the following:
Click2protect from HDFC Life
e-preferred term plan from Kotak life insurance
Anytime plan from Indiafirst life insurance or
i-Life from Aviva or
i-Term from Aegon Religare or
Metprotect from Metlife


sanjeev tyagi December 22, 2011 at 6:40 am

somebody tell me about offline term plan of kotak, and also the claim history of the co.


Gopal Gidwani December 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hello Sanjeev,
In offline term plans, Kotak offers 2 options:
Kotak Term Plan: The maximum sum assured under this plan is Rs 25 Lakhs
Kotak Preferred Term Plan: The minimum sum assured under this plan is Rs 25 lakhs

The claim settlement ratio of Kotak life insurance for the year 2009-10 is 86.97%. The numbers for the year 2010-11 have still not been released by IRDA.


Nishikant January 1, 2012 at 3:07 am

I want pure term plan – HDFC click to protect / ICICI i protect / Met protect which one is best and why?


Gopal Gidwani January 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Hi Nishikant,
As per the Claim Settlement Ratio numbers released by IRDA for 2010-11, HDFC has a better claim settlement ratio than ICICI and Metlife. The best Claim Settlement Ratio is of LIC but they don’t have an online term plan.

HDFC may be little costlier than ICICI and Metlife but it scores on the Claim Settlement Ratio front


arvind January 10, 2012 at 7:16 am

i want rider and Permanent Disability in term plan which plan is best for the same. as per your previous answer i decided for HDFC click to protect but it is not having rider.

kindly advice me


ravi sharma September 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

Dear arvind
u should go for bharti axa general insurance campny accidental plan.

Ravi Sharma


Hitendra Bhadang January 10, 2012 at 7:16 am

Hi Gopal,
First of all thank you for posting your time to time comments .. those are really helpful. I already have iprotect for 5olacs which i took last year. i was planning to add insurance cover for myself , so was looking for some option. After doing some research and reading your comments , i think i must continue Iprotect and add 1.5cr Ilife from Aviva. This will add insurance cover for me , security with 2 insurer company and marginally Rs.2500 to Rs.3000 extra i pay for total cover of 2cr. So do u think my decision is wise? thank you for your quick reply.



Gopal Gidwani January 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Hello Hitendra,

Apart from iLife from Aviva you can also look at ‘Click2Protect’ from HDFC Life. Their Claim Settlement Ratio is better than Aviva. ‘Click2Protect’ from HDFC Life is an recently introduced online term plan and their premium rates are very competitive.


V J January 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Dear Sir,
Could you please let me know what is the ratio of
(Amount paid to settle claims)/(Amount collected as premiums)

I am thinking on whether it is possible to reduce the premiums considerably without compromising on the insurance cover.

Thanks in advance and regards,
— V J —


Gopal Gidwani January 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Hello V J,
There will be no compromise on insurance cover due to lower premiums. As per IRDA rules insurers in India have to maintain a Solvency Ratio of 150%. This in very simple terms means, for every Rs 100 worth of sum assured or insurance cover sold by the insurance company, it has to keep aside Rs 150 for claim settlement. So all insurance companies have 50% more money to settle claims.

Just make sure at the time of applying for insurance you declare all information and facts honestly to the best of your knowledge so that there is no dispute at the time of claim settlement


V J January 20, 2012 at 6:57 am

Dear Gidwaniji,
Thanks for the prompt and informative reply.

— V J —


Gopal Gidwani January 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hello VJ,
I am happy to know the reply helped you!!!


sam January 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

Thak you Mr. Gidwani , Your site is really helpful for people like us.
I have one query.
1. If a person take a LIC term policy trough some Agent in Maharashtra, is it can be claimed from other state, in case of the policy holders death.
What I mean is that , is agent who made the policy , is any way require/need to be in loop/need to be informed while claiming the term policy AND is the state/location is an issue here.
I am asking this because, I stay at Pune and my family stays at kolkata and it will be difficult for them to come to pune in case I am not there :).


Gopal Gidwani January 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hello Sam,
The claim settlement can be done with the company office directly. It is not necessary to keep the agent informed / loop for claim settlement. With regards to claim made in an insurance company office in some other state, I dont think that should be a problem.


sanjay January 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Hi Gopal,

Some time back I recollect seeing some online plans where one could pay a one time premium (instead of annually) for a term insurance. I am not sure if such options are still available.

Assuming they are still available, is it a good idea if one can afford it?

I understand that one loses out on the tax benefits (80C) that are available when paying premiums every year but on the other hand there is no danger of forgetting to pay the premium anytime since it is a one shot payment.

Would there be anyother risk / drawback?



Gopal Gidwani January 28, 2012 at 8:55 am

Hello Sanjay,

One drawback that I can think of one time premium is premature death of the life insured. If a person pays the premium for 20-25-30 years at one go and the person dies early in the 2nd or 3rd year itself, the insurance company will pay the sum assured but will not refund the extra premium paid for the remainder of years.

If you fear that you will forget to pay the premium and the policy will lapse, I suggest you for the Electronic Clearing System (ECS) option or Standing Instruction option or Auto Debit option with your bank. In all these options the insurance company will automatically collect the premium from your bank from your savings account on the premium due date. So you will not have to worry about remembering the premium due date. Just make sure the saving bank account has sufficient amount to take care of the premium amount payable.


Emmaneal January 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hi Gopal,

Iam interested to take a online policy icare for 5 yrs from icici because of low premium and high coverage, is it safe to take that type of policy from private companies instead of taking the LIC policy. me taking the policy through is it safe Please give a conclusion.


Gopal Gidwani January 28, 2012 at 11:58 am

Hello Emmaneal,
The claim settlement ratio of LIC is better than other private insurers. But that does not mean private insurers are bad. You can go for a policy from ICICI Prudential or you can also consider Click2Protect from HDFC Life


arpan January 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

hi gopal,
i have a que. abt the death claim investigation.
how long time the company have the right to investigate ?
after that what should have to do?
may we check that what they investigate?


Gopal Gidwani January 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hello Arpan,
To protect the interest of policyholders, IRDA has laid down IRDA (Protection of Policyholders’ Interests) 2002 guidelines that all insurers have to follow . With regards to claim settlement and investigation, insurers have to adhere to the following:
1) Once the claim is received by the insurer, the insurer has to raise all claim requirements (documentation) within 15 days. Also these requirements have to be raised in one go and not in piecemeal manner.
2) If there is no investigation required to be done, the claim has to be settled within 30 days
3) In case a detailed investigation has to be done, then the same has to be completed within 6 months and the final outcome: claim settlement or repudiation has to be conveyed to the nominee / beneficiary.
4) In case the claim is rejected proper explanation has to be given to the nominee / beneficiary. On whether we can check what investigation has been done by the insurer, I am not sure on that.
5) In case the nominee / beneficiary is not satisfied with the outcome, he can escalate the matter to Grievance Rederessal Officer of the insurance company or to IRDA, insurance ombudsman, District Forum or the Court.


SUBHASH KUMAWAT January 31, 2012 at 10:38 am

Dear Gidwaniji

Very informative and useful article.
keep it up.


Subhash Kumawat


Gopal Gidwani January 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Hello Mr. Subhash,
I am glad to know the article was useful. Do keep visiting the website regularly and also share it with your friends and relatives!!!


Sonu Pilaniwala February 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

I am a 30 yr old person..looking for an insurance cover of 1 Cr ..which policy wud u suggest which is economical and beneficial…


Gopal Gidwani February 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Hi Deepak,

You can consider the recently launched Click2Protect online policy from HDFC Life


Upma Singh February 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Hi Gopal

Do you have the claim settlement ratio of Aegon Religare for the year 2010-11?


Gopal Gidwani February 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Hi Upma,
The claim settlement ratio for Aegon Religare for the year 2010-11 is 52.31% and for the year 2009-10 it was 48%.


Gopal Gidwani February 8, 2012 at 5:45 am

Hi Friends,

Now we have an article on the comparison of claim settlement ratio of life insurance companies for 2009-10 and 2010-11. You can read about it at

The article also has a comparison of the features of various term plans being offered by life insurance companies and the premiums being charged for these term plans.

Best Regards
Gopal Gidwani


Devesh February 8, 2012 at 6:50 am

This information is very useful for a layman who does not know anything about claim settlement ratio


Gopal Gidwani February 8, 2012 at 6:56 am

Hello Mr. Devesh,
It is good to know that the article was useful to you in know about the claim settlement ratio of life insurance companies.


mukul pandit February 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

i totally agree that lic is in market from long time. but now a dayz people r educated n they r looking for something new n changed,n the private insurance companys r reflecting the same .thats y i m private comoanies


Gopal Gidwani February 8, 2012 at 8:03 am

Hello Mr. Mukul,
LIC has a better claim settlement ratio but a higher price whereas private companies offer low premium and reasonably high claim settlement ratio. You can read about this comparison at


Nitin J Barve February 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I went through all the comments but one basic question when all the Insurance companies are working in comman market how can the premiums difference be so large or is it competition. And which may result in increase in rejection ratio in years to come.


Gopal Gidwani February 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Hello Mr. Nitin,
There is difference in the premiums of companies offering term plans with almost same features because number of things go into the pricing of term plans. The primary thing is the risk underwriting. The way the underwriter assesses every risk proposal based on the information disclosed in the proposal form and medical report and accordingly decides first whether to accept the risk or not and secondly if the risk is to be accepted then at what price. The claim experience (number of death claims received) also plays an important role in pricing of term plans. Other things that play an important role in pricing of term plans include the operating cost structure of the company, profit margins, reinsurance arrangements, intermediaries involved etc etc.

On your second point, competition does not lead to increase in rejection ratio. If the claim settlement ratio of a company goes bad, people will not buy from that company and the company will end up losing market share


ashok chawla February 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

max new york to exit india and asia source economic times 15 feb

what private insurance sell are not pension at all says IRDA CHIEF


Gopal Gidwani February 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Hello Mr. Ashok,
I also read the article today in ET on New York Life’s plans to quit India. But that is what they have or are planning to do in other countries in Asia, so that they can concentrate on their home country business


KHALID KASIM February 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

Dear Sir,

I need your assistance as i want to do online Term Insurance policy
but i have some query details of query as follows.

1) I Want to do Term Insurance policy of 70 lacs with accidental benefit of 15 lacs &
critical illness benefit of 15 lacs what will be total annual premium
for 30 or 35 years.

2) Secondly Sir can i increase the sum assured ex. from 70 lacs to 1
crore & also accidental benefit & critical illness from 15 lacs to 25
lacs if it is then please tell me all the company have the option or only selected company does.

3) Sir what is the percentage of claim settlement ratio for top five insurance company this year 2011-12.

4) Lastly Sir I want do 1.5 crore Term Insurance policy but splitting in three Term Insurance policy can i buy into three
1) 25-30 lacs with LIC
2) 50-70 Lacs with (Birla or Indiafirst or Kotak)
3)25-50 Lacs with Icici Care or Hdfc or Aviva)

if it is good then i will go or if it is different kindly advise so,that i can modify and then go for it.

Why i would go for online term plan instead of offline what is the pros & con
it is same only relationship manager & premium is factor or is it
better than online and claim process is smoother.

Sorry Sir i have asked 4 question but i need your help and assistance to buy for future for myself and my family.

Khalid Kasim


Gopal Gidwani February 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Hello Khalid,
If you want to go for a pure term plan with no riders, the Click2Protect from HDFC Life is good. But if you are looking at riders like accidental death benefit rider and critical illness rider then you can have a look at Protector Plus Term Plan from Birla Sunlife. You can take a cover of 1 crore or 1.5 crores or any other amount you wish to (subject to the company offering it) from the above two companies.

The claim settlement ratios for 2011-12 will be out later this year. At the moment we have claim settlement ratios of 2010-11 and 2009-10. The top 5 companies for claim settlement ratio for 2010-11 are:
1) LIC – 97.03% (2010-11) and 96.54% (2009-10)
2) HDFC Life – 95.41% (2010-11) and 91.14% (2009-10)
3) Birla Sunlife – 94.66% (2010-11) and 89.09% (2009-10)
4) ICICI Prudential – 94.61% (2010-11) and 90.17% (2009-10)
5) ING Vysya – 90.49% (2010-11) and 89.30% (2009-10)

I will suggest you go for a combination of 2 companies, preferably LIC and one for more company for your term plan instead of breaking up your term cover among 3 companies.

There is no differentiation made by the life insurance company at the time of claim settlement, irrespective of whether the claim has come from an online term plan or an offline term plan.


neha February 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Dear Mr. Gidwani

Thanks for all the valuable information in the forum. I am planning to take a term plan for 1 crore each for myself and my husband . I wanted an opinion about Religare Agon iterm plan. The reason for the shortlisting are as follows:
1) Low premium
2) Covers till the age of 75 years ( i think no other company covers till 75 yrs.)
3) Seemed very transparent. I had a word with the company executive and they shared detailed information along with a follow up email confirming the details.

Kindly suggest your opinion about the same.


Gopal Gidwani February 20, 2012 at 6:24 am

Hello Neha,
The features of iTerm plan are very good but the overall claim settlement ratio of the company is a dampener. I will suggest you go for Click2Protect from HDFC Life. You can read about the comparison of claim settlement ratios of life insurance companies for 2009-10 and 2010-11 and the comparison of premium and features of term plans of various life insurance companies at

In this article recently I did a review of features of 10 term plans of different life insurance companies on the claim settlement ratio / premium / features front. I found
1) Click2Protect from HDFC Life,
2) Protector Plus from Birla SunLife and
3) ePreferred Term Plan from Kotak Life
as good plans that one can go for.

Also I will suggest you break up your cover into 2 plans of 2 different companies rather than going for a cover of 1 crore with one company


Shreyas February 27, 2012 at 5:02 am


Your recommendations on Term plan changes every month. In support, you put forward claim settlement ratio of various companies which keep on changing monthly/quarterly. Term products benefits normally reaped in years. If your recomendations keep on changing on a monthly basis, I do not know how trustable your recommendations are.
If someone reads your suggestions from top to bottom, one will easily find that the product you have recommended few months back are now being downgraded today.
Sorry to say..but bachtkhata managed by you is no different website and can be treated as various companies promotional platform..


Gopal Gidwani March 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

Hello Shreyas,

I appreciate you taking out time and reading all the comments and my replies. Well I do accept that over a period of time some suggestions have changes, but putting that as suggestions have changed every month is a little exaggeration.
Also nowhere in the article post or the comment replies I have mentioned that the Claim Settlement Ratio of life insurance companies changes every month or on a quarterly basis. Claim Settlement Ratio is published by IRDA on an annual basis in their annual report.

With regards to your comment on change in suggestions. Well I have recommended i-Protect from ICICI Prudential to some people initially. That policy was recommended because IPru has the 3rd best claim settlement ratio and competitive premium. The first two companies in terms of CSR LIC and HDFC Life did not online term plans at that time. Later I stopped recommending this policy because this policy has been withdrawn by IPru.

To some people I have recommended AnyTime Plan from IndiaFirst Life because some people are more comfortable buying insurance from PSU companies rather than private players. Since IndiaFirst Life is promoted by PSUs Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank, I recommended this policy to some people.

Recently I am recommending Click2Protect from HDFC Life as this policy is recently launched. HDFC Life has the second best CSR and the premiums for this plan are very competitive and HDFC enjoys a good brand name.

So I do agree some recommendations have changed over a period of time, but that has happened because of products being withdrawn, specific preferences of people, new better products that have been launched in the market.

On your last comment on my blog being “various companies promotional platform” that is certainly not true. All advice is given is totally unbiased.

I hope that answers your query!!!


dhiraj gupta March 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Hello Gopal
Your article is very useful. It has helped to understand the life insurance in a better way. I have a few query.
1. I am 34 year old, cent. govt. employee, having transfer every 7 year. I want to purchase 90 lack insurance cover for myself. I already have 10 lack insurance from LIC (anmol jeeval plan). What is your suggestion?
2. I found that the some companies offering accidental death rider. Does that mean that death due to accident is not covered without this rider if I take pure term insurance? Please clarify.



Gopal Gidwani March 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hello Mr. Dhiraj,
Along with your existing cover from LIC, you can go for Click2Protect plan from HDFC Life for your remaining life insurance requirement.

On your 2nd query on accident benefit rider:
Example 1
Say a person has bought a life insurance policy for a basic cover of Rs 10 lakhs without accidental death rider. If the person dies in an accident, then the company will pay Rs 10 lakhs. This is even though the death has happened in an accident and the policy does not have a accidental death rider.

Example 2
Say a person has bought a life insurance policy for a basic cover of Rs 10 lakhs with accidental death rider of Rs 2 lakhs. If the person dies in an accident, then the company will pay Rs 12 lakhs (base cover of Rs 10 lakhs and accidental death rider amount of Rs 2 lakhs).

From the above 2 examples we observe that the insurance company pays the basic cover amount irrespective of whether death happens due to accident or not. If a accident death rider is taken, then the insurance company pays the rider amount over and above the basic cover amount. I hope this clears your query


vinayak March 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Dear Mr. Gopal,

Thanks for making people aware all about Term insurance, I am 43 year old and planning to hv 1.00cr Term insurance for 20 years cover, non smoker, Confuse between Aviva, ICICI, Kotak n Anytime plan from India First, Pl advise what to do?


Gopal Gidwani March 6, 2012 at 10:03 am

Hello Mr. Vinayak,

Recently HDFC Life has come out with an online term plan Click2Protect. I will suggest you to go for it. You can read about the claims settlement ratios for 2009-10 and 2010-11 and the comparison of term plans at


Lawrence March 10, 2012 at 4:57 am

Hi Gopal,
1. I would like to take an health policy for my wife and myself – (Budget Rs. 12K p.a. for each)
2. I would like to make an investment in such a manner that after 18 years it should cover my childs educational needs.

I have gone through so many insurance policies that I am now confused.

Request you to suggest…



Gopal Gidwani March 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

Hello Lawrence,
I will suggest you not to mix up insurance and investments. I will suggest you to go for term insurance plan for life cover and to build a corpus for your son education go for investment in diversified equity mutual funds.
With regards to health insurance, I am not an expert in this subject. I will suggest you to approach medimanage or some other organisation who specialises in health insurance.


ANUP SHARMA March 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

Hello Mr. Gopal,
As I am interested in buying a Term Plan for myself. But bit confused between few companies. can u suggest me a good choice. I want a term policy with maturity benefit option.
Or u may suggest any of all.


Gopal Gidwani March 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hello Anup,
If you go for a term plan with maturity benefit it will be costly. I will suggest you go for a pure term plan without any returns. Invest the remaining amount in mutual funds or PPF and you will get better returns.

With regards to choosing a pure term plan I will suggest you have a look at Click2Protect Plan from HDFC Life. The claim settlement ratio is second best in the industry for HDFC Life and the premiums for the plan are very competitive


Prakash March 13, 2012 at 5:11 am

Dear Gopal,
I want to buy term plan for Rs. 1 cr cover. my age is 33 years. I am living at sindhudurg, Maharashtra, whereupon Bharati axa and ICICI prudential are giving online cover. The lowest premium offered is 9155 by Bharati. Pl guide me at the earliest.


Gopal Gidwani March 13, 2012 at 7:51 am

Hello Prakash,

Check if HDFC Life is offering their recently launched online term plan Click2Protect in your city. If not, then I will suggest you go for iProtect from ICICI Prudential


Prakash March 13, 2012 at 5:19 am

Hellow Gopal,
I am 33 and interested in term plan. Sindhudurg where reside is covered by Bharati axa and ICICI prudential for online buying. Which one to go.


Gopal Gidwani March 13, 2012 at 7:45 am

Hello Prakash,

Check if HDFC Life is offering their recently launched online term plan Click2Protect in your city. If not, then I will suggest you go for ICICI Prudential


Rohit Mundada March 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

Dear Mr. Gopal,
I appreciate your efforts and patiance in providing information, views on almost all comments here on this blog.
However, I differ from your views in some aspects :
I agree that the settlement ratio for Aegon Religare is low. However the ratio is calculated considering all products put together and not for term insurance alone. Further, companies like LIC (being the oldest company) have people insured from quite old times who would be aged and will have old policies. The new companies might not be having ppl who are old and the policy age would also be low. It is possible that claims from young insurer / new policies are more probed and are prone to rejection.
For term plans, the payout / claim would be only in case of death. However for others, the claims are for medical reasons / accidents while the person may be alive. The insurance company can use the medical history and verify the same along with the details provided. It is possible that the person might have provided some false information or might have not provided some information, and in such cases only insurance company can take advange for other insurance products.
Further, as per section 45 of Insurance Act, Policy not to be called in question on ground of mis-statement after completion of two years. (specified somewhere above) Therefore, in the event of death of the insurer within two years (due to medical / health reasons only) the insurance company can probe & check whether correct information was provided or not. Further, for higher insurance value, company does the medical check up as well. In such cases, the company can not claim mis-statement of fact.
Therefore, (I feel) claim settlement ratio should not be considered while deciding term insurance.

Bottom line is, if we provide complete and correct information while filling up the form, insurance company cannot reject a valid claim, whether it is LIC or ICICI Pru, or Aegon. At the max, the company can delay it, for which also a limit set by IRDA of max 6 months. (Again, specified somewhere above)
Correct me if I am wrong anywhere.
I have got an term insurance policy from Aegon Religare. It may please be noted that I got around 15% rebate on my premium which I paid online after underwriters’ evaluation. However understand from some of my friends that the premium is increased as well based on the underwritter’s review.

Rohit Mundada

P.S. : I do not work for any insurance company 😉


Gopal Gidwani March 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hello Mr. Rohit,
I appreciate your detailed reply. It very much makes sense. I have nothing against Aegon Religare. Infact I myself believe the features of the new revamped iTerm are very good. But because it is a relatively new company, since I get similar plans from established companies albiet at a little higher premium, I prefer to go with them. Once Aegon Religare matures few years down the line, has a better claim settlement ratio, a lot more people will go for it. But at the moment for stability I will prefer to pay a little higher premium. The difference in the premiums of online term plans of different companies range from Rs 500 to Rs 1500 a year, which tilts the decision in favour of established companies. That said, I again say I have nothing against Aegon Religare


Abhishek April 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

Hi Gopal,
Your reviews are very helpful. Nowadays i am planning to buy a term plan for my father who is 48 now. I’ve compared term plans of aegon, icici, lic, sbi & kotak.
1 . I am wondering that kotak is having a good CSR along with low premium for high Sum assured. But in other hand there are plans from SBI wherein maturity benefits also exist but the premium is high and sum assured is low compared to without maturity benefits plan. i would love to buy these plans from LIC if they had online term plans becasue of low premiums only.
2. My father is an alcoholic, tobacco user and had a kidney stone in past which is completely cured now. So, taking
(i) these things into consideration i would like to know what kind of statements i have to make before any insurance company to make settlement process smooth in case of any mishappenings
(ii) if a person is a tobacco users then premium increases for the same sum assured but what happens if a person is a alcohol users ? will he get insurance ?

It will be really helpful if you reply soon as i am planning to buy it in two weeks.

Kindly Revert


Gopal Gidwani April 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hello Abhishek,
Thanks for your comment.

LIC so far does not have an online term plan. It was supposed to come out with an online term plan in March 2012. But there is no update on that.

Regarding term insurance for your Dad, you need to declare that he consumes alcohol and tobacco. The application form will have sections seeking details about these.

Regarding kidney stone even though it is completely cured still it will be better to declare it. The company will ask your Dad to undergo a medical test. If the test report is normal then it will not affect the premium.

A person consuming alcohol gets insurance. The application form will have details of how frequently and how much alcohol is consumed. Accordingly the underwriting will decide how much will be the premium loading.


Asraf CH April 10, 2012 at 9:16 am

Any idea when LIC is launching online term insurance?


Gopal Gidwani April 11, 2012 at 6:43 am

Hello Ashraf,
Last heard in the news, LIC was supposed to come out with an online term plan in the month of March 2012. The month of March is already over. After that there is no update on the new date on which LIC is coming out with an online term plan.


prashant April 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

Dear sir,

i have annual income of Rs 1.50 lacs and i want to take 50 lakh term plan , is that possible to get ? and how much it cost ? online plan is good or offline and is there any offline which is cheaper plan my dob is 18 -02- 1976 please suggest me


Gopal Gidwani May 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Hello Prashant,
On the basis of annual income of Rs 1.5 lacs, if you apply for life insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs, it will be 33 times of your annual income. I am not sure if the insurance company will offer that much of cover. If the application is not acceptable the insurance company may come back with a revised offer of a lower cover. I will suggest you go for a online term plan instead of an offline term plan, the reason being online term plans are cheaper. I will suggest you go for Click2Protect from HDFC Life


Vinay July 25, 2012 at 8:41 am

Hi Gopal,

Nice article. I apreciate your effort in publishing the article on the forum.

1) Currently i have term insurance from Aviva i-life for 50 laks and i am looking out for another one which should give coverage for 35 years and 50Laks SA. I am 31 year Old non-smoker. I was waiting for LIC’s online term plan. Do you have any idea on the same ? or should i go ahead with the private insurance again?
2) Can i buy term insurance for my wife (She was working and resigned now)


Gopal Gidwani July 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

Hello Vinay,
I first heard about LIC coming up with an online term plan in September 2011. The I heard they will launch it in March 2012. But so far the plan has not been launched. I suggest you go ahead with a private life insurer rather than waiting for LIC.

With regards to buying a term plan for your wife you can buy if she plans to take up a job in the near future


Ganesh September 6, 2012 at 11:20 am

Hi Gopal,
i am 30 year old
Last year ,I had purchased term plan of Rs . 75 lacs (Kotak e-Term/e-Preferred Term) for 30 year, currently I am paying 755 rs monthly , but I am not sure all my personal information are updated with Kotak,

Shall I do updatiion of all my personal information ? is it possible ?

Also I am confused about claim settlement of Kotak, or shall I go for LIC for term insurance , LIC is taking 9000 per year for 25 Lacks for 35 year

Pl suggest



Gopal Gidwani September 11, 2012 at 11:03 am

Hello Ganesh,
I am not clear what personal information you want to update with Kotak? If its information like address, contact no, email id etc. then it can be updated.

Also if you have declared everything about your health correctly in your application form then you need not worry about claim settlement.


mohammad waris December 2, 2012 at 8:18 am

Dear Gopal,
Congatulations on coming up with an amazing analysis of these term plans. You have highlighted the pros and cons of all the plans in a simple language.
I was cnfused regarding which plan to select. Now i am cnsidering HDFC.
I read the IRDA report and noticed that the number of claims sumitted to HDFC(4579) are far less as compared to ICICI(16024) in 2011. This can be one reasn of HDFC having higher settlemet ratio. THe total amount paid by ICICI was 201 caroes as compared to HDFC’s 86 crore.
Is it fare to only look at percentage ?


Gopal Gidwani December 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Hello Mohammad,
Rather than the number of claims submitted, the number of claims settled and the speed in which they are settled are more important.


Srinath December 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Dear Gopal Gidwani,
I found your article on claims ratio interesting.
I am interested in taking an investment plan that gives a life cover as well as critical illness cover. Could you give me the options that are possible?
A fast response would be appreciated.


Gopal Gidwani January 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Hello Shrinath,
Among the term plans that I know, ‘Protector Plus’ term plan from Birla Sunlife offers critical illness rider and ‘SBI Smart Shield’ from SBI Life offers Accelerated Critical Illness cover option.

It will be better to buy a separate term plan from a life insurance company and a separate health insurance plan with critical illness rider from a standalone health insurance company. Some companies like Bharti AXA also offer altogether separate standalone Critical Illness policy. This will give you better choice.

Please note: ‘Protector Plus’ term plan from Birla Sunlife and ‘SBI Smart Shield’ from SBI Life are protection plans (term insurance) and not investment plans that you have asked for. In these plans money is paid to the family members only in the event of death of the life assured. There are no investment returns during the tenure of the plan or on maturity of the plan.


Gopal Gidwani January 19, 2013 at 4:38 am

Hello Everyone,

We now have the Claim Settlement Ratios for 2011-12.

In this link you can read about the comparison of claim settlement ratios for life insurance companies for the last 3 years (2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12) and the premiums charged by these companies for their term plans. We also present a comparison of the features of various term insurance plans offered by different companies.

Enjoy Reading!

Best Regards
Gopal Gidwani


Swadesh Singh January 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Hi Gopal,

I am an NRI, in 2010 i purchased a term plan of 50 Lakhs with Birla Sunlife , now i am planning to take 1 online term plan of same amount , going through Aviva i-life brochure i came across a term stating ,This product is available to Resident Indians only. Till date i didn’t see anywhere such a condition, since i believed all products are for Indian citizens rather than RI or NRI. Now, i am in a dilemma about my existing term plan and to be taken.

Kindly clarify, if such condition matters or is just a plan specific for Aviva i-life.


Gopal Gidwani April 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

Hello Swadesh,

Your concern is genuine. Plans differ from company to company on its applicability to NRIs.

However in case of most companies there is no change if a person has already bought a plan as a resident Indian and subsequently become a NRI. In that case the plan continues as it is and the individual should keep the insurance company informed about the changed residential status.

With regards to person who is already a NRI and wants to purchase a new insurance plan, then the terms may differ from company to company and within the company also from plan to plan. Some companies may deny a specific plan to NRIs, some may offer it with specific conditions and some may offer it as it offers to normal resident Indians.

So for a specific plan (being a NRI) you will have to take a clarification from the company itself. Also once you get a clarification, it is best to take a print out of that email and attach it with the original policy document.

The challenge that domestic insurance companies face while issuing policies to NRI is the risk profile the individual carries. The domestic insurance company may have no knowledge or limited knowledge of the situation of the country in which the individual NRI is based. So it is difficult to rate the risk and arrive at the premium. The place where the NRI is based may have challenges like terrorism, political uncertainty, civilian war, geographical challenges like the place being prone to natural calamities like earthquakes, volcanoes, storms, flooding etc.

The other challenge is how to judge the wellbeing of the individual in terms of a medical check-up. So to overcome this challenge some insurance companies ask the NRI to buy the term plan on their annual or semi-annual trip to India so that they can undergo the medical test here in India. There are some companies that offer term plans without medical test. But their applicability to NRIs differs from company to company and from plan to plan. So again it is best to take a clarification from the company itself to be on a safer side.

I have specifically tried looking for information on term plans (specifically online term plans) for NRIs on websites of various insurance companies. But unfortunately there is very limited information which is not sufficient to take a decision……. 🙁


Priyadarshani Ranjan January 5, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I have bought Bharti axa e protect is it better as u are telling to buy icici policy but they are charging same premium for somker & non somker which is not good


Rakeshwar Teron March 30, 2014 at 9:02 am

I have a question regarding about Postal Life Insurance. What are its advantageous and disadvantageous as regard to other insurance companies with special reference to LIC. Why the claim settlement ratio of PLI is not given. Bonus rate of PLI and LIC


Jose July 2, 2016 at 6:40 pm


I am occasional smoker and planning to quit smoking soon. Please advice me I opt for No in Tobacco user field? During death condition will they check if the reason is because of pas habit of smoking ? Say for example heart attack.


Gopal Gidwani July 6, 2016 at 11:36 am

Hello Jose,

With regards to people who were smokers in the past, some insurance companies consider individuals who have not smoked for the last 5 years as non-smokers. Please check with the insurance company that you are planning to apply with on their criteria for who is considered as a non-smoker in case of people who have smoked in the past.


Gopal Gidwani May 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Hi Sekhar,
i-Life from Aviva is the latest online term plan to hit the market. The premium for this plan is currently the lowest in the market. So you can go for it. Regarding reviving the LIC plan, I think it will be better for you to go for a new term plan from a private company as their premiums are much lower as compared to premiums charged by LIC.


ASHOK August 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm



Gopal Gidwani August 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Hello Mr. Ashok,
Thanks for your email. I did read all the articles that you sent me about cases against private life insurance companies. Since most of these cases were from public dailies like newspapers and magazines I have already read about some of these cases whereas some were new to me.

I agree that based on their judgement in some specific instances some private insurance companies may have rejected some claims. But then the Government and IRDA have put in place lot of channels for the policyholders to lodge complaints against insurance companies in case they feel the insurance company’s decision is not fair.

For the same purpose you have Insurance Ombudsman, Consumer Grievance Redressal Forums, IRDA Cell, Consumer Courts, IRDA IGMS System to help the policyholder. These channels make sure that there is no injustice done to any party at the cost of the other. Also no private life insurer will reject a claim without proper reasoning. Private life insurance companies also know that if the case goes against them they will have to pay not just the claim amount but a hefty penalty amount and interest. No company would like to do that.

Please note that I am not in favour of private insurance companies against LIC and also at the same time please note that I am not trying to defend private insurance companies against LIC. I am myself a big fan of LIC and admire it a lot as it is a great institution and stood the test of time in the last 55 years since its inception. Infact with every passing year the institution has only gone from strength to strength.


Md Wakar Ali November 5, 2011 at 3:32 am

Plz,send me a copy.It will be of immence help to me.


Ashish Bagde January 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi Gopal,

I was looking for some information on on line term plan and when I clicked on your link since then it is more then 3 hours that I have gone through all the questions and answers posted here. All the information is very useful in deciding on line term plan. I am 30 and needed 50 lakh coverage with Accidental Rider, Accidental/Permanent Disability rider & Critical illness rider. I was looking to buy Avia – I life plan but as HDFC has introduced Click to protect so thinking to by HDFC online plan now. Please help me to decide to bu best term plan as mentioned above according my requriements


Gopal Gidwani January 10, 2012 at 6:35 am

Hello Ashish,
You can go for HDFC Click2Protect. The claim settlement ratio of HDFC Life for 2010-11 is 2nd best (95.41) after (LIC 97.03). But Click2Protect does not have any riders attached to it


Vikas January 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Hi Gopal,

You are doing a great job.

I am confused between Aviva iLife and HDFC Click2Protect plan for 1 Cr cover. I already have a 15Lacs Jeevan Anand from LIC for Rs. 40,000 per year premium.

I met HDFC person, who praised their online plan a lot. As per him, there is no difference in HDFC online and offline plans apart from way of registration. After getting the policy, online and offline plans are same. The good thing is that online plan charge less premium from non-smokers. Offline plans charge same for smokers and non-smokers, hence charge more premium.

I met Aviva person, who bullshitted their online plan. He said that company introduced this plan only to get publicity of lowest premium. On the other hand, they do very difficult type of medical test and try every reason to increase the premium. They will not renew it once lapsed. Apart from this all the negative things he mentioned were clearly made-up facts, so not worth mentioning here. Clearly he didn’t want me to for online plan rather tried to sell me offline plans with high premiums, in which I was never interested. God knows what is the truth about iLife plan.

Now either I have to go to Aviva’s office to get actual picture from higher management. Or shell out comparatively higher premium(3,500/year extra) for HDFC to get more peace of mind due to its excellent Claim Settlement Ratio.

I will decide tomorrow. Appreciate if you have any advice.


Yugesh January 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Hi Gopal,

I have gone thru the entire conversations .I have few query’s
1.While taking term policy we need to give the present CTC of the person insured .Now after 5 year’s of the policy if the person is not in the job and does not have regular income and in case a claim is made on death of the insured ,should the nominee prove that the person was earning that CTC at the time of death.Also please suggest a best term policy for 1 crore iam 38 yrs now and non tobacco user.Also is there any term policy which settles sum assured in case of permanent disability.


Ashish Bagde January 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Hi Gopal,

Thanks for your advice. I am applying for HDFC Click2Protect on line term plan though the premium is around 2000 more compared to Aviva still I am preferring HDFC.

Your suggestion, advice and response to queries are really informative. Please keep continue this. Thanks


Ashish Bagde January 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Hi Gopal,

Aviva is providing 3 nominee facility while in other companies including HDFC we can give only one nominee. Please suggest is this wiser to have one nominee or more than one nominee in case of on line term insurance plan. Kindly guide thoroughly with positive and negatives so that I can be more clear on choosing the company
Thanks in advance !!


Gopal Gidwani January 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

Hello Vikas,
I will suggest you to go for HDFC Click2Protect. But that does not mean iLife from Aviva is bad. Only thing is the overall claim settlement ratio of HDFC is better than Aviva. And there is no difference between an offline plan and an online plan. The medical test for an online plan may be a little stringent than offline plan but insurance companies never use that as an excuse to increase premiums post the test. Insurance companies know very well that if the increase the premium without valid justification the customer will refuse to go for the policy and move on to the competitor insurer.


Vikas January 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Thanks Gopal, I have already opted for HDFC Click 2 Protect just a few days before. It is good to see your positive advice about the same. 🙂

The HDFC agent who first praised their online plan was a little fraud. He lied about his brokerage. HDFC charges around 4% (3.5% + Tax) additional premium if we apply online plan through the agent…weird..”broker with online plan”!!

I refused to go through him and he showed his ugly face. Finally I applied online by myself. It is under processing.

Next I have to do something about LIC Jeevan Anand policy. I have paid 6 annual premiums of 40,000. Should I surrender this and apply for a LIC term plan? Rest of the premium(a part of it which is covered under 80C) can go to PPF account.

What do you suggest?


Gopal Gidwani January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hello Vikas,
If you surrender the policy you will have to incur a substantial loss. A better idea will be to convert the policy into a paid up policy if you dont need the money till the maturity of the policy. Making a policy paid will result in reduction in sum assured accordingly as below
Paid up value = [(Number of premiums paid / Number of premiums payable) * Sum Assured] + Bonus accrued so far

If you make policy paid up you will not be required to pay any further premiums. On maturity you will get the paid up value as per the calculation mentioned above.

Before deciding to surrender the policy or making it paid up have a rethink once again as it will lead to loss of insurance cover. I suggest you wait for your HDFC policy to arrive and then decide on the LIC policy


Gopal Gidwani January 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hello Yugesh,
You are required to submit the income documents at the time of taking the policy. Income / CTC proofs are not required to be given or income is not required to be proved by the nominee at the time of claim.

As part of financial underwriting, insurance companies ask for income documents to ascertain 1) Whether the person deserves the cover amount that he is asking for 2) Whether the person will be able to pay the premium for the cover amount that he is asking for.

I will suggest you break up your insurance requirement of Rs 1 crore into insurance policies from 2 insurance companies. Go for some amount from LIC Jeevan Amulya (say 20 lakhs) and for the remaining amount (80 Lakhs) go for HDFC Click2Protect.


Gopal Gidwani January 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

Hello Ashish,
I am happy to know that my advise was useful to you.

Keep visiting the blog from time to time and also share it with your friends ………. 🙂


Gopal Gidwani January 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hello Ashish,
You can go with HDFC. One nominee is good enough. You as the policyholder can change the nominee anytime before the maturity of the policy. Anyways the nominee does not get to use the money in his own way. Nominee is just the person to whom the insurance company passes the policy money. After that the nominee has the pass on the money to the person mentioned in your WILL or if there is no WILL then the money has to be passed to the legal hiers. In the WILL you can define how many people can share your estate and in what proportion.

So make sure you have a WILL and ask the insurer to record the same in its records so that the money can be passed to the right person/s.


Gopal Gidwani August 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Hello Mr. Bitu

No company practices such methods to make money. As far as handling claim rejection is concerned there are various measures put in place by the Government and IRDA to protect the interests of the policyholders.

Some of these measures include –

Complaining to the company customer service which has to reply within the stipulated time period. If that does not work you can escalate the complaint to the company Grievance Redressal Officer or Nodal Officer.

If that also does not work you can approach the IRDA Grievance Cell directly on Toll Free Number: 155255 or write to IRDA at

Also you have the option to approach the IRDA through Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS) through the IRDA Website.

Also you have the option to approach the Insurance Ombudsman

Also you have the option to approach the courts

So there are lot of measures taken by the Government and IRDA to protect the interests of the policyholders. Insurance companies are aware of all these safeguards in place for the policyholders. So the insurance companies will never reject your application or claim without a proper valid reason and till they dont have a strong case for their action.

So be rest assured the insurance companies are there to help people and not to cheat people and make money from them.

All companies are making a effort to improve their claim settlement ratio because they also know that these days people give a lot of importance to claim settlement ratio before choosing their insurer.


Bitu August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Thanks Gopal ji,

Your reply to my query was quite re assuring. I have taken iLife from Aviva based on this assurance.




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