scorecardresearch
Your money, your life

Your money, your life

The new year could see a shift towards protection and pure risk insurance covers.

For years, experts have cried themselves hoarse that the primary function of life insurance is protection. It appears that policyholders will see this for themselves in 2009. For too long now, they have treated life insurance as a taxplanning tool. Finally, they will see it more as a financial cushion for their dependants than as a longterm investment product.

In the coming year, one can expect protection plans that will cover all family members. Other plans will look at long-term healthcare options. Companies may offer plans that take care of rising prices by linking the insurance cover to inflation. There could also be Ulips that invest in global markets and in various asset classes; they might also come with index fund options.

2009

• New insurers to enter; greater competition may result in lower premium rates.

• More capital guarantee plans and variants to be launched.

• Inflation-adjusted covers to be prevalent.

• Cover for lifestyle-related ailments such as obesity, hypertension, even depression.

• Online purchase of life insurance will be finally allowed.

Health insurance is also likely to see a lot of action. One can expect insurers to offer cover for more lifestyle-related ailments such as obesity, hypertension, even depression. The plans that focus on high-risk, high-cost medical treatments will also find more variants. So, high-value covers are likely for cancer and heart ailments.

On the service front, technology will play a crucial role, as will investor education. With Ulips still ruling the roost, investors can get details from various channels, including the Web and mobile phone. This will also enhance distribution, which may use third-party channels and offer off-the-shelf insurance plans with limited covers. Online purchase of life insurance will be finally allowed for certain categories of people, and OTC (over-the-counter) plans will also be a reality. Also, banks may be allowed to offer policies of more than one insurer.

The companies will also make use of the opening up of the pension sector from April. This will allow them to offer an entire range of products, from protection and savings to retirement planning. With terror a major concern now, insurers may introduce specific products that will offer cover against it.