MWP Act - Marriage Women's Property Act in Term Life Insurance
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Why You Should Buy Term Insurance under the MWP Act (Married Women’s Property Act)?

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Why You Should Buy Term Insurance under the MWP Act (Married Women’s Property Act)?

We all know that safeguarding women’s rights and interests have always been crucial in any society. The Married Women’s Property Act (MWP Act), 1874, was also enacted for similar reasons.

Most people believe that buying a life insurance policy will ensure the well-being of their family, spouse, and children in case of their unfortunate demise. But what if you have significant unpaid debts left behind you? This is where the MWP Act in insurance comes into play - to protect the financial rights of your wife and children.

Now you must be thinking about what is MWP Act, how it will help in safeguarding your wife and children, etc. Let’s understand in detail what the MWP Act is, its pros & cons, and how it secures your family.

What Is the MWP Act?

The Married Women’s Property Act (MWP Act) is an Act that states that an Indian married woman’s earnings are her own property. This act is included in the life insurance policy bought by any man and mandates that the money received by the wife from the policy is her property and cannot be used to repay the husband’s liabilities.

How Does the MWP Act Protect Your Family?

Under the MWP Act in insurance, only your wife and children can lay a claim on the policy proceeds. No other relative, heirs, or creditors can stake a claim on the money. When compared to other policies, the creditors can claim the money from the proceeds if you have debts and loans to your name. But under the MWP Act, the rules are different. Even though you may have debts, your family would be financially secure.

For example, as an individual breadwinner for your family, suppose that you are a salaried employee with a home/personal loan or a business owner with debts. In the case of your demise, your creditors and lenders will have the first claim on the proceeds of your term life insurance policy. This will leave your family, wife, and children financially unstable.

However, when you buy the policy under the MWP Act, then only your wife and children will be able to make claims on the policy process of your term insurance. The nominees mentioned in the MWPA insurance remain unchanged for the whole policy tenure.

Additionally, this is a great tool to empower the claims of your wife and children on the proceeds, even if there are other factors that could have influenced the proceeds of the sum insured, like a joint family setup and other outside factors.

Who Should Opt for MWP Act?

Any salaried individual can buy a term insurance policy under the MWP Act. If you are a widower or a divorcee, you can still name your children under this Act. You can nominate only your wife and children, and no other family member or heir would be able to lay a claim. But the beneficiary cannot be changed later even if you end up divorcing your wife.

How to buy term insurance under the MWP Act, 1874?

Buying your term insurance plan under the MWP Act, 1874 is quite a simple process.

  • When you are filling out the insurance paper, you will find a question that if you wish to purchase term insurance under the MWP Act.
  • You must select ‘Yes’ as your answer.
  • If you select the option, then you will have to provide information regarding your nominee, which includes name, date of birth, your relationship with the nominee, and the percentage of share
  • The policy under the MWP Act only allows your wife and children to be your nominees in insurance policy.

Who all are covered under the MWP Act?

The MWP Act India allows you to buy a term plan that covers the financial requirements of your family in case something unfortunate happens to you. The nominees under the Act can be:

  • Only your wife
  • Only your children (both natural, as well as. adopted)
  • Your wife and children together

When you are buying the policy under this Act, you can also add trustees. According to the MWP Act in insurance, the trustees can be multiple people, including any of your nominees or a financial institution/bank. It is not mandatory to include any trustee in the form, and you can change the trustees at any time. If you choose to have trustees, then you have to provide proof of their consent along with the insurance form papers.

Illustration for a better explanation

Mr. Roy had bought a term insurance plan under the Married Women’s Property Act in India and added his wife and children as nominees. When he had suddenly passed away, the lender of his home loan demanded that their dues are paid using the sum assured received from the term insurance policy. The case was taken to court, and the verdict was given in favor of the family. The MWP Act made sure that the wife and the children receive the money.

The purpose of the term insurance plan is to financially protect the family after the policyholder’s death. The MWP Act, 1874 ensures that even more effectively.

Pros and cons of the MWP Act

Pros

  • The needs of the policyholder’s family are given priority
  • The MWP Act India is applicable to every married woman respective of their religion
  • The term insurance cover is used to protect the needs of the family and not for any other purpose
  • There is no requirement of creating a trust separately for your children
  • The Act helps women empowerment by providing them with financial security

Cons

  • The policyholder’s debt cannot be paid with the cover
  • There is no option to change beneficiaries
  • The policyholder needs consent from the adult nominees in writing to make any changes to the policy
  • The risk of misuse is higher

FAQs on MWP Act

1. Under the MWP Act, can I assign or take a loan on my policy?

No, you cannot assign someone else or take a loan against the policy if your insurance plan is covered under the MWP Act.

2. Can I surrender a policy that is covered under the MWP Act?

Yes, you can surrender the policy, but it has to be signed by the beneficiaries. The proceeds of the policy will be given to the policyholder for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

3.Can I change the beneficiary of the policy, If I nominate my wife as the beneficiary, but we end up divorcing each other?

No, you cannot change the beneficiary once you have opted for one already under the MWP Act.

4.What if my wife is the beneficiary of the policy, but she passes away before me?

In the event of your wife’s death, your legal heir will receive the proceedings of the policy. But it is recommended to nominate more than one beneficiary.

5. Can I have more than one plan under the MWP Act?

Yes, you can have more than one insurance policy under the MWP Act, but they have to be registered separately under the Act.

6. Can I nominate my parents as beneficiaries under the MWP Act?

No, your parents cannot be nominated as the beneficiary. The MWP Act only covers your wife and children.

7.Can I assign an existing life insurance policy under the MWP Act?

No, you cannot assign an existing insurance policy under the MWP Act. If you want to assign any policy, it has to be done at the time of purchase.

Now that you know and understand MWP Act, it is time that you ensure that the term insurance policy you are planning to take has these clauses mentioned. This way you can ensure that your wife and children rightfully get the process of your life insurance. Not only that, these proceeds will help your wife and children sustain a stable financial life.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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