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Types of Life Insurance Policies

Life insurance is an important financial tool that provides a safety net for your loved ones in the event of your unexpected death. With so many different types of policies available, it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of term life insurance and why it's a great option for people of all ages.

  • 65,797 Views | Updated on: May 10, 2024

A life insurance policy provides financial protection to your family in the unfortunate event of death. At a basic level, it involves paying small monthly sums called premiums. However, depending on the type of life insurance products you have opted for at the policy’s maturity, you will receive returns the policy may have earned over the years. Also, in case of the policyholder’s untimely demise during the tenure of the policy, your family will receive a lump sum amount.

There are various types of life insurance products that cater to a wide variety of needs, such as:

  • Planning for your retirement
  • Saving for a specific goal in the future
  • Planning for your children’s education
  • Ensuring a flow of income in case of the loss of your ability to earn
  • This article will help you know what is the classification of life insurance.

    Life Insurance Policies in India

  • Term Insurance
  • Whole Life Policy
  • Endowment Policy
  • Money Back Policy
  • ULIP Plans
  • Annuity and Pension
  • Retirement Plans
  • Group Insurance Plans

Types of Life Insurance Plans

Different life insurance plans also offer additional benefits such as savings, investment opportunities, and tax benefits. Understanding the different types of life insurance plans is crucial when selecting the right policy that meets an individual’s specific needs and goals. Read ahead to know the overview of various types of life insurance plans available in the market.

Term Insurance

The simplest form of life insurance product is a term insurance policy. Being a pure risk cover policy, term insurance protects the person insured for a specific period. In such type of a life insurance policy, a fixed sum of money called the sum assured is paid to the beneficiaries if the policyholder expires within the policy term.

Term Insurance Benefits

  • Income Tax exemptions: The premiums paid towards term Insurance provide income tax exemption.
  • 100% risk cover: These insurance policies provide 100% risk cover, and hence they do not have any additional charges other than the basics.
  • Lowest premiums: Premiums paid for term life insurance policies are the lowest in the life insurance category.

Whole Life Policy

A whole life policy covers a policyholder against death throughout his life. The validity of this life insurance policy is not defined; hence, the individual enjoys the life cover. Under this life insurance policy, the policyholder pays regular premiums until his death, upon which the corpus is paid to the family.

Whole Life Insurance Benefits

  • More extended cover: The policy does not expire till the time any unfortunate event occurs with the individual.
  • Tax benefits: Premiums paid under the whole life policies are tax-exempt.
  • Enhanced protection: Increasingly, whole-life policies are combined with other insurance products to address various needs such as retirement planning, etc.

Endowment Policy

Endowment policies are among the popular life insurance policies, combining risk cover and financial savings. Policyholders benefit in two ways from a pure endowment insurance policy. First, in case of death during the tenure, the beneficiary gets the sum assured. If the individual survives the policy tenure, he gets back the premiums paid with other investment returns and benefits like bonuses.

Endowment Policy Benefits

  • Guaranteed payout: Endowment policies typically provide a guaranteed payout at the end of the policy term, which can provide peace of mind and help with long-term financial planning.
  • Life insurance coverage: Endowment policies also include life insurance coverage, which can be an added benefit if you’re looking to provide for loved ones in the event of your unexpected passing.
  • Savings and investment: Endowment policies often include an element of savings and investment, which means you can earn interest on your premium payments and potentially build up a larger sum of money over time. This can be especially beneficial if you’re looking for a low-risk way to save for long-term goals like a child’s education or retirement.

Money Back Policy

Many people prefer this life insurance policy because it gives periodic payments during the term of the policy. In other words, a portion of the sum assured is paid out at regular intervals. If the policyholder survives the term, he gets the balance sum assured.

Money Back Policy Benefits

  • Corpus gain: In case of death during the policy term, the beneficiary gets the total sum assured.
  • Choice of ULIP versions: Various life insurers offer new ULIP versions of money-back policies.
  • Tax benefits: The premiums paid and the returns accumulated through a money-back policy or its ULIP variants are tax-exempt.


Unit-Linked Insurance Plans are market-linked life insurance products that provide life cover and wealth creation options. A part of the amount people invest in ULIP provides life cover, while the rest is invested in equity and debt instruments for maximizing returns.

ULIP Benefits

  • Flexibility to invest: ULIPs provide the flexibility of choosing from a variety of fund options depending on the customer’s risk appetite.
  • Aggressive funds: Mainly invested in the equity market with the objective of high capital appreciation.
  • Conservative funds: Invested in debt markets, cash, bank deposits, and other instruments to preserve capital while providing steady returns.
  • Long-term planning: ULIPs can help achieve various long-term financial goals such as planning for retirement, a child’s education, marriage, etc.

Annuity And Pension

In these life insurance policies, the insurer agrees to pay the insured a stipulated sum of money periodically. The purpose of an annuity is to protect against financial risks and provide money in the form of a pension at regular intervals.

Annuity And Pension Benefits

Tax Considerations: Both annuity and pension benefits have tax implications that you should be aware of. Annuity payments are generally taxable as ordinary income, although some types of annuities may offer tax advantages. Pension benefits may also be taxable, depending on how they are structured and funded. It’s important to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to understand the tax implications of annuity and pension benefits and how they will affect your overall retirement income plan.

Retirement Plans

Providing you with stability and security financially after retirement is the main goal of a retirement plan, a sort of life insurance. You can build an ongoing, reliable income stream by investing in retirement plans. If you keep making investments up until you retire, the plan will assist you in covering your living costs.

Throughout your working life, it mandates that you regularly invest a set portion of your income. The money you have saved up will be transformed into a steady income stream when you retire. Death benefits are another aspect of retirement programmes.

Retirement Plan Benefits

  • Financial Security: Retirement plan benefits can provide financial security for retirees, ensuring that they have a steady stream of income throughout their retirement years. This income can be in the form of a pension, 401(k) plan, or other retirement savings plan. By contributing to these plans over the course of their careers, individuals can build up a nest egg that will help them cover their expenses in retirement.
  • Tax Advantages: Retirement plan benefits often come with tax advantages that can help individuals save money on their taxes. For example, contributions to a 401(k) plan are made with pre-tax dollars, which means that they can lower an individual’s taxable income for the year. Additionally, some retirement plans offer tax-free growth, which means that the money in the plan can grow tax-free until it is withdrawn.

Group Insurance Plans

A group life insurance policy is a type of life insurance that covers a group of people inside a single insurance policy. Group insurance covers a minimum of 10 members, unlike individual life insurance policies, which cover one person for a specific period of time.

Employers, banks, corporates, and other homogeneous groups of persons can buy group Life Insurance policies for their employees and customers. While employers would want to offer financial protection to their employees’ families, banks and lending institutions aim to keep the debt off the borrowers’ families after their death.

Group Insurance Plan Benefits

  • Cost-effectiveness: Group insurance plans offer cost-effective benefits for both the employer and the employees. Since the coverage is offered to a large group of individuals, the premium is usually lower than individual insurance plans. Moreover, employers can negotiate better rates with insurance providers due to the large number of employees covered under the plan.
  • Increased coverage: Group insurance plans provide a wider range of coverage options than individual insurance plans. This includes health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage. Group insurance plans also provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, which might not be covered under individual insurance plans.
  • Employee satisfaction: Group insurance plans are an excellent way to attract and retain talented employees. Providing comprehensive health and welfare benefits shows that the employer cares about the well-being of its employees. This can improve employee morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. Additionally, group insurance plans provide a sense of financial security for employees, which can reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

How to Choose the Right Type of Life Insurance Policy?

Choosing the right type of life insurance policy can be a daunting task, as there are many options available in the market. Each type of policy comes with its unique features, benefits, and costs, and selecting the right one depends on your individual circumstances, financial goals, and personal preferences.

Assess Your Life Insurance Goals

Individuals may have different goals. You must plan for your life insurance goals with the aid of suitable life insurance coverage. If protecting your family’s financial security is your primary goal, you may be able to find a term insurance plan that offers high coverage at affordable rates.

If you want to save money for your child’s education or if you want to purchase your own dream home, think about investing in a unit-linked insurance plan. A retirement plan that can guarantee consistent income for your ongoing costs after retirement is another option.

Calculate the Optimal Insurance Cover that You Need

You should carry life insurance coverage that is at least ten to fifteen times your annual income, according to several financial gurus. While determining the right life insurance sum, there are a number of factors to take into account. If you have debts, it may be difficult for your family to make ends meet if you were to pass away. You should also put money aside for your kids’ higher education or eventual marriage. If your family’s main provider were to depart, it might be difficult for them to maintain their current standard of living due to inflation. Therefore, you must determine the total of the following:

  • Your family’s annual expenses multiplied by the number of years during which income replacement may be necessary
  • Your overall debt balance and, if applicable, the cost of paying off any mortgages
  • The sum that must be set away for future costs such as your child’s schooling, marriage, etc.
  • You can subtract the whole of your liquid assets, such as cash on hand or in the bank, as well as any other types of investments, from the expenses listed above to arrive at a suitable life insurance cover.

Find the Coverage Offering the Best Bargain After Calculating the Premium You Must Pay

Using online premium calculators, you may figure out how much of a premium you need to pay for the required quantity of life insurance. Find the policy that provides the best protection at a price that fits your budget by comparing several ones. Take into account how long you will be paying premiums based on your anticipated income over the next few years.

Select the Correct Policy Term

The appropriate length of the policy term is the period during which your family will be financially dependent on you. The usual rule is to subtract your current age from the age at which you anticipate your income to end or at which you aim to achieve a certain life goal in order to determine the optimum insurance term.

Choose a Reliable Life Insurance Company

Over the course of several years, reputable life insurance providers frequently have a Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) of over 95%. The CSR is the ratio of the company’s settled claims to the total number of claims filed during a fiscal year. You can check the most recent CSR of the various insurance carriers in India by going to the website of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI). It’s also a good idea to study customer reviews to determine how quick and easy your life insurer’s claim process is.


Life insurance is an essential financial product that helps individuals protect their loved ones financially in the event of an unforeseen death. India offers a variety of life insurance policies to meet the diverse needs of its citizens.

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specified period, while whole life insurance offers coverage for the entire life of the policyholder. Endowment policies combine insurance coverage with savings and investment features. Unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) provide the policyholder with investment opportunities and insurance protection.

In addition to these policies, there are also specialized plans such as group life insurance, pension plans, and child plans. It is important for individuals to understand the features and benefits of each policy type before making a decision.

Key takeaways

  • The primary purpose of life insurance is to provide financial security to the dependents of the policyholder in the event of their death.
  • The premiums paid towards term Insurance provide income tax exemption.
  • A whole life policy covers a policyholder against death throughout his life.
  • ULIPs are market-linked life insurance products that provide life cover and wealth creation options.
  • Providing you with stability and security financially after retirement is the main goal of a retirement plan.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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