Whether term insurance is valid outside India or not? Know here
Naresh (a 35 years unmarried NRI) was staying in Denmark for the last 6 years. He was robust and healthy but passed away due to a dreadful accident in Denmark on an ill-fated day. He was survived by his parents in India and one younger brother. His younger brother was studying in a college at the time of his death. Though the sudden demise of the elder son has put Naresh’s parents into emotional mayhem, the family didn’t face any financial stress because of the term insurance coverage (1 crore) that Mahesh had purchased when he was 25 years old. He bought a policy term of 25 years from a renowned insurance company in India. Since the term insurance policy in India is valid outside India, too, his parents got a sum assured of Rs. 1 crore from the insurer. They utilized this amount for their younger son’s education and other financial expenses of the family.
So, is term insurance valid outside India? If you plan to relocate abroad for one or two years, you must be astonished to know that term insurance plans in India are also valid outside India.
Now, both Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can invest in various term plans in India offered by Indian insurance companies. As per the term policy, if the insured policyholder dies abroad during the policy term, the beneficiaries are eligible to receive the sum assured as per the policy guidelines. Though an insured policyholder doesn’t need to submit any particular documents if they are relocating abroad for a personal or professional assignment still, it is recommended to inform the home branch of the insurance company about this relocation.
How did an NRI procure a term insurance policy in India?
An NRI (Non-resident Indian) can be considered an Indian citizen if they have relocated abroad for job or business purposes. Indians who are migrating to various countries should remember some key points about term insurance plans in India.
- An applicant should be an Indian citizen during the time of purchasing a term policy. Now, the policyholder is insured for coverage even if they travel or stay abroad for job, business, or education purposes.
- The policyholder can’t apply for the citizenship of that country in the future at any cost.
An NRI who doesn’t own any term insurance in India during the time of relocation but wants to purchase one can do it in two ways.
- The person can purchase a term insurance policy in India after completing all the procedures and underwriting formalities. Once everything is completed, the term policy owned by the NRI can be considered as any other policy by an Indian national.
- Through a mail-order business facility, an NRI can invest in a term policy from India by staying in a foreign country. In this scenario, the policy will be verified by a notary, an Indian diplomat, or an official concerned person of the Indian embassy in that particular country.
Below is the list of documents that you need to submit to the insurer. The credentials may vary from company to company.
- A copy of your passport (attested)
- A complete application form (fill all the areas properly and correctly)
- You need to submit proof of your identity, age, address, income, earnings, along with your medical report.
Some pivotal features of NRI term insurance policies
- Policy term: For NRIs, the tenure of term insurance plans ranges between 6 months and 25 years. The applicant’s minimum age should be 18 years, while the maximum age varies between 55 to 60 years. The policy term depends on the age of the NRI and health conditions during the time of purchase.
- Sum Assured: The sum assured is fixed for NRIs, and it varies between Rs. 2 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore. In case of the sudden demise of the NRI policyholder, the sum assured is transferred to the beneficiary in his/her NRI account.
- Premium: The premium is not constant for NRIs. It depends on multifarious factors, including the policy term, sum assured, payment regularity, and riders (if selected). You can pay premiums through foreign currency transfer or your NRI bank account.
- Policy Renewal: Many term insurance providers also offer policy renewal options to NRI policyholders at the time of maturity. The NRI needs to pass some medical tests to fulfill the renewal criteria. To hold a good record, the NRIs also need to ensure that they don’t delay the premiums during the policy period.
- Claim Initiation: If the NRI policyholder dies outside India, the beneficiary needs to submit some prime documents to the insurance company to start the claim process. Common documents that you need to submit are the claim Intimation form (filled and signed correctly), the policy’s original document, and a copy of both address & identity proof. Sometimes, you need to submit additional documents including,
- Certificate of the employer with leave and contact details
- Certificate of embalming (if the body has been preserved)
- A verified (by the Indian embassy in that particular country) copy of the death certificate
- If the documents are not in English, you need to submit the translated version of all the documents.
Term insurance policy for NRIs brings smiles to the face of Indian parents and dependents of policyholders. But this policy is not applicable to all NRIs in foreign countries, particularly (Afghanistan, Middle Eastern and African countries) that are disturbed. Only NRIs staying in the USA and UK can enjoy the benefits of term insurance plans in India. So, before opting for a term plan in India, go through the set of questions provided by insurance companies. If you plan to settle down in a foreign country by renouncing your Indian citizenship, you should purchase a term insurance plan for that particular country. This will save your time by omitting unnecessary paperwork.