This image shows a Truth-o-meter. A simple but powerful device. With it, you can get a Guarantee – that if you are completely honest with your term life insurance plan application, a 100% confirmation that the life insurance claim will be paid to the your nominee in the case of your death. But there is one condition – all the while during the term life insurance application process, your truth-o-meter needs to show green, i.e. you will be going with the Truth and nothing else, when buying your term life insurance plan. Believe us when we say it will be worth it.
Oh, and another thing. If you truth-o-meter is orange or red, there is neither a Guarantee, nor a second chance! You will be gone, and with it, all the dreams that you had for your family. Hmm, not a good situation.
So now that we have your attention and hopefully your confirmation of quoting the truth, here’s how you need to go about buying your term life insurance plan.
Filling up the Application Form for Term Life Insurance
Whatever kind of a person you are otherwise, when you are buying a term life insurance policy, make sure you are a Gandhian! The term life insurance policy you buy will not be worth it if when you fill up the application form, you choose not to disclose anything as follows…
- about all the life insurance policies you already have or that you may be buying in parallel from the same/another insurance company
- something you feel is small or insignificant (let them decide if it is),
- some unhealthy habit,
- something you may be embarrassed about,
- some hazard that you face regularly (because of your occupation like being a pilot or an adventure sport like diving), or
- some adverse medical/health condition that you feel may lead to increase in premiums or perhaps denial of the policy.
Ensure that you double-check key inputs in the application form such as gender, date of birth, lifestyle and habits (smoking, exercise, drinking, etc.), your income details, and family history.
Most Important : If you have an agent (most agents unfortunately do not recommend this product), you may want to go through him/her for your term life insurance policy. Not a problem at all (but do check the premium rate, online term life insurance is much cheaper). There are some agents who cut short the application form filling process (to make it easy for them) by filling in just your basic information such as your name, your address and your date of birth. They will then ask you to sign the last page of the form. In doing so, they fail to fulfill their responsibility as a primary underwriter in life insurance who moral and professional duty is to inquire and mention your complete medical history in the form. This will be disastrous if some fact is omitted or mis-represented by the agent. Now you need to remember that this is a term life insurance policy – not just an investment or savings plan (in which the worst is that you lose your premium).
For a term life insurance policy, it is in your interest (not the agent’s) to ensure that all information is declared correctly and all requested documents are submitted. So make sure that you fill every detail in the application form yourself only. We are sure you don’t want something to go horribly wrong for some silly error! Preferably, buy online.
Submission of Documents
When applying for a term life insurance policy, in addition to the application form, the insurance company may ask you to submit documents such as Age Proof, Identity Proof, Income Documents and also a scanned recent photograph. Do ensure that everything is submitted (or uploaded in case you are doing it online) and also make sure that they are all clear and readable. This is important for not just speedy processing but ensuring that there are no problems at a later stage, especially in case of a claim.
There is generally no medical test for life cover up to Rs. 25-30 lakhs, for a healthy person when you buy a term life insurance policy. The limit can vary with age and the insurance company. Beyond that limit, medical tests are mandatory since the insurance company is taking the high financial risk of your life.
Most of the medical tests are now done at home, however, if you cover is high and if either/both of X-Ray and TMT (Treadmill Test) is required, you may have to visit a nearby medical center.
As part of the medical test, you will meet a doctor or paramedic (a licensed healthcare professional appointed by the insurance company) at a pre-fixed date and time (generally in the morning). The doctor will…
- ask and reconfirm your complete medical history including any conditions, surgeries and any prescription medications that you have had earlier or are having now
- check lifestyle habits that can potentially affect your health (such as exercise, smoking, drinking, recreational drug use, frequent travel or high-risk hobbies) and the company’s decision
- check about your family’s medical history(including parents, siblings, spouse, children)
- check your height and weight (ensure you have mentioned it accurately in the form, accuracy of this information is extremely important)
- check blood pressure, pulse-rate
- take a blood sample, urine sample (in certain cases, you need to take both these samples twice – once early in the morning before breakfast, and once 2 hours after breakfast)
- for very high life insurance cover, perform more tests such as AIDS, Australian Antigen Test (a blood test), chest X-ray, an ECG (or a 3-D Echo-cardiogram) for heartbeat, and a 20-minute treadmill test.
While all these may sound intimidating, you shouldn’t bother so much since they will not take too much time. In any case, getting a health check up done is not a bad thing at all, right?
You must declare everything and answer every question honestly to the medical examiner. Even if there is something that he/she is missing, point it out and ensure it is noted. It could be a reason for claim rejection later.
Term Life Policy Issuance
Once your application form and medical reports are checked by the insurance company, your term life insurance policy application will either be approved or denied. This takes 5-7 working days (after the medical test) depending the company. Sometimes, the insurance company may request more information either from you or your doctor in case there is something adverse/missing in your medical report. You could also have to go through additional tests in some extreme cases, or be asked to pay a higher premium to get the policy. The company sometimes may also limit your insurance cover.
Sorry this has become a long article. But if you have read it all, you are now ready to apply for your term life insurance policy.