Taking life insurance in today’s times of uncertainty is de rigueur for any responsible person. While lifestyle diseases and serious illnesses like cancer are on the rise, the world is also witnessing unprecedented acts of terrorism and natural disasters. All in all, life is quite unsafe all over the world. But while we can exercise no control over how the world behaves and affects us, we can certainly safeguard ourselves and our families with life and health insurance policies.
However, the timing of purchase is crucial: any financial planner and insurance advisor will tell you that the younger you are when you buy life and health insurance plans in India, the lower your premium payments will be. There is a curious correlation between one’s age and how affordable or expensive the insurance plans become. This correlation changes with:
The 20s: A person has a job with a modest income, possibly a first job. The policy holder has relatively lesser family responsibilities and can easily pay the health insurance policy premiums. A person in their 20s is also healthier and fitter than his older counterparts, so the chance of disease is lower. Also, insurers estimate a larger life span for the policy holder, hence the sum assured will be higher while the premium payments will be lower.
The 30s: By this time, a person is married and has a family, while also having a stable job. His income is also higher than in the previous decade, while his health profile may not be as good as earlier. Insurers anticipate that certain lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cardiac problems take root in this decade. Also, your profession and lifestyle can have a bearing on the premiums of your health insurance policy. If you are employed in a line of work that puts you in danger (such as the police force, fire brigade, mining and construction, etc.) the insurer will insist on a higher premium payment for you.
The 40s and 50s: Premiums on health insurance plans will be much higher as compared to those a person in his 20s would pay. Insurers anticipate a lower life expectancy for the customer at this stage, along with many varied expenses at home (children’s higher education, medical treatment costs for self and parents, home mortgage payments, etc.) and so, the premiums will be larger. Insurers will also insist on a detailed health profile to eliminate the possibility of unknown diseases, critical illnesses, disorders arising out of smoking and substance abuse, etc.
The 60s: Most insurers do not give health insurance policies in India to people who have crossed the age of 60 years. People in this age group have retired from active duty, hence they do not have an income from which they can pay their health premiums. Secondly, it is costlier to insure a person past the age of 60 because of a high incidence of poor health and diseases. Instead of taking individual health plans in their 60s, people in this age group should look at getting included in the family health plans of their children.