Quick Notes: ICICI Pru iCare Online Term Plan

by Vinaya HS on August 29, 2012

in Finance

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A quick word of thanks to everyone who wrote in asking for ICICI Prudential’s iCare Online Term Plan to be reviewed next. This post’s for you.

Upon first glance, iCare looks to be a clean and simple policy — until you see a whole bunch of fine print conveniently tucked away in almost invisible text.

You’d need a magnifying glass out here –

Image of iCare fine print

  • The maximum age at maturity is 75-years. Great, but then the policy term is discontinuous and you can only select from 5/10/15/20/25/30-years. Hence, for example, if you’re 46-years old, you can only choose a maximum policy term of 25-years because otherwise you’d cross the maximum maturity age of 75-years if the policy term was 30-years. But with a continuous option, you’d have been able to choose a maximum policy term of 29-years. I like term plans that offer a policy term in increments of a year.

  • The maximum sum assured is age bound. It’s 1.5 crore for the 18 — 50 age bracket and 70 lacs for the 51 — 65 age bracket. I think this is a sensible underwriting rule that correctly and completely goes against the “expert advise” of you needing several crores of rupees worth of insurance cover.

  • There’s an Accident Death Benefit (ADB) rider optionally available. But the definition of an Accidental Death (as found in the above fine print) is quite enlightening –

Accidental Death Benefit:

For the purpose of Accidental Death Benefit payable on accident the following conditions shall apply:

a. Death due to accident should not be caused by the following:

i. Attempted suicide or self inflicted injuries while sane or insane, or whilst the Life Assured is under the influence of any narcotic substance or drug or intoxicating liquor; or

ii. Engaging in aerial flights (including parachuting and skydiving) other than as a fare paying passenger on a licensed passenger-carrying commercial aircraft (being a multi-engined aircraft) operating on a regular scheduled route; or

iii. The Life Assured committing any breach of law; or

iv. Due to war, whether declared or not or civil commotion; or

v. Engaging in hazardous sports or pastimes, e.g. taking part in (or practicing for) boxing, caving, climbing, horse racing, jet skiing, martial arts, mountaineering, off piste skiing, pot holing, power boat racing, underwater diving, yacht racing or any race, trial or timed motor sport.

b. Death due to accident must be caused by violent, external and visible means.

c. The accident shall result in bodily injury or injuries to the Life Assured independently of any other means. Such injury or injuries shall, within 180 days of the occurrence of the accident, directly and independently of any other means cause the death of the Life Assured. In the event of the death of the Life Assured after 180 days of the occurrence of the accident, the Company shall not be liable to pay this benefit.

d. The policy must be in-force as at the time of accident.

e. The Company shall not be liable to pay this benefit in case the death of the Life Assured occurs after the date of termination of the policy.

Seriously, with these many terms and conditions you would really need to plan out your accidental death in fine detail.

  • Then comes the shocker! For our usual 30-30-1 benchmark plan (30-year old buying a 30-year plan for Rs 1 crore cover), the indicated premium is Rs 13,800 excluding service tax and cess (and Rs 15,506 including service tax and cess). A whopping 89% higher when compared with the current leader — AEGON Religare iTerm Plan — in this series.

  • And here’s the most funny thing — the portal offers two options, “1 crore” and “1 crores”, and then seems to think that “1 crore” and “1 crores” are different numerical values. Hilarious! But then again, I wonder how many people have shelled out that extra Rs 77 (15,583 for “1 crores” minus 15,506 for “1 crore”) as premium and would continue to do so for the next 30-years. Even the premium for the ADB rider changes by Rs 4. Small amounts, but then I’m pretty sure you have worked pretty hard for every rupee that you earn.

Premium calculation for a cover of 1 crore –

Image of premium calculation for iCare for a premium of 1 crore

Premium calculation for a cover of 1 crores – (Rs 77 extra!)

Image of premium calculation for iCare for a premium of 1 crores

So, you can almost guess my verdict by now.

An exorbitant premium with nothing drastically different to offer means that the ICICI Pru iCare Online Term Plan is relegated to the forget-me category. Which means, our top ranker — AEGON Religare iTerm Online Term Plan — continues to be the top ranker.

What do you think?

A quick reminder: To help you to keep up with new term plan reviews, to go back and refer to past reviews, and to share all of this content with your friends, I’ve created the following easy to remember link — http://bit.ly/termplans. So, please go ahead, bookmark and share — I see that many of you already are. Thanks!

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Girish August 29, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Thanks a lot Vinaya, for these great reviews.
These posts have been an eye-opener to understand this polices correctly.
Upauktha Mahithi…
Keep the blogs flowing…

Vinaya HS August 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

@Girish –

You being one of the earliest readers of this blog, it’s really nice to hear this encouragement from you. :-) Thanks!

Rakesh August 29, 2012 at 8:14 PM


Very good review, I had checked their calculator but did not come across 1 crore and 1 crores, hilarious. Wonder they know about it?

sethu August 29, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I agree with the policy term not being continuous is a major negative.

But i find the ADB terms & conditions are quite clear-Why would ICICI pay ADB if anyone commits a suicide or knowingly involve in any sport which is dangerous to his life? After all they are running a business here.

The premiums were on a higher end because there is no medical test involved in it which obviously increases the risk exposure to the company.Aegon is a new entrant to insurance when compared to ICICI.Settlement ratio of Aegon is pretty bad(accept that these were the initial days but still this is the most important factor) So ICICI beats aegon in CLaim settlement as well as time spent in the industry.

This policy works good for smokers and pretty bad for those non-smokers because the preimum is same for the age irrespective of whether he touched a cigar or not in his life.

My take is i would prefer paying more premiums annaully for a reputed company with a better settlement ratio than to pay a less annual premium to a new entrant with a pathetic settlement ratio.

I am not saying ICICI i Care is the best but if there is a compariosn between ICICI and Aegon its ICICI all the way.


Rakesh August 30, 2012 at 10:56 PM

ICICI Icare customer service is pathetic, I almost ended up buying this policy but due to poor customer service opted out at the last moment.

Sam August 31, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Aviva i-life is much better compared to I Pru…

Sanz August 31, 2012 at 4:57 PM


Very informative article. Your articles have helped in deciding which one to take.

On the same way, can you throw some light on the personal health insurance policies available online viz., Appollo, Max Bupa…

Your insight is highly appreciated.


Vinaya H S September 6, 2012 at 1:37 PM

@sethu –

“This policy works good for smokers and pretty bad for those non-smokers because the preimum is same for the age irrespective of whether he touched a cigar or not in his life.”

Wow! Thanks! I missed this important fact.

The ADBs are kind of ridiculous though. Consider “climbing.” Climbing what? A hill, a mountain, or a ladder? And “martial arts.” So just because you’re learning martial arts for self-defence disqualifies you from this policy? How about hanging a punching bag at home and beating it with boxing gloves. Does that qualify as “practicing for boxing?”

I think the only way you can claim the ADB is to permanently sit in one place at home 24 x 7.

Vinaya H S September 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

@Rakesh –

He he he. What happened? How bad were they?

Vinaya H S September 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

@Sanz –

Thanks. :-)

Will feature these in the coming days.

Prashant September 20, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Hi Vinaya,

Your posts have been very informative and your reviews of the Term Plans have indeed helped me a lot.
But, pointing out to the meaning of Death and exclusions therein, similar clauses are also mentioned in Aegon Religare Plan. Though, the clauses have been mentioned with similar words, although, strangely under the ‘critical illness’ section.

My doubt, in light of the Accidental Riders etc, What kind of death is actually covered by these insurance policies ??
If I plan to go for a term plan, I go for it for situations where the death cant be foreseen.. For probable causes, i.e., old age, bad health or any other such cause, I am anyways expecting myself to survive the maturity limit (I am 26 right now) and the untimely death I expect is either due to road accident, air crash or since I am an adventure enthusiast, during such a ‘risky activity’. These policies mention on accident as any clarification of death, rest I assume is natural death they are talking about.

In such case, what kind of/which plan should I opt for. Life Insurance, for me, is to meet exigent situations, which if excluded per se by these plans, the whole purpose becomes futile !!

Ravindranath November 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Hi Manish,
Please could you let us know whether the claims are settled in case of death (normal) of the the policy holder of a term insurance policy only after completion of a medical test or post mortem report by the insurance company subject to their satisfaction …for term insurance policies from Aegon Religare / ICICI/ HDFC/ Kotak/SBI etc….Does the legal heirs or relatives of the deaceased have the responsibility to inform the respective insurance company immediately after the death of the insured ? If the post mortem report content has deviations from the facts mentioned by the insured at the time of policy approval , which may be due to the changes in health condition of the insured (i.e. as age increases) from the policy enforcement date till his/her death, then there is every possibility that the claim can be rejected….What recoursewould the legal heirs have in these scenarios whether the term insurance policies are approved with medical tests or without medical tests?

I am a bit confused after going through all the Q&A and the pros & cons especially for term insurance policies without medical tests.

Good job….keep up the good work going in future also……


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