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 —
- 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 youâ€™re 46-years old, you can only choose a maximum policy term of 25-years because otherwise youâ€™d cross the maximum maturity age of 75-years if the policy term was 30-years. But with a continuous option, youâ€™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.
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 â€” AEGON Religare iTerm Online Term Plan â€” 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!