The spread of the novel coronavirus has not yet reached manageable levels. Economies are reeling under the shock of lockdowns and social distancing norms. Life has never been so uncertain in the past century. Hence, it is vital to review your financial decisions now. It would be best if you actively looked for the best ways to invest money to ensure your family’s economic well-being.
Moreover, with India becoming the second country among nations worst-hit by COVID-19, securing your loved ones’ wellbeing is the need of the hour. Along with following all health and safety norms, you must buy life insurance to tackle the economic impact of the pandemic.
But how to invest money wisely?
What can be the right investment strategy in this pandemic panic? Here’s an overview.
Take into account the changing reality
The possibility of the global economy hurtling into a recession is looming larger every day. If that happens, there can be a liquidity crunch along with severe inflation. Hence, it is advisable to choose financial instruments that are adequately liquid. Those will help meet contingencies.
Keeping this need in mind, traditional savings oriented insurance policies appear to be viable options. The benefits of investing in these insurance products are as follows:
Moreover, the current pandemic starkly highlighted the importance of investing in life insurance. It can secure your family against a shortage of funds if they permanently lose your income.
How to buy a life insurance policy during COVID-19 pandemic
An effective financial plan involves buying life insurance to shield your loved ones against monetary distress in case of an eventuality. And with even the young and healthy falling prey to the novel coronavirus, Indians are now more appreciative of life insurance’s importance.
Here’s a guideline to help you buy life insurance and protect your family’s financial health against COVID-19’s aftermath.
The internet: the new place to shop for financial products
Maintaining social distancing has become an absolute necessity today. Consumers are thus turning to the internet to buy every essential item. Hence, most insurance providers have made policies available online. You can thus buy life insurance online and avoid interactions with agents or the officers from your insurance company.
What are the advantages if you buy life insurance policy online?
Where to invest money in these uncertain times – selecting the right life insurance type
Several savings oriented and term-based life insurance products are available online. You should include both types in your portfolio.
Whichever policy you buy, make sure it covers claims due to COVID-19.
Also, if you are aged or suffer from medical conditions that can make you more vulnerable to the SARS-COV-2 virus, you may have to face restrictions for buying life insurance. Look into the maximum applicant age and underlying health conditions that the policy covers to avoid refusals.
Disclose all health details in the proposal form
Life insurance companies are covering claims arising due to the pandemic. But you must inform your insurer about your travel histories and exposure to the virus before you buy life insurance policy.
You may have to make COVID-based disclosers, such as:
If any of your answers are in the affirmative, you may have to wait for some time to be able to buy life insurance.
However, never hide any information when filling up the application form. If a claim arises and your insurer’ investigations reveal that you withheld information, they might reject the claim.
Using the digital system to authenticate your details
Meeting agents face-to-face to provide your wet signature on the policy form has become challenging in the new normal. To bypass this impasse, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has approved digital verifications.
After you submit the proposal form, your insurer will share a one-time password (OTP) on your mobile phone or email-ID. If you agree to the proposal, you have to click on the confirmation link in the message and validate the OTP. The insurer will consider it as evidence for your consent.
After you pay the premium, the insurer will send your life insurance policy electronically via email. Physical policies are not mandatory. Thus, your life cover comes in force sooner.
Returning the policy if proved unsatisfactory
Insurers offer a free-look period, the duration during which you can terminate the policy without any penalty. This period has now been extended to 30 days from the receipt date of the electronic policy.
Moreover, you do not have to visit an insurance office to surrender your policy. You can drop in an email expressing your wish to end the contract.
However, in these turbulent times, it is vital to entrust your hard-earned money to an insurance provider with a strong financial foothold. Here’s what you should look for to determine the credibility of your insurance provider:
A high claim settlement ratio (CSR) – the indicator of an insurer’s reliability
Opt for an insurer with a CSR over 95%. It shows that the company is committed towards its liability towards policyholders. It is more likely to settle your claim when the time arrives.
A high solvency ratio – a pointer to the insurer’s financial strength
1.5 is the minimum figure that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) advises. This number reflects the insurance company’s capacity to meet policyholders’ claims.
Other factors that that you need to look for include:
Along with securing your loved ones against the ravages of coronavirus, it is also essential to create wealth for fighting long-term financial effects of the pandemic. If you are wondering where to invest money for good returns in India, unit-linked insurance products (ULIPs) can be a viable solution. ULIPs appear to be the perfect investment tool to venture in the stock markets in these troubled times.
Create a corpus with market-linked insurance cum investment products
Markets are resilient:
The current pandemic is an unprecedented crisis, and the markets are volatile at the moment. Still, you must remember that markets are not alien to catastrophes. Throughout history, markets have survived and bounced back from disasters. The infection peaking out in India, or the development of a vaccine, events which may not be too far in the future, can trigger upswings.
Hence, this might be the ideal time to invest in stocks that have rallied since the virus started its ravages.
ULIPs reduce portfolio risks:
Combining insurance with market-linked returns on investment, and adding tax benefits to the mix, ULIPs offer multiple advantages.
Besides, ULIPs allow you to choose the speculation style you prefer, aggressive or conservative. You can select equities, debt funds, or hybrid funds as per your risk appetite.
Also, the long-term investment horizon will help you ride out the current instability. You will harvest profits when normalcy returns.
Rewards from the insurer
Insurers often provide financial incentives for staying invested in ULIPs. Such boosters to your funds can increase your wealth.
Liquidity through the partial withdrawal facility
After the five-year lock-in period, you can encash a part of your funds if you face any financial crunch.
Thus, ULIPs help you reap the rewards of capital-market investments while minimizing the risks.
How to invest money in share market with ULIPs
The times are chaotic and nobody can tell for sure when the pandemic will get contained. Financial experts are recommending staggered investments in this scenario. With ULIPs, you can invest through regular premiums, at monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual frequencies, as per your resources. Thus, you need not put in all your resources in money-market instruments at one go.
Take advantage of the fund switch option
ULIPs allow you to shift your money among different asset classes as per the market outlook. Hence, at present, you can choose a cautious approach with debt funds. When situations improve, you can leverage the higher-return potential of equities.
Moreover, automated portfolio management options enable you to act on opportunities on time. Expert professionals supervise your asset allocations and help you maximize your profits.
The pandemic has shown that life can spring nasty surprises without warning. If you have loved ones depending on your income, help them avoid any financial fallout in your absence. You must buy a financial cover for your life and safeguard your family against any monetary hardship in case COVID-19 strikes.
It is also crucial to start securing funds for your life goals. And savings based insurance plans can act as foolproof financial strategies. These plans provide cushions you can fall back on in future emergencies. Hence, it can be worthwhile to invest in these investment avenues during this pandemic.