Tag: Life Tips

hereNew Cars Insurance in South Africa

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Maserati
The Italian supercar company that prefers to wear a tux rather than a racing outfit, Maserati is the sophisticated side of the country’s adrenalin-fuelled race car industry. Yet, they haven’t sacrificed speed for elegance.

Maserati South Africa offers five models ranging from a luxurious SUV, to a sedan, to a grand touring cabriolet. Their latest offering, the Levante, is named after the warm Mediterranean wind and is set to blow away the competition. Hand-built in Italy, each model is truly unique and aims to ensure the driver gets noticed.

Read our guide to Maserati
Mazda
Few brands in South Africa have as loyal a following as Mazda does. Internationally known for producing the rotary engine, Mazda cars are as unique as their engines.

Their current range features just six vehicles, but each has a tempting value-for-money price point. From the nimble MX-5 Convertible, to the compact Mazda2 and robust BT-50, a Mazda car makes a bold statement.

In 2018, the dynamic CX-5 model finished in the top three for the World Car for the Year Award, issued by cars.co.za.

Learn more about Mazda
Mazda Car South Africa
Front side view of a blue McLaren with the left front door open in a showroom.
McLaren
Born in the mix of racing’s toughest challenges, McLaren emerged as giant in the supercar manufacturer segment that competes with elites such as Ferrari and Lamborghini on and off the racetrack.

McLaren offers 6 models in South Africa, all designed to extract the best from both the driver’s performance and ability, while drawing the attention of onlookers.

Fast, powerful, precise and luxurious, McLaren models are aimed at clientele who expect the best from a car. Have they delivered?

Find out more about McLaren
Mercedes-Benz
Among the German automotive giants stands Mercedes-Benz, a brand with a rich history dating back to the creation of, arguably, the first internal combustion-engine automobile.

The C-Class is the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model in South Africa, out of a range of an impressive 26 models.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa also offers heavy-duty commercial vehicles alongside their passenger range and performance-focused AMG series.

Learn more about Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz Car South Africa
Side front view of a red Mini Cooper.
Mini
The nippy little getaway vehicles in The Italian Job was able to steal more than gold, they stole the hearts of people all over the world. One of England’s most famous exports, Mini vehicles are the answer to anyone looking to maximise space and excitement during their daily drive.

Mini South Africa have 5 models for people to choose from with each model available in an array of specification.

Fast, nippy, funky and exciting, Mini cars are roaring from the movie screens and racetracks of the world onto our roads.

Find out more about Mini
Mitsubishi
Forged on the back roads of forests located in Europe and South America, Mitsubishi is a Japanese brand with a rich history in building excellent rally vehicles, which won on the international stage.

Mitsubishi South Africa offers seven models to the local market, with most focused on being quality alternatives to the rivals in their segments.

Sturdy, durable, and simplistic with a unique design, Mitsubishi certainly made a cosy little corner for itself in the market.

More on Mitsubishi
Front side view of a grey Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Nissan Car South Africa
Nissan
Historically, Nissan had a good reputation for producing sensible and affordable vehicles, with a focus on reliability.

Nissans are often viewed as a sensible choice, but they’re far from boring, having created cultural icons in the GT-R and Z-series models.

Their best-selling model is the efficient NP200 bakkie, an affordable and compact vehicle in the commercial segment.

Learn more about Nissan
Opel
It’s been over 100 years since Opel built their first car, and it’s that long history of expertise that has made them a one-stop-shop for Opel-owners’ modern vehicle needs. Opel South Africa offers six models across the SUV and hatchback categories and has remained a firm favourite following the departure of their parent company, General Motors, from South Africa.

Designed in Germany, Opel models are renowned for their great build quality, durability, affordability, and pure driving enjoyment. It’s no surprise that Opel has won the coveted South African Car of the Year and World Car of the Year awards several times.

Read our guide to Opel
Close up of front grill of silver Opel Insignia.
Red Peugeot 407 parked sideways on untarred road, with trees in background.
Peugeot
Known for building sensible hatchbacks and compact SUVs, Peugeot might not appear to be the most adventurous manufacturer. Delve into their history, however, and you’ll find a pioneering brand. Peugeot continues to dominate parts of the automotive world, having won the 2017 European Car of the Year trophy for the 3008 SUV.

Peugeot South Africa offers six models, from a budget-friendly hatchback to an innovative SUV. The French manufacturer has come a long way since its days of building sewing machines, strongly competing to be one of Europe’s leading automotive manufacturers.

Read our guide to Peugeot
Porsche
Sleek, stylish, and an evolutionary approach to design, Porsche cars stand out on the road.

The iconic 911 series joins the list of Porsche’s six models on offer in South Africa.

With four dealerships located across the country and millions of brand supporters, this car company has a big presence.

Get more info on Porsche SA
side shot of silver Porsche 911
Renault Car South Africa
Renault
Renault was founded in 1898 in France by Louis Renault and his brothers. After years of success with new production lines, Renault was nationalised in 1945 to become Régie Nationale des Usines Renault (RNUR). Today, the French brand is a leading international automaker with several models in South Africa, including the extremely popular Clio.

Their budget-friendly SUVs come standard with some great practical features and are considered good value for money.

Learn more about Renault
Rolls-Royce
As elegant and fitting as a tailored suit in Covent Garden, this British brand brings exclusivity to the automotive world. The luxury brand is so set on showing the world that the sky is the limit for them, they even brought the sky into their cars – in the form of LED lights made to look like a starry night.

Rolls-Royce offers five unique models to the South African market and gives owners the option to customise their vehicles and turn their car fantasies into reality.

Read our guide to Rolls-Royce
Blue and silver Rolls Royce Ghost, parked and on display on white platform
Front side view of a grey Subaru Outback.
Subaru
Famous for building rally cars that took Colin McRae to consecutive World Rally Championships, Subaru has a great history and legacy behind its name.

Subaru offers six models to the South African market with most aimed at the SUV and sedan segments. All the models keep with their tradition of building solid and sturdy vehicles with great driving capability.

The new Subaru Legacy SUV already started impressing with advanced technology and features highlighting it in a competitive segment.

Find out more about Subaru
Suzuki
The little brand with big ambition, Suzuki has carved out a niche for itself in the South African market with its stylish but practical off-road vehicles.

Suzuki may be more well-known for their motorcycles, but their cars have a reputation for being just as reliable. They’re seen as affordable and excellent value-for-money. Suzuki owners made their appreciation known when the brand was voted Brand of the Year in the cars.co.za Consumer Awards in 2017 and 2018.

Suzuki manufactures cars in various segments, including compact SUV, hatchback, and sedan.

Learn more about Suzuki
Suzuki Car South Africa
Front side view of a white Tata Ace.
Tata
This brand might seem small to onlookers as they are relatively unknown in the automotive world, but Tata is certainly not what it seems. The steel manufacturing giant from India is using its financial power to enter the auto market and already have names such as Land Rover and Aston Martin on their portfolio.

Tata offers two models in South Africa with each focused on being budget-friendly alternatives in their respective segments.

Will the brand succeed in becoming an automotive giant?

More about Tata
Tesla
The American automotive brand is on the forefront of auto technological development as their entire line up is fully electric.

Owned and operated by South African-born billionaire Elon Musk, the brand is making huge strides in the automotive world.

Although the brand is not established in South Africa, it certainly is one to keep an eye on for the future.

Read more about Tesla
Blue Tesla driving on a freeway with city in the background
Toyota Car South Africa
Toyota
Toyota South Africa has enjoyed years of success with a large and extremely loyal customer base.

Offering highly affordable and durable vehicles, Toyota can regularly be found at the top of various lists and rankings measuring South Africa’s best-selling cars and customer satisfaction surveys.

Their Hilux bakkie and Etios compact hatchback models do well in our local market.

Learn more about Toyota
Volkswagen
Volkswagen South Africa is one of the largest automotive brands in South Africa, with a range of passenger and truck models.

They boast an excellent sales record with their Polo and Polo Vivo models. VW doesn’t shy away from competing in multiple segments; their Up! model and their Amarok model are strong contenders in their respective segments. Volkswagen is seen as one of the most reliable brands in South Africa with an extensive range of products, service options, and warranties.

hereCellphone Insurance

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Cellphone Insurance?
Considering how much money you have spent on it, losing your cellphone can be costly.

Cellphone Cover gives you peace of mind
Cellphone Insurance can give you peace of mind because your cellphone can easily be replaced with a new one.

Cellphone Insurance covers your mobile phone for loss, damage or theft
Cellphone Insurance covers your mobile phone for loss, damage, or theft.

Cellphones have become such an important part of our lives, we use it to stay in touch with family, send messages to our friends, take high-quality photos, plan our next business meeting, and share the highlights of our day on social media. If you can’t imagine your life without your cellphone, then you should consider taking out Cellphone Insurance. You need Cellphone Insurance to protect your mobile lifeline from the risk of theft, loss or accidental damage.
Get a quote online
Cellphone Cover
What is Cellphone Insurance?
What is Cellphone Insurance?
What is Cellphone Insurance?
Cellphone Insurance covers the policyholder in the event of theft, loss or damage of their cellphone. In any of these events, the cellphone will be replaced with a similar model, if not the same one. Depending on the insurance company, different policies offer different benefits and exclusions. It’s therefore important to ask all the relevant questions before signing up for Cellphone Insurance.

Cellphone Cover Questions
Questions to ask prospective Cellphone Insurance providers:
Do you only insure new phones or are older cellphone models also accepted?
Do certain conditions have to be met to warrant a claim? For example, will I be covered if my cellphone was stolen from the front seat of my car or must it have been locked away in the boot?
Are there any waiting periods that apply before my cellphone is fully covered?
Get a quote online
How to claim from your cellphone insurance
How to Claim
If your cellphone has been stolen or lost and you no longer have possession of it, the claim normally has to be preceded by blacklisting the phone with the relevant service provider. An ITC number will be issued to you to prove that it has been blacklisted, which you then need to provide to your insurance company as part of the claim. You may also need to report this to the police and they will then issue you with a case number.

hereCar insurance companies in South Africa

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Budget Insurance car insurance
Budget Insurance provides several affordable car insurance options including comprehensive, third-party, fire, and theft, and third-party only insurance. They also give you the option to insure your vehicle for its retail, trade, or market value.

Their comprehensive plan has all the bells and whistles you’d need in your car cover, allowing customers to claim for theft, accidental damage, and any damages caused to a vehicle or the property of a third party.

With Budget Insurance’s third-party, fire, and theft insurance, you’re covered if your car is stolen and even if it suffers specific kinds of damage, like from a fire. You can also claim for damages you cause with your car to third-party property.

Their third-party only cover is a great budget option if you just want to make sure you can pay for damages you might cause to someone else’s property.

Read more about Budget Insurance
Hippo partner
Dialdirect car insurance
Dialdirect offers flexible and affordable comprehensive car insurance with monthly cash back just for driving right if you download and register on the Dialdirect Insurance App.

They also offer loads of additional benefits, such as 500MB of data when you activate your online profile, monthly vouchers with their retail partners through the app, and Tow Truck Direct, which sends a tow truck you can track through the app directly to your location when you can’t drive your car.

Claims payouts are fast, with a same-day turnaround time on certain claims. In addition to standard cars, Dialdirect also covers SUVs, motorcycles, caravans, trailers, watercraft, and golf carts.

Read more about Dialdirect
Dialdirect logo Hippo partner
Discovery Insure logo
Discovery Insure car insurance
Discovery Insure offers motorists market-leading cover at great prices. Enjoy benefits such as paying no excess on certain claims, the option to write off your car at a lower level of damage, and the opportunity to join Vitality Drive (the driver behaviour programme that rewards good driving habits).

You can also get cover for your quad bike, motorbike, trailer, and watercraft.

There are three plans to choose from with Discovery Insure: The Essential Plan, the Classic Plan, and the Purple Plan. On the Purple Plan, you can get a discount on your premiums if you own more than one car (only one must be driven at any given time). Plus, your car hire days can be upgraded from 30 to 60 and you can upgrade your car hire group too.

Dotsure car insurance
Dotsure has been providing insurance for over 20 years and is now offering a unique way to get a vehicle insurance quote, called Name Your Price™, within five minutes. With this new flexible pricing structure, you can choose what cover you do and don’t need, removing anything you won’t use, giving you the ability to tailor your car insurance to suit your budget.

Dotsure also offers emergency roadside and medical benefits to keep you safe on the road, and emergency legal help in case you find yourself in legal trouble.

Read more about Dotsure
Dotsure logo Hippo partner
iWyze logo
iWYZE car insurance
iWYZE offers a range of car insurance options including comprehensive, third-party, fire, and theft, and third-party only cover, along with several handy benefits.

You can get cover for emergency medical expenses if passengers in your vehicle are injured in an accident. Should you or a family member be involved in a hijacking, armed robbery, violent incident, or attempted theft, trauma counselling will be provided.

If you damage or lose your car keys, locks, or remotes, iWYZE will pay out to repair or replace them.

In addition to 24/7 roadside assistance, emergency accommodation will be covered for you and one passenger for up to two days should you be unable to get home or to your destination following an accident.

Read more about iWyze
Hippo partner
King Price car insurance
King Price is well-known as the insurance service provider that decreases their customers’ monthly premiums to align with the decreasing value of their vehicles. Their affordability doesn’t end there though. If you insure two or more vehicles with King Price, you’ll get a discount and still enjoy decreasing monthly premiums.

You can also insure other items for as little as R1 per month and can choose an excess amount that fits into your budget; lower your excess and increase your premiums or increase your excess and lower your premiums. The choice is yours.

MiWay logo
MiWay car insurance
MiWay offers comprehensive car insurance plans, affordable premiums, great customer service, and easy-to-understand excess amounts.

MiWay’s vehicle insurance offers motorists free roadside emergency assistance plus six free WeDrive trips per year, which will get you home safely in your own car if you can’t drive. You can also look forward to up to one month’s premiums back in cash after your first three months, and even manage your policy and submit claims online or via their app, cutting out the middleman and making interacting with them a breeze.

Momentum car insurance
With Momentum’s car insurance, you can get up to 30% cashback and discounts at their retail partners when you join their Momentum Multiply rewards programme.

They also provide cover for caravans, light delivery vehicles, trailers, and motorbikes, and their car insurance policies include free emergency roadside assistance.

There are three options to choose from: Comprehensive cover, limited cover, and third-party cover. Comprehensive cover pays out in the event of accidents, theft, hijacking, loss, damage, towing and storage, fire, explosions, and liability to third parties. The limited cover option provides you with third-party liability insurance, towing and storage for your vehicle, and cover against fire, theft, and hijacking. Third-party only offers just the basic liability cover if you accidentally damage someone else’s property.

Old Mutual logo
Old Mutual car insurance
Old Mutual offers comprehensive car insurance created to cover standard and off-road vehicles for nearly every eventuality including theft, loss, damage, hijacking, natural disasters, and third-party liability.

If you prefer less comprehensive cover, you can choose from third-party, fire, and theft car insurance, and third-party only cover, where Old Mutual will cover the legal costs if you’ve damaged another vehicle or injured a third party.

You can include car hire and credit shortfall cover in your insurance policy if you want, and you automatically get generous assist benefits, such as cover for emergency medical expenses, trauma counselling, emergency accommodation, and repair or replacement of lost or damaged vehicle locks, keys, or remotes.

Read more about Old Mutual
Hippo partner
OUTsurance car insurance
With OUTsurance, you can get standard car insurance along with a wide range of benefits. This includes a fixed excess, no matter how large your claim is, and 12 months of unchanging premiums, even if you submit a claim during this time.

You can enjoy speedy claims payouts and a cash OUTbonus which gives you 10% of your premiums back after a three-year, claim-free period. Hail damage is automatically covered and you get their Help@OUT roadside emergency assistance should you run out of fuel, have a flat tyre, or suffer a roadside emergency.

When you need to claim, you can notify OUTsurance via the phone, through their app, or online, and be assured of professional work with a guarantee of 12 months on all repairs.

Outsurance logo
Santam logo
Santam car insurance
Santam’s slogan, ‘Insurance good and proper,’ sums up the kind of service you can expect from this car insurer. They guarantee that you will be paid out should your vehicle be written off or stolen and provide 24/7 emergency services for free to their clients.

Santam’s vehicle insurance cover options include comprehensive cover, the top-of-the-range option; limited cover for accidental loss or damage from fire, lightning, explosion, or attempted theft; and third-party only cover.

Santam also offers additional optional cover with their comprehensive car insurance package for mag wheels, canopies, credit shortfall, and car hire.

Standard Bank car insurance
Standard Bank has a dedicated team that offers superior service and cover for your car or motorbike, and their personalised premiums ensure you pay for cover that is based on your unique risk profile.

Their car cover products include comprehensive insurance, where you get cover for loss or damage caused by accidents, theft, fire, and storms, and limited car insurance, where you can choose between third-party only cover or add cover for theft and fire damage to this.

Standard Bank’s car insurance benefits include emergency help on the road or at home, and UCount Rewards members get 50 UCount tiering points allocated each month with their car cover.

hereCar Insurance Online – Applicability, Benefits, Exclusions & more 2020

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  1. What do you mean by Car Insurance?
    Car Insurance also called motor insurance covers the losses that you might incur in case your car gets damaged or stolen. A person has to pay the premium on an annual basis to get the car insurance. The premium is calculated on the Insured Declared Value (IDV). If the IDV of the vehicle is high then the premium amount will be high, if the IDV is less then the premium amount will accordingly go down.
  2. Applicability
    As per the Motor Vehicle’s Act, 1988, It is mandatory for a motor vehicle operating in public space to be insured, to cover any damage to property or life. The insurance company bears the damage to property or injury towards a third party.
  3. Documents Required for Car Insurance
    Car Insurance requires a very minimal documentation. To obtain a new policy, you only need to fill up the proposal form of the insurance company and a copy of your registration certificate (RC). For renewing the policy, you only need to provide a copy of your RC along with the copy of previous insurance details.

Note: Carefully fill in all your details as it will help you a lot in taking claims.

  1. Benefits of Car Insurance
    Taking a car insurance comes with the following benefits:
  2. It covers the losses against any damage or loss to the insured vehicle
  3. It covers any loss or damage to your vehicle caused by accident, theft, fire, explosion, riots, strikes or any act of terrorism.
  4. It covers the financial liability caused by injury/death of a third party or damage to the property.
  5. Personal accident cover.
  6. Points to consider before buying a Car Insurance
    It is always necessary to compare the Vehicle Insurance as it can save a substantial amount of money and give you better coverage options. The following points should be considered before taking any policy:
  7. Shortlist your coverage requirement: Before comparing the policies, you should ascertain as to what is your requirements and what coverage you need. A Liability coverage is cheaper than the comprehensive coverage but then the latter offers the best coverage. So if you are ready to compromise on some benefits then liability coverage is beneficial for you.
  8. Compare the Coverage option: Once you have decided on which policy option is required, then you need to start comparing the coverage options. There are times when different insurance companies give various add-on in their policies.
  9. Compare the Insured Declared Value (IDV): The different rate of IDV’s reflects the different rate of premium. IDV is the current value of the car after appropriate reduction. The rate of depreciation depends on the age of the car. The older the car, the higher would be the depreciation and thus lower IDV. Hence, it’s important to look carefully at IDV value quoted by different insurance agencies.
  10. Comparison of Insurer’s Claim Settlement Practice: It is the most crucial part of an insurance policy. Every policyholder expects a hassle-free claim. All insurance companies have their own procedure. Hence, it is essential to compare the claim settlement process and records of the insurance companies.
  11. Tips that come in handy while purchasing Car Insurance
  12. Add-on benefits: Have a complete knowledge of the add-ons which can be integrated with your policy, so that you get additional coverage
  13. False declarations: Make sure that you do not make any false declarations in your documents before buying an insurance policy. The insurance policy will lapse immediately if they find any incorrect information at any point of the coverage period.
  14. Renew on-time: Make sure that you renew your policy on time as certain companies give discounts on premiums. Also, your insurance company will not ask for inspection of your vehicle.
  15. Discount for security features: If your car has certain security features installed like immobilizers and tire locks, the insurance company treats you as a responsible customer and you are most likely to get discounts on the premium which you pay.
  16. How is the premium for your car decided?
  17. Car make and model: Vehicle make and model play an important role in determining your premium. Some vehicles fare better when it comes to collisions which result in lesser injuries to the occupants and also the damages to the vehicle would be minimal.
  18. City: The city in which you live also has a say in the premium you pay. People living in metros and tier 1 cities have to pay more as the possibility of occurrence of accidents and thefts are more compared to other cities.
  19. NCB percentage: The premium will tend to decrease if you have not made any claims previously.
  20. Add-on benefits: Some add-on benefits like roadside assistance, cover for CNG/LPG kits, will increase the premium you pay.
  21. Coverage Under Car Insurance
    There are 3 types of car insurance, namely:
  22. Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage is extensive and includes damage to the car, theft of the vehicle, third party legal liability and personal accident cover. This policy can be further extended for add-ons like accessories, zero depreciation cover etc. This is the most popular coverage as it offers end to end coverage and is hassle free for the policyholder.
  23. Third Party Liability Coverage: The third-party car insurance provides the cover against any liability to the third party when it’s your faulty during driving the car. It covers any damage or injury caused by you to any other person/property.

Note: A third party liability is mandatory in India under the Motors Vehicle Act.

  1. Collision Cover: The Collision Covers your own car financially against damage caused by the collision which is usually an accident. It does not cover the damage or loss due to theft or vandalism.
  2. Compensation Charges
    The comprehensive coverage policy would provide personal accident cover to the owner-driver. If you want to include the personal accident cover, you will have to pay an extra premium. The accidental cover is of great use as the compensation is in the following manner:

Type of Injury Compensation Percentage
Death 100
Loss of one limb or loss of sight in one eye 50
Loss of both limbs or loss of sight in both eyes 100
Permanent disability due to other injuries 100

  1. Claim Settlement Ratio
    Claim settlement ratio is defined as the percentage of total claims settled to that of the total claims received.

Claim Settlement Ratio

The following table lists the insurance companies which have a high settlement ratio.

Insurance Company Incurred Claim Ratio Grievances settled (%)
HDFC Ergo General Insurance 89.43 100
IFFCO Tokio General Insurance 84.37 99.94
Future Generali India Insurance 81.77 99.86
Cholamandal MS General 79.82 99.82
Bharti Axa General Insurance 89.09 99.81
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance 69.19 99.28
Liberty General Insurance 77.29 99.06
ICICI Lombard General Insurance 78.91 97.61
National Insurance 89.91 96.11
Magma HDI General Insurance 78.49 84.96

  1. Exclusions in Car Insurance
    The following features are generally not covered in car insurance:
  2. Loss or damage to the car in the period where the insurance is not valid.
  3. Loss or damage due to normal wear and tear.
  4. Loss or damage to the car, when driven by a person who does not have a valid driving license.
  5. Loss or damage caused by the actions of the driver who is intoxicated i.e., alcohol or drugs consumption.
  6. Loss or damage to the engine as result of an oil leak.
  7. Loss or damage to the vehicle as result of abuse of Car Manufacturer Guidelines.
  8. How to claim Car Insurance?
    Investing in an insurance is useless if you don’t know how to make use of it when the situation arises. Follow these steps when you want to claim your insurance. All insurance companies would have set a time limit within which you’ve to make your claims.

Insurances can be claimed for two cases

  1. Third-party claim: In case of an accident or injury is caused by you to a third person, you can claim the insurance for the third party.
  2. Own damage claim: Insurance can be claimed for your own damages in case of any accidents.

In both cases, it is very important to note down the details such as the number plate, make and model of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Listed below is the claim process in case of an accident for both cases.

  1. Inform your insurance companies as soon as possible after the occurrence of an accident.
  2. All insurance companies will have their own registered garages. Take your car for further inspections and estimates for the repair.
  3. To file a claim, the insurance companies will ask for a set of documents. Make sure that you have all those in hand.
  4. Documents required to file a claim
    The following documents will be necessary to file an insurance claim:
  5. Completely filled claim form
  6. Original FIR, if applicable
  7. A copy of the insurance policy
  8. A copy of the owner’s driver license
  9. A copy of the Vehicle’s RC document
  10. Estimates cost of repairs
  11. Related medical bills in case of any injuries.
  12. Car Insurance and No Claim Bonus
    Purchase of used cars is becoming a norm in the country. It should be noted that the process of buying used cars not only involves selecting the right brand and model; it also includes a very important step – the transfer of car insurance to the new car owner.

When you purchase a used car, the first step would be the transfer of the registration certificate (RC). Ideally, the car insurance should also be transferred at the time of transfer of the RC. The car owner should raise a request with his/her insurance company for the insurance transfer. Once the new owner has bought the car, the policy of the previous owner will not be valid.

As per IRDAI guidelines, the name and address of the insurance documents of a car and the RC should match. So, in the event of an emergency, the new car owner can recover the incurred expenses without too many hassles.

However, the NCB is assigned to the driver and it is not tagged to the car. So, when the sale of the car happens, the NCB on the insurance remains with the previous owner. This NCB can be added to the insurance of a new car later on. The NCB can be retained by obtaining an NCB retention letter issued by your insurance company.

The NCB can be retained for a maximum of 3 years, after which it becomes void.

Documents required for NCB retention

  1. Policy cancellation request
  2. Original copy of the policy and certificate of insurance (Form 51)
  3. Notice of ownership transfer (Form 29), if applicable
  4. Application for intimation and transfer of the car ownership (Form 30), if applicable
  5. Copy of the RC book with the new owner’s name, if applicable
  6. Proof that the car was delivered to the new owner, if applicable
  7. FAQs on Car Insurance
    Q: What is IDV?

A: IDV is the maximum amount the insurer can pay to you in case your vehicle is damaged or stolen. It is calculated as:

[Manufacturer’s listing price – Depriciation] + [Accesories not included in listed price – Depriciation]

Q: What is NCB?

A: No-claim bonus (NCB) is the claim you make in case if you had not made any insurance claims during the insurance period.

Q: What is an Anti-theft device? How does it affect my premium?

A: An anti-theft device is a device which will help you against the theft of your vehicles. Popular anti-theft devices are tire locks, steering wheel locks and kill switches. When you mention this to your insurance company, they reduce your premium as they believe that you are a more responsible driver.

Q: Is service tax applicable to the premium payments?

A: Yes. Service taxes are applicable to your premium payments and they are according to guidelines set by the IRDA.

Q: What is Zero Depreciation Cover?

A: Commonly offered as an Add-On, the Zero Depreciation Cover offers a full settlement on your claim without the usual deduction affected for depreciation. A deduction due to depreciation is a common factor in the normal car insurance.

Q: What is Cashless Car Insurance?

A: If your car is insured under this policy, then you can get your car repaired at any of the garages registered in the insurance company’s network. The settlement of all costs will be taken care by the insurance company. You may have to pay some amount because of the depreciation factor.

Q: What should I do if I lose my insurance policy?

A: Getting a duplicate copy of the insurance policy is very easy nowadays. You can approach the insurance company for the same. If you had bought your insurance policy online, then you can just download your insurance policy from mail which your insurance company had sent to you.

Q: Why car insurance premiums differ from company to company?

A: Car insurance premium rates differ from one company to another based on their own internal arrangements. The company calculates your premium based on these factors- a) The risk posed by you to the insurer, b) the insurer’s operational costs, c) the estimated money that the insurer is likely to pay as settlement through the year.

Q: I have shifted to a new place. Is it necessary to update my registration address on my car insurance? How do I do it?

A: It is necessary to update your change of address at RTO as well as inform your motor insurer. You can get in touch with your insurance provider via their toll-free number, email or in person. You can do this online as well. Just go to the official website and enter the details in the required columns.

Q: Why do car insurance premiums increase every year?

A: Car insurance costs rise every year depending on the company costs in policy distribution, loss of investment, fuel prices, etc. Your insurance premium can go up depending on the age and value of your car, your driving history, and the claims made.

Q: What is the PUC Certificate validity for new cars in India?

A: For old cars, i.e., the ones that were bought on or before 31 March 2010, the Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate should be renewed on a quarterly basis. The validity of the PUC Certificate for new cars is 1 year. Vehicles that were bought on or after 1 April 2010 are considered to be new cars under this classification.

Q: How many claims can be made in a year?

A: You can make multiple claims per year, but the insurance company can put a limit on the add-on claims ( NCB protect, zero depreciation, etc ).

  1. IRDA Guidelines for Motor Insurance
    Coverage under any motor insurance policy:

Natural Disasters – Earthquakes, Floods, Fire, Lightning
Man-made Hazards – Theft, Explosion, Riots, During Transit
Exclusion Under motor insurance policy:

Individuals driving with no/invalid driving license
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating elements
If an accident or damage has taken place outside the geographical coverage of the policy
Mechanical or Electrical failures in the vehicle
A scenario where the insured vehicle has been used for illegal purposes
Response Time for Insurance Companies

Issuing, processing and Cancelling of policies 15 days
Issuing proposal copy 30 days
Refund of deposits & No-claim requests 10 days
Submission of reports 30 days
Claims settlement/rejection 30 days
Acknowledgement of a grievance 3 days
Resolution of a grievance 15 days.

herePension Plans : Features, Benefits, Types

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Planning for retirement is a crucial aspect of everybody’s lives. Considering the rising inflation level and limited social security initiatives for senior citizens, it is vital that you start planning your retirement early. This article covers the following:

What are Pension Plans?
Who should opt for Pension Plans?
Features & benefits of retirement plans
How does a pension plan work?
What are the types of pension plans in India?
Tips to remember when buying a pension plan

  1. Pension Plans
    Pension or retirement plans offer the dual benefit of investment and insurance cover. By investing a certain amount regularly towards your pension plan, you will accumulate a considerable sum in a phase-by-phase manner. This will ensure a steady flow of funds once you retire. Public Provident Fund is one of the most popular retirement planning schemes in India.

When you start contributing to your retirement early, the funds build a secure golden year money-wise over the years. A well-chosen retirement plan can help you rise above inflation, thanks to the power of compounding.

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  1. Who should opt for Pension Plans?
    Every individual should invest in pension plans to secure their retired life financially. Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, covers several retirement plans and taxpayers are eligible for tax deductions of up to Rs.1.5 lakh.
    Any plan you choose must be in sync with your investment goals (or retirement plans). For example, if you wish to retire early, then your corpus upon maturity should be enough to support your retired life. Hence, the key is to choose the retirement plan smartly.
  2. Features & Benefits of Pension Plans

a. Guaranteed Pension/Income
You can get a fixed and steady income after retiring (deferred plan) or immediately after investing (immediate plan), based on how you invest. This ensures a financially independent life after retiring. You can use a retirement calculator to have a rough estimate of how much you might require after retiring.

b. Tax-Efficiency
Some pension plans provide tax exemption specified under Section 80C. If you wish to invest in a pension plan, then the Income Tax Act, 1961, offers significant tax respite under Chapter VI-A. Section 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD specify them in detail. For instance, Atal Pension Yojana (APY) and National Pension Scheme (NPS) are subject to tax deductions under Section 80CCD.

c. Liquidity
Retirement plans are essentially a product of low liquidity. However, some plans allow withdrawal even during the accumulation stage. This will ensure funds to fall back on during emergencies without having to rely on bank loans or others for financial requirements.

d. Vesting Age
This is the age when you begin to receive the monthly pension. For instance, most pension plans keep their minimum vesting age at 45 years or 50 years. It is flexible up to the age of 70 years, though some companies allow the vesting age to be up to 90 years.

e. Accumulation Duration
An investor can either choose to pay the premium in periodic intervals or at once as a lump sum investment. The wealth will simultaneously accumulate over time to build up a sizable corpus (investment+gains). For instance, if you start investing at the age of 30 and continues investing until you turn 60, the accumulation period will be 30 years. Your pension for the chosen period primarily comes from this corpus.

f. Payment Period
Investors often confuse this with the accumulation period. This is the period in which you receive the pension post-retirement. For example, if one receives a pension from the age of 60 years to 75 years, then the payment period will be 15 years. Most plans keep this separate from accumulation period, though some plans allow partial/full withdrawals during accumulation periods too.

g. Surrender value
Surrendering one’s pension plan before maturity is not a smart move even after paying the required minimum premium. This results in the investor losing every benefit of the plan, including the assured sum and life insurance cover.

  1. How a Retirement Plan Works
    Example:

Priyanka is 32 years old with an expected lifespan of 80 years. Her current salary is Rs.50,000 and she wishes to retire at the age of 60. She is looking for a monthly pension of Rs.30,000 post-retirement. How much do you think she should invest until the age of 60 to meet her investment goals?

Priyanka will need a corpus of Rs.4.05 crores to receive an income of Rs.30,000. Let us assume a long-term return of 12% till age 60 and 5% after that, with 6% inflation rate. Based on these figures, she must invest Rs.14,820 monthly for the next 28 years. If all goes according to plan, Priyanka is going to lead financially secure golden years. You may also use this retirement planning calculator to arrive at a number.

Pension Plans

  1. Pension Plan Types in India
    It is never too early or late to start investing in retirement plans. However, it is sooner, the better. Whether you are salaried or entrepreneurial, there is a slew of pension plans you can choose from as listed below.

SL No. Plan Type In Detail
1 Deferred Annuity Systematic premium or one lump sum premium over the tenure
Pension begins after completing the term

No taxation (unless you withdraw the corpus)

2 Immediate Annuity Only lump sum investment allowed
Pension begins immediately after investment

Income tax exempts tax on the premiums

The nominee can claim the pension or the corpus after the passing of policyholder

3 Annuity Certain The pension is disbursed for a specific period
The policyholder can choose a period (say, age 65-70)

The nominee can claim the pension after the demise of the policyholder

4 With Cover Pension Plan Comes with a ‘cover’ policy – policyholder’s dependents are entitled to a lump sum after he/she expires
The insurance amount is not large a most of the premium goes towards building the corpus

5 Life Annuity Pension paid till death
‘With spouse’ option – spouse continues to receive after the policyholder’s demise

6 National Pension Scheme (NPS) Launched and managed by the Central Government
Your money will be distributed in equity and debt markets as your preference.

Withdraw 60% when you retire, and the rest should be used to buy the annuity

The tax levied on the 20% of the corpus you withdraw upon maturity

7 Pension Funds Better returns once it matures
Regulated by the government body, Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA)

Currently, six fund houses in India are authorised to offer pension funds. Example, SBI

8 Guaranteed Period Annuity Plan Annuity disbursed for specific terms like 5 to 20 years.

  1. Tips to remember before buying a Pension Plan
    a. Estimate your future financial goal(s)
    b. Consider your current income and fix an amount to invest in the plan
    c. Research the available plans, read the benefits offered post maturity and choose accordingly
    d. Understand the product thoroughly and then decide on investing
    e. Do not choose a product only because of tax benefits

If you think any of the pension mentioned above plans suit your investment goals and current income, then start investing!

hereIncome Tax in South Africa : Guide, IT Returns, E-filing Process 2020

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Income Tax in South Africa: Taxes in India can be categorized as direct and indirect taxes. Direct tax is a tax you pay on your income directly to the government. Indirect tax is a tax that somebody else collects on your behalf and pays to the government eg restaurants, theatres and e-commerce websites recover taxes from you on goods you purchase or a service you avail. This tax is, in turn, passed down to the government. Direct Taxes are broadly classified as :

Income Tax – This is taxes an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family or any taxpayer other than companies, pay on the income received. The law prescribes the rate at which such income should be taxed
Corporate Tax – This is the tax that companies pay on the profits they make from their businesses. Here again, a specific rate of tax for corporates has been prescribed by the income tax laws of India
Indirect taxes take many forms: service tax on restaurant bills and movie tickets, value-added tax or VAT on goods such as clothes and electronics. Goods and services tax, which has recently been introduced is a unified tax that has replaced all the indirect taxes that business owners have to deal with.

Latest News and announcements Income Tax
Notification number & date Description
Press release dated 13 May 2020 (a) The due date to file income tax returns for AY 2020-21 stands extended from 31 July to 30 November 2020. The due date for tax audit stands extended from 30 September 2020 to 31 October 2020. Similarly, the income tax returns filed upon a tax audit are now due by 30 November 2020.
(b) Reduction in TDS and TCS rates by 25% of the present rates, for payments from 14 May till 31 March 2021.
(c) All pending income-tax refunds to be released to non-corporate entities immediately.
(d) The last date for completion of assessments which are getting time-barred on 30 September 2020 stands extended to 31 December 2020. In the case of assessments which get time-barred on 31 March 2021, the time stands extended to 30 September 2021.
(e) The last date of making payment under Vivaad se Vishwas Scheme without additional amount stands extended to 31 December 2020.
31 January 31 March 31 July Oct – Nov
Deadline to submit your investment proofs Deadline to make investments under Section 80C Last date to file your tax return Time to verify your tax return
Income Tax Basics
Everyone who earns or gets an income in South Africa is subject to income tax. (Yes, be it a resident or a non-resident of India ). Also read our article on Income Tax for NRIs. Your income could be salary, pension or could be from a savings account that’s quietly accumulating a 4% interest. Even, winners of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ have to pay tax on their prize money. For simpler classification, the Income Tax Department breaks down income into five heads:

Head of Income Nature of Income covered
Income from Salary Income from salary and pension are covered under here
Income from Other Sources Income from savings bank account interest, fixed deposits, winning KBC
Income from House Property This is rental income mostly
Income from Capital Gains Income from sale of a capital asset such as mutual funds, shares, house property
Income from Business and Profession This is when you are self-employed, work as a freelancer or contractor, or you run a business. Life insurance agents, chartered accountants, doctors and lawyers who have their own practice, tuition teachers
Taxpayers and Income Tax Slabs
Taxpayers in India, for the purpose of income tax includes:

Individuals, Zulu Undivided Family (ZUF), Association of Persons(AOP) and Body of Individuals (BOI)
Firms
Companies
Each of these taxpayers is taxed differently under the Indian income tax laws. While firms and Indian companies have a fixed rate of tax of 30% of profits, the individual,HUF, AOP and BOI taxpayers are taxed based on the income slab they fall under. People’s incomes are grouped into blocks called tax brackets or tax slabs. And each tax slab has a different tax rate. In India, we have four tax brackets each with an increasing tax rate.

Income earners of up to 2.5 lakhs
Income earners of between 2.5 lakhs and 5 lakhs
Income earners of between 5 lakhs and 10 lakhs
Those earning more than Rs 10 lakhs
Income Range Tax rate Tax to be paid
Up to Rs.2,50,000 0 No tax
Between Rs 2.5 lakhs and Rs 5 lakhs 5% 5% of your taxable income
Between Rs 5 lakhs and Rs 10 lakhs 20% Rs 12,500+ 20% of income above Rs 5 lakhs
Above 10 lakhs 30% Rs 1,12,500+ 30% of income above Rs 10 lakhs
This is the income tax slab for FY 2017-18 for taxpayers under 60 years. There are two other tax slabs for two other age groups: those who are 60 and older and those who are above 80.A word of note: People often misunderstand that if they earn let’s say Rs.12 lakhs, they will be paying a 30% tax on Rs.12 lakhs i.e Rs.3,60,000. That’s incorrect. A person earning 12 lakhs in the progressive tax system, will pay Rs.1,12,500+ Rs.60,000 = Rs. 1,72,500. Check out the income tax slabs for previous years and other age brackets.

Exceptions to the Tax Slab
One must bear in mind that not all income can be taxed on slab basis. Capital gains income is an exception to this rule. Capital gains are taxed depending on the asset you own and how long you’ve had it. The holding period would determine if an asset is long term or short term. The holding period to determine nature of asset also differs for different assets. A quick glance of holding periods, nature of asset and the rate of tax for each of them is given below.

Type of capital asset Holding period Tax rate
House Property Holding more than 24 months – Long Term Holding less than 24 months – Short Term 20% Depends on slab rate
Debt mutual funds Holding more than 36 months – Long Term Holding less than 36 months – Short Term 20% Depends on slab rate
Equity mutual funds Holding more than 12 months – Long Term Holding less than 12 months – Short Term Exempt (until 31 March 2018) Gains > Rs 1 lakh taxable @ 10% 15%
Shares (STT paid) Holding more than 12 months – Long Term Holding less than 12 months – Short Term Exempt (until 31 March 2018)Gains > Rs 1 lakh taxable @ 10% 15%
Shares (STT unpaid) Holding more than 12 months – Long Term Holding less than 12 months – Short Term 20% As per Slab Rates
FMPs Holding more than 36 months – Long Term Holding less than 36 months – Short Term 20% Depends on slab rate
Residents and non residents:
Levy of income tax in India is dependent on the residential status of a taxpayer. Individuals who qualify as a resident in India must pay tax on their global income in India i.e. income earned in India and abroad. Whereas, those who qualify as Non-residents need to pay taxes only on their Indian income. The residential status has to be determined separately for every financial year for which income and taxes are computed.

hereFinal Expense Insurance 2020

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What Is Final Expense Insurance?
Final expense insurance is a whole life insurance policy that has a small death benefit and is easier to get approved for. Final expense insurance is also called “funeral insurance,” “burial insurance,” “simplified issue whole life insurance,” or “modified whole life insurance.” All are marketing terms that the insurance industry uses to sell small whole life policies with a face value (death benefit) of $2,000 to $50,0001 2

There is no difference between final expense insurance and normal life insurance other than the fact that insurers sell smaller policies to make it more affordable, says Richard P. Sabo, a financial planner and insurance fraud expert in Gibsonia, Pa.3 Final expense insurance has a death benefit designed to cover expenses such as a funeral or memorial service, embalming and a casket, or cremation. However, the beneficiaries can use the death benefit for any purpose, from paying property taxes to taking a vacation.4

“They market the final expense insurance to people who are older and starting to think about their funeral costs, and they make it look like they need to do it in order to take care of their family,” says Sabo. “Some people already own existing life insurance policies that can go toward paying final expenses, so do they really need a new policy?” Another situation where final expense insurance may be redundant is if someone has already prepaid their funeral expenses, he adds.3

Final expense insurance is just a marketing term for a small whole life insurance policy that is easy to qualify for.
The beneficiaries of a final expense life insurance policy can use the policy’s payout for any purpose whatsoever.
The death benefit is usually somewhere between $2,000 and $50,000.
How Does Final Expense Insurance Work?
Let’s say you’re retired, no longer have life insurance through your employer, and don’t have an individual life insurance policy. You also don’t have a comfortable nest egg and are worried about the financial burden you’ll leave on your spouse and/or kids when you die.

You contact a life insurance agent and start the application process, which includes answering a few basic questions about your health. The death benefit is great, but the premiums are not affordable because of your age and health. Unfortunately, they don’t issue policies with a death benefit that’s small enough to make the insurance premiums fit your budget. At this point you might give up and assume you can’t afford life insurance.

Final expense life insurance is designed to solve this problem. “The insurance companies built these policies to absorb the risk of some serious medical issues,” says Anthony Martin, CEO of Choice Mutual, a final expense life insurance brokerage company. “This means that most seniors, despite poor health, can still secure a policy.”2

Smaller Death Benefits
The smaller death benefit of final expense insurance makes the premiums more affordable, as Sabo notes above. And the policy is permanent. No matter when you die, your heirs will get the death benefit you want them to have, as long as you’ve paid your premiums.

It may not cover everything, such as paying off a large mortgage, but final expense insurance will at least help your loved ones pay the bills: bills directly related to your death, bills they’ll have a harder time paying without your income, or anything else.

However, if your family has other ways to pay your final expenses, you should think twice before buying a policy. The table below highlights the pros and cons of final expense insurance. It also shows how the moniker is just a marketing term.

Pros
Policies are available to applicants with poor health.

The application process doesn’t include a medical exam, only a questionnaire and prescription history at most.

On many policies premiums never increase (this is true for many types of life insurance).

The insurer cannot decrease your policy’s death benefit unless you borrow against the policy’s cash value or request accelerated death benefits (also true for other types of life insurance).

Your heirs can use the death benefit for any purpose (again, a standard feature of life insurance).

The death benefit is guaranteed as long as premiums are paid and you don’t have a term policy (also a standard feature of any whole life insurance).

The death benefit is not taxable (also a standard feature of life insurance).

You can buy a policy with a death benefit of $50,000 or less, and that’s all some people need or can afford.

Cons
Some insurers put confusing or misleading information in their marketing materials (this is also true for other types of life insurance).

Some insurers provide incomplete information about these policies in their marketing materials (also true for other types of life insurance).

Because the policies have relatively low death benefits, you could lose money if you live a long time and pay more in premiums than your beneficiaries will receive as a death benefit. (You also lose money when you pay term premiums and don’t die while the policy is in force.)

Some people let their policies lapse, which means their heirs won’t receive a death benefit (also true for other types of life insurance).

Some final expense insurers use marketing scare tactics based on high average funeral costs and play on seniors’ fears of burdening their loved ones.

Some insurers steer consumers without major health problems toward more-restrictive and expensive policies even though they can qualify for better coverage.

Understanding Final Expense Insurance
As with any type of life insurance, the premiums for final expense insurance depend on your age and health; where allowed by state law, they may also depend on your gender. The older and less healthy you are, the higher your rates will be for a given amount of insurance. Men tend to pay higher rates than women because of their shorter average life expectancy. And, depending on the insurer, you may qualify for a lower rate if you do not use tobacco.5 6

Some insurance companies issue final expense policies to people from birth to age 85. However, depending on the policy and the insurer, there may be a minimum age (such as 45) and maximum age (such as 85) at which you can apply. The largest death benefit you can select may be smaller the older you are. Policies might go up to $50,000 as long as you’re younger than 55 but only go up to $25,000 once you turn 76. Some insurers offer the same maximum death benefit to all applicants regardless of age.

As mentioned earlier, final expense insurance is a type of whole life insurance. Whole life policies are pretty easy to understand as far as permanent life insurance goes. Once you have your policy, the premiums cannot increase, and the death benefit cannot decrease. Unlike a term policy, a whole life policy does not expire when you reach a certain age. A whole life policy also accumulates cash value that you can borrow against, though any loans that are unpaid when you die will reduce how much money your beneficiaries receive.

When you apply for final expense insurance, you will not have to deal with a medical exam or let the insurance company access your medical records. However, you will have to answer some health questions. Because of the health questions, not everyone will qualify for a policy with coverage that begins on day one.

Guaranteed Issue: A Special Type of Final Expense Insurance
Applicants with serious health issues will only qualify for a policy that does not require medical questions, an exam, or medical records. These guaranteed issue policies always have a two- to three-year waiting period before benefits will be paid.2

If the insured dies during the waiting period, the beneficiaries will not receive the policy’s death benefit. They will, however, receive a return of the premiums the policyholder paid—plus interest, usually at an annual rate of 10%.2 5 For more on guaranteed issue policies, including how life insurance companies can afford to offer them, read our piece on guaranteed issue life insurance.

As of April 1, 2020, New York Life sells a term life insurance policy that provides $10,000 to $50,000 of coverage, which is marketed to seniors in conjunction with AARP. While the coverage amount is similar to that of a final expense policy, this term policy expires at age 80 and has increasing premiums.7 A policy that can expire before you die might not cover your final expenses or any other financial needs your beneficiaries might have. Don’t confuse term insurance for seniors with the final expense policies described in this article.
Real-Life Example of Final Expense Insurance
Using Choice Mutual’s online quote tool, we found that for a 68-year-old man in California, a $25,000 final expense insurance policy with health questions and immediate coverage might cost $156 to $180 per month, while one without health questions (a guaranteed issue policy with a waiting period) might cost $234 to $345 per month.8 Let’s say that man has congestive heart failure and only qualifies for a guaranteed issue policy with a two-year waiting period. If he buys the most expensive policy with the $345 monthly premium, after two years he will have paid $8,280 in premiums. His beneficiaries will come out ahead if he dies between the first day of year three (when the waiting period ends) and the end of year six, when the premiums paid will be about equal to the death benefit.

People who are healthy should not buy from a company that only sells guaranteed issue policies, because they will pay an unnecessarily higher price and coverage will not start on day one.3 2 They may not even want to buy a final expense policy, according to Sabo. The caveat is that you have to be healthy enough to qualify. Sabo says that a 68-year-old nonsmoking male in California could get a $25,000 guaranteed universal life policy for about $88 per month. This policy would expire at age 100, so it does provide less coverage than a whole life policy. You’ll want to take your own health and budget into account when deciding whether a trade-off like this is worth it.

Guaranteed universal life, like whole life, does not expire as long as you buy a policy that covers the rest of your life. You can buy a policy that will cover you to age 121 for maximum protection, or to age 100, or to a younger age if you’re trying to save money and don’t need coverage after, say, age 90. It costs less than final expense insurance because it doesn’t have a cash value component.9

When ‘Regular’ Life Insurance Is Better
“If you can afford to buy a larger policy to meet company minimum death benefits, then you are better off buying regular life insurance,” says Sabo.3 Martin agrees. He says that most insurance carriers require a minimum face value of $50,000 to $100,000 on traditional whole life or term insurance. The higher face amounts will lead to higher premiums than some people can afford, even though the cost per $1,000 of coverage is less than that of a final expense policy. He said that many of his clients who could easily qualify for a traditional whole or term policy choose final expense because they only want $20,000 or $30,000 of coverage and claims on these policies are often paid faster than claims on larger policies.2

Sabo explains that many life insurance companies have raised their minimum death benefits to $50,000 because it is not worth the time to process the application and do all of the underwriting for smaller policies. “Some companies specialize in final expense insurance and have created a system and underwriting to sell smaller policies and make smaller profits, but they are doing volume,” he says.3

In-Between Option: Graded Benefit Final Expense Insurance
There’s a third type of final expense insurance, and that’s a graded benefit policy with a partial waiting period. This type of policy might pay 30% to 40% of the death benefit if the insured dies during the first year the policy is in force, and it might pay 70% to 80% if the insured dies during the second year the policy is in force. If the insured dies after those first two years, then the policy would pay out 100% of the death benefit.10

If you have health conditions that are only semi-serious, you might qualify for a graded benefit policy instead of a guaranteed issue policy. Examples include entering remission from cancer in the last 24 months, having congestive heart failure, or being treated for alcohol or drug abuse in the last 24 months. By comparison, a more serious condition, such as a terminal illness, currently being in cancer treatment, or having had heart surgery in the last 12 months, would only allow you to qualify for a guaranteed issue policy where you’ll have to wait at least two years for any coverage.10

No single insurer offers the best final expense insurance across the board, says Martin. It’s important to get offers from multiple insurance companies to find the ones that view your health most favorably. Those companies will likely offer you the best rates. Trying to qualify for a policy that has health questions is another way to keep rates down.2

Even if you have a less-than-ideal answer to a health question, it does not mean every company will reject you. Some may offer you immediate coverage with higher premiums, a graded benefit policy, or a guaranteed issue policy.10

Sometimes choosing the least expensive policy for which you qualify makes the most sense. However, if you are working with an experienced life insurance broker who sells policies from lots of insurance companies, instead of an agent who only sells one company’s insurance, your broker may be able to advise you on which companies are easiest to work with. Some provide better service to applicants and policyholders than others, according to Martin. That said, some people will need to choose the least expensive option even if the customer service might not be very good.