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Women's Life Insurance Policies

There are customised life insurance policies for women, whether they are working, working from or at home or are housewives. Know more about these policies and the coverage provided.

Bienu M Vaghela

22 Apr 2008

Over the ages, traditionally, women have been home makers in India. The scenario has changed drastically in recent times. The Indian woman's transition from home maker to bread winner has been phenomenal. Moreover, they have taken a march over their male counterparts by juggling with aplomb multidimensional roles - professional, home-maker, mother, financial planner...

With this in mind, we turn our sights on women's life insurance.

In this country, in the early years of the insurance industry, the trend was to insure only male lives. The logic was that the female of the species was home-bound anyway, wasn't exposed to any risk, and consequently didn't need any sort of insurance. The bread winner was the male and it was against his lost income that cover was required. A major additional disincentive was the extra risk to female lives that was an inevitable part of the childbirth process.

All that has changed with women rivaling men at the workplace (and frequently doing a better job than them). In addition, better education for the female child, increased economic contribution by women, better medical facilities for safer childbirth and post-natal care have all contributed to more and more insurance products that are women-specific.

In life insurance terms, women are broadly divided into three categories:

  • Working women
  • Women with income by way of interest, dividend, rent, etc., that are taxable
  • Housewives/home-makers who (in purely technical terms) do not have an income

The first two categories are no different from their male counterparts i.e. they are treated on par with them for insurance purposes. A housewife, on the other hand, has her insurability tied to adequate life insurance cover for her husband as well as his income. For instance, a housewife's life insurance cover cannot exceed her husband's.

Apart from this caveat, all basic covers such as life, personal accident, mediclaim, critical illness etc. form a part of women's life insurance policies too.

There are also some special covers afforded in women's life insurance policies that include:

  • Cover for certain female critical illnesses

  • Occurrence of certain congenital disabilities in new-borns

  • Cradle care - covers the newly born child's defects, deformity, malformation, congenital abnormality of any kind at time of delivery

Now come the exclusions to the above-mentioned special covers:

  • Post delivery complications

  • Still-born child

  • Death of the mother during childbirth

  • Miscarriage, infanticide

  • Any defect that is not congenital

  • Malfunctioning of any organ (as opposed to malformation)

  • Any defect, which manifests itself after 200 days of the delivery

Most of these policies are benefit-only policies i.e., they come to effect on the specified event happening. Another important point - most pre-natal and birth-related policies have to be taken not later than the 20th week of pregnancy.

Womankind carries the future of the race, literally. They can never be thanked enough for the commitment, pain, and dedication they bring to their various avatars as home-maker, mother, wife, and professional. Having said that, these insurance policies can go a fair bit in reducing the monetary impact of the loss of the woman in a home.