Insurance penetration is still low in our country due to various reasons, including limited awareness of the benefits of insurance, cultural barriers, and a lack of trust in financial services. Additionally, insurance adoption among women leaves much to be desired.
Women in India often prioritise the financial needs of their families over their own, which can lead to neglecting their own long-term financial planning needs. Also, another major factor responsible for under-insurance among women is the lack of products that are designed to cater to their specific needs. However, things are changing in recent years with several insurance companies coming up with new innovative products to bridge this gap. Here are some women-specific insurance covers to consider:
Independent term insurance for homemakers
Traditionally, the eligibility for term insurance was largely determined by one’s financial output, leaving behind homemakers who form a significant proportion of the population, especially in India. While homemakers did have a protection cover, they were heavily dependent on their income-earning spouse buying a policy; and that too with certain limitations. For instance, homemakers were able to get coverage equivalent to only 50 per cent of the sum assured of their spouse’s policy.
However, the Independent Term Homemaker Plan is a game-changer in the world of insurance. It fills the gap by providing financial protection for homemakers who may not have an income but have an invaluable contribution at home. Under this plan, homemakers in the age bracket of 18 to 50 years with an annual household income of ₹5 lakh can independently purchase a term plan. This plan recognises the unpaid work done by a homemaker and ensures that their contributions to the family are not overlooked. This innovative plan can encourage more women to opt for term insurance coverage for themselves and financially secure the future of their dependants.
New-age maternity plans
Most insurers these days have specialised plans to cater to women’s specific needs, including maternity benefits. New-age maternity benefits in health insurance can significantly incentivise women to opt for insurance. Health insurance companies offer comprehensive coverage for all maternity-related expenses, including pre and post-natal care, delivery, and hospitalisation. The sum insured for maternity-related expenses can go up to ₹2 lakh. This coverage can alleviate the financial burden and encourage more women to opt for insurance. Additionally, some health insurance companies offer unique maternity-related benefits, such as coverage for fertility treatments and daycare procedures for infants.
New-age maternity plans these days offer attractive features like a waiting period of as low as nine months. Many plans also cover medical expenses related to the newborn child for up to 90 days. There are also plans that offer protection against medically-terminated pregnancies.
Flexibility with modular health plans
Modular health plans follow a customisable and flexible health insurance approach that can benefit women significantly. These plans allow policyholders to pick and choose the specific benefits they need, based on their requirements and budget. Women have unique healthcare needs, including reproductive and sexual health, maternity care, and preventative health services, and modular health plans can help address these needs.
One significant benefit of modular health plans for women is the ability to tailor the plan to their specific needs. Apart from comprehensive maternity coverage, women can increase their sum insured up to 100 per cent in certain plans or they can opt for benefits that can help cover daycare procedures without having to be hospitalised. Women who require regular consultations can opt for OPD coverage, while women who maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle can get rewarded through discounts and lower premium rates.
There is hardly any doubt that new-age innovations in the insurance industry have the potential to bridge the gap in insurance coverage among women. Only by recognising the unique needs and challenges women face and creating customised solutions to address them can women be empowered to take control of their financial future and achieve optimal health and wellness.
The author is President and CEO, Policybazaar.com