Selecting an insurance policy for children is one of the best ways to secure their future. It provides them with the required economic support. Child plans primarily aid in higher education and marriage expenses. In case of loss of the main breadwinner, a child plan can remarkably safeguard the child's future.
Though each plan is unique, certain important factors that one must keep in mind while selecting a child plan are:
(a) When and what is the expected requirement:*
Planning for a child’s future should start as soon as he/she becomes a part of your world. Starting early will help you keep ahead of your child’s requirements. Invest such that you get optimal returns and ensure that the child gets the money no matter what the circumstances.
There are two primary needs for which parents should plan - education and marriage of the child. You need to consider the time and year of required funds for the respective events. The maturity amount should be sufficient to meet the future needs. By future needs, we mean not just academic needs; the plan should also provide for extra-curricular talents and interests. Tomorrow if your child wants to learn how to play the piano or pursue their interest in lawn tennis further, you need to make arrangements such that they can be taken care of satisfactorily. While planning for the amount of expenses, keep in mind the inflation, which may increase your requirements manifold.
(b) Features offered by the plan:*
All plans have different characteristics. One needs to minutely differentiate between the various features of policies according to specific needs and then choose a policy which best suits their needs. Some comparable features that could be considered are as follows:
Self-funding of premiums:
In case of death of the provider, insurance companies have an arrangement, which allow continuation of the plan without the burden of premium payments. Insurance companies take it upon themselves to ensure that the child gets the maturity benefit.
Flexibility of the plan:
Child insurance plans allow for partial withdrawals; this proves useful to take care of urgent needs without disturbing the regular expenses and income matrix. The flexibility to switch investments from one fund to another lets you capitalise on the market conditions and gain/protect yourself from market volatilities.
A comparison of the free switches and redirection of investments permissible in a year gives you the freedom to plan your finances better.
While a financial advisor provides help for picking the right fund and creating a judicious mix of investments, one must look out for the fund offerings by the company. Max Life Insurance, for example, offers a variety of 8 funds ranging from complete debt exposure to complete equity exposure. There are certain plans which also provide dynamic opportunity fund which automatically and depending on one’s age and risk-taking capabilities transfers monies from equity to debt.
Bonus pay outs:
Look for the bonuses you are eligible for in the plan. Bonuses usually start getting accumulated from the 2nd policy year onwards and add to the corpus substantially. You may also want to check the type of bonuses associated with your plan. For example, whether it is cash bonus and the options allowed with it or in the case of reversionary bonus you may want to check if it is simple or compounded.