Important Life Insurance Terms


An agent is an insurance company representative who sells and services life insurance contracts for the insurer. He is an intermediary between the insurer and the policyholder.


An actuary is a professional expert in insurance mathematics. They use their knowledge to analyse the risk involved in insurance. They are known for calculating the premium rates, dividends, company reserves, and other statistics.


An annuity is the periodic income benefits received by the annuitant from the insurance company for a specific time, such as the number of years or throughout life.


An assignment is a legal document that allows the policyholder to transfer the ownership rights to a third party. It can be made by an endorsement on the policy document or by a separate deed. 


A beneficiary is a person or entity, named in the policy as the recipient of the life insurance benefit in the event of the policyholder's death.


It is an additional amount of money received by an individual when the policy term is active or when it matures, considering that he/she has made all the premium payments as required for a certain number of years.

Cash Value/Surrender Value

It is a certain sum of money offered to the policyholder by the insurer upon the cancellation of the contract before the date of maturity. The cash value of the policy is its present value and the cost at which it can be sold.

Claims Settlement

It is the payment made by the insurer to the insured or claimant on the occurrence of the event specified in the contract, in return for the premiums paid for the insured.  


Coverage is the amount of protection that the policyholder will receive based on the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy.

Claim Process

In the case where the insured individual dies during the policy tenure, the nominee lodges a claim to receive the death benefit. This process is known as the claim process.

Death Benefit

Upon the untimely death of a policyholder, the nominee/beneficiary will be eligible to receive a payout from the insurance company. This payout is called the death benefit.


Exclusions are certain things that are not covered under a life insurance policy. If the claim has been made based on these exclusions, the insurance company does not pay any benefit to the nominee/beneficiary.

Free-Look Period

It is the time during which a policyholder can terminate their policy if they are not satisfied with the policy's terms and conditions. They can do so without having to pay any fees or penalties to the insurance company.


A person who has been legally trusted by a nominee/beneficiary who will act or represent on his behalf as and when required.

Grace Period

It is the extended time offered to the policyholder by the insurance company to make their due premium payments. It usually ranges from 15 to 30 days.


The insurance company that sells a life insurance policy to an individual is called the insurer.


The insured is the individual who purchases the life insurance policy in his/her name.

Lapsed Policy

When a policyholder fails to make premium payments on or before the due date, then the insurance company ceases the benefits offered by the policy and terminates it on account of non-payment. Such a policy is called a lapsed policy.

Maturity Benefit

It is the amount paid to the policyholder upon completion of the policy tenure.

Moral Hazard

When a policyholder is involved in events/situations that could increase the risk of an insurance company to incur additional costs on behalf of that individual, he/she is known as a moral hazard.


A person (legal heir) nominated by the policyholder to whom the sum assured, and other benefits will be paid by the insurance company in case of an unfortunate eventuality. 

Premium Paying Term

The total number of years for which a policyholder will be making premium payments to the insurance company. 


Riders are the additional benefits that enhance the coverage of life insurance plans. There are optional riders to enhance your financial protection and to secure yourself/your family against accidental disability or demise, which you can add as additional protection.


In case an insured is unable to make the due premium payments on time, and the insurance company, as a result, decides to terminate the insurance policy, the policyholder will have an option to renew the coverage, and the process of making a lapsed policy active again is called reinstatement.

Sum Assured

Sum assured is the guaranteed insurance cover which the insurance company is liable to pay to the nominee/beneficiary in case of any eventuality, like death.

Vesting Age

The age at which an individual starts to receive pay-outs from the insurance company.

Waiver of Premium

Waiver of Premium is a rider that can be purchased by a policyholder if in case they are unable to make the premium payments on time.