This innovative plan offers the option of increase in sum assured every year by 5% or 10% without increase in the premium, but the annual premium is high. Does your term plan need to increase the sum assured every year?
Birla Sun Life Insurance Company has launched new term plan offerings-Protector and Protector Plus. These plans offer flexibility to customers, giving them the option to increase the sum assured over a period rising out of increasing responsibilities and inflation, at no extra premium.
Both plans allow customers to opt for a constant or increasing sum assured at inception. Customers, who opt for an increase in the sum assured, have the option to increase it by 5% or 10% every year, in order to factor in growing needs and responsibilities. Under this facility, on every policy anniversary, the sum assured increases by 5% or 10%.
Mayank Bathwal, chief financial officer and head-institutional sales, says, "Over time, an individual's responsibilities grow and this, coupled with lifestyle improvements, makes one realise the need for increased protection. To ensure that one's loved ones continue to enjoy the same comforts, even under unforeseen circumstances, there was a need for a plan that could keep pace with changing requirements."
Does your term plan really need to increase the sum assured every year? The insurance needs increase together with the number of dependants and inflation, but your income level and savings also increase. The need to provide a cushion for dependants should decrease under normal circumstances, with financial commitments like children's education reducing near retirement. So, with age, given a normal earning cycle, the need for life insurance should decline and, at some point, it should be zero. If not, then you have not planned your retirement. One approach would be to go for additional term plan when your insurance need increases and terminate the policy close to retirement when your insurance need decreases.
As seen above, if the customer opts for 10% increasing sum assured every year, the premium is double for a policy term of 20 years or more. The company will charge the additional premium every year, to be able to afford a 10% annual increase in the sum assured.
The new e-ticketing service of the Indian Railways will not involve travel agents and commercial organisations. However, there is no information about how the quotas are to be allocated for various trains
The Indian Railways is all set to roll out a new e-ticketing service that will apparently not be open to travel agents, but will be reserved only for individual users.
The move comes after widespread discontent over malpractices by agents and touts who manipulated the system to hog a majority of the tickets available, even from quotas and the 'tatkal' facility, leaving individuals ticketless.
In March, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which operated the online booking system, blocked over 4.5 lakh user IDs, most of them agents, who were found to be violating the rules.
However, questions are being raised whether operating the ticket booking system from a new portal will resolve the contentious issue of quotas on different trains.
"Unlike the e-ticketing service of the IRCTC, the new service by Indian Railways will have no role for travel agents and commercial organisations. Only individual users will be allowed to book on the portal," a railways official said.
The new service will be available on www.indianrailways.gov.in, which will be launched after necessary clearance for the payment gateway. The facility will be available on a fixed time basis from 12.30am to 11.30pm.
Moneylife has consistently maintained that the tatkal facility has been exploited by agents, with the tickets vanishing within minutes of the reservations opening. Thus, individuals, unable to get tickets have had to depend on agents who charge a substantial commission.
Following these complaints, the railways decided to bar travel agents from booking tatkal tickets on the IRCTC portal during peak hours.
Indian Railways transacts over 9.5 lakh bookings across the country daily, about a third of these through the IRCTC portal. About eight lakh agents are registered under the IRCTC.
Under the new e-ticketing service, individuals will have to register while using the facility for the first time. Registration is free of charge. A maximum of eight transactions will be allowed monthly to each user ID, the official said. Service charges will be Rs5 per ticket for sleeper class and Rs10 per ticket for all other classes. Currently, IRCTC charges Rs10 per ticket for sleeper class and Rs20 per ticket for all other classes.
Besides reducing the load on the IRCTC website, the railways is also considering using the mobile platform for ticket booking.
But there are many questions about the new system that are still not answered. For example, there is no clarity on the tatkal quota, or the logic of allocating so many seats under this category. Many a time, passengers are surprised to find more seats available under tatkal than the regular category. A Moneylife reader pointed out that on 15 April 2011 there were 216 seats allotted under the tatkal quota, while there was a waiting list of 274 passengers under the general quota for the Pune-Lucknow Express.
Surprisingly, no one, not even railway officials, can explain the rationale for the quota system. A different number of seats is allocated for each category on different trains. The question is why cannot this be synchronised. For example, a uniform 10% seats can be allocated for the tatkal quota, 80% for the general quota and the rest for other quotas.
A few months ago, Rajaram Bojji, former managing director of the Konkan Railway, said this about the tatkal mess: "Those in the railways must have found an indirect route to realise higher revenues without increasing the fares over the last seven years, simply by increasing the quota under tatkal. Reasonable I feel, because the fares of passenger tickets were kept the same with a proud announcement by each political master."
Opto Circuits’s arm, Cardiac Science Corporation, has entered into a distribution agreement with Omron Healthcare to distribute Automated External Defibrillator Powerheart G3 HDF-3000 in Japan
Healthcare equipment maker Opto Circuits (India) today said it has entered into an agreement with Japan’s Omron Healthcare to distribute equipment used for treatment of heart disease in the Japanese market.
The company’s arm, Cardiac Science Corporation, has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Omron Healthcare to distribute Omron Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Powerheart G3 HDF-3000 in Japan, Opto Circuits (India) said in a statement.
The agreement is for marketing of products which have been approved by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (JMHLW).
External defibrillators are medical devices that diagnose life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms and deliver electrical energy to the heart to restore its normal rhythm.
“Omron, a leading healthcare company dedicated to the prevention of heart disease, will distribute the AEDs through its home-use and medical healthcare devices division and will optimally utilise sales channels of business partners,” the company said.
Commenting on the development Opto Circuits Chairman and Managing Director Vinod Ramnani said: “We are pleased to partner with a well known brand like Omron Healthcare to gain a strategic re-entry into the lucrative Japanese market with our emergency life saving product.”
Japan is the second largest AED market in the world with 65,000 AEDs sold annually. In 2004, the Japanese government passed a law permitting the common man to operate AEDs, prior to which, AEDs were operated only by designated healthcare professionals.
Last month Cardiac Science Corporation had received approval from JMHLW to market Powerheart G3 AED in Japan.
“Cardiac Science and Omron Healthcare are currently engaged in market launch preparations, with commercial release and first revenue sales expected in August, 2011,” it added.
On Friday, Opto Circuits ended 0.23% up at Rs287.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex ended 1.15% down at 18,858.04.