ICICI Pru iCare delivers ‘instant’ online term insurance, but watch out for some caveats

ICICI Prudential’s iCare is an innovative product offering ‘instant’ insurance—but it may not deliver in all cases. Medical tests are not needed for instant online purchase. But there is no guarantee that you’ll pass the ‘threshold risk’ online test to buy the product at a click 

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance’s iCare tries to address the major hiccup with the online term insurance buying process. The medical tests which online term insurance products require for all (or higher age groups) has been done away with this innovative product. There were issues like premium hike after medical tests which used to catch customers by surprise. This one-of-a-kind product will have no medical tests and no surprises of premium hike. But what is the catch?

If you don’t fit into the profile of the customer the insurer is looking for, you may not be able to buy the product online; which implies that it will not be available to that customer who does not ‘fit in’, for the quoted premium. After all, which insurance company will afford to take the risk of offering a low premium for a high-risk customer?

For this product, the buying process can be completed in many cases including customers who are smokers and drinkers. “The premium that you see on your quotation is the final annual premium that you will pay!” is what ICICI Prudential promises. But if you are suffering from some ailment like a heart problem or any other major illness, then the online buying cannot be completed.

There is a ‘threshold risk’ up to which the online buying process can be completed. The process is designed in such a way that it will ask many questions on different medical conditions, or smoking & drinking habits. If the online software decides the risk is beyond a threshold for a particular customer profile, online buying cannot be completed. If you are rejected, this message will greet you—“On the basis of details entered by you, we are unable to offer you the chosen product online.” One can argue that it is a good move by the insurer as underwriting without a medical test can be offered only to a certain extent.

According to the company, “The customer who is stopped from completing online buying will be offered offline products like ICICI Pure Protect.”

The online process may offer lower sum assured (SA) for higher age. For example, it offers Rs1 crore SA for a 40-year-old male, but only Rs60 lakh SA for a 60-year-old having the same income level. iCare Option II offers accidental death benefit with coverage equal to SA, subject to a maximum of Rs50 lakh. The existing online term plan iProtect is no longer on ICICI Pru’s website.

The plan has the following advantages:

  •  The value offered by the product is convenience of instant policy without medical tests and no hike in the quoted premium. It will certainly appeal to a number of customers.
  • Other insurance product reviews allow no medical check-up till 50 years, but this product is offered without a medical check-up for higher ages too, subject to the declaration of medical conditions by the customer, which have to be below the threshold risk allowed by the online process.  
  • It will be an advantage for people with some health problems who are allowed by the online process to complete the buying, as they will get a good deal on the premium.

But there are some disadvantages:

  •  The premium will be higher than the insurer’s own iProtect term insurance (which as mentioned above does not appear on ICICI Prudential’s website) due to convenience of no medical check-up and instant term life insurance offered by iCare.
  •  Moneylife tried buying the product online giving information as a potential buyer. Details were submitted as the prospect being a moderate smoker (8-15 packets a week) and moderate drinker (7-15 units of 30ml of alcohol per week). The premium is the same as that of a non-smoker. Customers who are healthy and have no vices can get a better deal with other online term plans.
  •  Again, a medical check-up is a good idea from the customers’ perspective. A check-up can’t catch all the medical problems and claims can still be rejected on non-disclosure grounds, but there is some proof with the customer in case the claim goes into litigation in case of claims rejection. Whether the product will have higher claim rejections due to lack of a medical test cannot be predicted at this time, but a customer aware of insurance intricacies would rather buy an insurance cover with a medical check-up rather than having the convenience of buying ‘instant’ life insurance.

Here is a comparison of the premiums for some online plans for SA of Rs1 crore and policy term of 20 years:

ICICI Pru iCare Product Details:




4 years ago

My experience with Aviva was good when I bought i-Life. The process took place in no time..

Madhusudan Thakkar

5 years ago

This is a revolutionary product .The main feature is NO MEDICAL till the age of 50 up to sum assured of Rs.1.50 crore.Many people are charged extra premium[loading] on small pretext based on findings in Blood & Heart reports.This will be beneficial to those people.In the days and months ahead other Insurance companies will also come out with similar plans

High net-worth Indians’ wealth grows 22% over 2008-09, touches $582 billion

Along with China, India has been the most consistent driver of wealth in the Asia-Pacific region, says a recent survey. The number of Asia’s high net-worth individuals grew 9.7% to 3.3 million, exceeding Europe for the first time 

It’s official now. Asia’s wealth is growing faster than Europe, despite inflationary concerns and growing population. The 2011 Asia-Pacific Wealth Report released yesterday by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management & Capgemini says that this growth in wealth is an indication of the long-term fundamental strength of India’s economy, and rich individuals are increasing their exposure to equities, real estate, gems and jewellery.

Asia-Pacific’s population of high net-worth individuals (HNIs) grew 9.7% to 3.3 million in 2010, exceeding Europe’s for the first time and placing the region as the world’s second-biggest market after North America, according to the report. HNI wealth in India grew by 22% in 2009-10, amounting to $582 billion, as compared to $477 billion in 2008-09.

“India along with China has been the most consistent driver of Asia-Pacific wealth over the last couple of years,” said Atul Singh, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in India. “Despite inflation being a concern, real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of 9.1% and a 24.9% increase in market capitalisation, is an indicator of the long-term fundamentals of India’s economy remaining solid and will help investors withstand volatility ahead.”

HNIs are defined as those having investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables. Ultra-HNIs are defined as those having investable assets of $30 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables.

India’s population of HNIs increased their exposure to equities, real estate, gems and jewellery in 2010, reflecting regained confidence even as the financial crisis subsided.

Indian HNI investment in equities went up to 36% in 2010 from 32% in 2009, while real estate moved up marginally to 23% in 2010 as compared to 22% in 2009. India’s HNIs have 36% of their holdings in equities, higher than the global average at 33 percent.

The penchant for investment in gems and jewellery continues for rich Indians. HNIs increased their exposure to gems & jewellery up to 37% in 2010 from 33% in 2009. Indian HNI exposure to fixed income, alternative investments and cash/deposits is more or less at the same level ranging from 26% in 2010 from 25% in 2009; 6% in 2010 from 8% in 2009 and 9% in 2010 from 13% in 2009, respectively.

“Asia-Pacific remains a region of enormous wealth creation—spearheaded by China, India and Japan—which continues to outpace global levels,” said Pradeep Dokania, chairman, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management India. “The increasing sophistication and demands of Asia-Pacific HNIs mean that those wealth-management firms that can leverage across their businesses are best-placed to better serve their clients’ needs.”

As the majority of Asia-Pacific HNIs source their wealth from business ownership, wealth-management firms that can generate enterprise value—the ability to leverage capabilities from across different business units—will be able to serve their clients better, says the study. More HNIs in Asia-Pacific than in other regions believe it is important for wealth-management firms to create enterprise value, such as leveraging corporate & investment banking resources, as their businesses progress through different stages.

“Within Asia-Pacific, the importance of enterprise value is perceived to be one of the highest in India,” said Salil Parekh, CEO, Applications Services-US, UK & Asia of Capgemini. “Implementing such (an) approach in (the) Asia-Pacific (region) will require a well-defined market strategy to capture market-specific opportunities, especially in fast-growing emerging markets, like India. Among the key components will be firm-wide accountability, appropriate incentives, and integrated IT. Most importantly, firms will need to hone their strategy for each market, and not impose arbitrary standards from highly-developed markets.”

This is the second straight year in which India’s HNI population growth has been among the top gainers, fuelled by strong macroeconomic growth and by market performance. As per the findings of the report, in 2010, India’s HNI population grew at 20.8% to 1,53,000 compared with 1,26,700 in 2009. India was among the eight of the 20 fastest-growing Asia-Pacific markets in HNI population—including Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.



Nagesh Kini FCA

5 years ago

This clearly indicates that our HNIs, with all the taxation bounties are increasing by leaps and bounds with the poor driven to suicide, middle class burdened with galloping inflation and paying more taxes than HNIs. A few millions fall in the market values of their holdings are just flea bites to our tycoons, who may even be ignorant of their actual holdings. They, along with the netas and babus with a lot of cash income generated at home and money stashed abroad simply do not have to worry about food inflation issues. Everything is taken care off! Not to worry.

Workers defy HC orders, Maruti strike enters 8th day

Maruti Suzuki has decided to stop production at its main factory in Gurgaon today and tomorrow on account of a severe shortage of engines and transmissions due to the strike at Suzuki Powertrain India. Workers at Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) have also resorted to a strike to press their colleagues’ demands

New Delhi: Defying the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, workers continued their sit-in strike on the premises of Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) Manesar plant for the eighth consecutive day today, with production activities at a complete standstill, reports PTI.

The strike by workers at Suzuki Powertrain India (SPIL) in support of their colleagues at the Manesar plant has made the situation even more precarious for the Maruti Suzuki India management.

The company has decided to stop production at its main factory in Gurgaon today and tomorrow on account of a severe shortage of engines and transmissions due to the strike at SPIL. Workers at Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) have also resorted to a strike to press their colleagues’ demands.

“The Manesar plant is still under workers’ control. No production is taking place there today,’ a Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) spokesperson told PTI.

Yesterday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed that there would be no sit-in strike within 100 metres of the premises of MSI’s factory at Manesar. Justice Surya Kant of the high court issued further directions that striking workers on dharna (sit-in protest) in the plant should be taken out.

He had also directed that willing workers should be allowed to join duty and those on strike should not be allowed to stop them.

The court also asked the police authorities to ensure that workers who wish to join the dharna are not stopped.

Workers at MSI’s Manesar plant went on a stay-in strike on 7th October afternoon, completely affecting production at the unit. They were demanding the reinstatement of over 1,000 casual staff that were not allowed to rejoin work after an earlier 33-day stand-off that started on 29th August, besides 44 suspended permanent employees.

Shares of the company were trading 2.22% down at Rs1,033 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange in late morning trade today.


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