Can NRIs purchase life insurance in India? Find out

Published: May 27, 2019 4:57:25 PM

An NRI need not be present while buying the policy; he or she can purchase the policy from his or her current resident country either through online mode or by communicating via written communication with the insurer.

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If you are an NRI and are thinking of buying a life insurance plan in India, then definitely you are taking a wise call. Especially, when you are away from your native land and have dependents to look after (who are residing in India), buying a life insurance policy seems to be a perfect decision. But the question is: “Is it possible for NRIs to purchase a life insurance plan in India”?

The answer to this question is YES, it is possible for NRIs to buy a life insurance policy in India and protect their and their family’s life. As per FEMA, individuals who are residents of foreign countries, as well as Persons of Indian Origin (may or may not be the citizens of India), are permitted to buy insurance in India.

As you scroll down, you would get more information about the process of buying life insurance in India being an NRI:

Availability of policy seeker in India

An NRI need not be present while buying the policy; he or she can purchase the policy from his or her current resident country either through online mode or by communicating via written communication with the insurer.

Eligibility

If an NRI wishes to buy life insurance in India, he or she should have a valid passport issued by the Government of India. And if you are a Person of Indian Origin or overseas citizen of India, then you should either have an Indian passport anytime in the past, or either you or your parents or grandparents should be an Indian citizen by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955, or you should be a spouse to a citizen of India or a person referred in clauses 1 or 2.

Cost of premiums

Generally, the costs of premiums are similar for both the residents as well as non-residents. However, the premium of the policy might differ depending on the applicant’s country of residence, i.e. the premiums would be high for high-risk countries while premiums would be low for low-risk countries.

Note: High-risk countries are those countries which are more prone to civil or military issues, are run by an unstable government and face constant violent attacks. On the other hand, low-risk countries are those countries which are usually peaceful and are run by a stable government along with proper law and order.

Mode of payment of premiums

The modes of payment of premiums are classified into two categories:

  1. Paying the premiums in rupees using NRO accounts (for rupee denominated policies).
  2. Paying in foreign currency or through NRE/FCNR account (for foreign currency denominated policies).

Know the tax laws of your country

In India, the current tax laws exempt all the three stages of the policy life cycle from tax; however, it is very significant for the applicant to understand the tax laws for both India and the resident country before opting for an insurance policy in India.

Medical Examination Procedure

There are two ways in which the medical examination procedure could be conducted:

  1. Either you fly down to India, wherein the expenses would be borne by your insurer, or
  2. You can do the medical examination at your resident country and send the reports to the insurer in India. However, in this case, you would have to bear the cost unless you have opted for a policy which is targeted specifically for non-residents.

Piece of advice

Opting for life insurance would not only help you but will provide financial aid to your family in your absence. Moreover, buying a policy as an NRI is like ensuring your loved ones in your native land and be tension free especially when you are away from them.

By, Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance

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