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NRI’s Guide to Life Insurance

Can Life Insurance policies be offered to NRIs? If yes, what is the maximum insurance cover allowed to an NRI?

Yes, a life insurance policy can be offered to NRIs subject to filling up of an NRI questionnaire and company's underwriting norms. There is no limit on the applicable cover. It depends on the financial capacity and the medical condition of the policyholder. No health riders are available to an NRI customer.

Can NRIs pay premium in foreign currency?

As per existing laws, NRI policyholders can pay premium in convertible foreign exchange subject to exchange regulations as amended from time to time. There is no restriction on paying premium in foreign currency provided the premium is paid in an approved manner. For policies denominated in rupees issued to NRI, funds held in NRO account can be accepted towards payment of premium

How can an NRI pay the premium under the policy?

NRIs can pay insurance premium through the following channels in INR only.
a. Remit directly from abroad through our global partners.
b. Debit from NRO, NRE or FCNR account
c. Credit Card
d. Electronic Clearance service

What is the claims payment procedure for an NRI policy?

You can claim the amount of your policy at the time of maturity. Or the claim would be given to the nominee incase of an unfortunate demise. a. Non Resident beneficiaries of insurance claims/maturity/surrender value settled in foreign currency may be permitted to credit the same to NRE/FCNR account.
b. Resident beneficiaries of the insurance claim/maturity/surrender value settled in foreign currency may be permitted to open and credit the proceeds thereof to their RFC (Domestic) Account instead of RFC Account.
c. NRI policyholders who are beneficiaries of insurance claims/maturity or surrender Svalue settled in foreign currency in respect of policies issued by Indian Insurance Company may be permitted to credit the proceeds to the RFC Account by them on their becoming residents.
d. Claims/maturity proceeds/surrender value in respect of rupee life insurance policies issued to NRI for which premium have been collected in non-repartriable rupee may be paid only in rupee by credit to NRO account of the beneficiary. This would also apply in cases of death claims being settled in favour of non-resident assignees/nominees.
e. Claim/maturity proceeds/surrender value in respect of rupee policies to foreign nationals not permanently resident in India may be paid in rupees or may be allowed to be remitted abroad, if the claimant so desires.

What are the tax implications on claims of an NRI policy?

Section Benefits
80C Premiums paid towards a life insurance policy are eligible for a deduction of up to Rs 1 lakh from the taxable income.
80D Premiums paid towards health insurance are eligible for a tax rebate of a maximum of Rs 15000 (Rs 20,000 for senior citizens) from the taxable income.
10(10D) Any benefits received on your life insurance policy is tax free
10(10A)(iii) With respect to insurance proceeds, one third of the value at vesting Date would be tax free

a. Tax benefits / exemptions are applicable irrespective of the status of the NRIs (NRIs/PIOs or OCIs).
b. Please take finance opinion

Can NRIs secure a policy under MWPA (Married Woman Property Act)?

Yes, it is possible to secure a policy under MWPA.

Can Persons of Indian origin (PIO) take an insurance policy?

Yes, a PIO can take an insurance policy as per guidelines of the company subject to submission of proof of being a PIO

Can a NRI policyholder assign his policy?

Yes, a Non Resident policyholder can assign his policy to his Non Resident wife or other dependants without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India, provided there is no monetary consideration. However, the assignee will be entitled to the same treatment as regards the proceeds as would be applicable in case of the NRI policyholder.

Can a foreign national be a nominee?

A foreign national can be the nominee depending upon the "existence of the insurable interest norms" or other nomination rules issued by various insurance companies. However, the foreign national in his capacity as a nominee will be entitled to same treatment as regards the proceeds as would be applicable in case of the NRI policyholder. In case the NRI policyholder has paid for the premiums in rupees, the foreign national would be entitled to proceeds in rupees only.

Can foreign nationals not permanently resident in India be issued an insurance policy?

Foreign citizens, who are resident in India purely on account of their employment, profession or business with a valid employment/business visa, are treated as persons not permanently resident in India.
Policies denominated in rupees may be issued to foreign nationals not permanently resident in India provided the premiums are paid out of foreign currency funds or out of NRE/FCNR account of the insured or his family members held in India. and s/he provides a copy of the passport, valid work permit, and employment contract clearly stating the duration of the contract, which should be greater than the term of the policy.

What documents are required for issuing an NRI policy?

The following documents are required from an NRI policyholder: Units in the funds may not be offered or sold within the United States or to United States Persons, except in a transaction not subject to, or pursuant to an exemption from, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws and which would not require the funds to register under the Investment Company Act. The term "United States Person" shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in Regulations under the Securities Act. a. Duly completed proposal form.
b. Customer Information Report.
c. A copy of the passport.
d. NRI questionnaire duly completed
e. Copy of passport
f. Copy of valid work permit/ visa
g. Valid income proof depending upon the total actual sum assured along with financial statement
h. Appointment letter/salary slip issued by the employer clearly stating the policyholder's designation, tenure and salary details.
i. IT assessment orders, if the same is issued in the country of employment
j. Copy of the address proof ( if different from what is stated in the proposal form and the passport)
k. Photograph to be pasted on the proposal form
l. Occupational or avocational questionnaire , if applicable

What documents are to be submitted for a proposal under Medical Business?

a. All the above referred requirements specified in the previous question along with
b. Medical tests as per the grid in avia empanelled centre in India
c. Proof of photo identity to be submitted at the time of medicals
d. Refrain from consuming alcohol a day prior to medicals
e. Fasting 12 hours prior to medicals where blood test is one of the requirements
f. Medical questionnaires if applicable

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