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At every stage of life, there is an element of risk for the individual. For instance, if you are married and have children, an untimely death or accident is going to cause serious financial loss to your family.

Adequate insurance cover is, therefore, advocated by all financial planners to make sure that your family does not go through any financial hardships.

However, while it is important that you have enough insurance, too much of it is also bad. This is because insurance, as a product, does not give you great returns. So, you need to have a proper mix of insurance and investment to meet all your financial goals. Let us look at different life stages and what are the elements that you need cover for:

From birth till end of education
There is actually no need to have any life cover as the individual's ability to earn any income is nil. In case of an untimely death, the parents are more bereaved because of the loss of a child, and less on the account of any financial loss. Of course, the entire family should have a family floater which covers the child as well.

Single without dependents
Once you start working, the need for insurance does become important. If you are someone who does not have any dependents, then you can opt for medical cover and life insurance, in the form of term insurance and/or personal accident insurance. Since buying an insurance cover at an early age is cheaper, it makes sense to go ahead and buy it as early as possible.

Recommended:
Life insurance - term cover and/or personal accident insurance
Health insurance (mediclaim)

Single person with dependents
However, if you have dependents, especially old parents, it is best that you take more cover. If there are more people dependent on your income, you should take more life insurance. This need may rise to cover medical bills, outstanding debts, caretaker expenses for the surviving dependents, and education costs for surviving children


Life insurance - term cover and/or personal accident insurance
Health insurance (mediclaim)

Couples with no children
In case only one spouse is earning, it is important to have good cover for him/her. This ensures that the dependent does not have any financial bottlenecks due to an accident or unfortunate death of the bread earner. Also, if both the spouses are working, it is important to have adequate cover for both the members. The need for insurance may especially arise for medical bills and outstanding debts, if any.

Recommended:
Life insurance - term cover
Motor/motor cycle insurance
Health insurance (mediclaim) for self and spouse
Overseas medical claim - as required (for all categories)
Personal accident insurance for self and spouse

Couples with children
If both the spouses are earning members, it is possible that if one of them were to expire, the other may be able to cope financially on his/her's remaining income. However, in case there are joint loans and other obligations, then it is imperative to have a strong insurance backup. If you have acquired a house by now you should also be looking at fire and burglary covers.

Recommended:
Life insurance - term cover
Motor insurance
Health insurance (mediclaim) for family
Household insurance
Personal accident insurance for self and spouse
Building insurance, including fire and burglary
Increased term cover for the home loan

Older couple
As you grow older, the need for insurance increases. You would be more prone to falling ill, thereby increasing the burden on your funds. Also, if you are looking for a retirement home, you will need to insure it that against all kinds of dangers.

Recommended:
Life insurance
Motor insurance
Health insurance (Mediclaim) for family
Household insurance
Personal accident insurance for self and spouse

Retired couple
Besides a retirement corpus, this is the time you need insurance most. Incidents of illness, possibility of critical illness and death increases exponentially during this last stage. So, it is best that you are well covered to hedge against any risk.

Recommended:
Motor insurance
Health insurance (Mediclaim) for family
Personal accident insurance for self and spouse
To conclude, the above is a basic guide to the covers you require. However, this will keep on changing with the profile of the person. But you need to remember that your liabilities like credit card outstanding, home loan and other debt should be over by the time you reach the retirement period. This will help you to have a debt-free retirement.
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