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NRI Insurance - Policies and Procedures

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) on short-term or long-term assignments abroad can safeguard the interests of their families and assets in India through purchase of customised insurance products offered by a host of insurance companies in the country. NRIs are treated at par with resident Indians in all terms, and also entitled to avail loans against their policies.

There is no ceiling on the sum insured, except in the case of persons of Indian origin who can be covered upto a maximum of Rs.20 lakh. PIOs are also not eligible for some joint life plans and plans having a term insurance element.

Since life insurance policies are classified as securities by the foreign exchange regulations act, insurance policy documents cannot be taken out of the country without the formal approval of the Reserve Bank of India.

Consent from the RBI is also required to assign rupee policies held in India by a resident Indian in favour of an NRI, or by a NRI in favour of another NRI living abroad. Prior approval is not required where the assignment is without consideration in favour of the policy-holder's non-resident wife or other dependent relatives.

While on-line payment of insurance premium is the most preferred option, NRIs can choose to remit directly from abroad through approved banking channels, foreign money orders, debits from their NRE or FCNR account in India, or in cash. Employers in India can also make payments on behalf of their employees deputed abroad by them.

Payment of claims
While settlement of claims is generally made in Indian currency, insurance companies do settle claims in foreign currency as an exception, subject to approval from the Reserve Bank of India. The policy holder needs to be a permanent overseas resident who has paid his entire premium in foreign currency to avail this benefit.

However, Persons of Indian Origin can neither make payments nor receive settlements in foreign currency. Their settlements cannot be repatriated outside India either.

The range of products offered by insurance firms includes: life insurance, health insurance, overseas travel insurance, student medical insurance, home insurance, car insurance and two wheeler insurance.



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