In this blog, we will explore the diverse scenarios of death that term insurance policies in India cover, debunk common misconceptions, and equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your family’s financial security.


In the grand tapestry of life, uncertainties abound, making it imperative for us to secure our family’s future. Term insurance, a popular choice for many in India, acts as a safety net for our loved ones in case the unexpected happens. But what does “the unexpected” truly encompass? At the heart of many conversations and gatherings lies the age-old debate – will term insurance come to the rescue if someone meets an untimely end while pursuing an adventure or facing a perilous situation?

You might remember that spirited discussion at your last family gathering, when Uncle Arvind raised the question: “Would my term insurance policy cover me if I were to meet my fate while attempting to conquer the mighty Himalayas?” The debate that followed exposed the prevalent misconceptions about the types of deaths term insurance policies actually safeguard against.

Understanding Term Insurance in India

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s get a clear understanding of term insurance in the Indian context. Term insurance is a straightforward and cost-effective form of life insurance that ensures your family receives a lump-sum payout (the death benefit) if you, the policyholder, pass away during the policy term. To keep the policy in force, you pay regular premiums.

One of the key advantages of term insurance is that it provides financial support to help your loved ones achieve their life goals. But you might be wondering, does term insurance cover natural death? Will it cover adventurous activities?

Let’s delve into the details to clarify what a term insurance policy typically covers and what it doesn’t.

Types of Deaths Covered by Term Insurance

The types of deaths covered by a term insurance policy depend on the insurance company and the specific terms of the policy. Aside from natural deaths, term insurance policies may also address various other types of deaths. However, here are the most common types that typically qualify for term insurance benefits:

Deaths Arising from Natural Causes

Deaths resulting from natural causes are automatically covered by a term insurance plan.

Deaths Due to Medical Illness

If an insured person passes away due to a medical illness or a specific disease like kidney failure, these deaths are usually covered by the policy. It’s essential to note that coverage for medical illnesses is provided only if they develop after the purchase of the term plan.

Death Due to Accidents

Accidental deaths are also comprehensively covered by term insurance policies in India. It doesn’t matter where the accident occurs, be it at home, at work, or while on an adventure. So, if an insured person dies in an accident involving fire, vehicles, heavy machinery, electrical shocks, or other such incidents, their family can claim the death benefits.

It is to be noted that death due to the following reasons are excluded from accidental death claims

  • Alcohol consumption while driving OR
  • Consumption of any type of drugs while driving OR

Involvement in any criminal or illegal activities

Death from Natural Calamities or Man-Made Disasters

Any death resulting from natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, or man-made disasters like terrorism or war is covered under a term insurance policy in India.

Deaths Related to COVID-19

With the ongoing global pandemic, many individuals are concerned about whether term insurance covers COVID-19-related deaths. The good news is that term plans typically offer coverage for deaths due to COVID-19 if the person contracts the disease after purchasing the plan.

Death Due to Participation in Adventurous Activities

If you are an adventure enthusiast and meet with an unfortunate accident while participating in thrilling activities like trekking, paragliding, or scuba diving, your family will receive the term insurance claim.

However, if you’ve opted for riders alongside your term insurance in India, be aware that these riders may not cover all types of deaths.

For example, while term insurance policies cover deaths due to participation in adventurous activities, the rider you’ve added may exclude it.

Therefore, it’s crucial to meticulously review the policy wordings of both the term insurance policy and the associated riders in the Indian context to understand which types of deaths are covered and excluded by each.

Types of Deaths Not Covered by Term Insurance

In addition to covering various types of deaths, term insurance policies also have exclusions. Here are the types of deaths typically not covered:


Most term insurance policies exclude coverage for deaths resulting from suicide. Such deaths are generally covered with a one-year exclusion. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider for their specific stance on suicides.

In case of death due to suicide within 12 months from the date of commencement of risks under the plan or the policy’s revival date, the beneficiary/nominee of the policyholder shall be eligible for at least 80% of the total basic premium paid by the policyholder till the death date or the surrender value available as on the date of death provided the policy is in force.

After the initial 12-month period, the suicide clause typically no longer applies, and deaths due to suicide are treated the same as any other cause of death under the policy. However, specific terms and conditions can vary between insurance providers, so it’s crucial to carefully review the suicide clause in your term insurance policy to understand its exact terms and applicability.

Criminal Activities

Deaths directly caused by participation in criminal activities are automatically excluded from policy coverage.

Alcohol or Drug-Related Deaths

If an insured person dies under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether due to an accident or other causes, this type of death is not covered by the term insurance policy.

Undisclosed Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

When applying for a policy, you are required to disclose any pre-existing medical or health conditions you may have. If you fail to disclose such conditions, and your death subsequently results from these undisclosed pre-existing conditions, your insurer may reject the claim.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and the types of deaths covered may vary depending on the specific policy.

Summing Up: Secure Your Family’s Future

In summary, term insurance is a robust and versatile form of life insurance in India. It covers a wide range of death scenarios, from natural causes to accidents and even adventurous activities. Except for suicide during the first year of purchasing the policy, there are generally no specific types of deaths excluded in term insurance policies in India.

In the world of term insurance in India, the wisdom of “read the fine print” holds great significance. It’s your responsibility to comprehend your coverage thoroughly and make well-informed decisions to safeguard your family’s financial future.

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