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What is a Short Term Policy and How is it Beneficial?

Term Insurance

Life throws curveballs. Sometimes, you might find yourself needing a financial safety net for a specific period, but don't necessarily require long-term coverage. This is where short-term insurance plans come in. In India, where financial planning is crucial, understanding these plans can be a valuable tool for managing your financial well-being.

What is a Short-Term Insurance Policy?

Unlike traditional life insurance plans that offer coverage for a long period (often decades), a short-term policy provides financial protection for a limited duration, typically ranging from one year to ten years. These plans are designed to address specific needs that arise during a particular phase of your life.

Think of it like an umbrella. A regular life insurance plan is like a large, sturdy umbrella that protects you through life's storms. A short-term policy is like a smaller, more portable umbrella you carry for a specific occasion, like a sudden downpour.

Types of Short-Term Insurance Plans in India

There are several types of short-term insurance plans available in India, each catering to different needs:

  • Annual Renewable Term (ART) Insurance: This is the most common type of short-term life insurance. It offers coverage for one year, with the option to renew it annually at an increasing premium. It's suitable for temporary financial obligations like a child's upcoming education expense or a short-term loan repayment.
  • Travel Insurance: Planning a trip? Travel insurance protects you against unexpected events like trip cancellation, medical emergencies abroad, or lost baggage. The policy duration is typically aligned with your travel period, offering peace of mind during your adventure.
  • Critical Illness Cover: This plan provides a lump sum payout if you are diagnosed with a critical illness covered by the policy, such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke. The coverage period can be short-term (1-3 years) or extended for a longer duration depending on the plan.
  • Hospital Daily Cash: This plan provides a fixed daily benefit in case of hospitalization, helping you manage expenses like room charges and attendant fees. The coverage period might be limited to a specific illness or a broader range of hospitalizations based on the chosen plan.
  • Gadget Protection Plans: These plans safeguard your electronic devices like smartphones or laptops against accidental damage, theft, or liquid spills. Coverage duration typically aligns with the warranty period of the device or can be chosen for a specific period.

Benefits of Short-Term Insurance Plans:

Short-term insurance plans offer several advantages, making them a valuable addition to your financial portfolio:

  • Affordability: With shorter coverage periods, short-term plans come with lower premiums compared to long-term insurance policies. This makes them a budget-friendly option for temporary needs.
  • Flexibility: These plans cater to specific needs and offer flexible durations. You can choose a policy that aligns perfectly with your temporary financial obligations.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you have financial protection for a specific period can provide peace of mind. Unexpected events become less stressful when you have a backup plan to manage the financial impact.
  • Supplementary Coverage: Short-term plans can complement a long-term life insurance policy. They can provide additional coverage during specific phases of life when your needs are greater.
  • Easy Application Process: Many short-term plans, especially travel insurance or gadget protection plans, offer a hassle-free application process that can be completed online.

Things to Consider Before You Buy a Short-Term Policy

While short-term plans offer several benefits, it's important to be aware of some key considerations before purchasing one:

  • Limited Coverage Period: These plans are not replacements for long-term financial planning. They provide temporary protection, and once the policy term ends, the coverage ceases.
  • Renewal Premiums: For renewable plans like ART insurance, premiums might increase significantly with each renewal. Factor this increasing cost into your long-term financial planning.
  • Exclusions: Carefully read the policy document to understand any exclusions or limitations on coverage. This will ensure you know exactly what the plan covers and what it doesn't.
  • Renewability: Some short-term plans might have limitations on renewal based on factors like age or health conditions. Ensure you understand the renewal terms of the plan.

Making the Right Choice

Short-term insurance can be a valuable tool in your financial toolbox. By understanding your specific needs, evaluating different plans, and considering the factors mentioned above, you can make an informed decision. Here are some additional tips:

  • Compare Quotes: Don't settle for the first plan you come across. Get quotes from different insurance companies to compare coverage and premiums.
  • Read the Fine Print: Before purchasing any plan, thoroughly read the policy document to understand the coverage details, exclusions, claim settlement process, and renewal terms.
  • Seek Professional Advice (Optional): If you're unsure about which short-term plan is right for you, consider consulting a financial advisor. They can assess your needs and recommend suitable options based on your circumstances.

Your Insurance Ally: Let our Calculator guide your protection journey. Calculate your term insurance needs and invest in peace of mind.

Examples of How Short-Term Insurance Can Be Beneficial:

Here are some real-life situations where short-term insurance can be a lifesaver:

  •  Young Professional Starting Out: You're a young professional with student loans to repay. An annual renewable term plan can provide temporary coverage and financial security for your loved ones in case of an unforeseen event.
  • Planning a Wedding: Your dream wedding is around the corner, but an unexpected illness throws a wrench in your plans. Travel insurance with a trip cancellation benefit can help you recoup non-refundable expenses.
  • Traveling Abroad: Embarking on a backpacking adventure through Europe? Travel insurance can offer peace of mind in case of medical emergencies or lost luggage, ensuring your trip isn't derailed by unexpected events.
  • Protecting Your Gadgets: Your new smartphone is your lifeline, but accidents happen. A gadget protection plan can safeguard your device against accidental damage, offering financial relief if it gets cracked or lost.
  • Supporting a Family During a Critical Illness: The primary breadwinner in the family is diagnosed with a critical illness. A critical illness cover can provide a lump sum payout, helping the family manage financial burdens like medical bills or loss of income during the recovery period. 


Short-term insurance plans are not meant to replace traditional long-term life insurance. However, they can be a valuable addition to your financial toolkit, offering temporary protection and peace of mind during specific periods of life. By understanding your needs, exploring different options, and making an informed decision, you can leverage short-term insurance plans to navigate life's uncertainties with greater financial security. Remember, a little planning goes a long way in ensuring your financial well-being and protecting your loved ones.


*Tax benefits are as per the Income Tax Act, 1961, and are subject to any amendments made thereto from time to time
The article is meant to be general and informative in nature and should not be construed as solicitation material. Please read the related product brochures for exclusions, terms and conditions, warranties, etc. carefully before concluding a sale.
Make responsible financial decisions. Consult with your financial advisor before making any decisions on insurance purchase.

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