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When GST was implemented back in 2017, it was all anybody could talk about. It was a game-changing tax that had various impacts - good and bad - on various industries. GST on life insurance ended up increasing the premium on different types of life insurance policies. This article will help you see what exactly that means for you as a life insurance buyer and elaborate on everything that’s important for you to know.
Yes, the premium paid by a policyholder for a life insurance policy is taxed in India. The important thing to note is that the tax paid on the life insurance premium should not be confused with the income tax deductions for the premium paid.
India has two types of taxation systems - direct taxes and indirect taxes. Income tax is a direct tax that you pay on the income you earn. This income includes your salary income, professional income, rental income, etc. When you file your taxes every financial year, you do so for income tax.
The benefits of tax deductions you receive for life insurance policies are under Section 80C and Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. You can avail of deductions up to ₹ 1.5 lakhs on all the insurance premiums you’ve paid in the year.
However, when buying an insurance policy and paying its premiums, GST on life insurance premiums applies.
GST, the Goods and Services Tax, is a type of indirect tax that replaced a host of indirect taxes that existed in India, such as VAT, service tax, excise duty, etc. It’s called a destination-based tax, which means it is levied when you buy or consume a product or service.
Insurance is a service. It falls under the category of financial services. Hence, before GST was implemented, service tax was levied on the premium paid on life insurance policies. Now, instead of service tax, GST is levied on the life insurance premium.
Life insurance plans are typically subdivided into term insurance, ULIPs, and endowment plans. It’s important to note that GST is applicable differently on these categories of life insurance policies.
Term insurance plans
A term policy is one of the most economical and preferred types of life insurance plans. It is a pure-protection plan because it only has a death benefit and not a maturity benefit. In case of the policyholder’s demise during the term of the term policy, the nominees will receive the sum assured. For term insurance, there is a standard 18% GST applicable on the premium payments.
An endowment plan is a type of life insurance where there is both a death and a maturity benefit. This means the sum assured is paid in a lump sum either on the maturity of the insurance plan or in case of the policyholder’s demise. For endowment plans, the GST applicable is slightly different. For the first-year premium, there is a 4.50% life insurance GST rate. For the following years, there is a 2.25% GST rate applicable.
Unit-Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs)
ULIPs are a little different from traditional life insurance products. They offer a policyholder an opportunity to grow their money through insurance. ULIPs are part insurance and part investment products. For ULIPs, too, the GST levied on the premium is 18%. The best part is that this GST rate covers both the fund management charges and the premium payments.
Here’s a snapshot of the life insurance GST rates on different types of policies before and after.
Life insurance product
Term insurance & ULIP
Endowment plan (first year)
Endowment plan (subsequent years)
Single premium annuity plans
Can I claim a deduction against GST on life insurance premium?
Yes, you can claim a deduction against GST on the life insurance premium paid by you. This is possible only if the total amount of premium deduction you claim, including the GST applicable on it, falls within the overall limit of ₹ 1.5 lakhs as per Section 80C.
While the primary impact of GST on life insurance policy was a raise in the premium amount, there is also a silver lining. Policyholders have stopped looking at life insurance as a mere tax-saving tool and have started to focus on the primary purpose of insurance - financial protection.
Another positive impact of the implication of GST is that some life insurance providers have decided to design policies in a manner that offers better deals to their customers. Tata AIA Life Insurance offers term insurance plans with a host of benefits. These include discounted premiums, coverage up to 100 years, a claim settlement ratio of 99.06% (FY 19-20) and more.
Tata AIA Life Insurance’s Term Insurance Plan also comes with an in-built payout accelerator benefit, which offers 50% of the sum assured if a policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness. There is also a range of other useful riders#, such as accidental death and disability, which can help make your term insurance plan more comprehensive. This will ensure that your loved ones are financially secure even after you’re gone.
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The products are underwritten by Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd.
The plans are not a guaranteed issuance plan, and it will be subject to Company’s underwriting and acceptance.
For more details on risk factors, terms and conditions please read sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale.
This blog is for information and illustrative purposes only and does not purport to any financial or investment services and do not offer or form part of any offer or recommendation. The information is not and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular security or course of action.
Please know the associated risks and the applicable charges, from your Insurance agent or the Intermediary or policy document issued by the insurance company.
Every effort is made to ensure that all information contained in this blog is accurate at the date of publication, however, the Tata AIA Life shall not have any liability for any damages of any kind (including but not limited to errors and omissions) whatsoever relating to this material.
*Income Tax benefits would be available as per the prevailing income tax laws, subject to fulfilment of conditions stipulated therein. Income Tax laws are subject to change from time to time. Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd. does not assume responsibility on tax implications mentioned anywhere in this document. Please consult your own tax consultant to know the tax benefits available to you.
#Rider is not mandatory and is available for a nominal extra cost. For more details on benefits, premiums and exclusions under the Rider, please contact Tata AIA Life's Insurance Advisor/ branch.
IN THIS POLICY, THE INVESTMENT RISK IN INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO IS BORNE BY THE POLICYHOLDER
THE LINKED INSURANCE PRODUCT DO NOT OFFER ANY LIQUIDITY DURING THE FIRST FIVE YEARS OF THE CONTRACT. THE POLICY HOLDER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SURRENDER/WITHDRAW THE MONIES INVESTED IN LINKED INSURANCE PRODUCTS COMPLETELY OR PARTIALLY TILL THE END OF THE FIFTH YEAR.
Past performance is not indicative of future performance.
All investments made by the Company are subject to market risks. The Company does not guarantee any assured returns. The investment income and price may go down as well as up depending on several factors influencing the market.
Please make your own independent decision after consulting your financial or other professional advisor.