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Life Insurance for NRI

Many individuals in India dream of pursuing a career abroad reaching beyond geographical boundaries. However, protecting family while staying abroad remains an important concern. This is where life insurance policies for Non-Resident Individuals (NRIs) play an important role. ...Read More

Secure Your Financial Future in India!

Discover Tailored NRI Life Insurance Plans for Long-Term Prosperity.

Francis Rodrigues Francis Rodrigues

Francis Rodrigues has a decade long experience in the insurance sector, and as SVP, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, HDFC Life, manages the online sales channel, as well as digital and performance marketing. He has had hands-on experience in setting up sales channels and functional teams from scratch over a career spanning 2 decades.

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Author Profile Written By:
Vishal Subharwal Vishal Subharwal

Vishal Subharwal heads the Strategy, Marketing, E-Commerce, Digital Business & Sustainability initiatives at HDFC Life. He is responsible for crafting and ensuring successful implementation of the overall organisation strategy.

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Best NRI Life Insurance Plans in India by HDFC Life

What Is NRI Life Insurance?

image-star image-star image-star image-star image-star image-star image-cloud image-cloud image-cloud moon What is NRI Life Insurance

Every individual considers life insurance an important investment. For NRIs, it is also crucial to protect their family members when they are away. With sudden demise, your family member might go through a financial crisis and need to support themselves. Choosing an appropriate life insurance policy will help the family to move to India later on. Thus, it is always advisable for Indians, irrespective of residing in or outside the home country, must invest in life insurance.  

NRI life insurance is a policy designed specifically to cater for the unique needs of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). These policies include comprehensive life coverage and assist families with financial support in case of death due to an accident or critical illness. At the same time, these policies also provide benefits of taxes and flexibility in the payment of premiums to policyholders.

The NRI life insurance policies are provided following Indian regulations and meeting the needs and desires of NRIs residing abroad. Regular life insurance plans, on the other hand, are mostly made for citizens of one nation and concentrate on local tax and regulatory frameworks without the particulars required for cross-border planning and NRI-specific financial planning.

Can NRIs Purchase Life Insurance Policies in India?

NRIs are eligible to purchase life insurance policies in India from any part of the world. Here is a detailed overview:


While In India

In India, NRIs can purchase life insurance policies following a quick and hassle-free process, both online and offline.


When Not in India

Outside India, NRIs can purchase insurance policies through online mode from their place of residence.

Who Can Purchase Life Insurance Policies in India?

NRIs, PIOs and Foreign Nationals qualifying the eligibility criteria can purchase life insurance policies in India. Below is the tabular representation with a detailed overview:



Eligibility Criteria


Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

NRIs are categorised as Indian citizens who have shifted to another country for work purposes, and education. Residing outside India for 182 days or more in a financial year will be classified as NRIs.

NRIs can buy life insurance policies from any Indian insurer.

The documentation process involved might be more complex.

Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)

Individuals whose ancestors were born and brought up in India but are no longer citizens of India.

PIOs can purchase life insurance policies in India.

The documentation process takes longer time than expected.

Foreign Nationals

Individuals residing and holding citizenship in another country than India.

Foreign nationals are not allowed to buy life insurance policies from Indian insurers.

There are exceptions if foreign national has significant tie-ups with India that might include business expansion or loan agreements between countries.

Benefits of NRI Life Insurance

NRIs can avail a wide range of benefits with insurance policies catering to their financial needs. These benefits include life coverage and ensuring your family is protected and secured irrespective of where you reside. Here are the benefits you must know about this insurance policy provide to NRIs:

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive Coverage

Life insurance for NRI in India offers comprehensive coverage facilities financially to family and loved ones in case of sudden demise. There might be some risks involved but NRIs can safely invest in comprehensive policies to meet the financial stability of loved ones. These coverage options provide a separate peace of mind and thus NRIs consider life insurance an important financial planning toolkit

Tax Benefits

Tax Benefits

Non-resident individuals can avail tax benefits for premiums paid on insurance policies  along with other rider policies under Section 80C. Moreover, the Income Tax Act of 1961 under Section 10(10D) has mentioned detailed conditions under which the  maturity benefits are exempted from taxes



By opting for a life insurance policy, a NRI can avail flexibility in premium payment and tenure. Thus, NRIs can be financially stable and reach informed decision-making. Moreover, a NRI can also choose plans as per their income and financial goals

Investment Opportunities

Investment Opportunities

Investment opportunities in NRI life insurance provide a unique combination of protection and security, making it a reliable option for NRIs. These policies not only provide comprehensive coverage but also assist in building wealth over time. NRIs can consider several investment opportunities such as National Pension Scheme (NPS), real estate, mutual funds, Public Provident Fund (PPF), bonds and others

Savings & Wealth Creation

Savings and Wealth Creation

NRIs can follow systematic savings over time when it comes to investing in a life insurance policy. Some of the life insurance plans offer attractive bonuses, guaranteed returns on investment and other additional benefits that might be beneficial for an NRI in achieving financial goals in the long term

Critical Illness Coverage

Critical Illness Coverage

Many insurance policies provide critical illness coverage that includes cancer, heart disease and others. Thus, NRIs and their family members receive financial support when diagnosed with these severe illnesses. Moreover, these policies also ensure families focus more on treatment and recovery without any financial stress

Ease of Access

Ease of Access

Purchasing the best life insurance policy in India for NRI is easy and hassle-free because of the online mode. Such individuals can fill out forms from the website of an insurance company. Many companies need instant approval considering age and health conditions. Thus, the process has become faster and smoother. Moreover, NRIs can make payments through international credit cards with minimal documentation. 

Why Should You Buy Life Insurance for NRIs in India?

NRIs should purchase life insurance in India to avail a wide range of benefits. Here is a detailed explanation:

  • Easy Purchase

If you are aiming to purchase NRI life insurance in India while residing in a different country, geographical constraints are not an issue. You can schedule a consultation or medical checkup from your place of residence

  • Affordable Term Plans

NRIs are recommended to purchase life insurance in India because of its cheaper rates. Thus, all NRIs can access the policies hassle-free. It is therefore advised to purchase term plans from India even when an NRI is residing outside

  • Reliability

In India, IRDAI regulates every insurance company. This agency makes performance-related data available to the public through yearly reports. Thus, potential buyers can check out the past performance of the company with ease

  • Limited Pay Option

With the facility of limited pay, NRIs can complete their premium payment in a shorter duration, while maintaining coverage for a long duration. This thereby allows an NRI to save more and achieve their desired financial goal hassle-free

  • Coverage Globally and Claim Support

Several life insurance companies provide worldwide coverage to NRIs with assistance 24*7 for those residing abroad

  • Medical Expenses

Many insurance policies cover all medical-related expenses for NRIs residing abroad. Thus, NRIs and their family members do not need to undergo any further medical expensive tests

Types of NRI Life Insurance Policies

There are different types of NRI life insurance policies, each with different requirements and purposes. Here are the policies explained in detail:

Term Insurance Plans

Term Insurance Plans

This policy, being the best life insurance policy in India for NRI, functions similarly to term plans offered to Indian residents. By opting for term life insurance policies, NRIs can avail of death benefits as well. Here, the insurance company pays the assured sum if the policyholder fails to serve the policy term. Under this term plan, insurance policyholders can avail additional benefits such as death by accident, coverage of critical illness and others. 

Retirement Plans

Retirement Plans

NRIs in India can avail retirement plans to enjoy the benefits of monthly income after retirement. Thus, opting for this retirement plan lets NRIs secure their retirement years better when they are no longer earning a permanent income post-retirement. 

ULIPs (Unit Linked Insurance Plans)

ULIPs (Unit Linked Insurance Plans)

ULIP life insurance policy for NRIs is a combination of life insurance and investment benefits in a single package. NRI ULIPs can enjoy the same benefits as Indian residents. Thus, during the policy term with the sudden demise of the policyholder, the family members can avail the death benefits. Or else, under the presence of the policyholder, returns are rewarded considering the performance of ULIP.

This is ideal for NRIs who are in search of investment plans that will provide protection and generate wealth over the long term. 

Endowment Plans

Endowment Plans

With endowment plans, NRIs can enjoy the combined benefits of savings as well as insurance coverage. With this policy, a lump sum amount is generated either on policy maturity or on the death of the policyholder. Moreover, this plan is ideal for NRIs looking to build a financial future for their family and also save for long-term goals that include marriage, education of a child, retirement, etc.

An endowment plan also offers several features such as tax benefits, bonuses and loan facilities.

Eligibility Criteria for NRI Life Insurance

Like other individuals, it is essential for NRIs also to meet the desired eligibility criteria and the documentation necessary to purchase life insurance in India. Here are all the aspects of getting a NRI life insurance plan in detail:

How to Choose the Right NRI Life Insurance?

Choosing the right life insurance for NRI can be an overwhelming process. Securing an insurance cover is one of the primary steps you should follow as an NRI. With a proper choice of life insurance, you can secure your family financially. 

If you are unsure of how to choose the right plan for you, here are the steps you can follow to select the right NRI life insurance:


Step 1: Online Presence

To purchase life insurance, make sure to get sufficient information about the plan and insurer. Visit the insurer's official website to learn in detail about the insurance policy and manage it online. Thus, you can access and establish a direct connection with the insurer from your place of residence.


Step 2: Check Claim Settlement Ratio

Claim Settlement Ratio is important to review for every insurance company. This ratio reveals the number of claims possible to settle during the previous financial year out of every 100 claims received. With a good ratio of claim settlement, it assures financial assistance to families during emergency times. The ratio of 95% is a good score but the best insurers usually exceed 98%. 


Step 3: Claim Settlement Process

This is another important factor to look into while choosing any insurance policy. The better the claiming process, the more comfortable your family will be during urgent needs.

The first and foremost thing to look into is whether the insurer’s website explains clearly about the process. Secondly, keep an eye on whether the claim can be filed from any foreign country. Ultimately, check how smoothly your family will receive financial aid secured for them. 


Step 4: Persistency Ratio

The persistence ratio reflects the insurer's true value among existing customers. It helps in understanding how persistently the policy holders are renewing their policies. This ratio tells you how satisfied customers have been with the insurers over the years. The ratio is calculated considering specific months. As the tenure increases, the persistence ratio decreases. Remember, a good insurance provider never loses their customers.


Step 5: Option of Limited Premium Payment

Always look into the fact that the chosen policy does not lapse. For this, choose the limited premium payment term option for paying out the entire premium within a short duration. This works well for NRIs who intend to return back to the country after a few years.

For example, if your NRI stay is expected to be short, you can choose a five-year premium payment period. Following this, however, your term plan will continue with all benefits till maturity.

Tax Benefits for NRI Life Insurance

The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has introduced several benefits of life insurance policies to meet the needs of insurers. The government has also implemented tax benefits for life insurance to let NRIs secure their families' well-being.

Here is a detailed overview of tax deductions and exemptions for NRIs under Indian taxation laws:

Claim Process for NRI Life Insurance

Dealing with the claim process for NRI might seem challenging especially when it comes to dealing with legal requirements of another country. However, following a step-by-step procedure might simplify the claim process.

Here is a detailed overview of the claim process for NRI life insurance providing more tips on handling insurance efficiently:


Step 1: Inform the Insurer

This is the first and foremost step to follow for starting the claim process. The policyholder must inform the insurer about the claim as soon as possible.

The documents to keep ready for initiating claims are the name of the policyholder, policy number, death cause, place of death, nominee's name, etc. The nominee registered with the policy however can download the claim form from the respective website of the company or can visit the nearest office branch


Step 2: Keep Documents Ready

Here are the following documents to keep ready while filing the claim. The documents are:

  • Age proof
  • Policy related documents
  • Death certificate

However, within the first 3 years of policy initiation, if you file the claim, the insurance company will investigate further to verify it as a genuine claim


Step 3: Submission of Documents

To make the claim settlement process faster and without any delay, the nominee must submit all relevant documents. Here are the documents you must submit during claim processing:

  • Filled out claim form
  • Policy documents in original form
  • Original death certificate with attestation from local municipal authority
  • Passport size photograph
  • Identity proof that includes passport, Aadhaar Card
  • PAN card
  • Medical tests reports
  • Previous medical certificate 

Step 4: Claim Settlement

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), it is mandatory to claim within 30 days. The claim should be settled from the submission of the claim form by the nominee with all relevant documents. If further investigation is needed, the insurance company must complete the claim settlement process within 6 months from the day of registering a claim. 

FAQ's on NRI life Insurance

1 What is NRI Life Insurance?

NRI life insurance is a must-have for individuals residing abroad, irrespective of the location they are residing in. This insurance policy looks after the well-being of your family. 

2 Can NRIs Buy Life Insurance in India?

Yes. Non-resident Indians (NRIs) can buy life insurance in India if they can meet the desired eligibility criteria by the insurance company. 

3 Who is eligible for NRI Life Insurance?

To invest in life insurance, a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (POI) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) are eligible as mentioned in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

4 What documents are required to buy NRI Life Insurance?

Address proof, a copy of age proof, a passport, medical history, identity proof and income proof are the required documents to buy NRI Life Insurance. 

5 Can NRIs claim tax benefits on life insurance policies?

Yes, NRIs can claim tax benefits for all life insurance policies in India under Section 80C & Section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The income NRIs earn in India is taken into consideration here for taxation purposes.

6 What is DTAA ?

DTAA stands for Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement which is entered into by India with Other Countries to avoid double taxation for the NRIs who are covered under tax laws of both the countries. India has signed DTAA with more than 90 countries.

7 How can NRIs pay premiums for their life insurance policies?

NRIs are liable to pay premiums for their life insurance policies through online transfers, credit cards, and debit cards. 

8 Are medical tests required for NRI Life Insurance?

At the time of purchasing a term insurance policy, undergoing medical tests is mandatory for NRI Life Insurance. 

9 What types of life insurance plans are available for NRIs?

For NRIs, there are three different types of life insurance plans such as term insurance plan, retirement plan, endowment plan and Unit Linked insurance plan (ULIP).

10 Can NRIs buy life insurance for their family members in India?

Yes, NRIs can purchase large life covers for their family members in India at affordable premium rates. 

11 What happens if an NRI policyholder returns to India?

If an NRI policyholder returns to India, their insurance policy stays valid. Later on, approaching the insurance company they can change their residential status and make premium payments in Indian rupees. 

12 How to file a claim for NRI Life Insurance?

NRIs are eligible to file a claim for Life Insurance. However, they must possess a valid insurance policy with all necessary documents for claiming. 

13 Can NRIs buy life insurance online?

Yes, NRIs can purchase life insurance online by comparing different policies, filling out necessary applications and making premium payments. Applying online is most convenient for NRIs living abroad. 

1. Provided all due premiums have been paid and the policy is in force.

3. Provided all due premiums have been paid.

4. ROP – Return of Premiums. This applies to Income variant, whereby all base premiums are returned to policyholder on survival of Life Assured at maturity, provided all due premiums are paid during the premium payment term.

5. Available under Life Plan Option

6. In the case of Joint Life annuities the payout continues till either of the lives chosen in the policy is alive.

8. The age mentioned is the age as per the last birthday.

12. Available under Level Cover with Capital Guarantee and Decreasing Cover with Capital Guarantee plan options

17. Quantum of benefits is guaranteed irrespective of the experience.

^ Available under Life & Life Plus plan options

# Tax benefits & exemptions are subject to conditions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and its provisions. Tax Laws are subject to change from time to time. The customer is requested to seek tax advice from his Chartered Accountant or personal tax advisor with respect to his personal tax liabilities under the Income-tax law.

ARN - MC/05/24/11836