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difficult. "If you want a cover in the future, you may have only a few options as the top insurers may hesitate to insure you based on your history," adds Goel.

Unit-linked insurance policies (Ulips) come with a lock-in, so you can withdraw your money only after five years. Suppose that you surrender the policy after paying two premiums. The insurer will deduct certain charges and then transfer the balance to the Discontinu­ed Policy Fund. The insurer can charge a fund management fee not exceeding 0.5 per cent of fund value. Your money will earn four per cent interest until withdrawn.

In case of a traditiona­l policy, you could lose money if you stop paying the premium early. "The surrender amount for the initial seven years is fixed by the Insurance Life insurers with the best persistenc­yratios Life insurer IDBI Federal LIC of India Sahara India Median Persistenc­y ratio (%) 61-month HDFC Standard KotakMahin­dra Regulatory and Developmen­t Authority of India (Irdai). From the seventh year, what you are paid depends on the insurer's policy (approved by Irdai)," says Goel. If you quit before paying the second premium, you get no money. If you quit in the third year, you get 30 per cent of the premiums paid. Between the fourth and seventh year, you get 50 per cent of the premiums paid.

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