What is the Difference Between a Proposer and Insured in Life Insurance?

When buying a life insurance policy, you will come across two important terms – the proposer and the insured. While they may sound similar, there are some key differences between the two. Understanding who is a proposer and who is an insured is important to determine who initiates the policy, pays the premiums, and receives the benefits.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explain:

  • Who is a Proposer?
  • Who is an Insured?
  • The Difference Between a Proposer and Insured
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Proposer in Life Insurance?

The proposer is the person who initiates and purchases the life insurance policy. They fill out the proposal form and apply to the insurance company for coverage. The proposer also goes by other names like policyholder, policy owner or applicant.

The proposer plays a crucial role in the policy as they:

  • Decide key aspects of the policy like coverage amount, premiums, policy term etc.
  • Determine who will be the insured person under the policy.
  • Select the beneficiaries who will receive the death benefit.
  • Are responsible for paying the premiums regularly.
  • Have the right to make changes to the policy if required.
  • Can surrender or terminate the policy anytime.

The proposer does not have to be the life insured under the policy. For example, you can buy a policy for your spouse or children where you are the proposer but they are the insured persons.

Essentially, the proposer is the person who initiates, owns and administers the life insurance policy.

Who is an Insured in Life Insurance?

The insured, also called the life assured, is the individual whose life is covered under the policy. The insured person does not have to be the same as the proposer.

If the proposer purchases the life policy for themselves, they become both the proposer and the insured. But if they buy it for another person like a family member, then that person is referred to as the insured.

The key role of an insured includes:

  • Their life and health details are provided in the proposal form for underwriting.
  • The insurance company assesses risks based on the insured’s age, medical history, occupation etc.
  • The policy coverage and premiums are determined based on the insured’s profile.
  • The insurance company pays the claim amount to beneficiaries in case of insured’s death.
  • The insured cannot make changes to the policy as they do not own it.

The Difference Between a Proposer and Insured

Though the proposer and insured play important roles in a life insurance policy, they are not the same. Here are the key differences between the two:

Proposer Insured
Applies and purchases the insurance policy The person whose life is insured under the policy
Also called the policy owner or policyholder Also referred to as the life assured
Responsible for paying policy premiums No liability to pay premiums
Can modify the policy benefits and coverage Cannot make changes to the policy
Receives maturity or survival benefits Gets the death benefits if they pass away during policy term
Needs to have an insurable interest in the insured’s life No need for insurable interest
Can surrender or terminate the policy anytime Cannot cancel the policy as they don’t own it

To summarize, the proposer initiates the policy, pays the premiums and administers the coverage. The insured is the life assured whose death triggers the death benefit payout. The proposer and insured can be the same person or different individuals depending on who buys the policy and whose life is getting insured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about the difference between a proposer and insured in life insurance:

Q: Who pays the premium for a life insurance policy?

A: The proposer or policyholder is responsible for paying the premiums regularly. Even if the proposer and insured are different people, the proposer has to pay the premiums.

Q: Who can make changes to the life insurance policy?

A: Since the proposer owns the policy, only they have the right to make changes to the coverage amount, premiums, beneficiaries etc. The insured cannot modify the policy.

Q: Who claims tax benefits on life insurance?

A: The proposer who pays the premium can claim tax benefits under Section 80C, provided the annual premium amount is within the Rs 1.5 lakh limit.

Q: What happens when the proposer dies before the insured?

A: If the proposer dies before the insured, the ownership of the policy automatically transfers to the insured or their legal heirs. The insurance continues provided premiums are paid on time.

Q: Can I insure my parents or spouse?

A: Yes, you can buy a policy for your parents, spouse or any family member in whom you have an insurable interest. You will be the proposer and they will become the insured persons.

Q: Is the proposer always the beneficiary?

A: No, the proposer and beneficiary can be different. The proposer designates the beneficiaries but it does not have to be themselves.


  • The proposer initiates and owns the life insurance policy while the insured is the person whose life is covered.
  • Though the proposer and insured play key roles, they can be the same individual or different people.
  • Understanding the difference is critical to know who applies for coverage, pays the premiums and receives the benefits.
  • The proposer handles the policy administration whereas the insured cannot make changes.
  • In case you are buying insurance for yourself, you are both the proposer and insured.

What are Proposer & Insured | Proposer और Insured में क्या अंतर है |Er.Aman Thakur


Is the proposed owner the same as the proposed insured?

The proposer and the insured are often the same individual. In some cases they can be different, as long as insurable interest can be established. For example, a husband can purchase a policy for his wife. In this case, the husband will be both the owner and the beneficiary but the wife will be life assured.

What does proposed insured mean?

INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PROPOSED INSURED (The Proposed Insured is the person for whom insurance is being requested. The Proposed Insured may be the Employee, the Employee’s Spouse/Domestic Partner or the Employee’s Child.)

Who is called Proposer?

proposer | Business English a person who suggests someone’s name for a position or as a member of an organization: The candidate can be proposed by one proposer and two seconders.

What does proposer policyholder mean?

Policyholder, Policy owner or Proposer means the person specified as such in the Policy Schedule or such other person, who may become the holder of this Policy in respect of the terms and conditions of this contract or by virtue of operation of law.

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