The term ULIP, which has recently been in the news, stands for Unit-linked insurance plan, which is a type of insurance plan in which premium payments are invested directly in equity shares, debt/money market/other instruments. The main reason for the popularity of ULIPs is that they provide tax benefits in addition to life insurance coverage. Many insurance companies in India have introduced ULIPs, which allow investors to buy and sell units linked to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
This is related to investment units made in the capital and money markets. As a result, ULIPs are a hybrid of life insurance and market-linked investment. As a result, it provides both life insurance and capital appreciation linked to the capital markets. In other words, ULIPs are a long-term investment and protection plans that allow individuals to earn market-linked returns while also providing life insurance protection. Individuals can choose from a variety of funds with varying degrees of risk exposure, depending on their risk profile.
A portion of your investment in ULIPs goes toward providing you with life insurance. The ULIP’s remaining portion is invested in a fund, which then invests in stocks or bonds. The value of your investments fluctuates based on the performance of the underlying fund you select. It was first introduced in 1971 by the Unit Trust of India in collaboration with the Government of India. Then, in 2005, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) outlined the major guidelines for insurance companies.
What is Unit Linked Insurance Plans
A unit-linked insurance plan is a type of insurance plan in which the premium is directly invested in stocks, bonds, or money market instruments (e.g. debt funds). In simplified terms, a unit-linked insurance plan is a life insurance policy that is linked to a direct investor’s investment and the accrued value of that investment rather than low-risk term insurance plans.
Types of Unit Linked Insurance Plan
Various types of Unit Linked Insurance Plan and their features are provided in the table.
|Type of funds||Definition||Nature of risk||Type of returns|
|Bond funds||Your money will be invested in bonds such as corporate bonds, government bonds, fixed income bonds, and so on, as the name implies.||Medium||Low to medium|
|Equity funds||These funds are also referred to as growth funds. Your money will be invested in company shares/stocks in these funds. Your fund manager will conduct research to find the best stock to invest in. You can also invest your savings in a stock based on its market capitalisation. There are various funds based on the market value of various stocks, such as large cap, mid cap, and micro-cap funds.||High||High|
|Cash funds||If you don’t want to take too many risks, you can put your money in a cash fund. Your savings are directed to money market instruments such as cash deposits, bank accounts, and market funds, among others.||Low||Low|
|Balanced funds||This fund is a hybrid of debt and equity. A portion of your investment is allocated to equities and other high-risk instruments, while the remainder is allocated to low-risk fixed-income instruments.||Medium||High|
Importance of ULIP
- ULIPs are popular due to the tax benefits they provide as well as the opportunity to earn high returns on investments. If a person understands the equity markets well, he can profit from this scheme. Because there are so many different players in the market, it is best to look at the insurance company’s maturity value as well as unit-linked insurance plans with better risk-adjusted returns.
- ULIPs can be used by people looking for long-term wealth creation, tax-saving investments, or to protect their families in the event of an emergency. Because ULIPs combine all three of these elements – life insurance, investment, and tax benefits – they are an excellent investment option for people.
- ULIPs are designed for people who have already amassed a significant amount of wealth and want to use it as a safety net. Reliance Capital, HDFC Life, and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance are just a few of the companies that offer these plans to investors.
- Unit Linked Plans provide a variety of flexible options, such as the ability to switch between investment funds to meet changing needs, the ability to partially withdraw from your fund, subject to charges and conditions, and so on.
Structure of ULIP
In a ULIP, the entire premium paid is not used to purchase units. Insurers allocate units based on the portion of the premium that remains after deducting various charges under the plan. As a result, the percentage of premium used to purchase units varies by product. Because the charges are deducted from the premium collected before allocating units, the total monetary value of the units allocated is invariably less than the amount of premium paid.
ULIP v/s Other Insurance Plans
ULIPs differ from traditional fixed-term life insurance plans in that they include an investment component as well as tax advantages for policyholders. ULIPs offer policyholders fixed returns in equity markets as well as a decent death benefit (usually equal to 25% of the sum assured), whereas other insurance companies offer only a small sum assured with lower investment returns. In addition, ULIP holders are eligible for tax breaks on their premiums. It is advisable to review the investment options provided by the insurance company and determine whether they are appropriate for the individual’s risk profile.
Advantages and Disadvantages of ULIP
The advantages and disadvantages of ULIP are given in the table.
|Advantages of ULIP||Disadvantages of ULIP|
|Unit-linked Insurance plans are advantageous in that they provide life insurance coverage as well as tax advantages in equity, debt, and money market products. It also provides an opportunity for investors to make good returns on their investment due to its easy exit option. These plans also assist investors in reducing market risks and increasing their net worth and savings over time.||There is always something that commercial enterprises dislike, and the rise of unit-linked insurance plans is one of them. Because of the high risk involved in this plan, some people may have difficulty obtaining a policy. Finally, it will take some time before you begin to see adequate returns on this investment plan. As previously stated, ULIPs can be a good option for you if you are looking for a long-term investment solution with higher returns on your investments.|
ULIPs are an investment option that should not be overlooked. They are intended for those seeking long-term wealth creation, tax savings, and protection for their families in the event of an emergency. ULIPs have grown in popularity due to their tax advantages, higher investment returns, easy exit options, and the ability to reduce market risks.
A unit-linked insurance plan is a type of insurance plan in which the premium is directly invested in the equity, debt, or money market markets (e.g., debt funds). They offer a good combination of insurance protection and wealth creation, making them an excellent investment option for people. Unit-linked insurance plans offer the best of both worlds: tax benefits, capital growth, and a reasonable death benefit. It also provides an opportunity for investors to make good returns on their investment due to its easy exit option. These plans also assist investors in reducing market risks and increasing their net worth and savings over time. Download the entri app to get more banking awareness notes.