What are ULIPS?
Unit Linked Insurance Policies or ULIPs are insurance policies which offer you the opportunity of wealth creation while providing the security of a Life Cover. In ULIPs, a part of your premium is dedicated towards your Life Cover and the rest is assigned to a common pool of money, called fund, which invests in equity, debt, or a combination of both. The returns on your investments depend upon the performance of the fund opted by you.
Why should I buy ULIPs?
Freedom to choose your Life Cover:In Unit Linked insurance policies, you can choose the amount of Life Cover that you want. In most ULIPs, the minimum Life Cover offered is 10 times your annual premium amount. However, depending on the policy and the insurance company, you can select your Life Cover amount as much as 100 times of your annual premium or even higher.
Freedom to choose your investment type:There are two basic types of funds – Equity Funds, Debt Funds and a mix of both called the Balanced Funds. Equity funds include investments such as buying shares of companies. Debt funds invest in government or company bonds. Balanced funds are those funds that invest equal proportions of equity and debt funds.
ULIPs allow you to invest in different funds on the basis of your investment goals and risk appetite. For example, if you wish to grow your wealth and don’t mind taking risk on your investment, you can invest in equity funds. Similarly if you wish to get steady returns on your investment, you can invest in debt funds.
In addition, you can also move your money between equity and debt funds by using an option called Switch. Most insurance policies offer a number of free Switches in a year, and for additional Switches, a small fee is charged.
Liquidity:With Unit Linked insurance policies, you also get an option called partial withdrawal+, which allows you to withdraw a part of the money invested in your policy. This option helps you to take care of immediate expenses such as, your child’s 10th, 12th or graduation fees, going on a family vacation, in case of emergencies, etc. Partial withdrawals are usually free of cost.
Goal based planning:ULIPs are structured to help you secure your key goals such as wealth creation, retirement planning or saving for your child’s education. So, apart from the life insurance benefit and the wealth creation, ULIPs also give you the added benefit of knowing that your premium is working towards securing your future goals.
Tax benefits:Under the Income Tax Act, 1961, you can save tax on your hard earned money by investing in a ULIP. You can get tax advantage at different stages of your life insurance policy.
Stage 1: Entry Advantage – You receive tax benefits^ on your premium payments, under the Sections 80C, 80CCC and 80D
Stage 2: Earnings Advantage – The growth on your investments is not taxable^
Stage 3: Exclusive Switching Advantage – You can make completely tax-free^ debt-equity Switches
Stage 4: Exit Advantage – You also receive a tax free^ Maturity Benefit# under Section 10(10D)
^Tax benefits are subject to conditions u/s 80C, 80CCC, 80D, 10(10A) and 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Tax laws are subject to amendments from time to time.
#Maturity Benefit is the amount you receive when your policy ends
+Subject to Terms and Conditions of your ULIP. Partial withdrawals are allowed after the completion of five policy years provided monies are not in DP Fund. You can make unlimited number of partial withdrawals as long as the total amount of partial withdrawals in a year does not exceed 20% of the Fund Value in a policy year. The partial withdrawals are free of cost. DP Funds refer to Discontinued Policy fund and consist of money from lapsed policies.
Unlike traditional products, Unit Linked insurance products are subject to market risk, which affect the Net Asset Values. The customer shall be responsible for his/her decision. The names of the Company, Product names or fund options do not indicate their quality or future guidance on returns. Funds do not offer guaranteed or assured returns.