Let’s look at the parameters on which you can evaluate your ULIP Policy and take a decision if you should continue paying the yearly premium, go for a premium holiday or surrender the policy.
Charges structure: ULIP Policies normally levy Premium Allocation & Policy Administration Charges. The extent of these charge vary in each policy. From the premium you pay premium allocation charges are deducted and net premium is invested in the fund as per options selected by you. Policy Administration Charges are normally levied on a monthly basis. If your policy was taken few years before, it is likely to be a high cost structure. Generally, if these charges are exceeding 1% of the annual premium, then it makes us uncomfortable and we normally raise a red flag.
Lock in Period: Normally most ULIPs come with a lock in period of at least 3 years. So even if your cost structure is high, but lock in period is not over, then you would need to continue the policy at least till the lock in period is over.
Surrender Charges: While you make a decision if you should continue your policy, please also have a look as to how much surrender charges you will have to incur. Your policy may have zero surrender charge after about 5 years. So based on the surrender charge currently being applicable, it may be a good idea to wait for a year or so and then surrender your ULIP policy.
Fund Performance: Your policy is costly but is your fund is doing well? If yes, then you may end up with a positive ROI, depending upon market situations. If your policy is costly and the fund is not doing too well, then this may further worsen the situation. Please also check if your funds are invested appropriately mapped to your risk profile? Say if you are in early 30’s and have 5+ years to go before this policy matures, then it’s likely to be a good idea to invest a major part of your fund corpus in this ULIP in Equity. Most ULIPs allow 4 fund switches free in a year. So you could accordingly switch your funds
Insurance Cover: Do you still need the Life insurance cover available in the ULIP policy? Your Life Insurance corpus is a function of your financial liabilities. If you have sufficient assets to take care of your financial liabilities, then you may not need a life insurance cover. On the other hand, if you have a sizable cover in the ULIP policy, then you should check your overall need of Life insurance and assess if you will be able to get a new life insurance cover. If you have a medical situation (e.g. Diabetes) then getting a new cover may be difficult or expensive.
Expected benefits: Some ULIP covers give Sum Assured+ fund value. Some ULIP covers provide Highest NAV guarantee. Some ULIP covers have a premium continuance option i.e. the policy continues even if you die mid-way, no further premiums are to be paid and the policy cash flows are paid to the nominee. Some ULIP covers provide additional benefits like 102% premium credit after 10 years. Some ULIP covers allow you to take a loan against fund value. So, please consider such factors while you make a decision to continue or surrender the policy.
If you do happen to take a decision to surrender or go for a premium holiday, then please communicate your decision in writing to your Insurance Company, fill up required forms and follow up with them to get a confirmation response. You may seek help from the Advisor or Customer Support Executive from the Insurance Company to guide you while you make this decision though they may be biased in you continuing their policy. Alternately, you can consult your Financial Planner.