Thursday, 5 May 2016

Unit Linked Life Insurance Plans (ULIP)

In Unit linked Insurance Plan (ULIP), part of the amount paid by the policy holder goes towards providing the insurance cover and the balance is invested in venues of investment as desired by the policy holder. ULIP plans are most suitable for getting life insurance coverage and also growing your money.
Unit Linked Life Insurance Plans:
Unit Linked Life Insurance Plans are one of the best plans if you would like to secure a life cover as well increase your wealth at the same time. Presenting dual benefits to the policyholders, these insurance plans offer a life cover and assist in long term wealth creation.
These plans are way structured way to avail market linked returns on your investments as well to get the benefits of the protection plans. In these, a portion of premium paid by the insurer is invested in bonds or stocks, the returns of which, are provided at the time of maturity. The other part is used for offering a life cover to him/her.
Types of Unit Linked Insurance Plans:
Depending on their usability and the area they cover, ULIPs can be categorized in the following types:
ULIP for Retirement: In retirement ULIPs, the policy-holder pays the premium during his/her working years, for a decided period of time. This builds a suitable amount of corpus, which, on maturity, is provided in annuities.
ULIPs for Wealth Creation: This ULIP is primarily to increase your wealth over a period of time. With the returns on the investment made, these plans assist policy-holder in handling the constant inflation.
ULIPs for Children Education: These ULIPs provide the much needed financial support to the policy-holder, catering to the educational requirement of his/her children. It helps in taking care of the expenses related to child’s higher education and marriages.
ULIPs for Health Solutions: These plans offer financial support to the policy-holder to meet his/her medical expenses. Rising costs for addressing health issues make it even more essential to opt for such plans.
Why ULIPs:
Transparency: ULIPs offer a transparent format with its structures and charges clearly laid out, allowing the insurer to make an informed decision.
Flexibility: Under these insurance plans, policyholder can invest in differing asset classes such as equity, money market and debt. One also has the freedom to switch between these kinds of assets. It also offers premium flexibility.
Additional Investment: It offers the insurer with the option to invest additional amount, referred as ‘top-up’ at any preferred time during the tenure. This can be done at minimal charges and guarantees various benefits.
Life Insurance Cover: Insurer gets the freedom to select the extent of cover he/she wants to have. In most cases, the minimum life insurance cover that one can get is 10 times the annual premium. However, the policyholder, depending on the policies of the company, can also get a cover of up to 100 times or even more of the annual premium.
Liquidity: One can also partially withdraw money, which is mostly free of cost, in case of any unpredictable event.
Tax Benefits: ULIPs offer dual tax benefits under the sections 80C and 10 (10 D). As per current tax laws, the maturity benefits of ULIPs are tax free.
How to choose ULIPs:
Decide your insurance objectives and then select the plan which fulfill them
Compare: Each ULIP NAV has its exclusive set of features and benefits. Do compare various plans online and then opt for the one that is most suitable.
Know the varying charges such as initial charges, fund management charges, fixed administrative charges and mortality charges, which have been put on the product over its tenure.
Give utmost importance to your investment goals and then consider benefits of the policy
Evaluate your risk profile and financial stability before finalizing a certain plan. For instance, if your risk profile is high, it is suggested to invest higher in equities.
The required amount of Investment:
The amount of investment depends on various factors such as the policy-holder’s risk appetite; investment goals and his/her stipulated tenure of investment.
Things to remember:
ULIP Charges: Be aware of the various charges which are levied on the ULIPs. There are various sub classes in which the ULIP charges can be categorized as Premium Allocation charges, Policy Administrative charges, Surrender charges, Mortality charges, Fund Management charges, Fund Switching charge and the Discontinuance charges.

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