Jagoinvestor

May 26, 2008

All you want to know about ULIPS

 What are ULIPS?

ULIPS are investment cum insurance products, You take an insurance worth XYZ amount and then you pay some premium every year. Out of your premiums some amount is cut as administrative expenses (Premium allocation) and out of rest the mortality charges are cut for your insurance and the rest is invested in market linked things.

ULIPS

Some important points about ULIPS to note here :

1. You decide the tenure of your Insurance and the insurance amount, depending on which mortality charges are cut from your premium you pay.

2. The Premium allocation charges are very high in initial years (especially 1st year) and then reduces in later years. That’s the reason one should be invested in ULIP for long period to get maximum benefit.

3. The investor can switch between the investment style as and when he wants (max 4 free switches in most of the cases, there after some nominal fees).

4. ULIPS must be considered for long term investment products, so that the high cost in initial years are averaged out over longer period.

Advantages of buying ULIPS :

– The switching over different styles is not costly, you are not charged when you switch, which make them flexible.

– ULIPS are innovative products and suits people who want long term wealth creation with some insurance too..

Disadvantages of buying ULIPS :

– They are not good product for people who require high cover and can pay less cover, because premium depends on the cover. Higher the cover, higher the premium. So these people must take term insurance for there life insurance.

– For people investing only for tax benefit must avoid them as they will prove to be costly in short term because of there high allocation charges.

5 Benefits of investing in ULIPS

1. Tax benefit

ULIPS have sec 80C benefit, but for that you have to pay minimum of 3 years premiums to avail this tax benefit. You can not stop ULIPS before 3 years to get tax saving benefit. You will get the tax benefits at 3 different stages –

  1. Entry level: You will get tax exemption on the premiums you are paying for ULIPS
  2. Switch advantage: You don’t need to pay any taxes if you switch the policy from equity to debt or vice versa.
  3. Exit level: The amount you will be getting after maturity period will also be completely tax free.

2. Goal based investing or planning

ULIPS also helps your to secure your future goals like retirement planning, wealth creation or your child’s education planning.

3. Freedom to choose your cover

You can choose the cover for your policy. In most of the insurance companies, the cover provided is 10 times your premium, however some of the insurance companies are providing the insurance covers of upto 40 times of your premiums.

4. Liquidity

ULIPS also provides you the benefit of partial withdrawal which will help you in case of emergency.

5. Option to choose your investment type

The money actually invested is invested as per your directions … ULIPS have different plans with different risk-return profile. One plan may have allocation of 80-20 to equity and debt, some other can have 50-50 and some can have 20-80 and like this.

ULIPS have become very popular in last some years as agents have put there life and souls in advertising them and making people believe that they are wonderful product. Every product is wonderful for some or the other. If you can take good risk , need less insurance and closely want to monitor markets and economy so that you can switch your investments from one plan to other, ULIPS are great for you … else they are not..

Evaluate yourself and dive 😉

I would be happy to read your comments or disagreement on any topic. Please leave a comment.

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fauzia
fauzia
7 years ago

I want to surrender my elite life 2 policy paid 2 yearly premium of 2 lakhs how much icici will charge for surrender( after complete 2yrs) how much I will get only fund value ? Please reply on my email

Himanshu
Himanshu
7 years ago

HI, I have a ULIP, where the policyholder name is Sneh Khattar(my mother) and Insured Person name is Himanshu Khattar (i.e. me). Can I avail tax benefit for this policy?

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Manish,

I believe you need to be more practical and correct in placing your numbers & facts.
Guys , Pl ask for Estimated benefit illustration from any company you choose which will give you clear picture of charges and benefits and then decide.
It will also tell the gross yield and net yield post all charges which makes sense to compare and choose.

I have a vast experience in Insurance therefor posting my views.

Everything is not great and fact as per Manish’s version ( apology Manish for being rude ).
But fact of the matter is it depends on your time horizon to hold the funds in particular fund …
Charges should not be worry till the time you want to enjoy the designated benefits.

I believe every product has its own charm and therefore it existence Just that we need to be careful to choose one that suits us rather than saying the product is bad … good for me can be bad for you and vice versa.

Thanks

sandeep
sandeep
7 years ago

Hi Guys,
I recently purchased Elite Wealth II plan from a reputed insurer. Then I surrendered the policy within the free look period & received my premium back with minor deductions.
There are few things which I found shall be of interest
1. The agent will tell you that the maximum charges ( Allocation, administration, FMC etc. etc.) as per IRDA is 3%. But he will never tell that above this 3% there are mortality charges ( which increases with your age & are really very high ) and service tax (15%) which are excluded from the 3%.
2. The sum assured is highest of either the fund value or the maximum sum assured SA whichever is higher. So here is the catch .
Suppose I pay a premium of 5 lacs per annum (for 5 years) thus minimum SA is 10 times of premium so 50 lacs. Premium paid is 25 lacs in five years & policy term is 30 years. Now suppose something happens to the insurer after 14 years. In these fourteen years assume your fund value reaches to 45 lacs. As per policy the sum assured to be paid to the nominee is 50 lacs . So the family receives 50 L.
Now out of this 50 lac received by the nominee, 45L was your own money the insurance co. only paid Rs 5 lac as insurance (45 + 5 L). If you have invested this money in MF which would have given you between 40 – 50 lac & taken a term insurance of 50 Lac then the family would have received 50 lac as SA and your savings from mutual fund i.e 40 L + 50 Lac around 90L in total. If you increase the insurance cover in ULIP then mortality charges increases which erodes your money.
3. The agent will tell you after if 15 years mortality charges become zero. If you check from IRDA table of your plan mortality charges become zero only when your fund value reaches the sum assured of the policy. If due to market conditions the fund value do not reaches to SA value then mortality charges continues and are adjusted from your fund units. And as I said mortality charges are higher as your age increases.
4. The agent may tell you that you can take out your paid premium money after 5 years i.e 20 percent every year. No one is clarifying that if I pull out my money then the fund value will never reach to the SA value. So the mortality charges will continue for the next 30 years I.e. for the whole policy term. Finally Mortality charges will eat up the fund value like a termite.
These are my conclusions from recently surrendered ULIP plan :
a) insurance is not good for investment. I would always prefer investment in large cap Mutual fund with a monthly SIP plus term insurance to secure me and my family future
b) if a person still want to go with ULIP Plan like Elite wealth II then also buy a term insurance to support your family in case of any unfortunate event
c) if a person still want to go with ULIP Plan like Elite wealth II for investment purpose, I don’t know but check if you can take a plan for a person having low mortality factor like child or wife so that mortality charges are low.
d) do not buy riders ( critical health, hospitalization etc.) in your insurance policy, better buy a separate health insurance plan which covers and protect in better way within in the same amount as paid for the rider in the policy.
e) do not be amazed or lured by the documents and presentations shown by the insurance company or their representative on returns or earnings. If ULIP were so good then mutual fund investments would have become a past. Still mutual fund industry is growing while ULIP is shrinking.
These are my personal views after evaluating the policy features. A person with insurance studies and back ground can clarify better. But do not forget to ask these questions to the insurer representatives. Also try to get your charges statements of the existing ULIPs to understand the real deductions. Generally insurance company representatives hesitate to present the statements as you will come to know the exact deductions and minimum returns.
Finally thanks for your valuable time, but I hope this will help you to save invest your hard earned money in the right direction and instruments.

Urbane
Urbane
8 years ago

Hi Manish,

Firstly, thanks a lot for creating such an informative website. I have a question for you:

Where can I find and understand the total charges levied by ICICI for its Elite 2 plan. Wherever I go and check this, I find that the ULIP has FMC of 1.35% which is extremely low – even compared to MFs which charge 1.5%.

Aashish
Aashish
8 years ago

Hi Manish,

I have already paid a premium of Max Life Insurance ULIP, details as follows:
1. 1 Lakh premium actually for 10 years, but I can stop after 5 years as well (I have paid 1 premium already)
2. My coverage = My premium X 10
3. My returns will be 18 22 % after the period.

But, now I am having a not-so-good feeling about the same.

Now, when I asked them to stop this policy, they told..
1. Premium already paid will be non refundable for 5 years
2. even if you plan to stop policy, the money you get back will be just 75K or so..

NOTE: My 2nd premium is on 8th May.

Please suggest

Nishant
Nishant
8 years ago

Hi Manish,

Last year I bought ICICI Pru Elite life II with allocation to maximser V fund. My annual premium is Rs. 2 lacs. Its time to pay my second premium & I am not sure whether to continue with this policy. As I understand if I discontinue my money will be locked for 5 years & also discontinuation charges will be levied adding to further loss. Does it make sense to discontinue. Please guide.

JYOTI
JYOTI
8 years ago

Dear Manish ,

I appreciate your valuable feedback about the ULIPs especially about ICICI Prudential Elite Wealth and for all those replies where you have clearly asked people to ” Surrender ” the policies . I understand you are complete ANTI- ULIP , but do you realize before saying ” SURRENDER ” that the investments once done can be surrendered only after completion of 5 years and also that should be done looking at the current market valuation . It’s said that all eggs should not be kept in the same basket , similarly you can’t just suggest everyone to invest in Mutual funds and not in ULIPs , if I tell you even MFs have a cost associated which is usually hidden , FMC which is close to 2.5- 3 % is a cost on the entire fund where as Premium allocation charge, administration charges etc are on premium . Also with this Elite – Wealth plan after 5 years you get loyalty additions , wealth boosters etc . I am not saying Mutual funds are anyway bad products , but it’s not that ULIPs are . As an educated investor one should look at the Pros and Cons and then invest . Thanks …!!

Ankur
Ankur
8 years ago

Dear Manish,

Hi i think you are doing a great job. I am looking to make a long term investment with horizon of 15 to 20 years mainly for my kid so that i can use this money for his education at that time. what are your suggestion for that…….what would be an ideal investment.
Also like many others on this thread I have also been approached by the ICICI guys to invest in elite wealth more as an investment rather than insurance ( as i already have a term insurance) and the reasoning is simple, there is more returns due to a lower 1.35% charges which it seems in the long term matter a lot and make a huge difference. Also there are unlimited switches allowed in this scheme. The returns quoted are pretty decent. I know you have repeatedly told people to stay away from this…….but can you kindly explain why not……..how does this product with charges as low as 1.35% , still should not be considered for long term.
I think the question is more or less the same as megha in the previous comment. can you kindly bring some clarity to this issue.

Shivam
Shivam
Reply to  Jagoinvestor
8 years ago

Dear Manish,

Hi I appreciate your your advice about investing in MF SIP, no doubt its a great product to invest. But if we talk about Elite wealth 2 the average effective charges are even less than 1.35% in horizon of 20 yrs due to loyality additions this product is giving. And the flexibility to make tax free switches from equity to debt and balance fund makes it even more safe product to go for long term. Also this is the only instrument offering debt funds with tax free maturity which MF don’t offer.

I think these features makes it one of the best products to make investment for horizon of 15 to 20 yrs.

MeghaAgarwal
MeghaAgarwal
8 years ago

Hi Manish,

I was going through your suggestions and you seem to be completely anti ULIPs. Although, in your review you have mentioned that ULIPs are good for people who have a long term horizon in mind and are looking for insurance too. I have gone through the ULIP – I-Pru Elite wealth and for a long term investor it seems to be a perfect product. Given it covers insurance and mutual funds like any other ULIP, with unlimited switches and a very low yearly expense when looked at a time frame of 8+ years, I could not find any reason to not recommend /buy this. Your inputs will surely help.

Regards,
Megha

tenzin
tenzin
8 years ago

Hi Manish, I am paying 1lakh annually in HDFC life progrowth plus, is it a good decision or bad, will i ever get benefit after 10 year?

Sanjay
Sanjay
8 years ago

Few month back I have taken HDFC click to invest ULIP for the period of 15 year, and i invest 4000Rs/month.

Now i feel i may not get good return through this policy, am looking to discontinue this policy and invest same amount in SIP. Pls advise

Deep
Deep
8 years ago

My ICICI agent strongly advised me to invest 5 lakhs/annum for the period of 10 years in the ICICI Elite wealth II plan. Do you recommend the same? If not, any advise on where to invest in current market? I am looking for a safe investment with some profit.

MGC
MGC
Reply to  Jagoinvestor
8 years ago

Why?

BHAVESH
BHAVESH
8 years ago

plz tell me. where to invest .. i want to invest rs 10 lac per annum… whic options to invest

Sandeep
Sandeep
8 years ago

Hi Manish,
My dad has bought this plan as per his ICICI agent and paid as 2L as first premium. He has to pay another 5 premiums. He was told that the 10L invested will mature as 14L. is it worth continuing? He was told that this is a good investment option and he may lose 2L if he discontinues this.

Madhu
Madhu
8 years ago

Dear Manish,
I went to an ICICI advisor for investing in the equity market but he managed to sell ICICI Elite Pru. I was looking to invest in the long term for my son. have the first premeium. Does it make sense to continue it or with draw from it now?

Krishna
Krishna
8 years ago

Hi Manish,
Please advice on ICICI Pru Elite Wealth II plan, premium is 500000 per year for 5 years.

Thanks,
Krishna

Raj
Raj
8 years ago

Hi Sir

I am Raj, I have two ULIP’s with SBI from June 2008

1. SBI Life Growth Pension Fund (Unit Plus-II-Pension Option I), 3k Monthly for 24 years
Present Fund value INR 379521 & total monthly investment till date INR 255000
I want to use the maturity amount for my daughter’s education.

2. UNIT PLUS-II REGULAR for SA 12 Lakh, 6k quarterly for life time., but I am planning to close it once it is 30 years.

SBI Life Growth Fund 50 %
SBI Life Equity Fund 50 %
Present Fund value 239398 & total investments till date INR 174000
Will use the mature amount for my retirement savings.

Request your kindness please let me know shall I continue these plans or close them. I know both of them working well, but when I started these plans I was not knowing anything on ULIPs (not now too)…Someone guided/misguided me……..…but I have already invested for 7 years now………really in a dilemma now to stop or continue (if I stop I will lose all the 7 years of investment) & once again I need to think for the fresh investments.

conphused grahak
conphused grahak
8 years ago

Hi Manish, Last month, due to pressure from a convincing ICICI Pru agent I bought the Wealthbuilder II plan for limited pay option for Rs. 1. 25 Lac annual premium. Looking at the policy doc and first premium receipt I realise that the charges were 6% p.a. of premium allocation charge for first year, 2.52% p.a. policy administration charge deducted monthly and a 1.35% p.a. of fund management charge deducted on a monthly basis by adjustment of units. I am unable to understand what would my actual cost be each year for the first 5 years. I am getting a sum assured of 12.5L. How do I calculate this please?

Anilloka
Anilloka
8 years ago

Need suggestion on financial planning,I’m 35Yrs Old,for another 15 yrs i wnated to save 10,000/- month and it should be useful for tax saving as well and Returns should be tax free . I’m not intrested in Term Ploicy.i’m already investing in gold.

I need your help on 10,000 per month in the below categories.

Life Insurance Policies..(Example Birla Sunlife Vsison Income…)
Mutual Funds (New to Mutual funds,Can you please guide me what is the best way to invest money in mutual funds and types)
How much % we can expect after 10 yrs or 15 yrs?
ULIPS(Aegon,HDFC Click 2 invest…)
How much % we can expect after 10 yrs or 15 yrs?