Examining The Use Of Unit Linked Insurance Plans Finance Essay

Insurance merchandises have been typically used for damages which thereby meant that it was used for hazard direction. Since the money gets tied up for long, the chance of utilizing insurance for investings came into being. To function this purpose ULIPs were born.

ULIPs ( Unit Linked insurance programs ) are life insurance policies with the added characteristic of investings. They therefore behave like Mutual financess, to some extent, and therefore are besides traded like common financess. Their value is represented in footings of NAV ( net plus value ) . Since these units are tied to an underlying, their value depends on the value of the underlying at any point of clip.

Merely like in common fund, a pool of the financess collected through the premiums is created, the charges are reduced from it. The policy has the footings for the needed returns and hazards. The underlying is decided upon maintaining this in head. These financess are compared and traded in the capital markets. Therefore, their public presentation is a map of the public presentation of the capital markets. Like in instance of equity financess, an investor can diversify his portfolio by puting across a broad scope of financess. The hazard is, after all, borne by the investor.

ULIPs provide the investors the flexibleness in taking their investing manner. They can pay a ball amount or doing premium payments, be it one-year, half annually or quarterly. They can besides the premium sums during the term of office of the policy. This manner, if during the term of office an investor has extra financess he can heighten the value of his investings, and on the impudent side, a crunch state of affairs allows him to put lesser sum. He can besides switch his financess across assorted programs like balanced financess, debt financess etc. the cost of making so is nominal.

Expenses Charged in a ULIP

Premium Allocation Charge: A per centum of the payments made by the investor are appropriated towards the initial and reclamation disbursals. The balance is so transferred for the policy.

Mortality Charges: These are charges appropriated for the insurance screen. It depends on the factors like sum of coverage etc. fundamentally the factors are indistinguishable to a normal insurance screen.

Fund Management Fees: Fees levied for direction of the fund and is deducted before geting at the NAV.

Administration Charges: This is the charge for disposal of the program and is levied by cancellation of units.

Resignation Charges: Deducted for premature partial or full encashment of units.

Fund Switch overing Charge: Normally a limited figure of fund switches are allowed each twelvemonth without charge, with subsequent switches, capable to a charge.

Service Tax Deductions: Service revenue enhancement is deducted from the hazard part of the premium.

This forms the led up to the comparing between a ULIP and a balanced fund.

What is a balanced fund?

A balanced fund is a common fund that invests in equities every bit good as debt instruments. The intent of the balanced financess is that it combines best of both universes. It ensures a fixed and lasting flow of income through the debt investing side and benefits of capital grasp through the equity investing side.

A balanced fund normally invests 40-60 % financess in the equities and the balance in the debt markets.

Comparison between balanced fund and ULIP

The major benefit of a balanced fund over the ULIP is that it is low cost compared to the ULIP. It has a cap on its capital at 2.5 % .

ULIP on the manus has a batch of charges accruable to it. The charges have been mentioned above. The public-service corporation of ULIPs is high merely if u program to stay invested for 8-10 old ages.

ULIPs have a short history and returns can change enormously between one strategy and another. In the instance of balanced financess, you can take to take a shorter-term attack, without worrying about the impact of costs.

Most of the ULIPs are sold because of the three twelvemonth lock in period.AA This facilitates continuance of life coverage boulder clay there is adequate fund in your history to cover the mortality charges.AA Keep in head that you may lose some or all of your money if you stop paying regular premium at least for ten old ages

Here is some informations on how balanced financess and ULIPs have performed.

Balanced Fund

The HDFC Prudence Fund and HDFC Balanced Fund have provided robust returns of 16 % over the past three old ages. The Canara Robeco Balance Fund, DSP BlackRock Balanced Fund and the Birla Sun Life 95 Fund have besides yielded nice returns of 13 % over the past three old ages. The mean expense ratio of these financess is 2.5 % .


HDFC Balanced Managed Investmentaa‚¬ ” Life has yielded 11 % returns over the past three old ages. ICICI Prudential Balancer II has yielded 11.75 % over this period. Factoring the one-year charges associated with these programs, the existent returns are much less. If you want life screen, you should, alternatively, opt for a pure term insurance policy. But if you are on the sentinel for comparatively safe and steady returns, you would be better off with a balanced fund instead than a ULIP

Ulips are non easy to understand. Not many investors know about extrapolation of returns and can utilize spreadsheets to see how good their Ulips stack up. Besides, comparing Ulips is about out of the inquiry, no affair what the agent says. But investors do n’t look peculiarly bothered about these negatives. The individual who seeks advice, sentiment and 2nd sentiment when he ‘s purchasing a camera, blindly marks any organize his agent hands out every bit long as he hears the charming words good returns.

Fortunately, the industry and the regulator are concerned about this deficiency of cognition, and they are making what they can to better investor instruction. Till a twosome of old ages ago, Ulips were shrouded in enigma ; cipher knew how the insurance companies charged for disbursals, how the policies worked or what benefits were offered. Cipher seemed to desire to cognize either. Investors were happy to believe the fanatic agents, who claimed the programs would give at least 30 % returns. That led to rampant mis-selling, but investors remained blissfully nescient.

To look into mis-selling,

The regulator insisted on a 15-day free expression period, leting purchasers to return policies that did non accommodate them. Today, several insurance companies offer this characteristic for a month.

Then IRDA besides insisted on the agents supplying the investors a policy illustration with a 6 % and 10 % return, standardizing all charges across insurance companies, and a gross revenues guideline that every agent had to follow. This is a first as no other fiscal merchandise comes with an industry gross revenues guideline.

Despite the IRDA taking stairss to educate consumers, there ‘s a deficiency of cognition about this merchandise. An on-line study on life insurance shows that over 50 % of the respondents own a ULIP ; most of them, nevertheless, had no hint about the sum of life screen they had.

The benefits of ULIPs can be presented as:

Long term investing programs

Insurance and investings combined together

With the cap on committee and pricing coming into image, they become about as just priced as MFs

Like Warrens Buffet said, it is good to get down early. The ULIPs aid you to get down puting early on itself

Once you clearly understand the all right print of any ULIP policy, it becomes a utile merchandise for long term investings.

The dividend payout revenue enhancement sometimes discourages policies from paying out dividends. But this does non impact the returns for an investor because the maintained sum gets reinvested and finally goes to the investor himself

The premium ULIP charges for supplying insurance screen is well lower than what you would hold to blast out for taking an independent policy with LIC. For case, for a mark sum of Rs 50,000 in a ten-year program, presuming that you enter it at 26, ULIP deducts Rs 55 towards one-year insurance premium. Whereas the one-year premium for a similar fixed-term life screen from LIC would be in the scope of Rs 1,000.

Drawbacks of ULIP

Liquid: The ULIPs lead to a deficiency of liquidness since the financess one time invested in the fund get locked in for a period of at least 5 old ages. Withdrawing before this means you would be predating the revenue enhancement benefit attached to the strategies. Some claim that this lock in period is less than PFs, nevertheless it is besides a much larger period than other strategies. Plus even beyond this, a punishment of 0.5 % of the mark sum is deducted for early backdown after 5 old ages. To better this state of affairs, a new policy to let investors to retreat after 7 old ages in a 10 twelvemonth policy and after 10 old ages in a 15 twelvemonth policy. They merely need to keep a minimal balance of rupees 5000.

Performance: ULIPs were offering a return of 13 % under the old method of administered pricing. But now with the switch to NAV based system, this becomes irrelevant since it has become a dunction of the unitaa‚¬a„?s fund direction accomplishments and besides the debt market conditions.

Size: The size of the financess ( 5000 crores in 2001 ) becomes a disability for the fund directors as it impedes the manoeuvrability of the portfolio. It had invested 46 % in equity which amounts to around 2200 crores. This made it the largest equity oriented fund in operation. This made it impossible to indulge in minutess without impacting the monetary value of the stocks. Give the deficiency of deepness in the debt market, the debt portfolio of Rs 2,679 crore, could turn out to be even more of a white elephant. Furthermore, as of December 2000, around 6 per cent of the NAV was set aside for non-performing assets.

Insurance screen: What ‘s it worth?

Several revenue enhancement economy programs are available in the market. Assuming that they are all at least every bit efficient as the ULIPs, the lone differentiating factor remains is the insurance screen provided by the strategy. Out of the one-year payments a little sum is deucted each twelvemonth for the insurance premium and the remaining is invested into the fund.

However, the screen comes with some really restrictive footings.

One, it is restricted to the term of office of the program.

Two, you will be eligible merely to 50 per cent of the mark sum, in the first six months of your entry into the program.

Three, the insurance screen at any given clip is equal to the difference between the mark sum and the part paid. The part you paid will be received in the signifier of units to your recognition, which you would be entitled to, in any instance.

Four, adult females without an independent beginning of income are eligible merely for a screen of Rs 40,000.