A better plan than ULIPs!!

Now you need to know - is this plan the best way to go?

Let's take an example of someone (say Ajay, 30 yrs old) who wants to invest Rs. 50,000. This will include investment amount plus premium for an insurance policy, sum assured of Rs. 250,000. Let's say Ajay has no problem locking his money in for three years, but wants to exit after three years.

In a ULIP, Ajay would pay (taking the Pru ICICI LifeLink 2 as an example):

- Entry load of 5% = Rs. 2,500 - Admin charges of Rs. 20 p.m. = Rs. 240 per year. - Mortality charges of Rs. 360 per year . - Fund related charges of 1.5% (maximiser plan) = Rs. 750.

This means the amount that is paid out as charges is: Rs. 3,850. Money actually invested using ULIP is Rs. 46,150/-

Now if Ajay decided to use ELSS for investment and a term plan for insurance.

Term plan cost (@Rs. 300 per lakh for 2.5 lakhs) = Rs. 750. (most plans have a minimum, but this is just for illustration)

Money left for investment = Rs. 49,250. If Ajay puts this in an ELSS he gets charged:

- 2.5% entry load = Rs. 1,232. - Fund management (it's a hidden cost in MFs) @1.5% = Rs. 740

So money invested using ELSS is Rs. 47,278/-

That means, if you use the ULIP route, around 2.5% LESS of your money is invested.

There's another disadvantage. Let's say Ajay dies in the third year - How much does his family get?

In ULIP case, the limit is the HIGHER of invested units or the sum assured, in this case: Rs. 2,50,000.

In ELSS+TermPlan case, ELSS is recovered in full, around Rs. 50,000 (Assuming terribly low growth in three years of the invested amount) Term plan pays out full sum assured of Rs. 2,50,000. What this means is the family gets Rs. 3,00,000.

Looking at this, I feel ULIP is not a good option when compared to taking a term plan for insurance and ELSS for investment. (That's putting it lightly. Frankly, it's a lousy investment)

(note: tax savings on both schemes are the same)

Further Note:I personally cannot invest Rs. 50,000 as a single time premium - I would rather choose something that takes 20 to 30 K per year, and grows. For THAT, the ICICIplan is : LifeTime Pension II

But, guess what, in the first year I lose 22% of my money to allocation fees in that plan!!!!

I would much rather choose TermPlan + ELSS. Or TermPlan plus a FIXED deposit.

ELSS has it's disadvantages too, but those are far overridden by the costs of ULIP. I would actually suggest a regular Equity Fund plus a term plan.


For the first time in my life i am doing something that i am good at, in public. This blog is purely a cut-copy-paste work baring a few personal views. Their is a glut of sites, blogs, pages and views about investment & savings. Still understanding and finding the right instrument is difficult. This is an endeavor to simplify the complicated financial jargons and products to make it understood by laymen.

As the URL name suggests, it’s for laymen by a layman of finance. This blog is strictly meant for me, my family and my friends and their few friends. The blog is not meant for experts & gurus of finance.

The author of this page is not a registered financial advisor. One should not construe anything written here to be financial advice. All information is a point of view and is for educational and informational use only.