With the dual benefit of investment cum insurance, ULIP plans have gained huge popularity and are considered as one of the most common investment product in the market. However, as compared to other investment options ULIP plans offered by different insurance companies have a different structure of charges.
In a unit linked insurance plan, the whole premium amount paid by the policyholder is not used to buy units. The insurance companies deduct fixed charges and fees before allotting the units and the remaining amount of premium is invested in different asset classes like equity, debt, etc. let’s take a look at the different charges that are applied in the ULIP plan.
Premium Allocation Charges
A specific percentage of premiums deducted by the insurance company is known as Premium Allocation Charge (PAC). At the starting years of the ULIP plan, the insurance company usually charges a higher rate of premium allocation charge. The premium allocation charge in ULIP plan includes renewal charges, initial charges, and commission charges.
The premium allocation charges of the policy differ on basis of whether the policy is a regular or single premium policy, the frequency of premium payment, a premium rate of the policy and mode of premium payment.
Mortality charges are deducted to provide insurance coverage under the plan. Mortality charges are deducted based on various factors like coverage amount, age, etc. These charges are applicable on monthly basis and are deducted regularly from the chosen funds.
Fund Management Charges
The insurance companies’ charges fund management charge to manage various funds in ULIP. These charges are imposed to manage the funds and are subtracted before reaching a NAV. The fund management charge is adjusted from net asset value on a daily basis. The maximum fund management charge of 1.35% per annum of the fund value is applicable and is charges on daily basis. Normally, the insurer charges the maximum in an equity fund, while the non-equity fund charges are lower.
Policy Administration Charges
Policy Administration Charges are the fees charged for the administration of the plan and is charged per month by unit’s cancellation from all the chosen funds. The policy administration charge remains same throughout the tenure of the policy or varies at a pre-determined rate.
|Types of Charges||How it is Charged||Frequency of Deduction|
|Premium Allocation Charge||Fixed Premium Percentage||As and When the premium is Paid|
|Fund Management Charges||On fund option ( Prior declaring NAV)||Daily Basis|
|Mortality Charges||Sum Assured, Depends on age||Monthly basis|
|Policy Administration Charge||Fixed % of fund value||Monthly basis|
|Fund Switching Charge||Flat fee||Transaction wise|
|Partial Withdrawal Charge||Flat fee||Transaction wise|
|Premium Redirection Charge||Flat fee||Transaction wise|
|Premium Discontinuance Charge||Flat fee||Transaction wise|
|Overall Impact of Charges||In case the policy tenure is less than or equal to 10 years: RIY not more than 3% at Maturity.|
|In case the policy tenure is more than or equal to 10 years: RIY not more than 2.25% at Maturity.|
Partial Withdrawal Charge
After the completion of the lock-in period of the ULIP plan, the policyholders are allowed to make a partial withdrawal from ULIP. There are some ULIP plans that don’t have any limit on partial withdrawal while other ULIP plans charges a partial withdrawal charge of Rs100 in case the insured makes more than 2-4 withdrawals.
Fund Switching Charge
In every year the investors can make a fixed number of free switched between various fund options in ULIP plans. Apart from this, each switch made by the insured includes charges which can range from Rs.100-Rs.500 per switch, subjected to the charge structure of the insurance company.
Premium Redirection Charge
The insurance company charges premium redirection charges in case of the insured redirects the future premiums of the policy to another less risky fund option, without making any changes in the existing structure of funds.
Riders are offered under the ULIP plan in order to enhance the coverage of the policy. However, in order to avail the rider benefit, an additional rider charges are deducted from the fund option per month. For instance, if the insured wants to avail accidental death benefit or critical illness rider then he/she will have to pay an extra rider charge in order to avail its benefits.
ULIP plans offer unique features of top-up. This allows the investors to invest an extra sum either once of more than one time in the policy. The top-up amount can be paid anytime during the tenure of the policy. Opting for top-up helps the investors to multiply the wealth by increasing the corpus amount. Many insurance companies deduct a fixed percentage as top-up charges.
Premium Discontinuance Charge
In case the policyholder decides to stop paying the premium before the completion of the lock-in period of 5 years then the money invested by the insured gets locked in a discontinuance fund. A premium discontinuance charge is levied for the discontinuance of the premium under the terms and conditions of the policy. The premium discontinuance charge is levied as a percentage of FV (fund value) and percentage of the premium amount.
For example: If the yearly premium of the policy is higher than Rs.25,000 the maximum discontinuance charge of the policy can be Rs.6000,Rs.5000, Rs.4000, or Rs.2000 in the 1st,2nd,3rd, 4th and respective policy years. In case, the yearly premium of the plan is lower than Rs.25,000 then the discontinuance charge of the policy can be Rs.3000,Rs.2000, Rs.1500, or Rs.1000 in the 1st,2nd,3rd, 4th and respective policy years. No surrender charges are applicable in case the insured discontinues the policy after the completion of 5th policy years.
Wrapping it Up!
Even though investing in ULIP plans offers the combined benefit life protection and investment returns. It is very important for an individual to know about these ULIP charges before zeroing in on the plan.
If you are an individual who is more focused on the investment part but still worries about the financial security of his/her family then a ULIP plan is the right choice for you. However, before zeroing in on the plan don’t forget to keep in mind about the above mentioned ULIP charges to make the right decision.