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Difference Between Term Insurance and Endowment Plan

Term plans are life covers with no additional benefits, and endowment plans combine insurance and investment. Read to know the difference between term insurance and endowment plans.

  • Nov 18, 2022

You may frequently struggle when selecting a life insurance policy between an endowment plan and a term plan. This is typical because, like most people, you might not be familiar with the various life insurance policies.

First of all, both of these plans are conventional life insurance contracts. Additionally, these offer tax benefits and full life insurance. But these two varieties of insurance plans differ in some specific ways.

When you opt for a term insurance plan, the insurance benefits are available to your beneficiaries only if something unfortunate happens to you during the policy period. In comparison, endowment plans offer death benefits to your beneficiaries if an untoward event occurs during the policy term. In addition, if you survive the policy term, you receive maturity benefits too.

However, before looking at the distinctions between term and endowment plans, you must begin by understanding what a term insurance plan is and what an endowment plan means. A deep and clear understanding of each term policy vs endowment policy will give you a better idea of both and thus help you make the correct financial decision for your family.

What is a Term Life Insurance?

Term plan is one of the insurance plans that are quite well known. In simple words, term insurance offers death benefit only; that is, it gives the nominee monetary benefit in case of the policyholder’s death for a longer time. The policyholder can choose the term they want to be insured and require life cover. Remember that the assured sum amount is predefined and fixed at the time of policy enrolment.

Term insurance is considered one of the most affordable life insurance. Also, to keep the term insurance active, you must pay regular premiums, like other insurance plans. However, a term plan only provides death benefits. Thus, the policyholder does not get any benefits if they survive the tenure of the term insurance policy.

What is an Endowment Plan?

Like term insurance plans, endowment plans are equally popular traditional life insurance options. An endowment insurance plan offers insurance and investment to the policyholder, somewhat similar to a ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plan).

Endowment plans offer policyholders a lump sum benefit once the policy is mature. If the policyholder survives policy terms, he will get a lump sum. This allows the policyholder to do savings regularly over a given period. However, this benefit will not be applied if the policyholder passes away during the term.

In case of the policyholder’s demise during the policy term, the insurance part of the endowment plan will come into play. Then the nominee will receive the sum assured and additional bonuses if any.

Endowment plans are widely available in the market to cater to the varied needs of the customers. This allows you to choose the best-suited endowment plans for financial security.

Difference Between Endowment Plan and Term Plan

Here are the major difference between term plan and endowment plan


Term Insurance

Endowment Plan


Only offers life cover and no maturity benefits

Offers life cover and maturity benefits (options for regular investment)


Offer higher insurance coverage at an affordable premium

Requires higher premium for a higher insurance coverage

Sum Assured

Higher sum assured at affordable premium cost based on your income

Comparatively, a large sum assured requires a higher premium

Policy Objective

For people who are focused on securing the financial stability of their family in their absence

Best for those looking for wealth creation and life insurance


You can opt for a premium return rider if the option is available.

You get a maturity benefit at the end of the tenure of the endowment policy.

Payout Choices

You cannot liquidate term insurance in any case.

Partial withdrawal on the sum assured is allowed.

Here are the six key distinctions between term insurance and endowment plan


Term plans are pure life covers with no additional benefits. On the other hand, endowment plans combine insurance and investment. Therefore, the endowment policy pays the accumulated corpus if you survive the policy term.


Term plans offer a higher sum assured cover for an affordable premium. You will have to pay a much higher premium if you want the same coverage under an endowment policy. Additionally, you have to pay more to include riders and the basic coverage, thereby increasing the premium cost.

When you buy a term plan, the insurance company pays the benefits only in case of an unfortunate incident during the policy period. Therefore, the insurer’s risks are lower, reducing the premium cost. However, the company also pays maturity benefits if you survive the policy term, thereby increasing the cost to the insurer. Hence, a higher premium is levied on endowment plans.

Sum assured

The sum assured varies depending on the type of life insurance policy chosen. Most insurers allow you to opt for higher coverage based on your income when you invest in a term plan.

Policy objective

A critical distinction between term life insurance and an endowment plan is the policy aim. To ensure family members can quickly satisfy their financial commitments, such as regular costs or monthly instalments, term plans only provide death benefits.

In comparison, endowment plans offer death benefits to your loved ones. However, these policies also allow you to invest and meet your future financial goals.


Both term and endowment plans offer additional coverage through riders at an extra cost. But certain life insurance add-ons are only offered with term policies, while others might only be offered with endowment plans.

Payout choices

Your beneficiaries may receive the death benefits as a lump sum payout or in instalments per your chosen option. However, endowment policy benefits are available only as a lump sum on the demise or maturity.

You should assess your requirements to decide which policies suit your personal needs.

Comparison at a Glance

Your investment decisions are greatly influenced by a thorough grasp of endowment plan vs term plan. It is safe to assume that a financial strategy is inadequate without insurance and investing alternatives in today’s time. Understanding the distinction between term insurance and an endowment plan is, therefore, a sensible idea.

The main distinction between an endowment plan and a term plan is that the latter combines investment and insurance while the former is solely an insurance product. Endowment plans typically cost more than term insurance because they provide more comprehensive coverage. Nevertheless, depending on the insurer and the terms of the policy, you may be able to obtain rider advantages and tax benefits with both of them.

Understanding where you might invest your money for higher returns is exactly what it means to compare term insurance to endowment plans. It involves figuring out your own financial requirements in life. Consider term plans vs endowment plans as a checklist you use to make the necessary changes to your financial strategy.


A term plan would be more appropriate for you if you wish your family to have significant financial resources while you are gone. But you can get an endowment plan if you want to increase your wealth without giving up getting insurance coverage. The easiest method to determine which is best for you is to evaluate your needs and spending power. Endowment plans and term plans both primarily provide financial support.

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- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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