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Difference Between ULIP and Traditional Plan

ULIPs offer investment opportunities along with insurance coverage, while traditional plans focus solely on providing life insurance benefits without investment components.

  • 6,034 Views | Updated on: May 27, 2024

When it comes to securing one’s financial future, insurance plays a pivotal role. Among the myriad of insurance options available, two popular choices stand out: Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) and Traditional Insurance Plans.

Each has its own set of features, benefits, and drawbacks, and deciding between the two is a crucial one. So, let us delve deeper into the difference between ULIP and Traditional plans to determine which is better suited to individual needs.

Difference Between Traditional Plan Vs. ULIP

ULIPs (Unit-linked Insurance Plans) and traditional plans, each option comes with its own set of features, benefits, and considerations. To help you make an informed decision, let us now understand the difference between ULIP and traditional plans across various parameters:



Traditional plans


Insurance + Investment

Insurance only


Equity, debt, hybrid funds

Fixed interest or Market-linked returns


Flexible premiums and fund-switching

Fixed premiums


Transparent fund performance

Opacity in fund management

Risk Market

Market risk

Limited risk


Potentially higher returns

Generally lower returns


Higher charge, including funds management

Lower charges

Tax Benefits

Tax benefits on premiums and returns

Tax benefits on premiums


Partial withdrawals allowed

Limited liquidity

Lock-in Period

Typically 5 years or more

Generally shorter lock-in periods


Long-term investors with risk appetite

Conservative investors seeking stability

What is ULIP?

A Unit-linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) is a financial plan that includes both insurance and investing opportunities. The goal of ULIP is to give the extra advantage of life insurance coverage and the possibility of long-term wealth growth.

Features of ULIP

ULIPs have gained significant popularity over the years, offering a unique combination of insurance and investment benefits. These financial products have become a preferred choice for individuals seeking both protection and wealth-creation opportunities.

Benefits of Insurance and Investment

One of the distinctive features of ULIPs is that they offer dual benefits of insurance coverage and investment growth. A portion of the premium paid towards ULIPs goes towards providing life insurance coverage, while the remaining amount is invested in various market-linked funds as per the policyholder’s choice.

Flexibility in Investment Options

ULIPs provide policyholders with the flexibility to choose from a range of investment options based on their risk appetite and financial goals. These options typically include equity funds, debt funds, and balanced funds, allowing investors to create a diversified portfolio tailored to their preferences.


ULIPs offer transparency in terms of investment performance and charges. Policyholders receive regular updates on the value of their investment and the performance of the chosen funds. Additionally, all charges, including fund management fees, premium allocation charges, and policy administration charges, are clearly disclosed upfront, enabling investors to make informed decisions.

Switching Advantage

To adapt to changing market conditions or investment objectives, ULIPs often come with a switching facility that allows policyholders to reallocate their investments among different funds offered within the policy. This feature enables investors to optimize their portfolios and maximize returns based on market dynamics and their risk tolerance.

Lock-in Period And Liquidity

ULIPs typically have a lock-in period, during which the policyholder cannot withdraw funds from the policy. This lock-in period promotes long-term wealth accumulation and disciplined investing. However, many ULIPs also offer partial withdrawal options after the completion of the lock-in period, providing liquidity to policyholders when needed.

Benefits on Tax Payable

ULIPs offer tax benefits under the Income Tax Act 1961. The premiums paid towards ULIPs are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C, subject to certain limits. Additionally, the maturity proceeds or death benefits received from ULIPs are tax-exempt under Section 10(10D), making them an attractive tax-saving investment option.

Life Cover and Riders

Apart from providing investment opportunities, ULIPs offer life insurance coverage to protect the financial interests of the policyholder’s family in case of unfortunate events. Additionally, policyholders have the option to enhance their coverage by opting for additional riders such as accidental death benefits, critical illness cover, or disability benefits, providing comprehensive protection against various risks.

Why Should You Invest in ULIP for Long Term?

ULIPs have emerged as a popular investment choice for individuals seeking long-term financial growth and security. With a unique combination of insurance and investment, ULIPs offer several benefits that make them an attractive option for those looking to build wealth over time.

Benefits of Compounding

One of the key advantages of investing in ULIPs for the long term is the power of compounding. Compounding refers to the process whereby your investment earns returns not only on the initial principal amount but also on the accumulated interest or returns.

Market Linked Growth

ULIPs offer the opportunity to invest in a range of market-linked funds such as equity, debt, or balanced funds. These funds provide exposure to different asset classes, allowing investors to diversify their portfolio.

Beneficial Against Inflation in the Long Run

Inflation is a persistent threat to the purchasing power of money over time. As prices of goods and services rise, the value of money decreases, leading to a reduction in the real value of savings and investments.

What is a Traditional Plan?

Before ULIPs were introduced, traditional insurance plans were a prominent choice among all investors. These plans make a lump sum payment and incentives after a specific amount of time or upon death. The premiums for these policies are predetermined, and the payment is certain. It is a fantastic alternative for all life insurance benefits, investments, fixed income, and tax savings because it is a risk-free product.

Features of Traditional Plans

Traditional life insurance plans offer a range of features that cater to various needs, providing both protection and avenues for savings.

Guaranteed Returns

One of the primary features of traditional life insurance plans is the assurance of guaranteed returns. These plans typically offer a fixed rate of interest on the premiums paid, ensuring that policyholders receive a predetermined sum assured or maturity benefit, regardless of market fluctuations. This feature provides stability and predictability in returns, making traditional plans an attractive option for conservative investors seeking steady growth.

Death Benefit

Traditional plans provide a death benefit to the nominee or beneficiaries in the event of the policyholder’s demise during the term of the policy. The death benefit is usually a lump sum amount equal to the sum assured or a combination of the sum assured and accrued bonuses, providing financial protection to the insured’s family members and dependents.

Maturity Benefit

Similar to the death benefit, traditional plans also offer a maturity benefit to the policyholder upon the completion of the policy term. The maturity benefit includes the sum assured along with any bonuses or guaranteed additions accrued over the policy’s tenure. This feature ensures that policyholders receive a lump sum amount at the end of the policy term, which can be utilized to meet various financial goals such as retirement planning, children’s education, or debt repayment.

Bonuses and Additions

Traditional life insurance plans often come with the opportunity to earn bonuses or additions to the sum assured. These bonuses may be in the form of annual reversionary bonuses, which are declared by the insurance company based on the company’s performance and investment returns. Additionally, some plans may offer terminal bonuses or guaranteed additions, enhancing the overall returns for the policyholder.

Premium Payment Options

Traditional plans offer flexibility in premium payment options, allowing policyholders to choose between single premium, limited premium, or regular premium payment modes based on their financial capabilities and preferences. This flexibility enables individuals to customize their insurance plans according to their cash flow requirements and long-term financial goals.

Tax Benefits

Traditional life insurance plans offer tax benefits under the Income Tax Act 1961. The premiums paid towards these plans are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C, subject to certain limits. Additionally, the maturity proceeds or death benefits received from traditional plans are tax-exempt under Section 10(10D), making them a tax-efficient investment option.

Types of Traditional Plans

Traditional insurance plans have long been a cornerstone of financial planning, offering individuals a combination of insurance coverage and savings accumulation. These plans provide a sense of security and financial stability while helping individuals achieve their long-term financial goals. Two popular types of traditional plans are Endowment Life Plans and Moneyback Plans.

Endowment Life Plan

An Endowment Life plan is a type of traditional insurance policy that provides both a life cover and a savings component. With an Endowment Plan, individuals pay regular premiums for a specified period. Upon maturity of the policy or in the event of the insured’s demise during the policy term, the policyholder or nominee receives a lump sum amount, which includes the sum assured as well as any bonuses or guaranteed additions accrued over the policy term.

One of the key features of an Endowment Life Plan is its ability to provide financial protection while also serving as a disciplined savings tool. The guaranteed payouts at maturity ensure that policyholders can fulfill their long-term financial goals, such as funding their children’s education, purchasing a house, or building a retirement corpus. Moreover, the bonuses or dividends declared by the insurance company add to the overall returns of the policy, enhancing the wealth accumulation potential.

Moneyback Plan

A Moneyback plan is another type of traditional insurance policy that offers periodic payouts to the policyholder during the policy term. Under a Moneyback plan, individuals pay regular premiums for a specified duration, similar to an Endowment Plan. However, unlike an Endowment Plan where the entire sum assured is paid out at maturity, a Moneyback plan provides regular payouts at predetermined intervals, typically every few years.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between a ULIP and a traditional plan depends on your risk appetite, investment goals, and financial circumstances. ULIPs offer the potential for higher returns but come with market risks and higher charges. Traditional plans provide stability and security but may offer lower returns. Ultimately, it’s essential to carefully assess your needs and consult with a financial advisor to determine the most suitable option for you. Now that you know difference between ulip and traditional plan, it is time to choose the best plan for you and invest today.

FAQs on the Difference Between ULIP and Traditional Plans (Update H2)


What are ULIPs?

ULIPs, or Unit Linked Insurance Plans, are investment-cum-insurance products that offer both life insurance coverage and the opportunity to invest in various market-linked funds.


What are Traditional Insurance Plans?

Traditional insurance plans are insurance policies that provide life cover and savings accumulation. They typically offer guaranteed returns and are not linked to the performance of financial markets.


Which is better for long-term goals, ULIP or traditional insurance?

The suitability of ULIPs or traditional insurance for long-term goals depends on individual preferences, risk appetite, and investment objectives. ULIPs offer market-linked growth potential, while traditional plans provide guaranteed returns.


How do I decide between ULIP and traditional insurance plans?

When deciding between ULIP and traditional insurance plans, consider factors such as your risk tolerance, investment horizon, financial goals, and liquidity needs. Evaluate the features, benefits, and charges associated with each type of plan before making a decision.


Can I switch between ULIP and traditional plans?

Some insurance companies may offer the flexibility to switch between ULIP and traditional plans, depending on their policy terms and conditions. However, switching between plans may be subject to certain restrictions and charges. It is advisable to check with your insurance provider for specific details regarding plan switching options.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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