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Difference Between ULIP and Endowment Plan?

ULIP combines insurance coverage with investment opportunities, allowing policyholders to invest in various funds, while an endowment plan provides both life insurance and a savings component with a guaranteed payout at maturity.

  • 8,747 Views | Updated on: May 21, 2024

One has to consider factors like the sum assured, premiums, tenure of the policy, the risk involved, etc., before purchasing an insurance cover. But before you make the right decision, it is important to understand the difference between ULIP and endowment plan and learn which suits you the best.

Key Takeaways

  • ULIPs involve market-linked investments in various funds, offering flexibility, while endowment plans typically have a fixed or guaranteed return.
  • ULIPs allow policyholders to switch between funds based on market conditions and risk appetite.
  • Endowment plans have limited flexibility, offering a fixed premium and sum assured.
  • ULIPs provide transparency in fund performance and charges, with detailed information on investments.
  • Endowment plans have simpler structures, often with less transparent underlying investment details.

What is ULIP?

Unit-linked Insurance Policy or ULIP is the right fit for you if you want to create wealth through investment opportunities. Part of the premiums paid for ULIPs contribute to life coverage, while the rest is invested in debt, equity, and money-market instruments. The investment can be made in different ULIP funds, such as equity, debt, or a combination of both, called balanced funds. You can also customize your ULIP by adding extra benefits through riders such as Unit Linked accident and disability benefit riders.

What is an Endowment Plan?

An endowment plan is a kind of insurance policy that provides financial security to your family. A lump sum is paid to you on maturity or to the beneficiary in case of the policyholder’s unfortunate demise. One of the main benefits of the endowment plan is that it provides you with a risk-free savings corpus and a financial pool at its maturity. So, you can also secure your post-retirement life with these savings.

ULIP vs Endowment

Here is a comparison of the main aspects of these policies to help you understand the difference between ULIP and endowment plans.



Endowment Plans

Investment Component

Invests in various funds like equity, debt, or balanced funds

Provides guaranteed returns and builds a savings corpus

Market-Linked Returns

Subject to market fluctuations, offering potential for higher returns

Offers guaranteed returns, shielding from market volatility

Flexibility in Investment

Allows flexibility to switch between funds based on market conditions and risk appetite

Typically offers limited flexibility with fixed premiums and benefits

Insurance Coverage

Offers life insurance coverage along with investment benefits

Provides life insurance coverage, ensuring financial protection

Tax Benefits

Premiums and maturity proceeds are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C and 10(10D), respectively

Premiums paid and maturity proceeds are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80C and 10(10D), respectively

Liquidity Options

Typically offers liquidity through features like partial withdrawals and surrender benefits

Provides limited liquidity options with penalties for early surrender or withdrawals

Long-term Wealth Creation

Designed for long-term wealth creation, leveraging market potential

Focuses on steady and predictable savings, building a corpus over time

Legacy Planning

May offer the potential for legacy planning through investment growth

Enables legacy planning through guaranteed payouts and death benefits

Benefits of ULIP

ULIPs offer the dual benefits of life insurance coverage with market-linked investment opportunities. This unique combination offers policyholders a range of advantages, making ULIPs a popular choice for those seeking a holistic approach to financial planning.

Market-Linked Returns

One of the primary attractions of ULIPs is the potential for market-linked returns. Unlike traditional insurance plans, ULIPs allow policyholders to invest in a variety of funds, including equity, debt, or a combination of both. This exposure to the market provides an opportunity for higher returns, especially over the long term.

Flexibility in Investment Options

ULIPs offer policyholders the flexibility to switch between different funds based on their risk appetite, market conditions, and financial goals. This adaptability allows investors to align their investment strategy with changing market dynamics and their evolving life stages.

Goal-oriented Investing

ULIPs are well-suited for individuals with specific financial goals, such as buying a home, funding education, or planning for retirement. By tailoring the investment component to match these goals, policyholders can use ULIPs as a strategic tool for achieving their long-term objectives.

Insurance Coverage

Beyond being an investment vehicle, ULIPs provide life insurance coverage, ensuring financial protection for the policyholder’s family in the event of untimely demise. This dual functionality addresses both the need for wealth creation and risk mitigation, making ULIPs a comprehensive financial solution.

Tax Benefits

ULIPs offer tax advantages, with premiums and maturity proceeds eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C and Section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, respectively. These benefits enhance the overall tax efficiency of ULIPs, making them an attractive option for savvy investors.

Flexibility to Add Riders

ULIPs provide the flexibility to enhance insurance coverage by adding riders to the base policy. Riders such as critical illness cover, accidental death benefit, waiver of premium, or income benefit rider can be attached to ULIPs for an additional premium. These riders offer supplementary protection against specific risks or unforeseen circumstances, providing comprehensive financial security to the policyholder and their family.

Liquidity Options

ULIPs typically provide liquidity options, allowing policyholders to make partial withdrawals or surrender the policy under certain conditions. This feature ensures that investors have access to funds in case of unforeseen financial requirements.

Benefits of Endowment plan

Endowment plans have long been recognized as a reliable financial instrument, offering a unique combination of life insurance coverage and guaranteed savings. The distinctive benefits that endowment plans bring to the table make them a favored choice among individuals seeking a secure and disciplined approach to financial planning.

Guaranteed Returns

A primary advantage of endowment plans is the assurance of guaranteed returns. Unlike some market-linked instruments, endowment plans provide policyholders with a predetermined lump sum amount either upon maturity or in the event of the policyholder’s demise, offering a sense of stability and security.

Dual Purpose of Insurance and Savings

Endowment plans serve a dual purpose by combining life insurance coverage with a savings component. This means that policyholders not only secure financial protection for their loved ones but also build a corpus over time, ensuring a financial cushion for future needs.

Disciplined Savings

Structured as a long-term savings avenue, endowment plans encourage disciplined saving habits. Policyholders commit to paying regular premiums, fostering a consistent and systematic approach to accumulating wealth over the policy term.

Financial Planning for Milestones

Endowment plans are well-suited for individuals with specific financial milestones, such as a child’s education, purchasing a home, or retirement. The guaranteed returns and maturity benefits can be strategically aligned with these milestones, providing a financial tool for targeted goal achievement.

Maturity Benefit

The maturity benefit of an endowment plan ensures that policyholders receive a lump sum amount at the end of the policy term. This payout can be utilized for a variety of purposes, offering flexibility in meeting diverse financial needs.

Tax Benefits

Endowment plans offer tax advantages, with premiums paid and maturity proceeds eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C and Section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, respectively. These tax benefits enhance the overall attractiveness of endowment plans from a financial planning perspective.

Choosing the Right Fit

In the difference between ULIP and endowment plan debate, the choice ultimately depends on individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences. ULIPs cater to those seeking dynamic, market-linked returns and flexibility in asset allocation. In contrast, endowment plans offer a more conservative, guaranteed return approach with disciplined savings and limited flexibility. The decision between the two depends on a thorough assessment of individual needs and a clear understanding of how each aligns with the broader financial strategy.

FAQs on Difference Between ULIP and Endowment Plan


What is endowment plan for?

Endowment plans are insurance policies designed to provide both life cover and savings. They offer a lump sum payout either on maturity or in case of the policyholder’s demise during the policy term.


What is ULIP?

ULIP stands for Unit Linked Insurance Plan. It is a type of insurance product that combines life insurance coverage with investment options. A portion of the premium paid goes towards life insurance coverage, while the remaining amount is invested in various funds such as equity, debt, or a combination of both.


What is the disadvantage of ULIP?

One disadvantage of ULIPs is the potential for higher charges, including premium allocation charges, policy administration charges, and fund management charges, which can impact the overall returns on investment.


What are the disadvantages of endowment plans?

Endowment plans typically offer lower returns compared to other investment options such as mutual funds or direct equity investments. Additionally, they may have longer lock-in periods, limiting liquidity. Moreover, the premiums for endowment plans tend to be higher compared to pure term insurance policies.


How do ULIPs and Endowment Plans differ in terms of investment strategy?

ULIPs offer flexibility in investment choices, allowing policyholders to select from various funds based on their risk appetite and investment goals. On the other hand, endowment plans usually have a predetermined investment strategy managed by the insurance company, offering limited flexibility to policyholders.


What are the tax benefits associated with ULIPs and Endowment Plans?

Both ULIPs and endowment plans offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, allowing tax deductions on the premiums paid. Additionally, the maturity proceeds from both ULIPs and endowment plans are generally tax-exempt under Section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act.


Which option is more suitable for someone with a low-risk tolerance?

An endowment plan may be more suitable for someone with a low-risk tolerance as it offers a guaranteed maturity benefit along with life cover, providing a relatively stable investment option with lower exposure to market risks compared to ULIPs.

- 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

In this policy, the investment risk in the investment portfolio is borne by the policyholder.

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