Difference between Term Insurance and Endowment Plans

insurance for familyIn today’s fast-driven world, one faces uncertainty in life. Various financial tools like life insurance, endowments plans, medical insurance, etc. are made available to take care of this aspect. Besides, they are also an investment and helps to secure one’s financial future. Life insurance policies also aids in saving tax, improves credit ratings, inculcates saving habit, acts as retirement income and provides for your family in case of untimely death.

What is term insurance plans?

Term insurance is a basic and fundamental insurance product. It is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage for a specified ‘term’. In case of death of the policy holder during the policy term, death benefit will be paid by the insurance provider to the beneficiary. The premium for term policies is very low as compared to other insurance plans. This is because there is no investment component and the entire premium paid is directed towards covering risk.

What is endowment plan?

An endowment policy is a type of life insurance policy which apart from covering the life of the policyholder helps him to save regularly over a period of time so that a lump sum amount is received at the end of the maturity term. Thus, such plans fulfill the dual need for life cover as well as investment, under a single plan. The main benefits of such a plan is regular savings, financial protection of family in case of death, loans against the policy and tax benefits under section 80C and 10(10D) of the Income Tax act, 1961.

Which plan is best for you?

Based on financial goals

Both types of life insurance plans have their own pros and cons. An individual needs to make a choice between the two depending on his financial goals. Some may take a policy for the sole purpose of a life cover while some may take it with the goal of investing and growing their money.

Cost of premiums

Endowment plans have higher costs than term policies for the same coverage and duration. Customers are charged premium for both investment and life cover. Various charges like mortality charges are deducted and the balance amount is then invested in other instruments. Term plans, on the other hand, charge premium only for life protection and not for investment. Hence, term plans come at very low premium and give good returns to the family in case of death of the holder.

Rate of return

Amount received as premium in endowment plans are invested in debt as well as stock market after deducting insurance cost, mortality cost, etc. The rate of return depends on the performance of the stock market. Considering that the term of endowment policies is usually long-term (around 20 years), the return is low. You could reap a better return by investing in mutual funds, which give a higher rate of return as compared to these plans.

Regular income

Most endowment policies declare bonus once a year. The bonus received is a certain proportion of the sum assured. This acts as a regular income as compared to term plans where you do not receive any returns whatsoever. In case of term insurance the nominee receives the sum assured amount only if the policyholder passes away.


If the sole purpose is to buy a life cover, it is advisable to go in for a term plan. Though you may not receive any amount on maturity, the low premiums are quite affordable. In case of death of the policyholder, the amount given to the beneficiary is quite high. This amount can then be used by the dependents for purposes like marriage, house loans, paying debts, etc.

For those who already have a term planin place and are seeking investment gains, endowment plans are best suited for them. It provides an avenue for disciplined investment even though the returns are not very high. It is important to make the right choice between the two depending on your financial goals.

Know more about endowment plans and term insurance at 5 Paisa Insurance.

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