Basic Term Plans vs. Return-of-Premium Plans – Scooptimes

Life insurance is a critical component of financial planning and the decision-making process can be complex. Selecting the right policy that aligns with your needs and budget is essential. One common dilemma is choosing between a basic term plan and a return-of-premium plan. This article will provide you with the insights you need to make an informed decision, addressing the key aspects related to these two types of plans.

1. Understanding Basic Term Plans

A basic term plan is a pure life insurance policy that offers coverage for a specific period. If the insured passes away within the policy term, the death benefit is paid to the beneficiaries. Here’s why you might prefer a term plan:

Cost-Effective: Term plans are generally more affordable than return-of-premium plans.

Simplicity: They are straightforward to understand.

Flexibility: You can choose the term and coverage according to your needs.

2. What Are Return-of-Premium Plans?

Return-of-premium plans, on the other hand, provide life coverage and return the premiums paid if the insured survives the policy term. Here’s what to consider:

Higher Premiums: These plans are more expensive compared to basic term plans.

Investment Component: Some may view the return of premiums as a form of savings or investment.

3. Comparing Costs and Benefits

The choice between a basic term plan and a return-of-premium plan often boils down to understanding the costs and benefits of each. Here’s a more detailed look:

Value for Money

Premium Difference: Basic term plans usually have lower premiums since they provide only death benefits. Return-of-premium plans, being more comprehensive, tend to be more expensive.

Coverage Options: Basic term plans allow you to invest the saved premiums in other financial products, potentially giving you more control over your investment strategy.

Investment Alternatives

Return of Premium as Investment: While return-of-premium plans guarantee the return of premiums paid, the returns may be lower than other investment alternatives.

Other Investment Options: If investment is a primary concern, exploring other financial products like mutual funds or fixed deposits may offer better returns and more flexibility.

A term plan calculator is a vital tool that allows you to enter various parameters like age, coverage amount, policy term, etc., and get an estimated premium for both basic term plans and return-of-premium plans. Here’s how it can help:

Personalised Comparison: You can input your specific details to get a tailored comparison that considers your age, health, and coverage needs.

Visual Aids: Some calculators may provide graphs or charts to help you visualise the difference in costs and benefits.

4. Tax Benefits

Understanding the tax benefits of both basic term plans and return-of-premium plans is crucial. Here’s a breakdown:

Section 80C Deductions: Both types of plans offer deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. You can claim a deduction for the premiums paid, up to a maximum limit of ₹1.5 lakhs per annum.

Section 10(10D) Exemptions: Death benefits from both types of plans are generally exempt from tax under Section 10(10D), providing financial security to beneficiaries.

Consulting a Financial Advisor: Tax laws and regulations can be complex. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you understand the specific tax benefits applicable to your chosen plan, ensuring that you take full advantage of the available deductions and exemptions.

By carefully evaluating these aspects, using tools like term plan calculators, and seeking professional advice if needed, you can make a more informed decision that aligns with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and budget. Understanding both the cost implications and tax benefits is key to choosing the life insurance policy that best fits your needs.

5. Risk Assessment

When it comes to life insurance, understanding your risk tolerance and financial goals is not just about the numbers; it’s about aligning your policy with your life’s priorities and values. Here’s how:

Risk-Averse Individuals

Guaranteed Returns: Return-of-premium plans offer the safety of guaranteed returns, meaning that if you outlive the policy term, the premiums paid are returned. This can be appealing to those who are risk-averse and prefer the assurance of getting their money back.

Peace of Mind: Knowing that the money paid towards premiums will be returned can provide peace of mind, making this option attractive for those who prefer stability and predictability in their financial planning.

Budget-Conscious Consumers

Affordability: Basic term plans are typically more affordable than return-of-premium plans. If you are working within a tight budget, this type of plan allows you to secure substantial life coverage without straining your finances.

Investment Flexibility: The savings on premiums in a basic term plan can be invested elsewhere, allowing you to choose investment avenues that align with your risk tolerance and financial goals. This flexibility can be attractive to those focused on both affordability and growth.

6. The Importance of Professional Advice

Getting professional advice can help in making an informed decision. Whether you choose a basic term plan or a return-of-premium plan, consulting with an expert will ensure that the policy aligns with your unique needs and goals.


Choosing between a basic term plan and a return-of-premium plan is not a one-size-fits-all decision. By understanding these six aspects, including the use of a term plan calculator, you can make a more informed choice that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Remember, the right life insurance policy is the one that best fits your needs, and seeking professional advice can be a valuable step in making the right decision.