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Guaranteed Return Plan - Everything You Want To Know

Life insurance policies provide coverage against the risk of premature death. They pay a death benefit if the insured individual dies due to an accident or an illness and help the family deal with the financial loss suffered. Moreover, there are savings oriented life insurance plans too that offer a maturity benefit if the insured survives till the policy tenure. In fact, if you look at the types of life insurance plans available in the market, here’s the type of life insurance plans that you can find –

If you are looking to earn guaranteed returns on your investments, along with enjoying life insurance protection, you can opt for guaranteed returns plans.

Types of life insurance plans

Term insurance

Whole life insurance

Endowment plans

Money back plans

Pension plans

Unit Linked plans

Health plans

What is Guaranteed Return Plan?

What is Guaranteed Return Plan? with PayBima

Endowment plans are traditional, savings oriented life insurance investment plans. They combine the features of insurance protection and wealth creation. Under endowment plans, there is a guaranteed benefit payable on maturity or on premature death. Thus, if the insured dies during the policy tenure, the endowment plan would pay a guaranteed death benefit. Alternatively, if the insured survives the policy tenure, the guaranteed savings plan would pay a guaranteed maturity benefit.

How does Guaranteed Return Plan work?

How does Guaranteed Return Plan work? WithPayBima

Under an endowment investment plan, you choose the following details of the policy –

  • The sum assured
  • The policy tenure
  • The premium paying tenure
  • The premium paying frequency, i.e. whether you wish to pay the premiums annually, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly

Based on the policy details you choose, your age and your medical history, the premium is calculated.

You have to pay the premiums for the chosen premium paying tenure. If during the term of the policy, the insured member dies, the death benefit would be paid. The death benefit is, usually, the sum assured along with any bonus or policy additions added under the plan.

On the other hand, if you survive the term of the policy, the maturity benefit would be paid. This benefit is also equal to the sum assured and any other additions depending on the benefits promised under the investment plan.


Mr Verma buys an endowment assurance policy with a sum assured of Rs.10 lakhs. The policy tenure is 20 years and the premiums are payable annually for the entire duration of the policy. The policy also pays Rs.10,000 as guaranteed additions after the first five years of the tenure. The premium for the policy is Rs.35,000 per year.


In this case, the sum assured of Rs.10 lakhs would be paid. Moreover, guaranteed additions would have accrued from the 6th year till the 10th year. So, the total guaranteed additions of Rs.50,000 (10,000*5) would also be added to the sum assured. Mr Verma’s family would, thus, receive Rs.10,50,000 on Mr Verma’s demise.


In this case, the guaranteed additions have not started accruing because they are added after five complete policy years. So, in this case, Mr Verma’s nominee would receive Rs.10 lakhs as the death benefit.


In this case, the plan would pay a maturity benefit. This benefit would be the sum assured and the guaranteed additions earned during the tenure. So, it would be as follows –

Sum assured = Rs.10 lakhs

Guaranteed additions – Rs.10,000 * 15 = Rs.1.5 lakhs

Total maturity benefit = Rs.11,50,000


Here is a look into what endowment plans cover and what they don’t -


Endowment plans have death as well as maturity benefit.

  • Death Benefit: It covers premature death. Death can result from accidents, injuries or illnesses. You would, thus, receive a claim under both natural and accidental deaths.


Though endowment plans cover all types of deaths, the following instances are excluded from coverage –

  • If the insured commits suicide and dies within a year of buying the policy, such a death would not be covered. In such cases, the premiums paid would be refunded back.
  • If the insured commits suicide and dies within a year of reviving a lapsed policy, the death benefit would not be paid. In such cases, a higher of 80% of the premiums paid or the acquired surrender value is paid under the plan.
  • If the insured dies due to participation in adventure sports or other hazardous activities, such a death would be excluded
  • Death due to alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicating or banned substances would not be covered
  • Death when committing a criminal act is excluded from the policy
  • If you hide or lie about important information, that affects your death risk, when buying the plan, the claim would be rejected if the insurance company finds about such non-disclosure or misrepresentation.
  • Fraudulent claims are not entertained under the plan

Features And Benefits Of Endowment Plans

Now that you know what endowment plans are and how they work, here are their salient features and benefits–

Who should buy it?

Endowment plans is the best savings plan in India that can be bought by individuals looking to create a guaranteed corpus over a long term horizon. As far as the eligibility parameters are concerned, the minimum entry age under many plans starts at 30 to 90 days. The maximum entry age, however, is limited to 65 years under most plans.

Resident individuals as well as NRIs(Non-resident Indians) can invest in endowment plans for savings and insurance-related needs.

Guaranteed Return Plan Companies


There are various types of riders available under endowment assurance plans and you can add suitable riders to your policy at an added premium. Riders are additional coverage benefits that help in enhancing the scope of the policy.

Commonly available riders under endowment plans include the following –


Endowment plans offer tax benefits both when you are investing in the policy as well as when you receive the plan benefits. Here are the benefits that are available under this tax free savings plan–

A. Tax benefit under Section 80C

Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the premiums that you pay for the tax saving plan are allowed as a deduction from your taxable income. The maximum deduction available under Section 80C is Rs.1.5 lakhs. For endowment plans, however, the maximum deduction allowed is the lowest of the following –

  • The actual premium paid
  • 10% of the sum assured for plans issued on or after 1st April 2012 or 20% of the sum assured for plans issued on or before 31st March 2012
  • Rs.1.5 lakhs

B. Tax benefit under Section 80D

If you opt for the critical illness rider, surgical benefit rider, hospital cash rider or terminal illness rider under the tax saving plan, the premium paid for the rider would be allowed as a deduction under Section 80D. The maximum limit of deduction is Rs.25, 000 which increases to Rs.50,000 if you are a senior citizen.

  Total Tax Benefit for Premium paid for Self, Spouse and dependent children Total Tax Benefit for Premium paid for dependent parents Total Tax Benefit
If you are < 60 years of age Rs. 25,000 0 Rs. 25,000
If you are < 60 years of age and parents are < 60 years Rs 25,000 Rs 25,000 Rs 50,000
If you are < 60 years of age and parents are > 60 years Rs 25,000 Rs 50,000 Rs 75,000
If you are > 60 years of age and parents are > 60 years Rs 50,000 Rs 50,000 Rs 1,00,000

C. Tax benefit under Section 10(10D)

If the premium paid for the investment insurance plan was limited to 10% of the sum assured (20% of the sum assured for policies issued on or before 31st March 2012), the maturity benefit received from the endowment plan would be allowed as a tax-free income in your hands. There is no limit on the limit of exemption. The entire maturity benefit, including bonuses and other additions, would be allowed as a tax-free income.

D. Death Benefit is Tax-Free:

The death benefit is always a tax-free benefit under life insurance plans in the hands of the nominee/beneficiary.

How to buy endowment plans?

You can buy an endowment policy online or offline. Here’s how –

1. Offline

To buy offline you have two options which are as follows –

  • You can contact or get in touch with an insurance agent, broker or intermediary and buy the plans that they offer. You would have to fill out a physical proposal form stating your details and pay the premium in advance. Your proposal would, then, be submitted to the insurance company and if the company accepts the proposal, the coverage would be granted.
  • You can also visit the branch office of an insurance company directly. At the branch, you can check the guaranteed insurance plans offered by the company and then buy the most suitable policy. You would have to fill out the proposal form and pay the premium in advance. Once the insurance company underwrites the policy, the coverage would be granted.

2. Online

Buying a savings plan online is much easier compared to the offline mode. Here are the options through which you can buy the policy online in some simple steps-

  • You can visit the website of an insurance company and apply for the policy. You would have to fill out an online proposal form and submit it to the company. The premium should also be paid in advance. The company would underwrite your proposal and then grant the coverage.
  • You can visit to buy the best endowment plans available in the market. Just provide your contact information and PayBima’s executives would get in touch with you to understand your coverage needs. Based on your coverage needs they would recommend the best policy for you. If you accept their recommendation you can fill out the proposal form online and pay the premium through any online payment modes. The insurance company would grant the coverage if your proposal is successfully underwritten.

The online mode of buying an endowment investment insurance plan is the most effective and convenient mode allowing you to avail of the coverage at the earliest.

Documents needed to buy an endowment plan

Documents needed to buy an endowment plan With PayBima

Here is the list of documents that would be needed when you buy an endowment policy –

  • Duly filled in and signed proposal form
  • Latest photographs
  • Address proof like driving license, utility bills, Voter’s ID card, Aadhaar card, etc.
  • Identity proof like PAN Card, Voter’s ID card, Aadhaar card, passport, etc.
  • Income proof if the premium is more than Rs.1 lakh. The proof of income can be IT returns, salary slip, Form 16, audited financial statements, etc.
  • Medical examination report if the insurer requires you to undergo a medical check-up before the policy is issued

Things to keep in mind when buying endowment plans

When buying an endowment policy you should keep certain things in mind. These things are as follows –

  • The policy tenure should also be aligned with your financial goals.
  • These guaranteed insurance plans allow flexible premium payments in the form of single premium, limited premium and regular premium. Choose a payment mode that is affordable and suitable for you.
  • Try and include suitable riders in the policy coverage for better protection.
  • Do not discontinue or stop premium payments. You would lose out on the coverage benefits offered by the policy
Buy endowment plans with PayBima

How are premiums of endowment plans calculated?

Premiums of endowment plans depend on a lot of factors. Some of these factors can be manipulated to get a low premium rate while other factors cannot be changed.

So, the factors the determine endowment plan premiums are as follows:


Age is the primary factor that influences the premium of endowment plans. If you buy a plan at a young age, the mortality risk is lower and therefore you are eligible for lower premium rates. On the contrary, at higher age health risks and mortality risk increases which cause the premiums to be higher too. Thus, it is recommended to buy an endowment plan at a young age to enjoy low premiums.


Women are found to have a lower mortality risk compared to men. That is why female lives are charged a lower premium than male lives.

Policy term

The longer the coverage, the cheaper will be the premium. Hence, long term plans are cheaper than short term plans.

Premium payment term

Premium payment term also affects the premium amount. If your premium payment term is shorter, a higher annual premium will be charged as compared to longer premium payment terms.

Sum assured

Sum assured is one of the most important determinants of the premium of endowment plans. The higher the sum assured, the higher will be the premium. Sum assured determines the liability of the insurance company and so, as the liability increases, the premium also increases.

Premium payment frequency

Insurance companies offer various premium payment modes such as monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annually. Monthly premiums are comparatively higher as they increase the administrative work of the insurer and incur higher expenses.

Medical history

Life Insurance plans come with an underwriting process which includes medical examination of the policyholder to check the extent of risk involved. Premiums are higher for individuals who have a medical history of diseases or health-related complications.


Premiums are higher if you are involved in a risky occupation that involves high mortality risk. For example, miners, pilots, police personnel, etc. face higher premiums on their plans compared to executives and other salaried employees.

Family history

Some diseases are hereditary in nature, i.e. they have a tendency to run in the family such as diabetes, thyroid, etc. Even if you do not have any current medical conditions but a family history of illness, your endowment plan premiums might shoot up


Insurance companies offer premium discounts and rebates for different reasons. For example, you can get a discount for paying annual premiums or for choosing a high sum assured. These discounts lower the premium and the more the discounts that you can claim the lower would be the premium that you can enjoy.


There are various riders available with an endowment savings plan that has been discussed earlier. These are optional add-ons that can be brought to enhance the coverage of your policy at a low additional cost. If you buy one or more riders, your premiums will increase.


Your lifestyle also affects your premium. Most of the insurance companies offer differential rates of premium for smokers and non-smokers. Similarly, if you are a heavy consumer of alcohol, your premiums would rise.

Height and weight

Your height and weight also affect the premium rate. If you are underweight or overweight you might face medical complications. This, therefore, drives up the premium.

How to compare endowment plans

There are multiple insurance companies operating in the market and every company offers two or more types of endowment assurance policies. You should, therefore, choose the best endowment plan for the maximum coverage benefits and earn maximum returns.

To buy the best plan you should always compare and buy. To compare, here are the factors that you should check –

1. The coverage offered

The first thing to check is the coverage offered by the policy. While the maturity and death benefit is covered under all endowment savings plans in India, many also allow inbuilt riders or lifelong coverage. This enhances the scope of the policy and makes it a better alternative. So, check the coverage benefits offered by different plans and choose a policy that offers the most comprehensive scope of coverage

2. The premiums vis-à-vis the coverage

The next thing to check is the premium rate. However, when checking the premium, ensure that you check the coverage too. Some savings insurance plans might have low premiums but compromise on the coverage that they offer. The ideal policy would be the one that has the most comprehensive coverage at the lowest amount of premium.

3. The added benefits

Look for guaranteed return investments that offer bonus additions as you can earn better returns from such plans. Moreover, look for guaranteed additions or loyalty boosters so that you can get a higher payout on death or maturity.

4. The range of riders

Riders help in enhancing the scope of coverage and make a good addition to your policy. So, check the range of add-on riders offered by different plans. The best policy would be the one that offers a range of optional riders so that you can customize your policy’s coverage as per your needs.

5. Policy discounts

Discounts can reduce your premiums considerably. So, check how much discount is being offered by different guaranteed return investments and choose a plan that offers the maximum discount on the premium.

6. Claim Settlement Ratio

The Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) is an important factor when choosing an insurance company. The CSR shows the percentage of claims the insurer has settled against the total claims made in a financial year. A high CSR shows that the company settles most of its claims and is a favoured parameter for choosing the right insurer.

7. Claim process

You should also check the claim process adopted by insurers. The company with the simplest claim process and a short turnaround time should be the ideal choice for buying an endowment plan.

8. Insurer’s reputation

Lastly, you should check the insurer’s reputation in the market before investing in its endowment plan. Choose a market leader for ensuring the best services, best policy features and also the most convenient claim process.

Claim process under endowment plans

Claims occur either on death or maturity of the policy. Moreover, there might be rider claims too which occur if you have opted for a rider and the event covered by the rider comes to pass. Here’s the claim process that you should follow to get settlement of the plan benefits –


If the plan matures and the insured is alive, it is called a maturity claim. Maturity claims are processed by insurance companies automatically. They send a discharge voucher before the maturity date. You would have to fill up the voucher and submit it to the company along with your policy document and identity proof. The insurance company would, then, pay the maturity benefit through cheque or via bank transfer.


In the case of the death of the insured, the nominee would have to inform the insurance company of the death. A claim form should be filled and submitted with other claim related documents. The insurer would verify the documents and pay the death claim to the nominee.


In the case of rider claims, you would have to fill up a claim form and submit it along with the policy document. You would also have to submit proof of the rider claim. For example, in the case of accidental death, the police FIR, post-mortem report, panchnama, etc. would be needed. Similarly, for critical illness rider, a medical practitioner’s report or prescription diagnosing the illness and the associated medical reports would be needed.

Documents needed for claims

Here are the documents that would be needed for making a claim in the endowment plan-

Maturity claims

  • Filled and signed discharge voucher
  • Original policy bond
  • Identity proof of the policyholder
  • Bank details for direct bank transfer

Death claims

  • Filled and signed claim form
  • Death certificate of the insured
  • Identity proof of the nominee
  • Bank details of the nominee for direct transfer
  • Police FIR, medico-legal certificate, post-mortem report, coroner’s report, panchnama, etc. in the case of accidental death
  • Hospital records, doctor’s prescriptions, medical reports, etc. in the case of death due to an illness or critical illness claims
  • Disability certificate issued by a recognized authority in the case of disablement claims
  • Any other documents as needed by the insurance company

FAQs About Guaranteed Return Plan

Yes, a grace period is allowed within which you can pay the outstanding premium after the due date has expired. The grace period is 15 days if you have chosen the monthly mode of premium payment to get the benefit of monthly saving plans. For other modes, the grace period is one month which can be 30 or 31 days.

No, during the grace period, the endowment savings insurance plan does not lapse. The coverage continues undisturbed. If there is a claim during the grace period, the insurance company deducts the outstanding premium from the claim amount and then pays the remaining amount of the claim.

If you do not pay the premium during the grace period, the policy would lapse. Once the policy lapses, the coverage ceases.

If the premiums are discontinued during the coverage period, the policy acquires a paid-up value provided the minimum number of premiums has been paid. Usually, the policy acquires a paid-up value after the first two or three years’ premiums have been paid. In a paid-up policy, the death and the maturity benefits are reduced but the policy continues to run. In the case of death or maturity in a paid-up policy, the reduced paid-up value would be paid.

The paid-up value is calculated using the following formula – Paid-up value = (number of premiums paid / number of premiums payable) * sum assured If bonuses have been added to the policy before it became paid up, such bonuses would be added to the paid-up value.

Yes, you can cancel the policy after buying it. Such cancellation is called free-look cancellation. A period of 15 days from the policy issuance date is allowed for such cancellation. In the case of buying the policy through distant marketing channels, like online, the free-look period extends to 30 days. If you cancel the policy during the free-look period the premium paid would be refunded back after deducting the administrative costs of issuing the policy and the risk premium for the period the policy was in force before it was cancelled.

You can stop paying the premiums of the policy after the free-look period. In that case, the policy would acquire a paid-up value if the minimum number of premiums has been paid. You can avail of the coverage at reduced amounts in a paid-up policy. If you, however, want to exit from the policy altogether, you can surrender the plan. If you surrender the policy, a percentage of the paid-up value would be paid as surrender value. Once the surrender value has been paid, the policy would be terminated.

Usually, loans up to 90% of the surrender value are allowed under endowment plans. However, some plans allow loans up to 65% or 80% of the surrender value. You would, therefore, have to check the policy document to find out the amount of loan that you can take under the policy.

Yes, loans allowed under endowment plans attract interest. The interest rate is determined by the insurance company.

If the loan and the outstanding interest on it exceed the surrender value of the policy, your policy would be foreclosed. Foreclosure means terminating the plan before its scheduled maturity date. The insurance company would give you a foreclosure notice before foreclosing the policy. If you repay the loan and the outstanding liability does not exceed the surrender value, the policy would continue to run.

Yes, the revival of a lapsed policy is allowed. You get 5 years from the date of the first unpaid premium to revive your lapsed policy.

To revive your policy you would have to pay the outstanding premiums in lump sum along with any interest thereon. Moreover, a declaration of good health should also be submitted to revive the policy. At the time of revival, the insurance company would underwrite your policy again. If you are found to be insurable, the policy would be revived.

If there is a death claim within 2 years of buying the policy, it is called an early death claim. In such claims, the insurance company can investigate the cause of death before paying the claims.

The insurance company is required to complete its investigation within 6 months from the date of claim intimation. If the company delays in settling the claims beyond this time, a penalty at the prevailing bank rate of interest + 2% would have to be paid on such delayed claims.

Buying an endowment plan online is the best alternative as it is convenient and quick. Moreover, if you buy through reputed websites, it is completely safe and backed by secured encryptions.

Premium can be paid through different modes like cash, cheque, draft, credit card, debit card, net banking, mobile wallets, UPI, NEFT/RTGS, etc.

The maximum sum assured depends on the policy that you buy. Some plans put an upper limit to the sum assured while some plans do not limit the maximum amount allowing you to choose a sum assured that you want.

You can choose as many riders as you want to depend on your coverage needs. However, the rider premium should not exceed the base premium of the policy.

Yes, you can buy an endowment plan for your child. The minor child can be the life insured while you would be the policyholder responsible for paying the premium.

There are various reasons why your claim can be rejected. These reasons include the following –

  • If you have made a fraudulent claim on your policy
  • If you hid material information at the time of buying the policy and the insurance company found such non-disclosure at the time of claims
  • If you make a claim for an exclusion
  • If you make a claim in a lapsed policy that has not acquired a paid-up value
  • If you make a claim after surrendering you
  • If the claim documents are not complete or are missing

In the case of any dispute with the insurer, you can file your complaint with the internal grievance redressal department of the insurance company. You can also take your dispute to the Insurance Ombudsman who is an arbitrating authority for your insurance disputes. Alternatively, you can seek judicial resolution for any dispute with the insurance company by filing your complaint with the consumer court, High Court or the Supreme Court of India.