Term life insurance coverage is in effect for a specified period (or term) after which the insured typically has the option to renew the policy to a maximum age. No cash values accumulate in the policy as they do with permanent insurance.
- Term policy provides more insurance protection at a lower cost
- Term can be an attractive choice for people whose need for life insurance protection may be greater than their ability to pay
Whole life is cash-value insurance which stays in effect as long as premiums are paid. That sets it apart from term insurance, which is for a specified term only and must be renewed on a regular basis. Premiums are paid for the “whole life” of the insured person, continuing until he or she dies or reaches a specified maximum age.
- Policyholder is assured a predictable, level premium
- Policy never has to be renewed as long as premiums are paid
- A savings element is a feature of the policy in the form of the accumulating cash values
Universal life insurance, while similar to traditional cash value contracts, includes variations and options designed to make life insurance more attractive to consumers. A major difference is universal life policyholders can adjust both the premium and the death benefit – up or down – throughout the insured’s life.
- Universal life offers the potential for faster cash value growth
- Policy features flexibility in the amount and frequency of the premium payments
- Flexibility also exists in selecting and changing the amount of the death benefit
- Policy owners can withdraw policy loans or partial surrender from the cash value account
Indexed Universal Life
Indexed universal life insurance includes features designed to make it more attractive to consumers. One of the features is indexing, which means values in specified accounts are linked to a financial index such as the S&P 500. This provides the potential for earning a greater rate of return compared to whole life. In addition, policyholders have the flexibility to adjust both premium and the death benefit up or down throughout the insured’s lifetime.
- Offers the potential for faster and greater growth in the cash values, while maintaining the safety and protection features of traditional life insurance
- Policyholders have the option to access cash values through withdrawals or policy loans when cash accumulations are sufficient