Permanent Life Insurance
Learn about the types of permanent life insurance and find out which is best for you & your family.
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There are four types of permanent life insurance for which you can receive a life insurance quote:
Whole Life insurance (sometimes called Ordinary Life) is the most common type of permanent insurance policy. It remains in force during your entire lifetime, and offers a death benefit along with a savings vehicle (called the cash value). Some companies pay a dividend, which is a return of excess premiums.
Universal (or Adjustable) Life insurance offers more flexibility than whole life insurance. As with Whole Life policies, Universal Life insurance provides a savings vehicle (cash value account) which generally earns a guaranteed rate of interest. The cash value belongs to you, the policy owner, and you may withdraw or borrow against it as provided for in the policy.
These policies also give you the option to adjust the death benefit and/or premium payments, within limits, to fit your situation. For example, if there is enough money in your cash value account to cover the costs, you have the option of reducing your premium payments. This can be a useful feature if your economic situation has suddenly changed. However, if you stop or reduce your premiums and the saving accumulation gets used up, the policy might lapse and your life insurance coverage could end.
Variable Life Insurance
Variable Life is a kind of policy that, in addition to a death benefit, offers several professionally managed investment options. You can use the cash accumulated in your savings account to invest in stocks, bonds and money market mutual funds. The value of your policy may grow more quickly, but you also have more risk. If your investments do not perform well, your cash value and death benefit could decrease, or you could be required to pay higher premiums to keep the policy in effect. Some policies, however, guarantee that your death benefit will not fall below a minimum level. As with whole life insurance and universal life insurance policies, you also may borrow against or withdraw the cash value at any time. However, it is important to remember that loans and withdrawals could reduce cash values and the death benefit.
Variable-universal life policies combine the features of variable and universal life policies. You have the investment risks and rewards characteristic of variable life insurance, coupled with the ability to adjust your premiums and death benefit that is characteristic of universal life insurance.
This article adapted from information provided by the Insurance Information Institute