Life Insurance Information
There are many kinds of life insurance, but they generally fall into two categories: term insurance and permanent insurance.
Term insurance is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the "term") and generally pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.
In contrast, permanent insurance provides lifelong protection. As long as you pay the premiums, and no loans, withdrawals or surrenders are taken, the full face amount will be paid. Because it is designed to last a lifetime, permanent life insurance accumulates cash value and is priced for you to keep over a long period of time.
It's impossible to say which type of life insurance is better because the kind of coverage that's right for you depends on your unique circumstances and financial goals.
But remember, the best way to figure out the amount and type of life insurance that makes sense for your particular situation is to meet with a qualified and licensed life insurance professional.
Term Life Insurance
Term Life insurance is life insurance that you pay for during a specified length of time or term – generally one to 30 years. You select the amount of the death benefit or face amount to meet your needs.
Premiums, or payments, which can be the same amount or increase with time, must be made monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. If you die during the term of coverage, the face amount of your policy will be paid to your beneficiaries. Term insurance policies do not accumulate cash value and therefore usually offer lower premiums than other life insurance products with the same face value.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal Life is permanent insurance that has the potential to accumulate cash value. However, it offers additional features and options. For example, you can increase or decrease your policy's face amount to accommodate your changing protection needs. You can also increase or decrease the dollar amount of your premium payments and make additional lump sum payments to your policy. Since a Universal Life policy accrues cash value, you can borrow against this cash value for any purpose.
You have the option to skip premium payments if your account has accrued sufficient value because the premiums will be taken from the accrued value. A Universal Life policy also has the potential to earn a higher rate of return than a whole life policy, although there is a risk that your rate of return could drop.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole Life Insurance is life insurance that you own for your entire lifetime. The amount of the death benefit or face amount can be selected to meet your needs.
Premiums, or payments, are fixed and can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. As more premiums are paid, your policy accumulates a cash value that grows on a tax deferred basis. In essence, whole life is like buying a house versus renting it. The monthly cost is higher than it would be for a term life policy, but with each payment you make you gain equity. You can borrow against a Whole Life policy for any purpose. Loans, however, require you to pay interest and any borrowed amount you do not pay back is deducted from the payout to your beneficiary at the time of your death.
Final Expense Insurance
Your family means the world to you. The last thing you want is to leave them with major expenses after you’re gone. Final Expense insurance is life insurance that helps provide the money they may need to pay medical bills, funeral expenses, legal fees or unpaid bills. It is an insurance policy that lets you decide how your assets are distributed. By planning ahead, you can help protect your loved ones from unnecessary financial stress when you die. And, you can distribute your assets in the manner you decide!