Life Insurance


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Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance gives death protection for as long as you live. The most common type is called straight life or ordinary life insurance, for which you pay the same premiums for as long as you live. These premiums can be several times higher than you would pay initially for the same amount of term insurance. But they are smaller than the premiums you would eventually pay if you were to keep renewing a term insurance policy until your later years.

Some whole life policies let you pay premiums for a shorter period such as 20 years, or until age 65. Premiums for these policies are higher than for ordinary life insurance since the premium payments are squeezed into a shorter period.

Although you pay higher premiums, to begin with, for whole life insurance than for term insurance, whole life insurance policies develop cash values which you may have if you stop paying premiums. You can generally either take the cash, or use it to buy some continuing insurance protection. Technically speaking, these values are called nonforfeiture benefits. This refers to benefits you do not lose or forfeit when you stop paying premiums. The amount of these benefits depends on the kind of policy you have, its size, and how long you have owned it.

A policy with cash values may also be used as collateral for a loan. If you borrow from the life insurance company, the rate of interest is shown in your policy. Any money which you owe on a policy loan would be deducted from the benefits if you were to die, or from the cash value if you were to stop paying premiums.

Variable Life Insurance

Variable life insurance, provides permanent protection for you and death benefits to your beneficiary upon your death. The value of the death benefits may fluctuate up or down depending on the performance of the investment portion of the policy. Most variable life insurance policies guarantee that the death benefit will not fall below a specified minimum, however, a minimum cash value is seldom guaranteed. Variable is a form of whole life insurance and because of investment risks it is also considered a securities contract and is regulated as securities under the Federal Securities Laws and must be sold with a prospectus.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal Life insurance is a variation of Whole Life. The insurance part of the policy is separated from the investment portion of the policy. The investment portion is invested in bonds and mortgages, the investment portion of Universal Life is invested in money market funds. The cash value portion of the policy is set up as an accumulation fund. Investment income is credited to the accumulation fund. The death benefit portion is paid for out of the accumulation fund. Unlike Whole Life Insurance, the cash value of Universal Life Insurance grows at a variable rate. Normally, there is a guaranteed minimum interest rate applied to the policy. No matter how badly the investments go by the insurance company, you are guaranteed a certain minimal return on the cash portion. If the insurance company does well with its investments, the interest return on the cash portion will increase.

Variable-Universal Life

Variable universal life insurance pays your beneficiary a death benefit. The amount of the benefit is dependant on the success of your investments. If the investments fail, there is a guaranteed minimum death benefit paid to your beneficiary upon your death. Variable universal gives you more control of the cash value account portion of your policy than any other insurance type. A form of whole life insurance, it has elements of both life insurance and a securities contract. Because the policy owner assumes investment risks, variable universal products are regulated as securities under the Federal Securities Laws and must be sold with a prospectus.

 

Rates and coverage vary form state to state so shop around. Life insurance is a long term product, make sure you get a plan that's right for you. For more information and rates on life insurance visit our specialist site below.


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