There are many different types of life insurance. There are two types of ordinary life insurance. One is the very common, Term Insurance. The other is what is called Permanent insurance. The two types of insurance are absolutely separate forms of insurance with well distinguished characteristics, respectively. If it is Permanent insurance that is being referenced that means insurance that will last for the life of the policy owner.
Conversely, Term insurance is only valid for the Term, or period of time, that the policy was written for. Most commonly used terms are 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. Sometimes this is referred to as Temporary coverage. It does not build cash value.
Moreover, there are other life insurance products that are deemed Permanent policies. There is Whole Life, Variable Whole Life, Universal Life and Variable Universal Life. For Whole Life there is a fixed death benefit and a fixed premium that are characteristics. The growth of the cash value has fixed and guaranteed features. With Variable Whole Life there is a variable death benefit with minimum guarantees and a fixed premium characteristic. The growth of the cash value here is variable and there are no guarantees like with the regular Whole Life.
The next kind of product mentioned is the Universal Life policy. The death benefit with this type of policy is adjustable. Unlike the Whole Life policy features, Universal Life policies have two death benefit options, a level and an increasing. The increasing death benefit is when the amount of the face value of the policy is added to the policy’s cash value. These two added together create the increased death benefit to be paid out. To purchase this type of policy would be somewhat more expensive than a policy with a level death benefit. But the advantage with the increasing death benefit Universal Life policy is that the insured is buying more pure insurance protection in this scenario.
Then there is Variable Universal Life policies where the death benefit is variable and adjustable. The variable feature is based on an underlying securities account, such as stocks, bond or a money market. A policy owner would allocate a selected percent of the cash value to be invested. Additionally, another characteristic of these types of policies is that the growth of the cash value is variable and doesn’t have guarantees.
The difference between the Whole Life policies and the Universal Life policies with reference to the premium payments is that Whole Life has premiums that are fixed. With Universal Life policies the premiums are flexible. This means that premium payments can be made in any amount and any frequency desired by the policy owner. The only thing that needs to be done is that their needs to be enough premium paid to keep the policy in force.