Individual & Family InsuranceLife Insurance

There are four basic types of life insurance—each one offers features suited to achieving specific goals. Here are the essential facts:

Term Life Insurance

The most basic and economical option, term life insurance helps protect you for a specified period of time. This type of policy may require you to submit evidence of insurability, and at renewal time, premiums typically increase with your age. Many term life policies are convertible to whole or universal policies, which accrue a cash value or equity inside the policy that can be used for financial emergencies or to supplement college expenses and/or retirement. A term policy is often a good option for younger people on a budget who need to protect their income to pay a mortgage and other loans.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is another type of policy with a cash value that can provide lifelong protection and security for you and your beneficiaries. Whole life is the most common form of cash value life insurance. Generally, premiums remain constant over the life of the policy. Whole life can make sense when you’re trying to build wealth for retirement, a child’s college education or a bequest to a charity or church. Whole life insurance is often recommended for estate preservation purposes.

How much life insurance do you need? Your income, your goals and your current financial situation are variables that factor into the equation.

Universal Life Insurance

This type of policy accrues a cash value and can provide a lifelong option, offering financial security for your beneficiaries. With universal life, you have the option to cancel or surrender a policy in whole or part and receive a payout equal to the policy’s cash value, which increases as you pay premiums. Many universal life policies also give you the ability to borrow or withdraw against the cash value or use the cash value to pay your premiums.

A variable universal life (VUL) policy gives you similar features, but you choose among available investment options to build your cash value, and investment performance is not guaranteed.

A universal or variable universal life policy might be a good choice for young people focused on building retirement wealth long-term.

Second to Die Life Insurance

This coverage, usually on the life of a married couple, provides important life insurance coverage at the death of the second spouse. This type of coverage is usually used as a way to provide dollars for a trust to offset possible estate tax liability that could occur at the death of the second spouse.

As personal situations change, so will an individual's life insurance needs. Care should be taken to ensure this product is suitable for long-term life insurance needs. Any associated costs should be considered before making a purchase. Life insurance has fees and charges that include costs of insurance which vary based on gender, health, and age, and has additional charges for riders.

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Withdrawals and loans from a life insurance policy reduce the death benefit and cash value, may increase the chance the policy will lapse, and may result in a tax liability if the policy terminates before the death of the insured.

Life insurance should be purchased by the individuals that have a need to provide a death benefit to protect others with insurable interests in their lives against financial loss. Life insurance is not a retirement plan, investment, or savings account.