Life Insurance Basics
When you purchase life insurance, you enter into a contract with a life insurance company that agrees to pay a death benefit to your spouse, children or another beneficiary you choose. In exchange, you make payments to the insurance company.
These payments are also known as your premiums — and the amount is based on a variety of factors such as your age, gender, medical history and the amount of life insurance you purchase. While there are several types of life insurance, two of the most popular are Term Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance (sometimes called Permanent Life Insurance.)
What is Whole Life Insurance?
Whole Life Insurance, is designed to meet the long-term needs of you and your family. Unlike term life insurance, Whole Life Insurance policies offer protection for your entire life. Whole Life Insurance policies, combine life coverage with an investment fund.
Here, you’re buying a policy that pays a stated, fixed amount on your death, and part of your premium goes toward building cash value from investments made by the insurance company.
Rates for whole life insurance are based on your age at issue. So your rate won’t go up due to changes in your age or health. Cash value builds tax-deferred each year that you keep the policy, and you can borrow against the cash accumulation fund without being taxed.
The amount you pay usually doesn’t change throughout the life of the policy.
Whole Life Insurance Carriers
Five Features of Whole Life Insurance
- Reinvest your policy dividends
- Keep your coverage after policy is paid up; once the policy is paid in full and no premiums are due, the policy is still in effect
- Guaranteed income during retirement; by placing funds into an Annuity to receive payments for life
- Pay for long-term care needs; sometimes called an “accelerated care benefit, to use for chronic or long-term care
- Available cash flow; you can take cash to meet large financial needs like college or a wedding