When you start shopping for life insurance, you’ll quickly notice that policies fall under one of the two main categories: whole life insurance or term life insurance. However, there are many other subcategories that stem from those two. As a result, there are several different options from which you can choose.
In our article on the basics of life insurance, we touched on some of the different types. This guide goes deeper into explaining the different types of policies, which include:
- Variable Universal
- Indexed Universal
- Final Expense
Term Life Insurance
A term policy provides you with death benefits for a set number of years. Death benefits are only payed to your beneficiaries if you die within the term. For that reason, this policy type is often the most affordable and simplest policy to get. However, you’ll have to shop for a new policy every time the term expires, so it can create more work in the long run. It can also leave you with higher premiums as you age.
Whole Life Insurance
If you want to stick with one life insurance policy, then a whole policy is the best option for you. It never expires, so you can keep it for as long as necessary. Though it can be up to 15 times more expensive than its term counterparts, whole policies build a cash value that you can withdraw, invest, or borrow against.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal policies also have a cash value. Your premiums contribute to both the cash value and death benefits, but unlike whole, you can change your policy without having to cancel and get a new one. In fact, you can change the premium and death benefit amounts as long as you maintain the minimum premium. Many policies allow you to use your cash value to pay the premium, so you could someday find yourself in a position where you won’t have to pay premiums out of pocket.
Indexed universal plans are a variant of the standard universal plan. With an indexed universal policy, your cash value interest rates are based on the performance of a specific group of investments, also known as an index. You never have to worry about losing money, though. IUL policies have a minimum guaranteed interest rate.
Variable Life Insurance
A variable life insurance policy is very similar to an IUL, but instead of having an indexed interest rate, it is variable. That means there is more risk involved, but you could also see a lot of growth. It’s easier to understand how these policies work if you view its cash value as an investment option.
Variable Universal Life Insurance
If you choose variable universal life insurance, you’ll see that it’s very similar to both a universal policy and a variable policy. Variable allows you to adjust your premium and death benefit amounts while also investing its cash value. It’s the best of both worlds, but it is one of the more complex policies to understand.
Final Expense Insurance
Older people without life insurance may find final expense insurance to be a good fit. This policy is designed to cover any end of life expenses, such as a funeral, cremation, or medical care costs. It’s very expensive compared to the coverage it provides, so it should only be considered by people who don’t have enough savings to cover these costs.
Group Life Insurance
Some employers offer group life insurance at no cost to you. In these cases, it’s a great benefit, but keep in mind that it may not provide you with enough coverage for your family.
Find Out More
Now that you know more about the different types of life insurance, you should be better prepared to make a decision about your policy. However, we still encourage you to speak with an agent to find out which policy type is the best option for you and your needs.