Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. Essentially, in exchange for your premium payments, the insurance company will pay a lump sum known as a death benefit to your beneficiaries after your death. Your beneficiaries can use the money for whatever purpose they choose. Some life insurance has a savings and/or investment component tied to it and are called Universal and Whole Life.
What are the types of Life Insurance?
There are three primary types of life insurance:
- Term Life Insurance. Guarantees a death benefit payout during a specified period.
- Whole Life Insurance. In addition to providing a death benefit also contains a savings component in which cash value may accumulate.
- Universal Life Insurance. In addition to paying a death benefit it has an investment element and low premiums that are similar to those of term insurance. Most UL policies contain a flexible-premium option. However, some require a single lump-sum premium or fixed premiums.
Which type should I purchase?
While Whole and Universal Life seem good because you will never outlive your life insurance, the fact is you may outlive your need for life insurance. Because of this, lower premium term life is usually the best option for most people. In the future, you may not need life insurance under the following scenarios:
- When you and your spouse have accumulated enough assets and income streams to independently care for yourselves.
- When your children are self-sufficient adults.
- When your estate is too small to owe estate taxes or liquid enough to pay the estate taxes.