Term life insurance provides protection for a specified period of time. If you do not currently have life insurance, term can be a good place to start. It’s generally less expensive than permanent (whole) life insurance, and is available in varying time periods with fixed premiums from a one year (annual renewable term) to 20-year (level term) period. Furthermore, term life insurance is sometimes convertible to permanent coverage, providing you with flexibility as your needs change.
Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that remains in force for your entire lifetime, provided premiums are paid as specified in the policy. Whole life insurance can be an investment opportunity, as many whole life insurance policies also build cash value over time.
Universal life is a form of permanent life insurance characterized by its flexible premiums, face amounts and unbundled pricing structure. Universal life can build cash value, which earns an interest rate that may adjust periodically, but is usually guaranteed not to fall below a certain percentage.