There are two main types of life insurance: term life and permanent life.
term life insurance
Term life insurance is a policy where you choose the length of coverage, such as 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. if you die within that time, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit. if you exceed the term and do not renew the policy (at a higher cost), there is no death benefit.
Term life insurance is good for people who want to cover a specific financial concern, such as income replacement during their working years.
permanent life insurance
Permanent life insurance is good for people who want a death benefit paid no matter when they die. Permanent life insurance policies also have a cash value component that can accumulate money tax-deferred. permanent life insurance is typically significantly more expensive than term life insurance.
People who choose permanent life insurance typically have specific goals in mind, such as supporting financial dependents, funding a trust for heirs, or building cash value to supplement retirement savings.
Permanent life insurance can be divided into main subtypes:
whole life insurance
Permanent life insurance is predictable because the premiums, cash value growth rate, and death benefit amount are fixed and guaranteed.
universal life insurance
This type offers more flexibility and you may be able to adjust premium payments and death benefits within certain parameters. Cash value growth will depend on the insurer and the performance of the invested assets that are the basis of the policy. The types of universal life insurance are universal fixed rate, universal guaranteed, universal indexed, or universal variable.
Permanent life insurance policies can be difficult to understand from quotes or hypothetical illustrations. Simply comparing life insurance quotes or some cash value projection won’t reveal whether the policy is worth a good deal. “Look under the hood,” advises Veralytic’s Flagg. For example, a life insurance agent or financial advisor might order a verification report to see how the policy you’re considering compares to industry benchmarks.
“Ultimately, the premium you’ll pay and/or the cash value growth you’ll see will depend on what the insurer actually charges and how well the investments perform. you want to confirm that the internal costs of the policy are competitive and that the investments within the policy fit your risk tolerance,” warns flagg.
variable life insurance
Variable life insurance offers flexibility not found in whole life insurance, but with a safety net so your death benefit can’t fall below a certain amount.
That flexibility includes deciding where to invest your cash value. The investments you choose play a vital role in the success of your policy, making it an option if you want to take an active role in your life insurance. Unlike a variable universal policy, a variable life insurance policy provides a safety net so your death benefit doesn’t fall below a specific dollar figure.
A variable life insurance policy does not allow you to change your premiums, which is also different from variable universal life insurance.
Like other types of permanent life insurance, a variable life policy offers cash value, which you can take advantage of while you’re alive. You need to make sure your policy maintains at least a minimum level of cash value or your policy could lapse.
life insurance without exam
Life insurance companies sometimes offer policies without a life insurance medical exam. These no-exam life insurance policies don’t require an exam, but you may be asked to answer health-related questions.
Types of life insurance policies include:
- Accelerated Underwriting: Life insurance companies primarily use information from third-party sources and algorithms to set your rate. The insurance company will review your prescription drug history, criminal record, and driving record to assess your risk. With that information, the insurance company will set your life insurance rates.
- guaranteed issue life insurance: there is no medical exam, no health questions are asked, and you cannot be denied.
- Simplified Issue Life Insurance: There is no medical exam, but you may have to answer some health questions.
- Burial Insurance: Also called funeral insurance or final expense insurance, a burial insurance policy typically has a small death benefit set aside to pay for final expenses, such as $10,000 . These are usually whole life insurance policies and will cost a lot for the amount of coverage.
- survivor life insurance: A survivor life insurance policy, also called second-to-die life insurance, provides coverage for a husband and wife. the death benefit is not paid until both people die.
- mortgage life insurance: A mortgage life insurance policy pays your mortgage if the policyholder dies. the payment goes directly to the mortgage lender.
Guaranteed issue and simplified issue policies can cost much more than fully-subscribed policies, but they are a way to get life insurance quickly and may be the only option for seniors and those with health problems.
other types of life insurance
Other types of life insurance include:
Supplemental Life Insurance: Supplemental life insurance is a free or low-cost group policy that may be offered by an employer or a group. If a supplemental policy is attached to an employer, you’ll likely lose that coverage if you quit or are fired.