Term life insurance
Term life insurance is designed to provide financial protection for a specific period of time, such as 10 or 20 years. With traditional term insurance, the premium payment amount stays the same for the coverage period you select. After that period, policies may offer continued coverage, usually at a substantially higher premium payment rate. Term life insurance is generally less expensive than permanent life insurance.
Needs it helps meet: Term life insurance proceeds can be used to replace lost potential income during working years. This can provide a safety net for your beneficiaries and can also help ensure the family's financial goals will still be met—goals like paying off a mortgage, keeping a business running, and paying for college. It's important to note that, although term life can be used to replace lost potential income, life insurance benefits are paid at one time in a lump sum, not in regular payments like paychecks.
Universal life insurance
Indexed Universal Life Insurance (IUL)
Indexed universal life insurance is a lot like universal life insurance, however it does have a couple of wrinkles not found in traditional universal insurance policies. Universal life insurance comes in many different forms, from your basic fixed-rate policy to variable models that allow the policyholder to select various equity accounts in which they can invest. An indexed universal life insurance policy gives the policyholder the opportunity to allocate cash value amounts to either a fixed account or an equity index account. Indexed policies offer a variety of popular indexes to choose from, such as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100.
Indexed policies allow policyholders to decide the percentage of their funds that they wish to allocate to fixed and indexed portions. Also, these types of universal insurance policies typically guarantee the principal amount in the indexed portion, but cap the maximum return that a policyholder can receive in said account. Since these policies are seen as a "hybrid" universal life insurance policy, they are usually not very expensive (due to lack of mangement), and are safer than an average variable universal life insurance policy.
Universal life insurance
A type of permanent life insurance designed to provide lifetime coverage. Unlike whole life insurance, universal life insurance policies are flexible and may allow you to raise or lower your premium payment or coverage amounts throughout your lifetime. Additionally, due to its lifetime coverage, universal life typically has higher premium payments than term.
Needs it helps meet: Universal life insurance is most often used as part of a flexible estate planning strategy to help preserve wealth to be transferred to beneficiaries. Another common use is long-term income replacement, where the need extends beyond working years. Some universal life insurance product designs focus on providing both death benefit coverage and building cash value while others focus on providing guaranteed death benefit coverage.
Whole life insurance
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance designed to provide lifetime coverage. Because of the lifetime coverage period, whole life usually has higher premium payments than term life. Policy premium payments are typically fixed, and, unlike term, whole life has a cash value, which functions as a savings component and may accumulate tax-deferred over time.
Needs it helps meet: Whole life can be used as an estate planning tool to help preserve the wealth you plan to transfer to your beneficiaries.