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Types of Life Insurance Policies
A range of policies is available to help you prepare for life's contingencies, whether your needs involve mortgage protection, coverage for dependents as your family expands, or college funding.
  • Term Insurance, as the name implies, serves temporary purposes when your need is for a specific period of time, such as 5, 10, or 20 years; until you reach a certain age; or until your children reach a certain age. At the end of the specified time, the policy expires. Term insurance premiums are generally less than permanent insurance premiums for individuals who are in the 20-50 age range. Term insurance usually can be converted into a permanent policy at a future date. 
  • Permanent Life Insurance is used when the need for life insurance is expected to last for a longer span of time, or even for the whole of the insured's life. Permanent policies combine death benefits and a savings component (cash value). If you choose to cancel the policy, you still receive the savings portion of your policy (less any applicable surrender charges). It also offers accessibility to funds via loans for emergencies and other needs. The three available types of permanent life policies are:
  • Universal Life Insurance provides the owner with flexible life insurance protection, plus a savings component in an interest-bearing, tax-deferred account. The policyholder has the ability to adjust the premium amounts and death benefit amounts of the policy. Here are the basic benefits:
  • Life insurance coverage that does not expire.
  • Flexibility to modify or skip life insurance premium payments (as long as there is sufficient cash value to cover the cost).
  • Flexibility to select protection (death benefit) amount.
  • Tax-deferral on earnings.
  • Guaranteed minimum interest rate.  Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.
   
  • Survivorship Universal Life Insurance covers two individuals on one policy, paying a death benefit upon the second death, when estate taxes are due. The policy can be designed so that the heirs pay no income, gift or estate taxes on the proceeds. They can use the money to pay most or all of the estate taxes and settlement costs, thus avoiding more expensive alternatives, such as paying cash, borrowing or liquidating assets.
     

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