Universal or adjustable life — This type of policy offers you more flexibility than whole life insurance. You may be able to increase the death benefit, if you pass a medical examination. The savings vehicle (called a cash value account) generally earns a money market rate of interest. After money has accumulated in your account, you will also have the option of altering your premium payments providing there is enough money in your account to cover the costs. This can be a useful feature if your economic situation has suddenly changed. However, you would need to keep in mind that if you stop or reduce your premiums and the saving accumulation gets used up, the policy might lapse and your life insurance coverage will end. You should check with your agent before deciding not to make premium payments for extended periods because you might not have enough cash value to pay the monthly charges to prevent a policy lapse.
In general, life insurance is purchased to replace your income if you die, so your loved ones can pay debts and living costs. For example, if you and your spouse own a home and you were to die tomorrow, your spouse would have to pay the mortgage on his or her own. If you had the proper term life insurance policy, your spouse would receive enough money from the policy's death benefit to pay off – or at least keep up with – the mortgage. Because of its low cost, relative to other types of life insurance, term life continues to be the most popular life insurance choice.
Which is right for you: Term life or whole life How much life insurance do you need? How medical conditions affect life insurance rates We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines , and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet's official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Credit Cards Banking Investing Mortgages University Partners Insurance Loans Shopping Utilities Taxes About Company Press Careers Leadership Help