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Life insurers typically offer two very different types of individual life insurance, Term and Whole Life Insurance. While “term” and “whole life/permanent” insurance both provide similar benefits to your loved ones in the event of your death, they typically accomplish this differently:
Term life insurance provides coverage at a fixed premium rate for a limited period in time and is good for people who need the maximum coverage available to meet a temporary need. After that period expires, coverage at the fixed premium rate is no longer guaranteed. If the policy lapses due to nonpayment of premiums or cancellation, the owner receives nothing. Term life insurance policies normally have no cash surrender value and accrue no interest. A term life insurance policy normally has three components:
Whole life insurance provides coverage from the time it takes effect until the insured dies, if the owner pays sufficient premiums to keep the policy in force. While there are several kinds of whole life insurance on the market, they usually have certain features in common:
The choice between term and whole life insurance is best made on an individual basis. It’s a good idea for consumers to think carefully about their financial situation and goals. It can be helpful to use a life insurance needs calculator (for example, this calculator from Navy Mutual) and to talk to a financial advisor or insurance representative before choosing between term and whole life insurance.