Types of Life Insurance

Having life insurance gives you peace of mind that your loved ones are protected in the event of your death. Life Insurance Greenville SC helps cover debts like credit card bills or mortgages. Pays for funeral and final expenses, and provides income replacement to your family.

Many whole-life policies build up a savings element known as cash value. This savings vehicle earns a money market interest rate and can be accessed during the policy’s lifetime.

life insurance

A term life insurance policy is designed to last for a certain period of time, such as 5, 10, or 30 years. It’s typically the cheapest type of life insurance and provides a temporary safety net that pays out a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die within its term. At the end of the term, you’ll either renew your coverage or stop paying your premiums and your policy expires. Some term policies offer the option to convert them to a permanent life insurance policy, but this will typically cost more.

A permanent life insurance policy will typically include a cash savings element that accumulates at a capped rate of interest. You can borrow against this cash value under certain conditions, but you’ll need to repay the loan with interest, or your death benefit will be reduced.

You can also name contingent beneficiaries that will receive the death benefit if you die, or primary beneficiaries who will get your benefits if you have children. While most people choose their spouses or children as primary beneficiaries, you can also select a charity or other family member or friend. A key consideration is the slayer rule, which prevents the death benefits from being paid to anyone who murders the insured or is closely tied to the murder.

While most life insurance companies will never deny a claim, there are some exclusions that you should be aware of. For example, most life insurance policies have a suicide clause, which prohibits the death benefits to beneficiaries if the policyholder commits suicide in a certain timeframe (usually two years). Some life insurers may also exclude deaths caused by service in the military or aviation accidents.

Generally, you can find out more about what life insurance policies cover by visiting their websites and talking to an independent life insurance agent. The agent will be able to walk you through the specifics of each option and help you decide what’s best for your family. In addition, you can use our free life insurance calculator to estimate your family’s needs and help you shop around.

As its name suggests, universal life insurance offers some flexibility in the premium payments and death benefits that other permanent policies like whole life don’t. Unlike whole life, which is locked into a fixed premium and death benefit for your entire life, universal life allows you to adjust your payment amounts over time, and can include an investment component to help increase your cash value.

A portion of each premium payment goes toward your death benefit and fees, while the remainder is invested in your policy’s cash value account. The interest on your cash value accounts accrues tax-deferred.

Over time, the cash value in your policy grows, and you can borrow against it or use the funds for other purposes. If you stop paying your premiums, however, the policy may lapse. If you want to continue the coverage, you will need to either pay more than the minimum required amount or opt for a waiver of cost of insurance rider.

This rider pauses the premium payments for a set period of time, usually in case of disability, while still allowing your death benefit to remain in place. Other riders you can add to your universal life policy include accelerated death benefit, which allows you to access a portion of the death benefit while you’re alive if diagnosed with a terminal or critical illness, and family riders, which allow you to cover additional children or spouses under the same policy.

The type of investment options you select will have an impact on your policy’s accumulated cash value. Indexed universal life, for instance, is designed to offer higher growth potential by investing in stock indexes. Variable universal life, on the other hand, invests your accumulated cash value in subaccounts of your choice and comes with more risk but higher potential returns.

While universal life offers a lot of flexibility in your premium payments and death benefit, it can be complex to manage. For that reason, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a fee-based life insurance advisor before making any significant changes to your payment amounts or coverage.

A variable life insurance policy allows you to invest the death benefit of your policy in a variety of market-based investment options. As a result, it can offer higher growth potential than other permanent life policies, such as whole life. However, this capacity for higher growth comes with higher fees and market risks that can make this policy type more expensive.

A premium with a variable life insurance policy can be paid either from the cash value or the face amount of your policy. In most cases, paying the minimum premium will keep your policy from lapse, but only the face amount is guaranteed to be paid upon your death. The rest of the death benefit will be the accumulated cash value plus any investment gain or loss, minus any fees associated with your policy.

Depending on the specific policy, you may be able to access your accumulated cash value through a series of sub-accounts. These accounts are typically made up of a combination of equity, bond, money market and fixed-rate subaccounts. You can allocate your funds among these investments as you see fit.

You can also withdraw loans from your policy’s cash value, allowing you to use the death benefit as collateral. This is a common feature in many permanent life insurance policies and is typically done to help you reach your financial goals. This type of borrowing is usually tax-free, but you should be aware that it can reduce your overall cash value and death benefits and increase your policy’s fees and charges.

This type of policy is often a good choice for investors who want the flexibility and potential higher returns of a market-based investment strategy with the security of a permanent death benefit. It can be worth the cost for people who understand investment risk and reward, are committed to making ongoing changes to their portfolios, and have a trusted adviser who can monitor the performance of their policy’s underlying investments. However, it is important to remember that this type of policy is not a long-term savings vehicle and shouldn’t be used as such.

Typically offered as a whole life insurance policy, final expense coverage is designed to cover end-of-life costs. Sometimes referred to as burial or funeral insurance, this type of policy is often cheaper than term life policies and does not require a medical exam. A final expense policy’s death benefit may be used to pay for a casket or cremation, an obituary, burial expenses, unpaid medical bills, and other costs associated with end of life. In addition, beneficiaries can choose to use the death benefit for other purposes, such as a legacy nest egg, to pay off mortgage payments, or to cover credit card debt.

The premiums for a final expense policy are typically based on criteria like your age and health, similar to other types of life insurance policies. Some final expense insurance policies have graded benefits, meaning that the full benefit will only be available after a certain amount of time has passed. Moreover, if you are a smoker, you will likely have to pay a higher premium for this type of policy than someone who does not smoke.

Another benefit of a final expense policy is that it does not have a medical exam requirement, making it easier to qualify than other types of life insurance policies. However, this does not mean that you will not need to answer some health-related questions as part of the application process. Finally, a final expense policy will typically have a smaller maximum death benefit than other whole life or term policies.