Shopping for life insurance may not be as fun as reading a good novel, but it is something everyone should do – sooner rather than later. There are two popular types of life insurance: term life insurance and whole life insurance. While the death benefits from both can be similar, there are a few key differences between them.
Term life insurance is perhaps the easiest to understand. This straightforward insurance is purchased for the simple promise of a death benefit for your beneficiary should you pass away while it’s in force. Term life insurance only lasts for a certain period of time, whether it is 10, 20, or 30 years. After the term is up, the policy expires. One benefit of term life insurance is it tends to be the most affordable option. If all you seek from a life insurance policy is the ability to protect your loved ones when you die, term life insurance is likely the best fit for you. Basic protection is better than no protection at all.
Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance. Meaning that if you keep making your premium payments, it will never expire. Whole life insurance also provides some “cash value”, which can be a source of funds for future needs. Your premiums are split in two ways. One part of your payment goes to the insurance component, while the other part helps build your cash value, which will grow over time. At a later date you can borrow or withdraw from your cash value amount for things such as your child’s college tuition or repairs to your home. However, should you withdraw or borrow from your policy, your death benefits will go down by a corresponding amount if you don’t pay it back.