The Difference Between Term and Whole Life Insurance

Knowing about the different types of life insurance can help you find the product that best suits your family's individual financial needs.


What's the difference between term & whole life insurance? Or term vs. universal life insurance? Is whole life or universal life better than buying a term life insurance policy?

Sorting through the different types of life insurance can seem daunting. But here are some basics.

The difference between term & whole life insurance, or universal life for that matter, starts with term versus permanent life insurance. Term life insurance runs for a specific term or period of time and then ends. Permanent has no set term and is also called "whole life" coverage. Permanent life insurance policies include whole life (often called ordinary life), universal life (sometimes called adjustable life), and variable life insurance.

Term & Whole Life Insurance: Learn the Difference

The difference between term & whole life insurance (or universal life) often boils down to a few features that you won't find when buying term life insurance policy but will find with whole life. With whole life policies:

  • Your policy builds cash value over time.
  • Your policy sometimes offer guaranteed cash values or dividends, depending on the policy.
  • Your policy remains in force for as long as long as you pay your premiums.
  • You can earn interest on the cash value.
  • You can often borrow against your policy.

There is no difference between term & whole life insurance when it comes to premiums staying the same while the policy is in force, or getting a guaranteed death benefit. The same is not necessarily true for universal life.

Universal life is designed to be flexible. It's possible to adjust the benefit amount up or down without needing to get a new policy. If your needs change, so can your policy. It can also be possible to adjust your premiums, paying more when it suits you or paying less if you have accrued cash value, depending on your policy.

There can be a difference between term & whole life insurance and universal life in terms of cost. When buying a term life insurance policy, you typically get a more affordable rate. Whole and universal life policies tend to cost more, in part because of their ability to accrue cash value.

What makes sense for you? If you're not sure, talk about it with one of Matrix Direct's friendly, professional agents. You can get a free term life insurance quote and helpful information about the difference between term & whole life insurance and universal life insurance.

Get started on your free term life insurance quote now or speak with a licensed Matrix Direct life insurance agent by calling 1-800-586-3072.

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1-800-586-3072


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