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Some life insurance policies can provide you with financial protection for the short term, while others accumulate cash value, offering a living benefit that can be used for supplemental retirement income, funding for a child’s education, or cash for emergencies.
Term life insurance provides coverage for a set period of time at a generally lower cost than permanent insurance. Many term life insurance products allow you to convert to a permanent policy, such as whole life insurance. The cost of insuring oneself increases over time, so it’s important to understand your short- and long-term needs for financial security when you select a policy.
Permanent life insurance provides you with financial protection for your entire life, as long as the policy remains in force. Because of the flexibility permanent life insurance offers, there are several types of policies you can purchase.
1 Distributions under the policy (including cash dividends and partial/full surrenders) are not subject to taxation up to the amount paid into the policy (the cost basis). If the policy is a Modified Endowment Contract, policy loans and/or distributions are taxable to the extent of gain and are subject to a 10% tax penalty. Access to cash values through borrowing or partial surrenders can reduce the policy's cash value and death benefit, increase the chance the policy will lapse, and may result in a tax liability if the policy terminates before the death of the insured.
2 Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company or companies.