Universal Life Insurance


DEFINITION of 'Universal Life Insurance'

A type of flexible permanent life insurance offering the low-cost protection of term life insurance as well as a savings element (like whole life insurance) which is invested to provide a cash value buildup. The death benefit, savings element and premiums can be reviewed and altered as a policyholder's circumstances change. In addition, unlike whole life insurance, universal life insurance allows the policyholder to use the interest from his or her accumulated savings to help pay premiums.

BREAKING DOWN 'Universal Life Insurance'

Universal life insurance was created to provide more flexibility than whole life insurance by allowing the policy owner to shift money between the insurance and savings components of the policy. Premiums, which are variable, are broken down by the insurance company into insurance and savings, allowing the policy owner to make adjustments based on their individual circumstances. For example, if the savings portion is earning a low return, it can be used instead of external funds to pay the premiums. Unlike whole life insurance, universal life allows the cash value of investments to grow at a variable rate that is adjusted monthly.

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  1. What is indexed universal life insurance?

    Indexed univeral life insurance is a lot like universal life insurance, however it does have a couple of wrinkles not found ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between term and universal life insurance?

    Term life insurance is the most basic of insurance policies. It is nothing more than an insurance policy that provides protection ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do beneficiaries pay taxes on life insurance?

    Generally speaking, when the beneficiary of a life insurance policy receives the death benefit, this money is not counted ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can I borrow from my annuity to put a down payment on a house?

    You can borrow from your annuity to put a down payment on a house, but be prepared to pay an assortment of fees and penalties. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the biggest disadvantages of annuities?

    Annuities can sound enticing when pitched by a salesperson who, not coincidentally, makes huge commissions selling them. ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Annuities come in several forms, the two most common being fixed annuities and variable annuities. During a recession, variable ... Read Full Answer >>

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