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Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is one type of permanent life insurance. Like all types of permanent life insurance policies, a universal life insurance remains in effect until you pass away, as long as you pay your policy premiums on time.

Similar to whole life insurance, a universal life insurance policy includes a cash value component that accumulates interest and may be accessed through withdrawals or loans.1 You can also use the cash value to pay your monthly policy premiums.

A universal life insurance policy offers the flexibility to make changes to your coverage over time. You can adjust your policy premiums and death benefits as your needs and budget change over time. Keep in mind that an adjustment in death benefit could require additional underwriting.

Who Should Buy Universal Life Insurance?

While other types of life insurance may tend to be more “hands off,” a universal life insurance policy could be a good fit for someone who wants more control over their coverage and the ability to adjust their policy to more closely align with changing needs.

Types of Universal Life Insurance

There are a few different types of universal life insurance. For example, when it comes to choosing a death benefit, policies commonly offer two options (although there may be more or less depending on the specific contract): Option A and Option B.

Option A provides the face amount of the policy when the insured dies. The contract can still accumulate cash value, but if the policyholder dies, the beneficiary receives only the death benefit, not the cash value.

Option B provides the beneficiary with the death benefit plus any cash value. Premiums are typically higher if Option B is elected. The election is made when the policy is issued. Depending on your personal circumstances, some experts say this is among the best life insurance for seniors.

One note about Universal Life Insurance — you can decide on a premium amount that fits your financial circumstances. However, your policy may require that additional premium payments be made to keep it in force.

Is Universal Life Insurance Right For You?

If you want more flexibility and control over your life insurance, a universal policy might be what you’re looking for.

Get started with an estimate of how much life insurance coverage you may need by using our calculator.


1 Policy loans and withdrawals will reduce the available cash value and death benefit and may cause unintended consequences, including lapse or taxable events. Review any loan and withdrawal information prior to making a purchasing decision.

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