What Is Universal Life Insurance?
Unlike Whole Life and Variable Life where you pay fixed premiums, Universal Life offers adjustable premiums that give you the option to make higher premium payments when you have extra cash on hand or lower ones when money is tight.
Features of Universal Life Policies
Most Universal Life policies will also provide a guaranteed rate of return on your cash values, with one important exception. It is possible that you will not accumulate any cash value if any, or all, of the following circumstances occur: administrative expenses increase, mortality assumptions are changed, the insurance company’s investment portfolio underperforms, premium payments are insufficient.
|Policy features||Whole life insurance||Universal life insurance|
|Lifelong protection, as long as premiums are paid||✓||✓|
|Interest on cash value||Guaranteed rate of return||In line with current money market rates|
In recent years, there’s been considerable interest in what’s commonly referred to as Universal Life with Secondary Guarantees (also known as a “No-Lapse Guarantee”). With an ordinary Universal Life product, the policy could lapse under certain circumstances (e.g., interest rates fall below projections, insurance costs or administrative expenses rise, etc). When you buy a policy with a “secondary guarantee,” you’re guaranteed that the policy won’t lapse even if the above factors come to pass.
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