Whole Life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. Your premium will purchase a specific death benefit and produce a specific cash value, which are guaranteed for the life of the policy as long as the premiums are paid. Whole Life premiums are usually higher than term premiums, but are guaranteed not to increase. This type of insurance is great for people who want to ensure that they are covered for a lifetime, and like the idea of building cash value. Cash value is generally accessible in the form of a loan or a withdrawal during your lifetime.
Term insurance, as the name implies, is coverage that is in place for a certain length of time, generally referred to as the "term period". Typically, you can purchase it in term periods of 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. Should you pass away before the end of the term period, your family, or beneficiaries, will receive the death benefit.
Universal Life Insurance is a flexible-premium, adjustable-benefit life insurance contract whichaccumulates cash value. Flexible premium means that (subject to certain limitations) the policyowner may pay more or less than the premium stated in the contract. Depending on certain factors, premium payments could be skipped in particular years at the policy owner's discretion. The adjustable benefit allows the policy owner to increase or decrease the stated death benefit, subject to certain guidlines.