Whole life is a permanent type of life insurance coverage that combines a death benefit and accumulates a cash value. The face value is constant, and this amount will be paid if the insured person dies at any time while the coverage is in effect. Premium costs are unchanging and remain the same from the original date the policy goes into effect to the date of maturity. The policy is intended to mature at age 100-this is the age when premium payments would end and the cash value would equal the face value. At time of maturity, the face value would be paid to an insured person who is still living.
Even though whole life insurance policies are some of the most common types of life insurance purchased, most people don't plan on paying premiums until the reach the age 100. Many of us don't expect to live that long. It is more common that whole life insurance is used as a type of level protection throughout the income producing years. Once retired, many individuals begin to use the accumulated cash value to enhance their retirement income.
Whole life insurance has an important part in financial planning for many individuals and families.
Along with the death benefit or eventual return of the cash value, the policy has some other important advantages. In a financial crisis, you may barrow against the policy and the complete policy values may later be restored. If the policy is a participating contract type, it might also pay dividends.