Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Life Insurance - The Two Types Of Whole Life Insurance Explained

Life insurance is a topic that's incredibly confusing for many people. There are many terms and provisions to learn and understand before purchasing a policy and most people aren't certain what type of policy or how much insurance coverage they actually need. Another worry is that many people are also aware that the person selling them their policy is also a commissioned salesperson. Although most insurance agents have a squeaky clean record of dealing with the public in a professional and ethical manner, there's really no way for you, the consumer to know this at first contact or introduction.
When purchasing anything, it's best to get familiar with that item before you spend your hard earned money, whether you need it or not. Think about it, if you were buying a new car, and were considering a make or model that you'd never owned before, wouldn't you want to find out everything that you could about that vehicle before you went to see a (gulp) salesperson?
You'd want to see how spacious and comfortable it is, check the colors available, see how many miles per gallon it got and more before you made a buying decision.
Purchasing life insurance is no different than buying a vehicle or any other item. You want to find out all that you can about it before you open your wallet or purse. Here are descriptions of the two most common types of Whole life insurance designed for consumers.
Whole Life Insurance - Whole life is also known as "Straight Life" and is designed to do exactly what it says, that is, cover you for your "whole life" or up until you reach the age of 100 years old. Whole Life policies pay what is known as the "Face Value" either upon the death of the insured or when the insured person reaches 100 years. Face Value is the amount that the policy is for, example, a $100,000.00 policy has a Face Value of $100,000.00.
There are two different types of Whole Life Insurance that are most common. Those are called Limited Payment Plans and Continuous Premium Whole Life.
Limited Payment Whole Life means that you would want to pay off the policy early. For example, you could set up a policy called "20-Pay Life" where you would pay off the policy over a twenty year period. In the end, you'll pay the same amount of premium as with the Continuous Payment Whole Life, but your policy will accrue a "Cash Value" much faster. This Cash Value will be smaller than the policy Face Value after you've initially finished the payments, but it will grow rapidly afterword. You can take loans against this Cash Value if you wish, but they must be repaid.
As with other types of Whole Life insurance, part of your premiums paid will go to purchase insurance and the remainder will go toward Cash Value.
The other most common type of Whole Life insurance is called Continuous Premium Whole Life. With a Continuous Premium Whole Life policy, you pay out the premiums over your Whole Life or until age 100, as explained above.
Cash Value builds slower in this insurance policy, compared to the Twenty Pay Life plan, however, the premiums are much lower and you may still take out a loan, if needed, against your Cash Value accrued.
Whole Life insurance is considered to be "permanent" insurance because the policy covers the insured for their "whole life". by Joe Stewart