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What is permanent life insurance?

Permanent life insurance includes a number of life insurance products that can provide you and your loved ones with lifelong protection. Two of the most common types of permanent life insurance are whole life insurance and universal life insurance. Whole life offers coverage for your entire lifetime and its savings can often grow at a guaranteed rate. Universal life also offers a savings element in addition to a death benefit, but provides different types of premium structures and earns based on market performance.

Understanding the ins and outs of permanent life insurance can seem overwhelming, but we can help you sort it out. We can instantly find and compare personalized quotes from some of the most trusted insurance companies, making sure the policy you choose is right for you.

The Basics of Permanent Life Insurance

As the name suggests, permanent life insurance is designed to last for your entire life. In other words, when you buy it, you’re covered as long as the premiums are paid. Permanent life insurance premiums go toward both maintaining the policy’s death benefit and allowing the policy to build cash value. Learn more about the cash value of permanent life insurance below.

Understanding the Cash Value of Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance policies are sometimes referred to as cash value life insurance policies, as above mentions, the policy builds a cash value alongside maintaining the death benefit. You can typically borrow funds from the total cash value of your policy to help support other financial needs such as a child’s college education or covering medical expenses. Because of this savings capability, premiums for permanent life insurance are often higher than that of a term life insurance policy. That being said, your premium on your permanent policy will remain the same as long as the policy is in force.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

Learn more about the types of permanent life insurance.

Whole Life Insurance

Like all types of life insurance, whole life has its distinguishing features, including:

  • Lifetime Coverage – Whole life insurance provides coverage for a lifetime.
  • Set Premium – The premium you pay for the first month is what you’ll pay for every month the policy is in force.
  • Cash Value – As your premiums accrue, and at a time specified by the insurance company, you can borrow against your whole life policy’s cash value.
  • Lifetime Coverage – Much like whole life insurance, universal life insurance provides coverage for a lifetime.
  • Flexible – Universal life insurance policies are typically more flexible than other types of life insurance. Although premiums tend to be high, you get to determine what premium you pay between the minimum and maximum set amount and can adjust your death benefit based on cash value.

Permanent Life Insurance Coverage

There are varying benefits and disadvantages to think about when considering permanent life insurance. Permanent life insurance policies with a cash value typically only make sense if you need lifelong coverage and have strong finances in place. If you’re hoping to help cover payments over a set period, such as a mortgage, a child’s education or the general replacement of income, term life insurance might be a better fit considering premium costs will likely be lower considering the shorter timeframe of the policy. We can help you weigh out your options and figure out what kind of life insurance policy would be the best fit for you and your family.

Cost of Permanent Life Insurance

Although your premium will never change with permanent life insurance, it often costs 10 times more than a term life insurance policy. At SelectQuote, it’s our goal to help you find the right coverage for you. For many people, term life insurance is a great way to create financial protection for loved ones at an affordable price, but for some people, permanent life insurance is the right option.

Learn more about term and permanent life insurance costs.

Benefits of Permanent Life Insurance

From lasting a lifetime to no cost surprises, there are a number of benefits to purchasing permanent life insurance. Learn more about the key features of permanent life insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Permanent Life Insurance

Do I need permanent life insurance?

While term life insurance policies tend to be sufficient for most people, permanent life insurance policies can make sense for those with complex financial needs, including:

  • High-income earners who are seeking an additional vehicle for tax-deferred savings
  • Individuals with special needs children or other lifelong dependents
  • High net-worth individuals who are looking to build an inheritance for their family
  • Seniors who have outlived their term life insurance coverage and are still interested in substantial coverage

What alternatives are there to permanent life insurance?

Your first and most popular alternative to a permanent life insurance policy is a term life insurance policy. Term life insurance is a smart way to create financial protection for your loved ones and can cost as much as 10 times less than whole life insurance.

What are the best permanent life insurance companies?

There are a number of great insurance companies that offer permanent life insurance, and we work with some of the most trusted carriers. Learn more about the insurance companies we work with.

Learn More About Permanent Life Insurance with SelectQuote

Navigating the complexities of the different types of life insurance can be overwhelming, but we can help. We’ll learn more about your needs and help you decide what kind of life insurance policy is the right fit for you. Then, in just minutes, we can provide unbiased quotes from some of the most trusted insurance companies.