Types of Life Insurance

10 Types of Life Insurance

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There are various types of life insurance that are available, and it can be difficult to know which one to go for at times. Each of these types has different features and benefits; as a result, it’s important for you to understand the different options before you make a decision.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of life insurance that you could choose from, but before then, let’s quickly take a glance at other important things you need to know concerning life insurance.

Types of Life Insurance

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection to your family or other loved ones in the event of your death.

This insurance is designed to help cover some costs like funeral expenses, medical bills, living expenses for your family members in the event of your passing, etc.

Life insurance can also be used to provide for specific needs, like funding a child’s education or providing for a spouse who is no longer able to work.

In a nutshell, we can just say that this insurance ensures that your loved ones are taken care of financially if something happens to you.

Why is Life Insurance Important?

The following are reasons why life insurance is important:

It Provides Financial Security for Your Loved Ones

This is one of the most important reasons to have life insurance. When you pass away, your loved ones will have to deal with a lot of difficult emotions, and the last thing they should have to worry about is financial hardship.

With life insurance, you can provide financial support for your family members so they can focus on other important aspects of life. This is very important, especially if you are the primary breadwinner.

Another important reason to have life insurance is that it can help pay for funeral expenses. These expenses can be a major financial burden for your loved ones, especially if they’re already dealing with grief.

With life insurance, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that these expenses will be taken care of.

It Can Be Used to Pay Off Debts and Other Financial Obligations

When it comes to paying off debt, life insurance plays a very important role. Let’s say you have an outstanding debt like a house mortgage or a car loan. These can become a burden for your loved ones when you pass away.

But with life insurance, you can use the death benefit to pay off these debts, so your family doesn’t have to worry about them.

As you can see, this will go a long way toward making it easier for your loved ones to move on and also providing them with relief.

It Can Provide for Specific needs, Like Funding a Child’s Education

Life insurance can be used for specific needs, such as funding for a child’s education and many more. Let’s say, for instance, that you can use the death benefit to fund a child’s college education or other major expenses.

This can be a huge relief for your family, knowing that they won’t have to worry about how to pay for these things after you’re gone.

Types of Life Insurance

The following are the types of life insurance:

Table Showing the Different Types of Life Insurance

Types of life insuranceCoverage lengthBuilds cash value?Death benefit
TermTemporary: 10, 20, or 30 years.NoFixed
Variable universalLifetimeYesFlexible
GroupAs long as you are a member of the groupNoFixed
Final ExpenseLifetimeYesVariable

Overview of Life Insurance Types

1. Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is the simplest and most affordable type of life insurance. It’s a type of policy that’s only active for a specific period, like 10 to 30 years.

If you die within the term of the policy, your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit. But if you don’t die within the term, the policy will expire, and you’ll no longer be covered.

Term life insurance is a good option for people who want temporary coverage or who are on a tight budget.


  • It’s often the cheapest life insurance, and it’s sufficient for most people.


  • If you outlive your policy, your beneficiaries won’t receive a payout.

Whole-Life Insurance

This insurance lasts for your entire life, and it has a cash value component. It also has fixed premiums and a fixed death benefit. That is to say that your premiums will never increase and your death benefit will never decrease.

Whole-life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance, but it offers the security of knowing that your premiums and death benefits are guaranteed.


  • It usually covers you for your entire life, builds cash value, and is relatively simple compared with other permanent life insurance options.


  • It’s typically more expensive than term life, so if you’re looking for affordable life insurance, you might want to explore other options.

Universal Life Insurance

Just like whole life insurance, this insurance is active for your entire life as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

With this insurance, your premiums go into a savings account that you can access while you’re still alive.

This cash value can be used for things like investing or supplementing your retirement income, but it is more expensive compared to the already discussed policies.


  • It’s typically less expensive than whole life insurance and can adapt to your needs as life changes.


  • The death benefit and cash value growth are not guaranteed.

Variable Life Insurance

This is a type of permanent life insurance that combines a death benefit with an investment account. The investment account is made up of sub-accounts, which are like mutual funds.

You can choose how your premiums are invested among the sub-accounts, and the value of your policy will go up or down based on how well the sub-accounts perform.

Variable life insurance is more complex than other types of life insurance, and it has more risk because the value of your policy is tied to the performance of the sub-accounts.


  • There is potential for considerable gains if your investment choices do well.


  • It requires you to be hands-on in managing your policy because the cash value can change daily based on the market.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Variable universal life insurance is a hybrid of universal life insurance and variable life insurance. It combines the features of both types of insurance so that you can get the flexibility of universal life insurance and the investment opportunities of variable life insurance.

You can choose how your premiums are invested, and you can also adjust the death benefit and premiums as your needs change.


  • It has flexible premiums that can be adjusted to your needs.


  • It has higher premiums compared to other life insurance policies.

Survivorship Life Insurance

Also known as second-to-death insurance, it is a type of permanent life insurance that covers two people. With this type of life insurance, the death benefit is paid out after the second person dies.

Survivorship life insurance is a less common type of life insurance, but it can be useful for certain situations.

However, you must talk to a financial advisor to see if this type of policy is right for you.


  • It is usually cheaper than insuring two people separately.


  • The death benefit is only paid once, even if both people die at the same time.

Group Life Insurance

This is a type of life insurance that’s offered through an employer or other groups, such as a union or professional organization.

It’s usually less expensive than individual life insurance, and it’s often offered as a benefit of membership in the group.

The death benefit is typically smaller compared to individual life insurance.


  • Usually cheaper than individual life insurance.
  • It’s easy to obtain since it’s usually offered through an employer or other group.


  • The coverage may end if you leave the group or organization.

No-Exam Life Insurance

This is a type of life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam. The application process is usually shorter and simpler than with some other types of life insurance.

Also, it’s a good option for people who don’t want to go through a medical exam or who have health conditions.

No-exam life insurance is more expensive than traditional life insurance, and the death benefit is typically smaller.


  • Their process is very simple since there’s no medical exam required.
  • Faster approval process since there’s no need to wait for exam results.


  • May be more expensive than traditional life insurance.

Guaranteed-Issue Life Insurance

Another type of no-exam life insurance is guaranteed-issue life insurance. This is available to anyone, regardless of their health.

Those who are elderly or have health conditions that make it difficult for them to access normal traditional life insurance, usually opt for this coverage.

It is usually more expensive than traditional life insurance, and the death benefit is typically smaller.


  • Everyone is guaranteed to be accepted, regardless of health or age.
  • Policies are usually issued quickly.


  • Some guaranteed-issue policies have a waiting period before the full death benefit is paid out.

Final Expense Life Insurance

This insurance is designed to cover the costs of a funeral and other end-of-life expenses. It’s often a smaller policy with a lower death benefit, and it’s typically more affordable than traditional life insurance.

Final expense life insurance is usually purchased by people who want to make sure their loved ones don’t have to worry about paying for their funeral or other end-of-life expenses.

It can be a good option for people who don’t have other life insurance or who want to supplement their existing coverage.


  • Easy to qualify for since there’s no medical exam required.
  • It can be an affordable option since the death benefit is typically lower than other life insurance policies.


  • The amount may not be enough to cover all final expenses
  • It may not be a good option for people who need a larger death benefit.

FAQs on Types of Life Insurance

What's the difference between term and permanent life insurance?

The main difference between term and permanent life insurance is the length of coverage. Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period, while permanent life insurance provides coverage for your entire life. It is also usually less expensive than permanent life insurance, but it doesn't have a cash value or investment component like permanent life insurance does.

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that lasts your entire life, as long as you continue to pay premiums. Whole life insurance has a fixed premium, which means that the amount you pay each year doesn't change.

What is universal life insurance?

Universal life insurance allows you to choose how much premium you want to pay each year, within certain limits. It also allows you to adjust the death benefit, as long as the policy is in good standing. Universal life insurance has a cash value component that can be invested in a variety of options.

How do I choose the right type of life insurance for my needs?

When choosing the right type of life insurance, there are several factors to consider, such as how much coverage you need, how long you need coverage, your budget, whether you want cash value or investment options, etc.

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Life insurance is an important financial tool that can provide financial protection for your loved ones. Therefore, when choosing a life insurance policy, it’s important to consider your financial goals, health, budget, personal circumstances, etc.

A life insurance agent or financial advisor can help you find the right type of policy for your specific situation. So ensure you do a thorough research before purchasing one.