What kind of life insurance is right for me – Permanent Insurance or Term Insurance?

September 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment


There are only two basic types of policies: Permanent Life Insurance and Term Life Insurance.
Permanent Life Insurance provides permanent protection – coverage as long as you need it, which means coverage until you die. This type of insurance:

  • costs more, which makes sense because as long as you continue to pay premiums, this type of insurance will always pay out a death benefit,
  • usually offers a partial refund of premiums if, for some reason, you decide to cancel your policy before you die. This refund is called a “cash value”.
  • often offers a variety of premium payment options. Some permanent insurance plans are payable for as long as they are in force (sometimes called Whole Life insurance), while other plans allow you to pay a larger premium for a shorter period of time, such as 20 years.
  • may offer a variety of additional benefits, either at no cost, such as a Terminal Illness Benefit, or for an additional premium, such as an Accidental Death Benefit.

Term Life Insurance is temporary insurance. It can last for 5 years, or 10 years, or 20 years, or to your age 65, or for any other period that is defined in the policy. At the end of the term period, the insurance may end, or you may be able to extend it for another term. You may also be able to convert your Term Insurance policy into a Permanent Insurance policy. This type of insurance:

  • Costs less than permanent insurance. Usually, the shorter the term period, the lower the premium.
  • Only pays a death benefit if you die during the term period. If you live beyond the term period, this plan does not pay a death benefit.
  • Does not include any cash value if you cancel it early, and
  • Like Permanent Insurance, may offer a variety of additional benefits, either at no cost, or for an additional premium.



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