To continue in my explanation of life insurance concepts, I am defining the difference between the two most basic types of life insurance you can purchase – temporary and permanent. This is one of the most common questions I am asked.
Temporary Insurance – only lasts for the period of time you select. When that period of time is up, it goes away. Many companies offer a way to convert this into another product before it expires. Typically this type of product does not have any cash value buildup. An example of temporary insurance is Term Life Insurance, with common lengths of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years.
Permanent Insurance – typically lasts to age 100 or a specific date (assuming you don’t forget to pay the premium.) Most of these policies also have a second benefit – they build cash value. An example of this is Whole Life Insurance or Universal Life Insurance.
Again, these definitions are very basic. There are many variations on temporary and permanent insurance, some options that can be quite complicated and also tied to the stock market. Your advisor will be able to help determine what fits your specific needs.