Whole Life vs Term Life

When you're thinking about your family's finances, ensuring that your income is protected now and in the future is important. Life insurance can help you do that. Whole and term life are the most common types—and each has its benefits. Many people decide that a combination works best. Take a look at how term and whole life compare.


Whole Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance

The basics

Guaranteed lifetime protection and access to cash value that's guaranteed to grow.

Coverage for temporary needs with options that allow you to prepare for the future.

Length of coverage

Guaranteed lifetime protection as long as your premiums are paid.

A set period of time, usually 10 to 20 years.

How you pay

Premiums are guaranteed never to increase, and there are options for how often and how long you pay—monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Pay premiums for as long as your coverage lasts. With many policies, premiums are locked in for a set period, and may be less expensive than whole life premiums during that period.

Cash value and growth

Guaranteed cash value growth that can be accessed when needed and may increase through dividends, when paid. These benefits accrue tax deferred, allowing you to maximize your savings.


Life insurance benefits

Death benefits can be transferred to beneficiaries tax free.

Death benefits can be transferred to beneficiaries tax free.

The guarantees of a whole life policy are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer.

Configure a solution that aligns with your needs

Now that you've seen a comparison, you can start to think about building a strategy that aligns with your needs. Consider a combination of whole life and term life, rather than one or the other. It can be helpful to talk to a financial professional for some expert guidance when making decisions on the features available.