You may be considering the best solution for your family's future. Ensuring that your income is protected in case something happens to you is a good place to start. Once you decide how much protection you need, there are several options you can choose from. You may even decide to choose a combination of products to fit your unique needs. Look at how these options below stack up.

Compare life insurance types.

New York Life Insurance
Term Life
New York Life Insurance
Whole Life
New York Life Insurance
Variable Universal Life
New York Life Insurance
Universal Life Insurance

The basics

Term Life

Temporary coverage, often with options that allow you to prepare for the future.

Whole Life

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

Variable Universal Life

Long-term protection with the opportunity for cash value to grow based on market performance.

Universal Life Insurance

Long-term protection for those who aren't focused on accumulating cash value.

Length of coverage

Term Life

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

Whole Life

Lifetime protection as long as your premiums are paid.

Variable Universal Life

Long-term protection.

Universal Life Insurance

Long-term protection.

How you pay

Term Life

Pay premiums for as long as your coverage lasts. With many policies, premiums are locked in for a set period.

Whole Life

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

Variable Universal Life

Maintain your initial premium or adjust based on your budget or coverage needs.

Universal Life Insurance

Maintain your initial premium or adjust based on your budget or coverage needs.

Cash value and growth

Term Life

None.

Whole Life

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.

Variable Universal Life

Cash value that fluctuates based on market performance and can be accessed when you need it. These benefits accrue tax deferred, allowing you to maximize your savings.

Universal Life Insurance

In some cases, includes cash value growth that can be used for flexibility on premium payments. These benefits accrue tax deferred, allowing you to maximize your savings.

Life insurance benefit

Term Life

The beneficiary receives a guaranteed death benefit which is typically income-tax free.

Whole Life

The beneficiary receives a guaranteed death benefit which is typically income-tax free.

Variable Universal Life

The beneficiary receives a guaranteed death benefit which is typically income-tax free.

Universal Life Insurance

The beneficiary receives a guaranteed death benefit which is typically income-tax free.

The guarantees of a whole life policy are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer.
Accessing the cash value will reduce the available cash surrender value and total death benefit.

Explore life insurance types.

Term life insurance

Many families count on term life insurance for temporary protection that can be more likely to fit you budget than long-term coverage.

  • Protection to fit your budget.
    With term insurance, you can afford more coverage than you could with long-term coverage, but for a shorter period of time.
  • Guaranteed life insurance benefit.
    As long as premiums are paid, you will enjoy full protection for the life of your policy.
  • Multiple “lock-in” periods for premiums.
    You get to choose how long your premiums remain level. You can go year-by-year (with premiums increasing each year) or select a level period at a higher initial rate that lasts between 10 and 20 years. It’s completely up to you.
  • Conversion privilege.
    If you expect your insurance needs to evolve over time, you will value your right to convert1 (with no additional medical questions or exams) some or all of your term insurance to long-term life insurance, which will have higher premiums.
  • Portable coverage.
    Unlike most group term life protection that you get in the workplace, this individual coverage can be taken with you wherever you go.
  • Tax advantages.
    Your beneficiaries receive a guaranteed death benefit, which is typically paid federal income tax free.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance can be more than just a way to protect your family. It can also be a way to grow and protect your long-term wealth.

  • Long-term protection.
    Since this permanent coverage is designed to last a lifetime (if you pay your premiums), you never have to worry about renewing, reapplying, or outliving your coverage.
  • Guaranteed life insurance benefit.
    As long as you pay your premiums, you will enjoy full protection for your lifetime.*
  • Fixed, level premiums.
    Your premiums are locked in at the time of purchase. They will never go up, regardless of your health, your age, or the state of the economy. And there are options for how long and how often you pay—monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
  • The opportunity for dividends.
    As a policy owner, you automatically become eligible to receive dividends. Though dividends are not guaranteed, you can keep them or use them to purchase additional paid-up insurance to grow your policy.2
  • Cash value accumulation.
    Your policy builds cash value that is guaranteed to grow, over time. Guaranteed cash value growth can be accessed when needed and may increase through nonguaranteed dividends, when paid. These benefits accrue tax deferred, allowing you to maximize your savings.3
  • Tax advantages.
    Beneficiaries typically do not pay income taxes on the death benefits they receive. In addition, your cash value grows tax deferred. And, if your needs change, you can usually access the policy’s cash value income tax free.3,4

Variable universal life

As your financial needs change, you may want the freedom and flexibility to choose from a variety of investment options. Variable universal life policies provide death benefit protection and are long-term investment vehicles offering the potential for cash value accumulation.

  • Long-term protection.
    With variable universal life insurance, you have the potential to keep your coverage, if you want, to at least age 100.
  • Adjustable premiums.
    You can pay on a set schedule or enjoy greater freedom by making ad hoc payments as you go (within limits).5 However, investment returns affect your cash value, so you should monitor your variable universal life policy regularly, as you may need to adjust your premiums to ensure that your policy continues to meet your intended goals.
  • Market participation.
    You have access to an array of investment options. A wide selection of investment options offers diversification across asset classes, investment philosophies, and geography. Returns from the policy’s investment options are subject to market risk and will fluctuate with market conditions, so both gains and losses are possible. Your choice of investment options may be limited if you elect certain benefits or riders.
  • Cash value accumulation potential.
    Variable universal life policies can accumulate cash value, which can be used for a variety of purposes.3,6 Cash accumulation is not guaranteed and is subject to market risk.
  • Tax advantages.
    Beneficiaries typically do not pay income taxes on the death benefits they receive. In addition, your cash value grows tax deferred. And, if your needs change, you can usually access your cash value income tax free.3,4

Universal life insurance

Universal life insurance can be an effective way to give your family the long-term financial security they need. It offers a combination of long-term coverage and the ability to accumulate cash value with interest.

  • Long-term protection.
    With universal life insurance, you have the potential to keep your coverage anywhere form 15 years to the rest of your life.
  • Protective coverage.
    Universal life generally provides more death benefit protection for the dollar than whole life, but it does not provide as many guarantees. As a result, it can be a better fit your budget if you want lifetime or long-term life insurance coverage.
  • Adjustable premiums.
    Universal life provides the ability to deviate from your scheduled premiums, allowing you to adjust to meet your changing circumstances. That flexibility can introduce more risk, however, so you need to monitor your policy regularly to ensure that it continues to meet your intended goals.
  • Cash value accumulation.
    Universal life may offer the ability to accumulate cash value. These benefits accrue tax deferred, allowing you to maximize your savings.3,6
  • Tax advantages.
    Beneficiaries typically do not pay federal income taxes on the death benefits they receive. In addition, your cash value grows tax deferred. And, if your needs change, you can usually access your cash value income tax free.3,4
  • No-lapse guarantee.
    This option allows you to keep your policy in effect, even if you stop paying premiums, under certain circumstances. This protection can come in two ways: either embedded as a core feature or added as a rider for varying coverage periods.7

From life insurance comparison to a decision.

Now that you’ve compared our life insurance products, you can create a strategy built on your family’s personalized needs. A financial professional can give you advice about the benefits of our life insurance products and the different ways you can combine features and add-ons.

Learn more

It's always useful to learn a little more. Take a look at these helpful links.

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

Accessing the cash value will reduce the available cash surrender value and the total death benefit.

1 There are some eligibility restrictions and time limits to your conversion rights. Your financial professional can provide additional details.

2 While dividends are not guaranteed, participating New York Life Whole Life policy owners have received them every year since 1854.

3 Cash value can be accessed by loan or by withdrawal (sometimes known as a partial surrender). Loans accrue interest and, if not repaid, will reduce the available cash surrender value and the death benefit of the policy. Your policy may also end sooner than expected if the loan is not repaid. Accessing the cash value through withdrawal (partial surrender) will reduce the total cash value and possibly the death benefit.

4 There may be tax implications with respect to certain distributions from a policy treated as a “modified endowment contract” (MEC). Distributions (for this purpose, including loans) from an MEC are taxable to the extent of the gain in the policy and may also be subject to a 10% penalty tax if the owner is under age 59½.

5 The Guideline Premium Test under IRC 7702 imposes certain limits on premium payments into the policy.

6 A no-lapse guarantee is available on NYLIAC universal life policies. A monthly premium test must be satisfied. The test compares premiums paid (plus interest) with the premiums required to maintain the rider (inclusive of loans, loan interest, and fees). After issue age 75, the No-Lapse Guarantee Rider will grade down in one-year increments until age 85. For age 85+, the No-Lapse Guarantee Rider will always be five years. This is consistent with the length of the surrender-charge period for these issue ages.

The policy form number for New York Life Whole Life Series of products is ICC18217-50P (4/18), for New York Life Yearly Convertible Term is ICC18218-135P, and for New York Life Universal Life form number is ICC19-319-51P.

SMRU: 1800641