What makes Universal Life different from other long-term insurance policies?

Here are some factors to consider when comparing life insurance policies: 

Guarantee vs. adjustable

For some people, a guaranteed death benefit is the most important aspect of their policy. It means peace of mind for them—and their loved ones. For others, having the ability to adjust their policy, including premiums, is more important, even if it means the death benefit could fluctuate.

Your level of oversight

With some kinds of life insurance, you can purchase it, put it away, and simply pay your premiums as they come due. With Universal Life, you can make changes to your policy as desired, including adjusting your premiums and coverage1. All that flexibility can be very helpful if your circumstances change, however it may require you to monitor your policy more regularly to help avoid any risks.

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Is there more than one type of Universal Life policy?

Actually, there are several different kinds of Universal Life Insurance—each designed to meet a unique set of needs. Here’s a quick overview.

Let's get started and take a look at what product is right for you.

Universal Life (basic)

If you're looking for budget-friendly, long-term protection with the ability to accumulate some cash value over time, our Universal Life may be for you. Some of our clients prefer this product because it allows them to customize the protection (including insurance amount, length of coverage, and premiums) to best meet their needs while also managing their costs.

Custom Guarantee

If you're like our clients who value a guaranteed death benefit, but don’t need to accumulate cash value, then Custom Universal Life Guarantee (Custom Guarantee) might work for you. You pay a set premium to maintain the coverage you need for as long as you choose.

Let's get started and take a look at what product is right for you.

Protection Up to Age 90

If you're a business owner or someone who needs a significant amount of life insurance protection for a specific period of time (not lasting beyond age 90), Protection Up to Age 90 offers a cost-effective alternative to permanent insurance. It allows people to get the level of protection they need (at least $1 million), the way they need it.

What if I want even more flexibility and value?

In most cases, there are a variety of ways to increase your level of protection or customize your policy. Your New York Life financial professional will be happy to share with you all the add-ons, which are also known as riders, that are available with each policy. Best of all, many of the riders are free.

You also have the ability to choose how your death benefit is paid to your beneficiaries.  You can choose to provide a level death benefit equal to the policy’s face amount or an increasing death benefit that is equal to the policy’s face amount at issue plus the cash value.  Your New York Life financial professional will be able to help you decide which option fits your needs the best.

  • Death Benefit Option 1 provides a level death benefit that equals the face amount of your policy.
  • Death Benefit Option 2 provides a fluctuating death benefit that equals the face amount of your policy plus the policy’s cash value, so the total benefit amount is based - in part - on the potential growth of your policy.
  • Return of Premium Rider (formerly Death Benefit Option 3) provides fluctuating death benefit that equals the face amount of your policy plus the adjusted total premiums you paid into your policy

Protecting for health events

If you want to tap into your policy's death benefit tax-free, to protect against financial hardship should you become chronically ill, you might want to purchase our Chronic Care Rider(CCR)2 . This is available for Custom Guarantee policies only.

Get your money back

You will always have the ability to get money back if something changes down the road, and you no longer need the protection, with the Money Back Option Rider3. It automatically comes with most Custom Guarantee policies.

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1The policy will terminate if at any time the cash surrender value is insufficient to pay the monthly deductions. This can happen due to insufficient premium payments, if loans or withdrawals are made, or if current interest rates or charges fluctuate.

2 Before a claim is approved, New York Life reserves the right to have the Insured examined by a Licensed Health Care Practitioner the company designates, at the company’s expense. Verification may include a review of the medical facts to substantiate the certification, copies of the daily notes of care (including notes made by any Licensed Health Care Practitioner) and/or copies of itemized bills for the Insured’s care and services. New York Life will only use these to determine eligibility at the start of a claim or at recertification. They will not be used to determine the benefit amount. Once the insured is certified as chronically ill as described in the policy, and meets the 90 day elimination period, the policy owner will begin receiving an unrestricted cash benefit, with no receipts or plan of care needed. This is a life insurance rider providing for an accelerated payment of the base policy face amount in the event that the insured is certified as chronically ill as described in the policy. The primary purpose of life insurance policies is death benefit protection, with certain riders available at a cost that provide the client with additional policy features, such as additional protection for future chronic illness expenses

This rider is not intended to be a federally tax-qualified long-term care insurance contract under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 7702B.  Since this rider is not a Qualified Additional Benefit and an implicit rider premium is included in premiums paid, each rider charge deducted would reduce basis. In addition, for any acceleration of face amount, the entire face amount would reduce basis (not the proportionate amount of basis associated with that portion of face amount). This rider, however, is subject to the federal per diem limits set forth in IRC Section 7702B. Under this rider, New York Life will not pay clients more than the federal per diem limits. If the benefit option elected exceeds the current IRC per diem limits, the benefit period will be extended accordingly. Assuming the amount you receive in the aggregate from all applicable policies does not exceed the federal per diem limits set forth in IRC Section 7702B, the benefits provided by the Chronic Care Rider are intended to be excludable from federal gross income under Section 101 (g) of the IRC.   

Receipt of an accelerated death benefit may affect client eligibility for Medicaid or other government benefits or entitlements and may have income tax consequences. Accelerating benefits before applying for these programs, or while you are receiving government benefits, may affect your initial or continued eligibility. Clients can contact the appropriate social service agency (e.g., the Medicaid Unit of your local Department of Public Welfare or the Social Security Administration Office) for more information.

The Chronic Care Rider is currently unavailable in California.

3 In New York it is called the Premium Back Option Rider

In most jurisdictions, the New York Life Universal Life form number is ICC19-319-51P, New York Life Protection Up to Age 90 form number is ICC19-319-51P, and New York Life Custom Universal Life Guarantee form number is ICC18-318-54P.  State variations may apply. The Money Back Option Rider form number is ICC18-318-292R. State variations may apply. The Chronic care Rider form number is ICC18-318-291R. State variations may apply.