Here are some factors to consider when comparing life insurance policies:
For many 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 flexibility to adjust their policy, including premiums, is more important, even if it means the death benefit could fluctuate.
There are several different kinds of universal life Insurance, each designed to meet a unique set of needs. Here’s a quick overview.
Universal Life (basic)
If you're looking for long-term protection and 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 the insurance amount, the length of coverage, and the premiums) to best meet their needs and manage their costs.
If you value a guaranteed death benefit but don’t need to accumulate cash value, 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.**
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 (not lasting beyond age 90), Protection Up to Age 90 offers an alternative to permanent insurance. It allows people to get the level of protection they need (at least $1 million), the way they need it.
Universal life insurance is known for its flexibility—the policy allows you to adjust your premium payments (within limits) and death benefit amount depending on your needs. This means you won’t have to sacrifice protection for your family if your financial health changes. If, after some time, you decide to lower or stop paying your monthly premiums, you can use the accumulated cash surrender value to pay for them. However, you cannot do this until your policy has accrued enough cash value.
A universal life policy will expire if you stop paying the premiums and the cash value becomes depleted. If you need life insurance, it's best to keep the policy payments up to date. If you have to buy a new policy later, your premiums will be higher because of your older age, and you may have to take a new life insurance medical exam.
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 more cost-effective option if you want lifetime or long-term life insurance coverage.
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* Any guarantees of a Universal Life policy are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer
** Maintaining the guarantee involves making sure the Custom Guarantee Value is more than zero and there are no unpaid loans. Making changes to the policy can cause the Guarantee expiration date to change.
1The policy will terminate if at any time the cash surrender value is insufficient to pay the monthly deductions. This can happen because of insufficient premium payments, because of loans or withdrawals, or because current interest rates or charges fluctuate.
2 In New York, it is called the Premium Back Option Rider. The opportunity to surrender the policy in exchange for some or possibly all premiums is available during two 60-day windows beginning in policy year 20 or 25. The surrender is subject to a 40% premium cap, and there is a minimum premium requirement (the monthly premium must be that needed to keep the policy in force until age 100).
In most jurisdictions, the New York Life Universal Life form number is ICC19-319-51P, the New York Life Protection Up to Age 90 form number is ICC19-319-51P, and the 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.