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Find the right type of life insurance.

There are many different types of life insurance. While you may have a variety of financial, familial and health situations, life insurance policies are designed in several ways to help support many different scenarios. Term insurance and permanent life insurance differ in many ways and can provide different levels of protection to fit your life needs.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific time period (10, 20, 30 years, etc.), usually with smaller initial premium payments. It provides you the largest amount of coverage for the dollar when your financial obligations are the greatest.

Term life insurance is a very cost-effective way to provide protection for you, your family, or your business. You decide the length of term you want, and this allows you to set aside a premium amount each month.

Features
  • Lower initial premiums, which may fit well into the budget of younger individuals.
  • Helps ensure that crucial items—like a car or a house—can be paid for in case of early death.
  • Convertibility: many policies allow you to convert term coverage into permanent insurance once the term is over without additional proof of good health—also known as "evidence of insurability."
  • Some term policies offer return of premium (ROP) riders, which return all of the premium you've paid if you are alive at the end of the term period.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance offers a fixed premium for a specific coverage amount. It can give you lifetime coverage—provided that premiums are paid—and build money inside your policy (called "cash value"). There are several types of permanent life insurance, listed below.

Universal life offers insurance protection until your death, with guaranteed premium levels and tax-deferred benefits that are based on current interest rates.

Features
  • Your policy's cash value can be used for a loan, as premium payment or as collateral.1
  • Flexibility in terms of premium payment, conversions and coverage upgrades.

Indexed universal life offers all of the benefits of traditional insurance products, plus the potential for additional growth through indexed interest credits. IUL can also offer protection from downside risk thanks to a minimum interest rate guarantee.

Features
  • Enhanced growth potential to help offset inflation risk.
  • Upside potential and downside protection.
  • Additional flexibility features associated with universal life products.

Variable universal life can also provide insurance protection for life, with payment flexibility, tax-deferred accumulation and a variety of investment choices in professionally managed investment portfolios.

Features
  • Tax-favored access to policy values.
  • Payment flexibility to increase, decrease or suspend premiums.
  • Tax-deferred accumulation.

Survivorship universal life is designed so older couples can take advantage of estate marital tax deductions, and then cover estate taxes after the death of the surviving spouse. It usually has cost-effective premiums and can be tailored to individual needs with riders.

Features
  • Death benefit paid when the last person insured under the policy dies.
  • Typically less expensive than two separate life insurance policies.

Insurance Resources

For more information on the types of life insurance, and general information about the life insurance industry, check out these helpful resources.


1 Loans accrue interest. Loans and withdrawals may be subject to additional charges and fees.
The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. This material is not intended to be used, nor can it be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. federal, state or local tax penalties. This material is written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) addressed by this material. This material is being provided for informational purposes only. Columbus Life does not provide legal or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Consult an attorney or tax advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation. There are insurance related costs to a life insurance policy. Premiums paid must produce sufficient cash value to pay insurance charges.
Columbus Life Insurance Company is licensed in the District of Columbia and all states except New York.