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What type of life insurance is right for you and your family? We’ll help you figure it out, based on what matters most to you: features, price, or convenience.

Why does this even matter? You need to know the type of coverage you want so you can get the right quote. No matter where you look online, including here at WholesaleInsurance.net, life insurance quoters only show you the most common policy types. But what if that’s not what works best for you? If you don’t know what you want, you may get a quote and not realize it’s for a completely different type of coverage.

➡️ Want a shortcut to make this process faster and easier? Call us at (800) 823-4852! Our licensed life insurance agents are friendly and knowledgeable, and can answer all your questions over the phone, plus get you quotes and, once you’re ready to buy, submit your application.

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I want to use:

Method 1: Shop By Features & Benefits
Method 2: Shop By Price
Method 3: Shop By Ease & Convenience

Method #1: Shop By Features & Benefits

Using this method, we’ll find the right type of life insurance for you depending on your financial goals. We won’t use price as a differentiator here, since that’s covered in Method 2 below. The chart below summarizes the main features you get with each policy type. Below the chart, we’ll go into more detail about what these features mean.

Man looking up information about a type of life insurance on his laptop

You’ll see “cash value” referred to below. This is a feature of all cash value policies that cover you for the rest of your life. Cash value is a savings component attached to your policy. That account grows in two ways: with a portion of every payment you make, as well as with interest credited by your insurer. The way they credit interest will change based on the type of life insurance you choose. Later, once it’s grown, you can access your cash value through policy loans or partial withdrawals.

Type of Life Insurance Coverage Length Cash Value Cash Value Growth: Type Cash Value Growth: Speed Risk of Cash Value Loss Level Premium Payments
Term life Temporary; 1-40 years No n/a n/a n/a Yes
Whole life Lifelong Yes Fixed for life of policy, set by insurer Slow and steady No Yes
Universal life Lifelong Yes Variable, set by insurer Variable over time No Not required
Indexed universal life Lifelong Yes Tied to index performance Faster when index performs well No Not required
Variable universal life Lifelong Yes Based on your investment choices Faster if you make good investment choices Yes Not required

Term life

Term life comes with an expiration date: it covers you for the length of your financial obligations. You can choose from a variety of terms, all the way up to 40 years. Our clients usually pick terms that last as long as their mortgage, or until their youngest child turns 18 or 20. Term life does not have a cash value component, making it simple and affordable.

Whole life

Family of four posing for a photo on the steps of their home

Whole life covers you for the rest of your life, with no expiration date. As long as you keep your policy current, your loved ones are guaranteed to get a death benefit when you pass away. It also comes with a cash value component, which grows with a fixed, guaranteed rate of interest set by your insurer when you buy your policy. Because of the fixed rate, your cash value growth is guaranteed, making this a safe, secure option.

Universal life

Universal life also covers you for the rest of your life, without an expiration date. This policy type offers more flexibility than whole life, with flexible payment amounts and dates. Instead of paying the same amount every month, for example, you could make bigger payments fewer times a year. Your cash value grows at a variable rate that your insurer will update periodically. The one catch with flexible payments? It’s up to you to ensure you pay enough into the policy to keep it funded and active.

Indexed universal life

Happy parents posing with their three kids and a grandparent for a family photo

Indexed universal life takes all the features of universal life, with one important tweak to your cash value. It offers you the chance to grow it faster by tying its growth to the performance of a market index (the S&P 500, for example). If your index does well, you earn more interest. If your index does poorly, you earn less interest (or possibly zero interest, depending on your insurer). You won’t ever lose cash value, however, since you’re not actually investing in any stocks or securities. You’re simply using an index’s performance as a trigger for the amount of interest you earn.

Variable universal life

Variable universal life also takes the features of universal life, with a different tweak to your cash value. It offers you the chance to grow it faster by investing portions of it in stocks, mutual funds, or other securities offered by your insurer. In this case, you are actually purchasing these securities. If they gain in value, you grow your cash value. If they lose value, you may lose cash value. That’s the benefit and the drawback of variable coverage – with good choices, you can grow that cash value faster than with a fixed or variable rate of interest. But with poor choices or a general market downtrend, you can actually lose cash value. It’s a risk – but if that’s your style, and you’re up for the challenges and perks – you can grow your cash value faster than other policy types.

➡️ Rather talk to a real person about the best type of life insurance for your family? That’s why we’re here! Call us at (800) 823-4852 or click the button below to start with a free term life quote!

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Method #2: Shop By Price

This method is actually pretty easy: there’s a clear winner when it comes to price.

Term life is always going to be the most affordable type of life insurance, period.

It’s rare that, when talking about life insurance, we can make a statement that’s going to be true for everyone. So much about life insurance depends on your unique situation: pricing, for example, depends on your health, family health history, lifestyle, and more. But even with all those factors, term life is always cheaper than a cash value policy.

How much cheaper? It’s usually 5 – 10 times less expensive than a cash value policy. Cash value policies don’t expire and have a savings component; however, they won’t do you any good if the payments are too much for your budget. Check out our post here with sample term life rates.

Woman putting a coin in a piggy bank, symbolizing term life as the cheapest type of life insurance

As a point of comparison, here are some sample rates that show the difference between term life and universal life (one type of cash value coverage). The sample rates below were quoted using the best available health class and no tobacco usage.

M/F Age State Face Value Term Sample Cost UL Policy Matures Sample Cost
M 20 Michigan $500,000 30 years $28/month Age 121 $130/month
M 30 Iowa $350,000 25 years $19/month Age 110 $140/month
M 40 Missouri $250,000 20 years $18/month Age 105 $135/month
M 50 Delaware $200,000 20 years $35/month Age 100 $194/month
F 20 Virginia $500,000 30 years $22/month Age 121 $118/month
F 30 Idaho $350,000 25 years $16/month Age 110 $122/month
F 40 Montana $250,000 20 years $16/month age 105 $122/month
F 50 Hawaii $200,000 20 years $28/month Age 100 $169/month

➡️ Rather talk to a real person about the best type of life insurance for your family? That’s why we’re here! Call us at (800) 823-4852 or click the button below to start with a free term life quote!

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Method #3: Shop By Ease & Convenience

Senior woman with a mobile medic performing a life insurance medical exam

The life insurance buying process can be quite long, often taking 4-6 weeks. That’s because traditional life insurance underwriting takes time. With these traditional policies, you’ll be required to take a free life insurance medical exam, where a mobile medic comes to your home or office to measure your height and weight, as well as collect a blood and urine sample. The insurer will use this medical information to evaluate how big a risk they’d be taking to insure you. If you’re in good health, the risk is small and your price will reflect that. If you have a few health issues, their risk is a bit larger and your price will go up accordingly.

But what if we told you there’s another way to get covered…without all the wait and with no exam?

No-exam policies skip the medical exam and all the complicated underwriting that follows. Instead, the insurer gives you a questionnaire to fill out with details about your health and lifestyle. Then, they double-check your answers using public records and databases, including your driving record and any criminal record you may have. These checks can be performed instantly, and you can have a final decision in anywhere from a few minutes to a day or two. That’s a big difference from the 4-6 weeks that a fully underwritten type of life insurance can take!

The trade-off? Many no exam policies cost more than the policies that require full medical underwriting, with the exam. But for many of our clients, they’re happy to pay a little more if it means skipping the exam and getting covered faster. Some of our clients need coverage for work, before going on a trip, or to fulfill conditions of a divorce decree, for example, and time is of the essence. If this is the case for you, a no-exam policy is going to get you the speed and convenience you want.

Man getting a no-exam life insurance policy online

NOTE: If you have health issues and have been turned down for fully underwritten coverage, one particular type of no-exam policy – guaranteed issue – can get you a modest amount of coverage with no exam, designed especially for people with moderate to severe health issues.

There are two main types of no exam policies:

Simplified issue

Woman buying simplified issue life insurance online

Simplified issue coverage is the first type of life insurance that does not require a medical exam. Instead, as we described above, you fill out a questionnaire and get a speedy decision from the insurer. That questionnaire will ask about your health history, family health history, lifestyle (job, hobbies), finances, and more. The insurer will give you a speedy decision, and if approved, your coverage can begin that same day. If you have a serious health problem, however, the insurer may ask you to use the traditional underwriting process.

Simplified issue is available for term life, whole life, and universal life. Because you’re skipping the medical exam, however, the insurer doesn’t have as much information about your current health. So most insurers offer lower policy face values for this type of coverage, usually up to $250,000. Applicants over 55 may also be limited to even lower face amounts. However, since the pandemic, more insurers are offering simplified issue and at higher face values, so if you’re looking for coverage of $500,000+, let us know – we have up-to-the minute data on what insurers are currently offering.

Guaranteed issue / Final expense

Woman in a wheelchair getting a quote for guaranteed issue life insurance on her laptop

Guaranteed issue coverage also doesn’t require a medical exam. Instead of a questionnaire about your health history, you’ll just have to answer a few simple questions. In most cases, as long as you are not suffering from advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s, you will be approved. Coverage amounts are modest, usually $25,000 or below. This amount is intended to help you leave behind a small amount to cover your final medical expenses, as well as funeral and burial costs. That’s why you may see this coverage referred to as final expense.

You may be wondering…what’s the catch? Guaranteed issue policies are more expensive than term life policies. Plus, your policy will likely have limited benefits for the first year or two of coverage. If you were to pass away a few months after buying the policy, for example, the insurer may give your beneficiaries a refund of the premiums you’ve paid rather than the full death benefit. Every insurer sets slightly different rules for their policies, so this is another good reason to call one of our licensed insurance agents for help purchasing this type of policy.

➡️ Rather talk to a real person about the best type of life insurance for your family? That’s why we’re here! Call us at (800) 823-4852 or click the button below to start with a free term life quote!

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Quoted rates valid as of 10/13/23. Preferred best health class, no tobacco. Universal life rates quoted from Protective, American National, Nationwide, Pacific Life, American General, North American, and Cincinnati Life. Term life rates quoted from SBLI, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, American General, Pacific Life, Transamerica, Symetra, Haven Life, and Cincinnati Life. Your actual term life insurance premium can only be determined by a full application and the carrier's underwriting process, which may include some medical testing at their expense. Depending on the carrier, premiums can be paid on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly basis. Monthly premium rates may be available via EFT (electronic funds transfer). Not all carrier policies are available at all durations for all ages in all states.