Choosing life insurance isn’t exactly the most enticing activity — but selecting a life insurance policy now can help you sleep peacefully at night. Why? Because you’ll know your family is financially protected.
We’ll take a look at some of the best whole life insurance policies for 2020. We’ll help you decide if a whole or term policy is right for you, teach you how life insurance payouts work and introduce you to some companies that offer the best whole life policies.
The Best Whole Life Insurance:
- Best for Customized Plan Options: Northwest Mutual
- Best for Bundling: Allstate
- Best for Coverage Without a Medical Exam: Mutual of Omaha
- Best for Seniors: MassMutual
- Best for Term Life Insurance: Bestow
How does Whole Life Insurance Typically Work?
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. This means that as long as you keep paying your premiums on time, you’ll have life insurance until you die. Whole life insurance typically includes 2 benefits: a death benefit and a cash value benefit.
Here’s how whole life insurance works. When you sign onto a policy, you’ll name one or more beneficiaries. A beneficiary is someone who receives all or a portion of your policy’s death benefit. Your beneficiary can be your spouse, children, business partner or even a trust or religious institution.
You’ll also choose your policy’s death benefit. Your death benefit goes to your beneficiaries as a lump sum when you die. For example, let’s say you choose a policy with a $300,000 death benefit. Your beneficiary will receive $300,000 from your insurance provider after your death. Do you have more than 1 beneficiary? You may choose how your benefit is split.
The specific coverage levels available to you will depend on the company that issues your policy. As a general rule, the higher your death benefit, the more you’ll pay each month for your insurance premiums.
After you enroll in your policy, you pay a monthly premium to your insurance company. This premium is fixed and won’t change as you get older but your life insurance company has the right to terminate your policy if you discontinue paying your premiums. Your insurance company cannot cancel a whole life policy unless you elect to or you stop paying your premiums. This means that your beneficiaries will receive your death benefit as long as you stay on top of your premiums.
Whole life insurance also includes a cash value benefit and a portion of the premium paid money goes toward this benefit tax-deferred. This means that you don’t need to pay tax on the money when you withdraw it.
This money accumulates interest at a percentage set in the terms of your policy. This interest rate is usually much lower than other types of investments, but insurance companies typically guarantee a certain percentage of growth each year.
You can access this cash in a few different ways:
- Withdraw the money. You may withdraw the money from the cash-value portion of your policy at any point. This money isn’t taxable unless you lapse on your policy and borrow above the amount you’ve paid in through your premiums.
- Take out a loan. You can borrow against the money from the cash-value portion with a low-interest loan. This allows you to continue building interest on the cash in your savings account while also getting cash at a low rate. Like any other loan, these loans accrue interest that you must pay back in addition to your principal over time in monthly installments. If you die with a loan out, the amount you owe is deducted from your beneficiaries’ death benefit.
- Surrender your policy. You can collect any money you’ve accumulated as a lump-sum payment if you cancel your life insurance policy. The earlier you surrender your policy, the less money you’ll collect. Your insurance company may also charge a surrender penalty on your cash value.
Remember, you can only claim your cash value while you are alive. The cash left after you pass will return to the insurance company, along with any interest accrued, unless you make a conscious effort to have it returned to your beneficiaries.
Whole Life vs. Term Life
There are 2 major types of life insurance: term life and whole life. Let’s take a look at some of the differences.
- Whole life guarantees a death benefit for your beneficiaries as long as you keep paying your payments. Whole life policies also include a cash-value component that you can take advantage of while you’re still alive.
- Term life is much less complicated than whole life insurance. When you sign onto a term life insurance policy, you make monthly premium payments for a set number of years. Your policy’s term might range from 10 years to 30 years. Your beneficiaries receive the policy’s death benefit if you die during the policy’s term. If you outlive your policy’s term, your account closes and your beneficiaries don’t receive any money. Term life insurance policies don’t include a cash benefit.
Some financial experts recommend term life insurance because term policies are much more affordable than whole life policies. According to a study by the Society of Actuaries, about 30% of whole life insurance policies are surrendered within the 1st year, compared to only about 8% of term life insurance policies. Term life insurance provides a simple way to get cheap life insurance you can afford. The downside is that you won’t get any money if you outlive your term.
3 Reasons to Buy Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance might be more expensive than term life insurance, but it does come with a number of benefits. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you might want to pay more for whole life insurance.
- Your beneficiaries are guaranteed a payout. You never need to worry about outliving a whole life insurance policy. As long as you stay up to date on your payments, your beneficiaries are guaranteed a payout.
- You can recoup some of your premium costs. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance policies allow you to recoup a percentage of your premium costs with a cash-value benefit. You can access this money at any point in your life.
- Your premiums won’t increase. It’s possible to outlive your term life insurance policy and then get sick. You’ll pay even more money if you try to buy another term policy. You’ll always pay the same premium with a whole life insurance policy — no matter what types of hardships you run into.
5 Best Whole Life Insurance Companies
Now that you understand how whole life insurance works and how it’s different from term life insurance, let’s take a look at some of the best life insurance companies that offer whole life policies.
1. Best for Customized Plan Options: Northwest Mutual
Northwest Mutual is one of the largest whole life insurance companies in the United States. The company specializes in offering personalized plans tailored to your life goals. When you begin with Northwest Mutual, you’ll answer a few questions about why you want to buy a life insurance policy.
Northwest Mutual’s team of experts will then recommend a custom policy that balances coverage and premium expenses based on your goals. Whether you want to set up a financial safety net for your family or guarantee your retirement, Northwest Mutual has a plan for you.
2. Best for Bundling: Allstate
Whole life insurance premiums can be expensive. You can lower your premiums with a bundling package if you already have some form of insurance policy with Allstate. Allstate is a large, nationwide insurance company that offers nearly every type of insurance you might need.
You can bundle your whole life policy with your car insurance, homeowners insurance, motorcycle insurance or even a boat insurance policy and save. Allstate also makes it exceptionally easy to save on almost all of its insurance offerings with generous discount lists.
3. Best for Coverage Without a Medical Exam: Mutual of Omaha
Many whole life insurance providers require a medical exam before they calculate your premium. Mutual of Omaha is one of only a few whole life insurance policy providers that don’t require a medical exam before you can get a quote. You don’t even need to answer any health-related questions before you get a policy.
Mutual of Omaha’s benefits are lower than most other whole life insurers — you can get a policy with a death benefit between $2,000 and $25,000. Do you have a chronic or life-threatening health condition and want a whole life policy? Mutual of Omaha might be the right choice for you.
4. Best for Seniors: MassMutual
Whole life insurance for seniors can be particularly expensive and hard to find. MassMutual policies are available for senior citizens and you can find a policy no matter how old you are.
MassMutual’s whole life insurance policies have the potential to earn dividends — which you can use to cover all or some of your principal expenses. It also offers retirement accounts and plan advice — it’s a one-stop-shop for your golden years.
5. Best for Term Life Insurance: Bestow Life
Whole life insurance isn’t for everyone. You may decide that a term policy might be better for you. If so, be sure to get a quote from Bestow. Bestow is a company committed to making sure that getting term life insurance is less stressful and more human.
You don’t need to worry about an invasive medical exam and you can cancel your plan at any time. You can choose a plan with a term as long as 20 years or you can take a plan as short as 2 years while you figure out a long-term insurance solution.
Get the most affordable, no medical exam life insurance. With just a few clicks, you can quickly find out whether you qualify for a policy. The whole process is online, so you don’t have to talk to an agent, do paperwork or get a medical exam!
Protect Your Family for the Future
It’s important to know all of your options before you decide on a whole life insurance plan. Getting a quote for a whole or term life insurance policy is simple — many companies now allow you to see all of your options online in as little as a few minutes. Be sure to get at least a few quotes from competing companies before you choose a policy. This will ensure that you get the best coverage option available to you without breaking the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: What are the advantages of term life insurance?
A term life policy allows you to purchase coverage at a guaranteed premium for a limited amount of time. This structure makes term life an affordable choice to protect your family if you have a financial commitment that won’t last forever, like a mortgage or the cost of raising kids. A 20-year term life insurance policy is the most popular life insurance policy purchased to protect loved ones if the unexpected happens. Get a quote here from top providers.
2) Q: What are the advantages of whole life insurance?
Whole life insurance, along with universal life insurance and some other variants, is designed to provide coverage for your entire life. This differs from a term policy that offers guaranteed premiums for a limited time. Permanent life insurance has a savings or investment element that helps the policy to build cash value, making it an asset that can be borrowed against or even sold if you no longer need the policy.
3) Q: Is life insurance taxable?
In most cases, the death benefit paid to life insurance beneficiaries is tax-free. However, if the policy premiums were taken as a deductible business expense, there may be a tax liability. There is also the possibility that a life insurance payout can change the way an estate is taxed.
Our Recommendation: Find your best fit with Policygenius
Finding the right company for your situation means considering all of your options and getting the right advice. Policygenius makes it easy to get personalized quotes from top insurers and apply for your best policy all in one place. Their combination of online tools and support from unbiased, licensed experts makes Policygenius the best site to help you get insurance right.