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Universal Life

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent insurance that offers flexible premiums and a flexible death benefit.

Your tax-deferred cash value account accumulates at nothing less than the guaranteed rate of interest, but may accumulate at a higher rate if market rates are higher than the guaranteed rate.

You can use the money in your cash value account to pay premiums if there’s enough available. And you can also increase the amount of the death benefit without having to qualify for the additional protection. This alternative allows you to build inflation protection into your insurance.

As with other permanent policies, you may be able to borrow against your cash value account, though any outstanding loan reduces your death benefit. You also get a portion of the cash value back, minus fees and expenses, if you end the policy.

However, universal life is a more complex product than straight life and the premiums are higher for a comparable death benefit.