In its simplest form, life insurance is a promise between an insurance company and you, the policy owner. If you pay a certain amount of money (premium) to the insurance company, the insurance company will pay a certain amount of money (death benefit) to the person (beneficiary) you tell us to when the person whose life is being insured dies.
There are many types of life insurance. Term insurance only provides a death benefit for a limited period of time. By contrast permanent insurance can provide a death benefit and the potential to build policy cash value that you can access during your lifetime using policy loans and withdrawals. Permanent insurance can also offer the flexibility to increase or decrease your death benefit as your needs change, as well as the potential to reduce or skip premium payments.
Policy loans and withdrawals reduce the policy’s cash value and death benefit and may result in a taxable event. Surrender charges may reduce the policy's cash value in early years.