Universal life insurance is permanent life insurance with an investment savings element and low premiums like term life insurance. Most universal life insurance policies contain a flexible premium option. However, some require a single premium (single lump-sum premium) or fixed premiums (scheduled fixed premiums).
A universal life insurance option provides more flexibility than whole life insurance. Policyholders have the flexibility to adjust their premiums and death benefits. Universal life insurance premiums consist of two components: a cost of insurance (COI) amount, and a saving component, known as the cash value.
Much like a savings account, a universal life insurance policy can accumulate cash value. In a universal life insurance policy, the cash value earns interest based on the current market or minimum interest rate, whichever is greater. As cash value accumulates, policyholders may access a portion of the cash value without affecting the guaranteed death benefit.
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