Look carefully at the choices for life insurance policy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 21, 2010

When looking for a new car, you have choices between numerous models, manufacturers and colors.

The same can be said for life insurance. Your selection will depend on a number of factors, but there is more than likely an option to fit your needs.

Two life insurance products you may consider are universal life and whole life.

Each offers the protection of a death benefit that will pass along to your loved ones tax-free. But beyond that, each policy also allows for a tax-deferred growth over your lifetime.

The cash value of these policies can be an important source of supplemental cash for a variety of needs. While any withdrawals will reduce the cash value or death benefit of your policy and should be done only after careful consideration, there are no restrictions on how proceed may be used.

But, before you start thinking these products are the same, you will find some important differences between them. Any comparisons between universal and whole life policies should include discussions about premium and benefits.

The premiums for each policy differ in that whole life offers a premium amount that will not change throughout your lifetime.

A universal life premium has some flexibility after an initial minimum amount is paid. Universal life premiums can change to fit various financial situations but the policy does not have the same premium guarantees found in a whole life policy.

A universal life policy offers a death benefit that may be increased or decreased depending on your needs.

The death benefit of a whole life policy is fixed and guaranteed as long as premiums, so you wont need to worry about the death benefit for your beneficiaries.

Whether you are looking for the flexibility of a universal life policy or the guarantees offered by whole life, you have options that suit your needs.

Talk to your insurance agent to find a policy with features you want.

Stuart Heflin is a Natchez-based insurance agent with State Farm Insurance. He can be reached by calling 601-442-9138.