The reasons for buying universal life insurance are almost as varied as the number of policies available for purchase.
For most people, providing a ready source of funding for grieving loved ones after death is an important consideration. When you die, will your loved ones be able to afford to pay your final expenses and debts and be able to maintain their current standard of living? If the answer is "no", it's time to explore various life insurance options to determine what makes the most sense for your situation.
Just like other forms of insurance, you'll need to apply for coverage and pay an initial premium. Once your policy is in-force, you'll need to make periodic premium payments to keep your life insurance benefits.
One of the best features of universal life insurance is the flexibility with your premium. You can pay higher premiums to add to your policy's cash value when you're able. Or, if you need to reduce the premium for a period of time, you can make adjustments to the policy to accommodate that.
When you apply for any type of life insurance policy, you'll need to answer questions about your health, including any medical conditions you have been diagnosed with or treated for. You'll also be asked questions about your occupation and lifestyle. The insurance company evaluates this information in determining whether to approve your new insurance policy. Many universal life insurance policies are offered with limited underwriting requirements, meaning you may not need to complete a physical examination as part of the application process.
Premiums for universal life insurance policies are typically higher than term insurance, but less expensive than premiums for whole life insurance policies. The price you pay will depend on the face amount of the policy (the amount of the death benefit payable after your death), your age at the time you apply, and your overall health. If you are a non-smoker, your premiums will generally be less expensive than those paid by regular tobacco users.
One of the biggest benefits of universal life insurance is the built-in flexibility when it comes to your premiums. If you experience a temporary financial hardship after your policy has been in force for a certain length of time and have sufficient cash value inside your policy, you may be able to rely on that cash value temporarily to help you keep the policy in force until you can afford to resume the full premium amount again.