If you’re interested in cash value life insurance, you should know that whole life and universal life insurance are designed to grow at bond-like rates. Thus, they may appeal to consumers whose investment approach strongly emphasizes safety—preservation of capital while accepting a low rate of growth.
Conversely, variable universal life (VUL) insurance is appropriate for equity investors. With any form of variable life insurance, premiums are directed into chosen investment accounts; the performance of those accounts, over time, will determine the policy’s cash value and death benefit.
The “universal” portion of the name indicates flexibility when it comes to making premium payments.
For all cash value policies, premiums may be determined by projections of future returns. The higher the returns that are illustrated, the lower the premiums deemed necessary to support a given amount of life insurance.
VUL, which includes equity-based investment accounts, can illustrate higher projected returns than other forms of cash value insurance. Thus, buying VUL may lower your premiums, if you can live with the risks of having your life insurance invested in the stock market.