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Universal life insurance, like whole life insurance, is a type of permanent life insurance policy that accumulates tax-deferred cash value. The policy stays in effect for as long as you remain alive and pay the premiums. In contrast, a term life policy is only effective for a given period of time – the term – and it does not accumulate cash value.

The primary difference between whole and universal life – also called adjustable life – is that universal life is more flexible. For example, some universal life policies allow you to increase the death benefit or change your premium payment schedule. However, universal life is more expensive than term and more complicated than term or whole life. As a result, it isn’t for everyone. Is it a good option for you?