If the features of Crownsville insurance fit the bill for you, there are multiple varieties depending on your needs and your tolerance for financial risk.
- Ordinary whole life insurance: Premiums are level as long as you live and your policy builds cash value. The initial annual cost will be much higher than the same amount of term life insurance, but as you get older that gap closes.
- Limited payment whole life insurance: This policy lets you pay premiums for only a specific period, such as 20 years or until age 65, but insures you for your whole life. Thus, premium payments will be higher than if payments were spread out through your lifetime.
- Single premium whole life insurance: This policy is paid up after one substantial initial payment.
- Universal life (UL) insurance: This policy lets you vary your premium payments and adjust your death benefit as beneficiaries' needs change. You have to be aware of how much is in your account and whether you need to make payments in order to keep the policy in force. There are also UL policies that can provide level premiums, as well as UL policies with a planned premium option and guaranteed death benefit for life. These policies may offer lower premiums in exchange for a slow accumulation of cash value, if any.
- Variable universal life (VUL) insurance: Here your cash value and death benefit are tied to a particular investment account. Your cash value and death benefit increase if the underlying investments do well, or they may shrink considerably under poor investment performance. Read the prospectus for VUL carefully and never buy a policy that you don't understand. There may be an extra premium required to guarantee a death benefit amount.
- Survivorship life insurance, also called second-to-die life insurance: This type of whole life policy insures two lives as once (typically a husband and wife) and pays out upon the death of the second individual. This is good for people who need to provide for beneficiaries only after both have passed away. It is also less expensive than insuring two lives under separate policies.
- Participating or non-participating whole life insurance: Any type of whole life policy listed above could be "participating" or "non-participating." You have a participating policy if your life insurance company pays dividends to policyholders when it has a good financial year. Dividends are not guaranteed and they will vary year to year when they are paid, but if you have a participating policy you can take your dividends as cash, use them to pay your premiums or use them to purchase additional insurance to increase your policy's face value. Dividends are not taxable as long as they don't exceed the premiums you've paid in.