Term life insurance
This coverage lasts for a limited time, typically 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. It's very easy to get a quote and buy term coverage, and it's also typically more affordable than permanent whole or universal life insurance. However, when your term ends, you're no longer protected – you either have to apply for a new policy at a higher cost (because you're older) or go without. However, many term policies (such as those from Guardian) may let you transition to a permanent policy in the future. You may also be able to get a policy through your employer at a lower group rate.
Whole life insurance
This is permanent life insurance coverage that can provide guaranteed protection for the rest of your life while earning additional cash value that can be used for things like policy loans.1 Whole life policies don't expire as long as your regular premiums are paid. Policies from a mutual life insurance company (such as Guardian) may also provide dividends, helping you fund life's other financial opportunities.2,3,4
Universal life insurance
Like whole life insurance, this type of policy provides permanent protection and can earn additional cash value. However, universal life insurance can give the added flexibility of adjusting your monthly payments within a specific range to help you better deal with changing work circumstances.5