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How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are." —Roy Disney

If you need help figuring out how to buy a life insurance policy, here's a side-by-side comparison of the most popular types. This will help you choose based on the features that are most important to you.

For more help, give us a call at 800-823-4852!

Term Life
Whole Life
Universal Life
Variable Universal
Length of coverage
Terms from
1-30 years
Death benefit
Term life death benefit: yes
Whole life death benefit: yes
Universal life death benefit: yes
Variable universal life death benefit: yes
Flexible payment    
Universal life flexible payment: yes
Variable universal flexible payment: yes
Cash value  
Whole life cash value: yes
Universal life cash value: yes
Variable universal cash value: yes
  • invested in the market
Variable universal life cash value invested in the market: yes
  • guaranteed
Whole life cash value guaranteed: yes
Universal life cash value guaranteed: yes
Tax advantages
Term life tax advantages: yes
Whole life tax advantages: yes
Universal life tax advantages: yes
Variable universal life tax advantages: yes
Low monthly payment
Term life low monthly payment: yes


  Term life insurance Whole life insurance
Affordable coverage for a
limited amount of time
Coverage for the rest of your life
Monthly payments
Smaller payments during your term, but they could go up if you renew your policy at the end of your term
Higher than term life, but they will not increase as long as the policy remains in effect
Coverage length
You decide—terms are available for periods ranging from 1 to 30 years
As long as you live
Cash value
Choose this policy if:
  • You want a replacement for the income you would earn during your working years
  • You can't afford much per month
  • You want the best balance of a low monthly cost with a high death benefit
  • You're not worried about future investment potential or cash value—you're more worried about essential protection


  • You don't want to worry about the cost of renewing a policy if you survive the initial term
  • You have a large amount of cash to invest, such as a closed-out 401(k)
  • You want to be able to access cash value later in life (it functions like a forced savings plan)

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Copyright 2002-Present Pinney Wholesale Insurance Services - All Rights Reserved 2266 Lava Ridge Court, Roseville, CA 95661

*Comparison of each carrier’s best published rates for a
10-year level term policy, 30-year-old non-smoking female

^Represents 10-year level term life insurance rates for 40-year-old female,
in good health, no tobacco, residing in Ohio.

R. Jan Pinney CLU, ChFC is a licensed life insurance agent in all states and the District of Columbia. The following agent license numbers are provided for R. Jan Pinney as required by state law: CA agent #0440057, LA agent #291116, MA agent #1674866, MN agent #20270113, UT agent #58330, agent R. Jan Pinney, DBA Pinney Insurance Services. Commercial use by others is prohibited by law. This site provides term quotes. Each rate is a quote based on information provided by the carrier. No portion of Trusted Quote may be copied, published, faxed, mailed or distributed in any manner for any purpose without prior written authorization of the owner.

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