Without knowing your circumstances, wants, needs and desires - the question can't be answered. I would suggest that you get proposals for both and then make a decesion. I agree with the previous person's answer. Generally speaking, Variable has a higher upside potential but no minimum floor. Universal Life has a guaranteed floor, but a smaller upside potential. A variable universal life policy is more subject to market risks. The policy holder is allowed to monitor a portion of the premium and direct it to stocks and bonds of his choice, within the company limits. If you have a confident understanding of stocks and bonds this may be a policy for you to consider. For more information please refer to Types of Life Insurance.
The primary difference is how the cash value is invested. Variable universal life means it is invested in stocks and mutual funds and a "fixed" universal life is usually dependent on interest rates. Both carry high risk, but a fixed universal life policy gives you a guarantee that it will not go below a certain interest rate, while variable universal policies usually do not.
Variable universal life insurance is not an account. It is a policy that invests in separate accounts in an attempt to earn higher returns than a fixed policy. A variable universal life insurance policy can be converted into a different type of life insurance policy but not a different kind of account.
What's special about variable universal life insurance is that it builds cash value. You can read more about this type of insurance online at the Wikipedia website. Once on the page, type "Variable universal life insurance" into the search field at the top of the page and press enter to bring up the information.
Universal Life insurance has variable premiums built into the policy (whether traditional Universal Life or Variable Universal Life). However, many people end up paying less than they need to and the policies don't work out the way they planned. If you do a Universal Life policy, make sure you have a trustworthy agent. As for variable face amounts, some term policies have built in options to enable increasing the face amount of the policy at certain points in time. This may also be an optional rider on some policies, but there is a cost to it. This can be a good idea if budget doesn't allow for the appropriate face amount. Often insurance companies will allow you to reduce the face amount of a policy and get a reduced premium. Permanent insurance (Whole Life and Universal Life) have variable face amounts based on dividends and interest that may add to the face amount over time. Feel free to ask more. Brian Lombardo, CPA, Agent
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