When you buy a Term Life Insurance Policy, the insurance carrier promises that it will pay your beneficiaries a set lump sum amount if you die during the policy's term. In exchange, you pay a monthly premium to the carrier for the duration of that term. The monthly premium can be either fixed or increasing over the term. Terms very from 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and some carriers over custom term periods to meet your coverage needs.
Some Whole Life Insurance policies pay out a lump sum when the policy reaches it's maturity of 100 years.
Traditionally, the policy pays out to the beneficiary when the policy holder dies. The cash value of a whole life policy is usually guaranteed to equal the death benefit amount. These policies have been used is estate planning and wealth preservation.
With a Universal Life Insurance Policy, the insured (policy holder) is protected with a guaranteed death benefit amount. In addition, funds that are applied to the policy's savings component are invested to provide the policy with a built up cash.
Similar to Whole life insurance, that feature consistent premiums and a guaranteed cash value accumulation, while a Universal Life Policy provides flexible premiums, death benefits, and a savings option!