What is whole life insurance?
Whole life is the most common type of permanent life insurance. With whole life insurance, your premium payments remain the same over the life of the policy. You can choose how often you'd like to make premium payments, too - annually, semiannually, quarterly or monthly. Some whole life policies can be paid up after a certain number of years. And because your policy earns a fixed rate of interest, it's easy to predict the growth of your policy's cash value over time.
Who could benefit from whole life?
Whole life insurance is good for people looking for life-long insurance option, predictable premiums and the ability to accumulate a guaranteed tax-deferred cash value with a fixed rate of interest over time.
- A life-long life insurance policy
- Fixed premium payments
- A guaranteed fixed rate of interest on the cash value
- Tax-deferred cash value accumulation
How does whole life insurance work?
Each time that you pay your premium, a small amount is set aside, which builds up over time as the life insurance policy's cash value. The longer you hold the policy, the more cash value the policy builds. If a need arises, and if premiums are paid, you can borrow against the available cash value providing you with financial protection.
Determine how much you need
Calculate how much your beneficiary may need to cover necessary expenses. Use our life insurance tool
or discuss whole life insurance with your financial advisor to help you do that.
Use your money when you need it
Whole life insurance policies (commonly referred to as “whole life”) build cash value at a fixed interest rate that you can access as a loan while you're still living.
When you die
The whole life insurance policy pays a pre-specified amount, called a death benefit, to the person or people you’ve chosen as your beneficiary - typically your spouse, children or other family members.
Benefits of whole life insurance
Whole life insurance is typically more expensive than term life policies, but the premium amount typically doesn't change throughout the life of the policy. Over time, this helps make whole life insurance more affordable.
Tax-free death benefit
The payout your beneficiary receives if you die during the coverage period is typically tax-free and has a steady value throughout the life of the policy.
If you need to, you can renew your policy when it ends. The premiums can be a bit higher, though.
If needed, you may be able to access your money through loans for an additional charge. Certain restrictions apply.
You can customize a whole life insurance policy with a variety of riders for an additional charge.
Whole life insurance payment options
When it comes to a Nationwide YourLife® whole life insurance policy, you have choices. Select the payment option that works best for you.
Premiums are the same until they stop when you turn 100.
Premiums are the same until the policy is paid after 20 years.
Learn more about Nationwide YourLife WL.
Tools & resources
Make the most out of your whole life insurance policy.
Topics to discuss with your advisor
- Based on my needs, do I need permanent life insurance?
- If my employer offers life insurance, do I really need to buy more?
- What happens to my policy’s cash value when I die?
Please read this important information
Guarantees and protections are subject to Nationwide's claims-paying ability. Nationwide YourLife is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.