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Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

Cash Value Life Insurance Abby’s Consulting


What Is Cash Value Life Insurance?

Cash value life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that includes a cash value savings component and lasts for the entirety of the policy holder’s life. The cash value can be used by the policyholder for a variety of things, including as a source of loans or cash or to pay insurance premiums.

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  • Whole life and universal life policies, which are permanent life insurance, can build up cash value over time.
  • Term life insurance costs less than cash value life insurance.
  • Contrary to term life insurance, cash value insurance policies don’t run out of coverage after a set period of time.
  • An insurance policy with a monetary value may be borrowed against by the policyholder.
  • They could also take money out of the policy, although doing so would likely lower the death benefit.


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How Cash Value Life Insurance Works

Because it covers the policyholder’s life, cash value insurance is considered perpetual life insurance. Due to the cash value component, cash value life insurance typically has higher premiums than term life insurance. A fixed-level premium payment is needed for the majority of cash value life insurance policies, with the remaining amount being deposited into a cash value account and the remaining amount going toward the cost of insurance.

A moderate rate of interest is earned on the cash value of life insurance, and taxes on the accrued gains are postponed. As a result, life insurance’s cash value will rise over time. Because the cumulative cash value partially covers the insurer’s liability, the risk to the insurance company lessens as the cash value of the life insurance grows.

Example of Cash Value Life Insurance

Think about a $25,000 death benefit insurance policy. The policy has a $5,000 accumulated cash value and no past cash withdrawals or loans. The insurance provider pays the policyholder’s whole $25,000 death benefit upon his or her passing. The insurer now owns the money that was added to the cash value. The real liability cost to the insurance company is $20,000 ($25,000 – $5,000) because the cash value is only $5,000.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cash Value Life Insurance

For policyholders, the cash value component acts as a living benefit from which they can withdraw money. The policyholder’s or their beneficiary’s remaining assets after the insurance company deducts its fees and any expenses spent during the ownership of the policy are known as the life insurance net cash value. There are numerous ways to get money. Partial surrenders or withdrawals are usually acceptable for policies, but they may lower the death benefit.

Taxes on earnings are postponed until they are dispersed and withdrawn from the policy. Earnings are taxed at the policyholder’s ordinary tax rate after being distributed. Some policies provide an unlimited number of withdrawals, while others place a cap on the number that may be made over the course of a term or a year. Some regulations have a cap on the amount that can be removed (for example, a minimum of $500).

Loans from the cash value are typically possible with cash value life insurance policies. The issuer will assess interest on the outstanding principal, similar to any other loan. In the case of the policyholder’s death before the loan is fully repaid, the outstanding loan balance will be deducted dollar for dollar from the death benefit. Some insurers demand loan interest repayment, and if it is not, they may subtract it from the remaining cash value.3

It is also possible to pay insurance premiums with cash value. A policyholder can quit paying premiums out of pocket if there is enough money in the cash value account to do so.

Cash Value Life Insurance


  • Able to borrow using monetary value

  • Can make tax-advantaged withdrawals from the cash value.

  • Life insurance that is permanent


  • Higher out-of-pocket costs for premiums

  • Drawbacks lower the death benefit.

  • Interest and unpaid policy debts are deducted from the death benefit.



Why consider cash value life insurance?

Permanent life insurance policyholders have the option of borrowing money against the policy’s accumulated value, which is derived from recurring premium payments as well as interest and dividends credited to the contract.



Should I look into buying a cash value life insurance policy?

In addition to a retirement plan like an IRA or 401(k), those wishing to accumulate a nest egg over a period of several decades might want to think about cash value life insurance as a savings option (k). Be aware that it frequently takes two to five years for cash values to start to accumulate.



What about those high premiums?

Yes, because a portion of your payment goes toward savings, cash value policy premiums are often greater than those for standard life insurance.



What happens when you withdraw cash from life insurance?

The death benefit will be lessened if you take money out of a life insurance policy’s cash value. The policy expires if you completely withdraw. The IRS regarded your withdrawals from life insurance as a return of the premiums you paid for the policy, making them tax-advantageous. Thus, you are exempt from paying taxes on that sum of money. However, dividend gains would be subject to taxation; however, this wouldn’t happen until you’ve withdrawn all of your premium payments.

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