The Christian Broadcasting Network

Ellie Kay
More on Ellie Kay

Ellie Kay is a best-selling author, popular conference speaker, a frequent media guest on Fox News, CNN, and CNBC, and a commentator for “Money Matters” radio show.

For her free newsletter and money savings links, go to   

Related Links

Seven Ways to Cut Insurance Fat

More articles by Ellie Kay

Ellie's Book


1/2 Price Living1/2 Price Living (Moody, 2007)

Save Cash

Life Insurance 101

By Ellie Kay
Financial Columnist Author Ellie Kay, a former insurance broker, gives sound advice so you can make the best decision when selecting your life insurance policy.

Level Term

Advantages: Level payments over specific period, usually 5, 10, 15, or 20 years; may be convertible to a permanent policy
Disadvantages: More expensive than ART in early years, less expensive in later years

Whole Life (permanent)
Advantages: Fixed premiums; cash value you can borrow against; possible dividends; tax-deferred earnings; guaranteed death benefits
Disadvantages: Initially higher premium than term insurance; little flexibility in premium payments

Universal Life (permanent)
Advantages: Flexible premiums; tax-deferred earnings on cash value; access funds; different options allow cash buildup or insurance protection
Disadvantages: If interest rates fall, low cash value buildup may cause policy to lapse unless you add money.

Variable Life (permanent)
Advantages: Fixed, level premiums; guaranteed death benefit; choice of investment options
Disadvantages: Premiums start low but rise with each new term; nothing back if you outlive contract

Annual Renewable Term

Advantages: Most coverage for the least money; protection in increments of one year; can renew yearly up to specified age (usually 70); may be convertible to permanent policy
Disadvantages: Potentially higher earnings than other cash value policies but also greater risk

Variable Universal Life (permanent)
Advantages: Similar to variable life but with flexible payments
Disadvantages: You select the investment vehicle that generates your cash value growth (stocks, bonds, etc.), so there’s greater risk.

For Military:  SGLI (Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance)
Advantages:  Can be purchased in $10,000 increments up to $250,000.  Essentially a term policy that is VERY affordable—currently SGLI premiums are currently $.065 per $1,000 of insurance, regardless of the member's age.
Disadvantages: If you separate from the military without the benefit of a retirement, you no longer qualify for this policy.

  • Translate
  • Print Page

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

Do You Know Jesus
Grow In Your Faith

Need Prayer?

Call 1-800-700-7000
Email your prayer request

Email iconSign up for E-mail Updates Full List