In the universe of insurance, there are essentially two kinds of life insurance: Term Life Insurance, and Permanent Life Insurance (Whole and Universal). Let's talk about the differences.
TERM LIFE INSURANCE
With Term Life Insurance, you pay premiums for a predetermined term (generally 20 or 30 years). If you pass away inside that term, the insurer pays your survivor(s) a benefit.
Term Life Insurance is like vehicle insurance; In the event that you stop paying, you lose the insurance and the associated benefits.
PERMANENT LIFE INSURANCE (sometimes referred to as "WHOLE LIFE")
With Permanent Life Insurance, your insurance stays active and in effect as long as you're paying the premium. Furthermore, a portion of the premium you pay accumulates as a cash value. You can utilize this money to supplement your retirement, and even take loans against it.
The huge distinction between the two types of Permanent life insurance, Whole Life and Universal Life, is that Whole Life Insurance premiums' amounts are fixed for life while Universal Life Insurance allows adjustment of the premiums and death benefit over time.
Simply put, Whole Life Insurance (though not universal policies) accumulates tax-deferred cash value, whereas Term Life Insurance does not. Whole Life Insurance is often a component of a diversified investment strategy.