Skip to Content
Husband and wife sitting on couch drinking coffee and talking about managing their money in their marriage.
Marriage and Money

Love, and making a lifelong promise

Show your love by purchasing a life insurance policy that can benefit your spouse and your children in the future. But before doing so, learn about the three basic types of insurance.

After you've said your vows, cut the cake, enjoyed a leisurely honeymoon and settled in to your life as newlyweds, now's the time to broach the topic of life insurance.

Life insurance is about making a promise to those you love, and since February is the month of love, it makes sense to assess life insurance options for you and your new spouse. Even if you think other financial priorities come first, you should explore life insurance policies and features to determine if one fits in your budget. 

Life insurance can seem overwhelming. But if you begin with the basics, it's easier to understand.

Here are three primary types of life insurance:

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is meant to cover you for a specified period of time. The length of the term typically ranges from 5 to 30 years, depending on what term you select. Term life insurance is a good basic policy that can be a very affordable choice - especially when you're just starting out.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance is considered a permanent life insurance.  Unlike term life insurance (that provides coverage for a specific time period), whole life is designed to provide coverage for the rest of your life as long as you make your required premium payments on time. It also includes an additional feature known as cash value that can accumulate. You can borrow against the cash value or use it to supplement your income in retirement. The premiums with whole life will never increase and will remain level for as long as you own your policy. 

Universal life insurance

Universal life insurance is also a type of permanent life insurance (meant to last a lifetime), but offers you the ability to use accumulated cash value to cover premium payments. Most universal life policies accumulate cash-value over time that you can borrow* against (up to a limit), for whatever you like, such as a down payment on your first home or preparing for a new baby.

When you marry, you are committing to care for another person for the rest of your life. Life insurance is one way you can protect your loved one by ensuring they can meet financial obligations if the unthinkable happens.


* Loans against the policy accrue interest and decrease the death benefit and cash value by the amount of the outstanding loan and interest.



Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

A professional woman working on her laptop to determine her adjusted gross income.

Determining your adjusted gross income

Learn more
A graphic of a brain with a light bulb inside along with plus, minus and dollar signs.

How to save money: Retrain your brain

Learn more
Two young couples out on a beautiful evening, shouting and having fun.

Battle of the sexes: Who needs quality life insurance benefits more?

Learn more

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.