What is universal life insurance?

Universal life insurance (sometimes called universal insurance) gives you lifelong protection and cash value you can use for anything, anytime, plus the flexibility to adjust your policy along the way as your life and needs change. It lets you choose the amount of your death benefit and how much you pay in premiums, as well as when you pay them.

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The benefits of universal life policies

Flexible death benefit

UL gives you permanent life insurance coverage with premiums that are lower than you would have with whole life. You have a flexible death benefit (as opposed to guaranteed) which lets you choose to keep the amount level or increase it (within limits).

Flexible premiums

With UL, you'll have the flexibility to choose how much you pay in premiums, and when you pay them. You can choose to pay more in some years and less in others—which can be a huge help if you have an irregular cashflow, are self-employed, own a business, or earn money through royalties. As long as there is enough cash value to pay your policy's monthly fees and expenses, your coverage will generally continue.1

Cash value

UL policies build cash value that you can use for anything, anytime, usually without owing taxes. You can use it to cover unexpected emergencies, a home repair, college tuition, or a business investment.2 However, your policy could lapse if the net accumulated value of the policy is less than the monthly policy charges.

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What types of universal life insurance policies are offered by Northwestern Mutual?

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When you work with Northwestern Mutual, we listen to the goals you have and design a financial plan tailored specifically to your life. Universal life insurance is a flexible tool that could be an important part of your plan, giving you lifelong protection while helping you meet more of your financial goals. Find out more about how we plan.

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The Northwestern Mutual difference

A++  financial strength rating

AAA, Aaa, and AA+—we've earned the highest financial strength ratings awarded to life insurers from all four major rating agencies.3

Awarded in the Insurance category: Life & Health industry, Fortune® Magazine's annual survey, 2017

164+  years strong through depressions, downturns, and pandemics

The number of years we’ve been there for our clients—through depressions, downturns, and pandemics.

No. 1  direct provider of individual life insurance in the U.S.

Largest direct provider of individual life insurance in the U.S.4

Latest ranking for Northwestern Mutual based on direct premiums written 2019, S&P Global Market Intelligence
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