What is whole life insurance?

This type of permanent life insurance gives you lifelong protection1 and has features you can use along the way. As you make payments, your policy will build cash value. It's guaranteed to grow (typically tax deferred) regardless of market ups and downs, and you can use the cash value to pay for whatever you want or need. You can also earn dividends2 that can be taken as cash, used to pay premiums, or buy more coverage.

No. 1

Best life insurance company for consumer experience3NerdWallet logo

Get started

No. 1

Best life insurance company for consumer experience3NerdWallet logo

Whole life insurance policy highlights

Guaranteed payout

Along with feeling confident knowing that your loved ones will receive a guaranteed death benefit1 when you're no longer here, you'll have coverage that lasts your entire life.

Costs are set

How much you'll pay will depend on things like your coverage amount, age, and health. Once your premiums are set, what you pay each month (or yearly) is what you'll always pay.4

Cash value

Your policy builds a pool of money over time5 that you can use throughout your life for whatever you need like an unexpected expense, college tuition, or as extra retirement income.

Life Insurance Calculator

How much life insurance is right for you?

Calculate it

How much does whole life insurance cost?

A happy couple shaking hands with a financial advisor.

Many factors can affect the cost of a policy. That's why we value working with you to fully understand your situation and needs. What you pay monthly (or yearly) will depend on things like:

  • Your coverage amount
  • Your age
  • Your health
  • Added riders
Connect with an advisor

Which type of life insurance is best for you? Compare them.

Compare life insurance products
BenefitsWholeTerm
Guaranteed payout to loved ones1
Lifelong protection1
Builds cash value5
Chance to receive dividends2
Premiums that never increase4
Optional riders available

You've got whole life insurance questions, we've got answers.

Get our monthly Life & Money newsletter filled with financial tips, tools, and more.

Enter your contact information to receive weekly emails about reaching your goals.

The Northwestern Mutual difference

No. 1  most admired companies

Fortune® named us one of the World's Most Admired Life Insurance Companies, 20236

Ranking for Northwestern Mutual, 2021 Fortune®

$7.3B  in dividends expected to be paid in 2024

in dividends expected to be paid in 20242

Statistic for Northwestern Mutual, Dividends are reviewed annually and are not guaranteed. based on Northwestern Mutual policyowner data.

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.7

Awarded in the Insurance category: Life & Health industry, Fortune® Magazine's annual survey, 2017
Picture of a financial representative

Ready to find the best life insurance option for you?

Our advisors will help you figure out the right amount of whole life insurance for your goals and budget.

It's easy to get started—no commitment, just a conversation