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 need2. You can also earn dividends3 that can be taken as cash, used to pay premiums, or buy more coverage.

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No. 1

Best life insurance company for consumer experience4NerdWallet 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) will never go up.5

Cash value

Your policy builds a pool of money (cash value) over time2 that you can use throughout your life for anything you need like an unexpected expense, college tuition, or as extra retirement income.

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How much does whole life insurance cost?

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

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Guaranteed payout to loved ones1
Lifelong protection1
Builds cash value2
Chance to receive dividends3
Premiums that never increase5
Optional riders available

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The Northwestern Mutual difference

No. 1 most admired companies

Fortune® named us one of the World's Most Admired Life Insurance Companies, 20237

Ranking for Northwestern Mutual, 2021 Fortune®

$7.3B in dividends expected to be paid in 2024

in dividends expected to be paid in 20243

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.8

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