There are two major types of life insurance—term and whole life. Whole life is sometimes called permanent life insurance, and it encompasses several subcategories, including traditional whole life, universal life, variable life and variable universal life. In 2016, about 4.3 million individual life insurance policies bought were term and about 6.4 million were whole life, according to the American Council of Life Insurers.
Life insurance products for groups are different from life insurance sold to individuals. The information below focuses on life insurance sold to individuals.