A financial benefit (usually a lump sum) paid to the designated beneficiary on death of the insured person.
Provide a benefit upon the death insured, if the death occurs within a specified period of time.
There are no additional benefits in addition to the death benefit, i.e. no savings componenet that can used as wealth accumulation.
Whole Life Insurance
Provides both an insurance and an investment component. The insurance component provides a stated amount upon death of the insured. The investment component accumulates a cash value that can be withdrawn or borrowed against.
Universal Life Insurance
Combination of low cost term life insurance plus a savings element (similar to whole life insurance). The savings element is invested to provide cash value buildup. The death benefit, savings element and premiums can be reviewed and adjusted as circumstances change. In addition, allows the use of interest from the accumulated savings to pay premiums.