Universal life insurance Definition
Universal Life (UL) is a type of permanent life insurance based on a cash value. That is, the policy is established with the insurer where premium payments above the cost of insurance are credited to the cash value. The cash value is credited each month with interest, and the policy is debited each month by a cost of insurance (COI) charge, which is drawn from the cash value if no premium payment is made that month. The interest credited to the account is determined by the insurer; often it is pegged to a financial index. Because only the amount of interest credited and not the cash value itself varies, UL policies offer a stable investment option. A similar type of policy that was developed from universal life policies is the variable universal life insurance policy, or VUL. VUL's allow the cash value to be directed to a number of separate accounts that operate like mutual funds and can be invested in stock or bond investments with greater risk and potential reward.