There are two forms of life insurance. They are term-life and permanent life insurance. Term-life insurance provides life coverage for a set period of time, while permanent life insurance covers people for their entire lifespan. There are several kinds of permanent or whole life insurance.
A policy that has flexible premiums and flexible death benefit. Most people who buy this buy the guaranteed death benefit to age 95 or 100. Guaranteed to age 95 or 100 does not build much if any cash value.
This is a higher expense policy that will always be in force as long as premiums are paid. Some people like it because everything is set i.e. premium, death benefit, and cash value.
A universal life policy that has the cash value tied to an index that the insurance company invests in, not the policy owner, to achieve higher returns with limited risk to the policyowner. Complicated to explain in a few words.
These are lower face amount policies, 5000 to 25000 death benefit, that are purchased to cover last expenses like medical bills and burial costs. They do build cash values.
These are the same as the whole life policies mentioned above but they have the extra benefit of paying a dividend which can be used to lower premiums, increase coverage or be returned as cash to the policyowner.
These policies can be all of the other policies mentioned above. The idea is to pay enough premium early so that the interest earned on the cash value pays the policy for the rest of your life. Best to have that guaranteed.