whole life insurance

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Life insurance coverage that runs for the insured’s natural life. Whole life insurance provides both term life insurance and a savings plan (i.e., accumulation of “cash value” or “surrender value”) that allows for the insured, at any time after an initial period but before the insured’s death, to surrender the policy for that value or sometimes to borrow against it without surrendering the policy. Also termed ordinary life insurance; straight life insurance; permanent insurance.