One of the big differences between a Term life insurance policy and a Whole Life insurance policy is the accumulation of cash inside the policy. With Whole Life insurance, as long as you pay your premiums as required, the cash value is guaranteed to never lose its value while inside the policy. Once the cash value amount is printed on your statement, regardless of what happens with the economy, it is yours to keep and will never go down (unless you take money out of the policy voluntarily or offset your premiums).
With any Whole Life policy, the cash value will grow every year, even if the insurance company should not declare any dividends (while dividends are not guaranteed, the companies we work with have not missed a dividend yet, and some of them have been in business for over 150 years).
If your policy is set up properly, you can accelerate how fast the cash value can grow. A new “floor” (minimum amount of accessible cash value) is set annually on the policy anniversary date, and it can never go down (as long as the premiums are being paid).
Another key component of the Whole Life product is that by age 100, the cash value is guaranteed to equal the total death benefit. This total death benefit includes the original death benefit amount (when the policy was started) along with all increases that were purchased by policy dividends or Paid-Up Additions.