Jeffrey Manola is an experienced life insurance agent and the founder of Top Quote Life Insurance. His mission when he created Top Quote Life Insurance was to provide online consumers searching for life insurance with the absolute best quotes for term life insurance, permanent life insurance, no medical exam life insurance, and burial insurance. Not only does he strive to provide you with the ...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Facts You Should Know

  • Variable life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance policy.
  • Your variable life insurance policy will have investment opportunities while giving you life insurance coverage.
  • Variable life insurance is one of the most expensive life insurance policies.

Variable life insurance policies are designed to give you life insurance coverage. It gives you a chance to use your accumulated life insurance account to invest in the stock market. The cost of variable life insurance varies by company. A variable life insurance company may charge you at least $78 per month.

Permanent quotes vary by company, so you should shop around to find the best rate. Our variable life insurance guide will show you how to find affordable variable life insurance, what companies provide variable life insurance policies, and general information you should know about variable life insurance.

Compare multiple companies in your area by entering your ZIP code to locate variable life insurance policies. Continue reading to learn more about variable life insurance.

What is variable life insurance?

A variable life insurance policy carries the same life insurance benefit as any other permanent life insurance policy, but you can use your life insurance savings account to make investments into stocks, bonds, equity funds, etc.

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How does variable life insurance work?

Variable life insurance is an agreement, or contract, between you and the life insurance company. There are some investment risks, and they are under strict federal security laws. It’s more complicated than whole life insurance policies, and you may need help from a finance professional to fully understand what’s going on with your variable life insurance.

You can borrow from your accumulated cash value without being taxed because variable life insurance policies are tax-deferred—which means you could receive tax-free money when you borrow from the cash value. However, an unpaid variable life insurance loan will be deducted from your death benefit (overall life insurance coverage limit).

How much does variable life insurance cost?

Your variable life insurance policy rate depends on age, gender, life insurance policy limit, and health condition. Let’s look at the average cost of variable life insurance by gender.

Average Monthly Variable Life Insurance Rates by Gender
Age GroupMonthly Variable Life Insurance Rates for Female PolicyholdersMonthly Variable Life Insurance Rates for Male Policyholders
25 - 35$78 - $120$100 - $140
35 - 45$120 - $201$140 - $221
45 - 55$201 - $340$221 - $364
55 - 65$340 - $571$364 - $659
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Females, regardless of age group, pay less for variable life insurance than male policyholders. These monthly rates are average rates, so they’ll be different for each life insurance company.

Top Five Life Insurance Companies with Variable Life insurance

If you’re wondering which companies are best for variable life insurance, we’ll list them in this short section. The top five companies for variable life insurance are:

  • Allstate
  • Principal
  • Nationwide
  • New York Life
  • Pacific Life

These are some of the biggest companies in the life insurance industry. Companies with the best options are Nationwide and New York Life. However, companies with the best complex life insurance policies are Principal and Allstate.

Variable Life Insurance Pros and Cons

To ensure you make the right decision when selecting life insurance, we’ll share some advantages and disadvantages of variable life insurance. You may find more as you read more about the permanent life insurance option. For now, let’s examine the main pros and cons of variable life insurance.

Variable Life Insurance Pros & Cons
Variable Life Insurance ProsVariable Life Insurance Cons
Guaranteed death benefits won't decrease while you make your minimum payments on time.Poor investment options can decrease your cash value.
Flexible minimum and maximum monthly rates payment.Variable life insurance fee could be higher than a universal life insurance policy.
You can earn higher than average returns compared to other types of permanent life insurance policies.You'll have to monitor variable life insurance policies more.
Policyholders can control how the cash value is invested.Variable life insurance has charges that are expensive at the early stages of the policy.
You can manage risk tolerance.
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Variable life insurance is very complicated. You’ll need all the help you can get to ensure your investments work as you’re paying your premiums.

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Variable Life Insurance Risks

We’ve been talking about variable life insurance risk in the previous sections. Therefore, we’ll spend some time explaining the risk of buying a variable life insurance policy.

Investing with a Variable Life Insurance Policy

As you pay monthly premiums, you can control how much money you want to invest.

It’s essential to know how to invest. Any poor investments will hurt your cash value and lower your death benefits if you’re not careful.

Policy Loans can Affect Death Benefits

If you borrow money from your cash value and have trouble paying it back, the money you borrowed will be deducted from your death benefits.

The death benefits are the coverage amount on your life insurance policy. If you happen to have money in the accumulated cash value, that will go to your beneficiary, along with the death benefits.

Variable Life Insurance Fees and Other Expenses

One of the disadvantages to variable life insurance is the fees that could last up to 15 years. The fees vary based on the company. Before you buy variable life insurance, ask about the fees and other expenses.

Factors You Should Consider Before You Buy Variable Life Insurance

There are questions you should ask yourself before you purchase variable life insurance. It may sound rewarding, but you may need it if you’re trying to save money on life insurance. Let’s answer a few questions on why you should consider variable life insurance.

Does variable life insurance fit your lifestyle?

If you’re looking to save money on life insurance, variable life insurance may not be right for you. However, people who want to invest in the stock market should purchase variable life insurance. Policyholders who are familiar with investment portfolios can profit from the variable life insurance opportunities.

Can you get flexible life insurance rates with variable universal life insurance?

An advantage of variable life insurance and variable universal life insurance is flexible monthly premiums. There is a maximum and minimum payment you can pay each month. Each payment splits. A portion of your premium goes to life insurance, while the other part goes toward your investment.

Under variable universal life insurance, the cash value of the variable life insurance accumulates over time. There are other smaller accounts in the variable life insurance policy that behave like a mutual fund.

How does variable life insurance compare to other life insurance policies?

Variable life insurance allows you to invest, but whole life insurance and burial insurance won’t let you do that. However, it doesn’t mean variable life insurance is better. You have to weigh your options to see which policy works better for you.

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Can you change your mind about variable life insurance?

Absolutely. The great thing about some permanent life insurance cash values is that you can move them around to other companies.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you can’t move your retirement savings, like 401k, around without a penalty or under strict rules. With variable life insurance policies, you can move your cash values to different places.

Variable Life Insurance: The Bottom Line

The best types of policies are the policies that work best for you. If you want to invest money into the stock market or equity funds, you should consider variable life insurance. You may pay more than the average person, but you’ll have an opportunity to generate growth in your cash value exponentially. However, you’ll need to make the right investments.

Enter your ZIP code to compare multiple companies in your local area with variable life insurance policies.