How to find the accumulated cash value of your life insurance policy

When most people think of purchasing a life insurance policy, they’re usually planning for financial expenses their loved ones will have after they die. Certain types of life insurance policies have other benefits for you and your loved ones, though.

The cash value of a life insurance policy is one of those benefits. With the right type of insurance policy, you can build a “savings” account you can leverage for unexpected expenses, or in some cases, to pay for the premiums later in life.

In this guide, you’ll find out if your life insurance policy might be holding cash value. You’ll also learn how to find out your cash value balance.

Does my policy have cash value?

The short of it is that all life insurance policies that are not term life have cash value. How that value is calculated — varies between types of policies:

  • Term life insurance: The most basic life insurance policy is like "renting" a policy - it does not accumulate any cash value unless you convert it. undefined
  • Whole life insurance: Traditional or permanent life insurance pays benefits when you die, and it accumulates cash value when you pay an additional amount over the cost of the insurance. You usually pay more into the savings account at the beginning of the policy, so your cash values grows slower the longer you've held the policy.
  • Universal life insurance: A universal life insurance policy offers flexible premium payments with the ability to increase your monthly payment to grow the “savings account” option of your policy. These policies accumulate interest based on current market rates (in a down market, you'd be losing money).
  • Variable life insurance: Variable life products pay benefits when you die, but the death benefits are tied to the performance of the investment options you choose.

4 ways you can find out the cash value of the policy

If you have a universal, variable, or whole life insurance policy, you’ll want to know how to find the cash value of your policy. These four ways should help you find the answers you need.

Call your insurance company or agent

The cash value on your life insurance policy is considered sensitive information, so a phone call can be the fastest way to get the balance.

You might need some identifying information like your social security number, date of birth, or your insurance policy number.

Log in to your insurance company’s web portal

If you’ve already set up your online account, you might be able to get your life insurance cash value by logging into a web portal.

This will be the fastest way to find your cash value. You might also be able to manage your policy and cash value options online without talking to an agent.

Use the insurance company’s online contact form

While you likely won’t be able to get your life insurance cash value by submitting a contact form, you can request a phone call to avoid sitting on hold.

Alternatively, if you have your insurance agent’s email address, you can request a phone call from them to go over your cash value balance and options.

4. Download your insurance company’s mobile application

This probably won’t be an option for everyone, but some insurance companies have mobile apps that can make it simple to get your cash value.

You might have limited options for managing your account on a mobile app, but it’s a quick way to find your balance and account information.

What can you do with the cash value on your life insurance policy?

Every life insurance policy will have different terms, but you generally have a few standard options for using your accumulated cash value.

The most common ways to use your life insurance cash value are:

  • Use it as collateral for a loan: Your insurance company might offer secured loan options with lower rates than an unsecured personal loan.
  • Reinvest it in other financial tools: You can use the cash value to diversify your investment portfolio depending on your financial goals (though, if you are over 74 or you health situation has taken a turn for the worse, you may be able to sell your life insurance policy for more than its cash value)
  • Pay your monthly policy premiums: An effective way to reduce your monthly expenses while maintaining your policy is to pay your premiums with it.

The best option for you depends on your goals. but use the cash value because it is only a benefit for the living policyholder - the insurance company takes your cash value when you die. Your beneficiary will only receive the death benefit.

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