Permanent life insurance lasts for your entire lifetime, rather than a limited period (which is how term life insurance works). With permanent life insurance, your coverage stays in force as long as you pay your premiums as they are scheduled. Whole life and universal life are types of permanent life insurance. Whole life insurance features level premiums that never increase and an accumulating cash value at a guaranteed fixed rate. Universal life offers you more flexibility but requires more ongoing attention. With universal life, you can change the amount of your premium payments and accumulate cash value based upon market interest rates, which may change over time.