Whole life insurance is meant to be kept in force throughout your entire life. An important feature of whole life insurance is the accumulation of cash value. The cash value is the cash available to borrow against the policy, or the value of the policy paid to the policyowner when the contract is surrendered before maturity. Any withdrawal of cash value is treated as a policy loan and interest accumulates based on the loan amount. If you do not pay back the loan, the death benefit is reduced by the outstanding loan amount.
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