These products and names get tossed around, and most of us are unsure what they fully mean or what protection they provide. We may have heard someone say at some point one was bad and one was good, but what are they and which does your family need?
Term insurance is meant for a specified period of time, to cover a debt or financial obligation that has a fixed term, such as a mortgage, student loan debt, or raising your children to adulthood. It is insurance that is more cost effective because it is meant to expire. People usually have larger amounts of term insurance based on the number of children or the size of your mortgage.
Permanent insurance offers protection for your entire life. It does not matter when or how you die, the permanent insurance is a benefit that is paid to your family. A portion of your monthly premium goes to build the cash value that earns interest every year. Permanent insurance does cost more, and so typically people will have a smaller amount of permanent coverage.
One is not bad or good, it simply depends on your age and needs that determines what makes sense.