Term life insurance offers you security only for a specific "term" or time frame - usually renewable until the insurer reaches the age of 75. As the term applies, whole life insurance provides coverage for the whole life or until the person reaches the age of 100. So, essentially the basic difference between these two types of policies lies is related to the personal financial goals; a short-term is fulfilled by a term life whereas whole life insurance is considered more for the long term.
Whole life insurance provides you with a tax-deferred cash value for the investments during the term of the policy. Due to its investment nature, it demands for higher premiums. This is in sharp comparison to mere hundreds of dollars a year that a consumer would pay for a term life insurance. Insurance companies tend to be conservative to minimize the risks involved when investing your whole life insurance premiums. Term life policies often give you the option to choose your investment strategy if you can assume the risk and are knowledgeable with market investments. A typical scenario for a term life insurance policy would be when parents may buy one till their children graduate from college. This would ensure that in the unfortunate event of their death, the expenses for education are covered by the insurance company.
Due to the limited risk assumption, a term life insurance policy is cheaper and ceases to exist after the term ends. There is no tax-deferred cash value as in the case of whole life insurance. Moreover, the premiums increase exponentially as you grow older and can actually become unaffordable. A whole life insurance will ensure the financial independence of your loved ones for the entire lifetime in the unfortunate event of your death. As stated earlier, it is a personal priority based on various factors which drives the decision towards securing the financial future with a term life or a whole life insurance.