Whole life insurance is a life insurance policy where the premium remains the same over the life of the insured and the policy has a cash value. Thus, the policy contains an insurance component and an investment component.
The consistent premium varies from a term life policy, where the premium gradually increases over the life of the insured. The cash value is called the cash surrender value; the insured can obtain a loan against this amount, if needed. The policy pays a fixed amount upon the death of the insured party.
Whole life insurance is also known as ordinary life insurance.