A type of insurance in which the insured is guaranteed coverage for life and the premiums are structured in a fixed series of equal payments, with the result being a growth in the cash value of the policy. The cash value is determined through a sinking fund which uses a guaranteed, but conservative rate of return. This is similar to a Whole Life policy. However, with Universal life, if the sinking fund actually earns more on investments than the guaranteed minimum return, the insurer gets the higher return. Upon death, the insured receives both the death benefit and the accumulated cash value.