Universal insurance is a life insurance policy that is permanent, rather than contingent upon a job or other dictates. While term insurance is much less expensive, universal or whole life insurance will accrue a cash value, which will build up over the years. This value can be borrowed against if the money is needed as well, which is not the case with term life insurance.
Term life insurance is lost when employment is severed or after a specific time period. That can mean if you are dealing with a long illness, the term life insurance that is associated with your workplace may not last for the time period that you are sick, leaving your family with nothing when you pass away.
Universal insurance on the other hand can actually reach a point where it pays for itself via the interest on the money you have accrued. It is in effect as long as the premiums are paid, whether you or your account pay them.
The cash value that is accrued will be paid out to your listed beneficiaries upon your death to allow them to continue to take care of your family or your loved ones.
While universal life insurance can be somewhat more expensive, it can mean a world of difference to your family if you pass away.