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Variable universal life insurance

Provides permanent protection with the potential to build cash value through a variety of asset allocation options.

What is variable universal life insurance?

Variable universal life insurance is a policy whose cash value is based on the performance of an investment sub account, which operates like a mutual fund. The cash value can be invested in a variety of investments that can include stocks, bonds, and money market funds. In addition, capital gains and other investment earnings may accrue tax deferred as long as the funds remain invested in the insurance contract.

Potential benefits of variable universal life insurance

Flexible premium payments

Investment performance can create payment flexibility – though poor market performance may require additional premiums.

Control over investment options

You can choose from a variety of assets which offer different levels of risk and growth potential, all of which are subject to market fluctuation.

Flexible policy premiums

You have flexibility on the duration of premium contributions to the policy and on the frequency (monthly, quarterly or annually) of those contributions.

Potential risks of variable universal life insurance

  • No guarantee - There is no guarantee on the cash value of variable universal life insurance. The policy's investment component is subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal, which may result in a lapse of coverage if additional premiums are not contributed.
  • Charges and expenses - Charges, fees and expenses may be higher than other types of insurance contracts. In addition to the standard charges, fees, and expenses, variable universal life policies also have an investment management fee associated with the available mutual funds.

Helpful resources


If you're considering insurance, it helps to understand the types of policies, what they cover, and the most common terms.


Discover key findings from our report looking into global protection needs. We look at how much family members depend on each other and how financially secure people are feeling.


Find the right approach to protecting your family against risk and discover what to look for in insurance policies.

Get started with variable universal life insurance

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Investment, annuities, and variable life insurance products are offered by HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. (HSI), member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC. In California, HSI conducts insurance business as HSBC Securities Insurance Services. License #: OE67746. HSI is an affiliate of HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Whole life, universal life, term life, and other types of insurance are offered by HSBC Insurance Agency (USA) Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Products and services may vary by state and are not available in all states. California license #: OD36843.

Investments, Annuity and Insurance Products: Are not a deposit or other obligation of the bank or any of its affiliates; Not FDIC insured or insured by any federal government agency; Not guaranteed by the bank or any of its affiliates; and subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal invested.

All decisions regarding the tax implications of your investment(s) should be made in connection with your independent tax advisor.

Research backgrounds of brokers and firms for free by visiting FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

Environmental, Social & Governance (“ESG”) and Sustainable Investing (“SI”)

HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. (“HSI”) does not provide recommendations or advice on any products based on ESG or SI considerations except in certain discretionary solutions or based on HSBC Group’s* policies. Customers can purchase ESG/SI related products on our platform on a self-directed basis. For our general ESG/SI disclosure, click Disclosures- HSBC. Information about HSBC Group’s approach to Sustainability can be found at Our climate strategy | HSBC Holdings plc.

*HSBC Group refers to HSBC’s global affiliates.