In general, there are two types of life insurance policies: term and permanent. Term life runs for a specific number of years (usually up to 30). Permanent life insurance can run your entire life. Whole life from AIG Direct is a type of permanent insurance and can cover you for a lifetime, sometimes up to 100 years old.
Whole life insurance from AIG Direct has fixed premiums for the life of the policy. Unlike term life, this type of policy accrues cash value over time. A portion of each premium you pay becomes part of this cash value. The money accumulates on a tax-deferred basis, similar to retirement accounts.
The cash value is an asset that belongs to you. You can even borrow against it. Because you would be borrowing against money that belongs to you, there aren't the same types of restrictions and credit checks that other types of loans can have. The interest rate can be more favorable too. Just keep in mind that if you borrow against the cash value, you must repay it. Otherwise, your loved ones could have a reduced death benefit if you were to die. Also, early on in the policy there might be very little or no cash value.