Method of comparing the costs of a set of cash value life insurance policies that takes into account the time value of money. The true costs of alternative cash value policies with the same death benefit depend on a number of factors amount and timing of premiums paid, amount and timing of dividends (in the case of participating policies), time period involved, and the CASH surrender value. In evaluating a particular group of policies, a surrender cost index can be calculated using interest adjusted cost comparison. The index ranks the policies for the same period of time, say the first 20 years of the policy life, by cost per $1000 of face amount, showing the cheapest through the most expensive. In effect, the index illustrates the relative cost of acquiring a dollar's worth of each policy's cash surrender value after 20 years. Contrast with the net payments index, a ranking of policy costs using the traditional net cost method of comparison that ignores the time value of money and thus gives a less accurate picture of relative policy costs.