This "cash value" can be used to purchase additional life insurance coverage, decrease premiums or borrow from your life insurance policy.
Usually, when the insured person dies, the cash value of the policy is not a part of the life insurance death benefit.
It usually takes about 18 months before you see some growth in the cash value.
You can borrow against the cash value, and even never pay back the loan, keeping the money tax-free (although it will affect the amount of the death benefit).
Here's how you can compare whole life insurance quotes online among several leading insurers.