Life Insurance provides a lump sum of money on the death of the person insured. Typically the money would be paid directly to a spouse or other defined beneficiary. It can be paid to one or more charities. It can be paid to the estate, or it can be paid to a business, usually to help keep the business going.
Types of Life Insurance
Term Life Insurance:
The cheapest way to get life insurance is with Term Insurance and it is definitely worth considering. Term insurance will normally end around the age of 80 years (Term 100 is an exception). You can purchase 5 year, 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, and 30 year term. Whatever term insurance you have purchased (e.g. 5, 10,20 etc.) the cost of the premium jumps on every anniversary so it can become very expensive later on. And if you live beyond the end of the term you no longer have the life insurance in place (Term 100 is an exception).
Whole Life Insurance:
This is permanent Life Insurance. Provided you pay the required premiums, the insurance will be in force regardless of how old you become. Some policies allow you to pay the premium for a shorter period of time (e.g. for 20 years or to age 65), and then the policy is fully paid up with no further premiums to pay and you are insured for the rest of your life. Some whole life policies build up a cash surrender value.
Universal Life Insurance:
This is also permanent Life Insurance. You are able to incorporate investments within the insurance policy and it is a good option for some people.
Mortgage Life Insurance:
This is a type of Term Life Insurance. It's purpose is to insure you (and your spouse) for the outstanding balance on your mortgage at the time of death of one person. Often, if you purchase this products from a bank or lending facility, the insurance will not be medically underwritten so that medical issues you may have at the time of purchase AND / OR at the time of mortgage renewal may factor into whether your death benefit will be paid out. THE WAY TO PREVENT THIS is to purchase a medically underwritten Term Insurance policy through your insurance broker.
Individual & Family Life Insurance:
A lot of the above Life Insurance types can often be set up to include coverage for your children. Some of the Term insurances can be set up s first to die (policy ends when one person dies).
Business Owner / Key Person:
Life Insurance for business owners or for key employees is often important. The life insurance would provide funds to keep the business running while ownership was transferred or sold, or while the business was finding a replacement key person.