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The goal of life insurance is to provide a measure of financial security for your family after you die. So, before purchasing a life insurance policy, you should consider your financial situation and the standard of living you want to maintain for your dependents or survivors.
Life insurance provides protection against the loss of income that would result if the insured passed away. The named beneficiary receives the proceeds and is thereby safeguarded from the financial impact of the death of the insured.
Term life insurance is the most basic form of life insurance. It provides coverage for a specified period of time (e.g. 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years) in exchange for a specified premium. If the death of the insured individual occurs within this period of time or term period, the insurance company will pay the death benefit. If the term period expires while the insured individual is still living, the policy terminates and no death benefit will be paid.
The two main types of term life insurance policies are level premium term life insurance and yearly renewable term life insurance.
In this more traditional life insurance policy, the premiums stay the same over the life of the policy, which stays in effect until your death, even after you've paid all the premiums. A cash reserve is built up, but you have no control over how it's invested.
You can vary the amount of your premium with Universal life insurance policies by using part of your accumulated earnings to cover part of the premium cost. You can also vary the amount of the death benefit. For this flexibility, you'll pay higher administrative fees.
Variable life polices build up a cash reserve that you can invest in any of the choices offered by the insurance company. The value of your cash reserve depends on how well those investments are doing.