What is term life insurance?

Share
More

"Term" is basic life insurance, the kind you'd probably think of if someone asked you to describe the concept. You pay a premium and in return the insurer guarantees to pay your beneficiary a lump sum of money if you die while the policy is in effect.

Term policies are sold for specific lengths of time, usually between 10 and 30 years. Once the term expires, you stop paying premiums and the policy is no longer in effect.

Pros:

  • Term is the most affordable life insurance you can buy.

  • Term policies are easy to understand, so you don't have to worry about hidden fees, exclusions, or risks.

  • You can cancel a term policy before it expires.

Cons:

  • When the policy expires, so will your coverage; if you still want to be insured you'll have to either shop for a new policy or convert the policy into a permanent version.