What Is Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance, also known as pure life insurance, is life insurance that guarantees payment of a stated death benefit during a specified term. Once the term expires, the policyholder can either renew it for another term, convert the policy to permanent coverage, or allow the policy to terminate.

How Term Life Insurance Works

Term life policies have no value other than the guaranteed death benefit. There is no savings component as found in a whole life insurance product. The policy's purpose is to give insurance to individuals against the loss of life. This cash benefit may be used by beneficiaries to settle the policyholder's healthcare and funeral costs, consumer debt, or mortgage debt among others. Term life insurance is not used for estate planning or charitable-giving purposes. All premiums cover the cost of underwriting insurance. As a result, term life premiums are typically lower than permanent life insurance premiums.