What Is Life Insurance?

You never know when a chronic ailment might strike, or when a terrible accident might occur. So the best we can do for ourselves and our loved ones, is to ensure their financial security, keeping the uncertainty of life in mind. For this, you have life insurance. Let's read on, to learn more.

You purchase homeowners insurance to insure your home and vehicle insurance to secure your vehicle, however what might be said about insurance to secure your family’s monetary security? While numerous individuals think they need life insurance, their absence of information makes them overestimate the expense. Truth be told, as indicated by the 2019 Insurance Barometer Report from industry groups LIMRA and Life Happens, the view of affordability and worth regularly deflect individuals from purchasing life insurance. On the off chance that a friend or family member relies upon your pay, or you need to guarantee they are dealt with monetarily if you die, therefore, life insurance merits consideration.

When it comes to life insurance, contingent upon the agreement, various events like terminal ailment or a critical sickness can likewise trigger payment. The policyholder commonly pays a premium, either routinely or as one singular amount. Different costs, for example, burial expenses, can likewise be included in the benefits. If you ask a great many people, ‘What is life insurance?’, they will reveal to you that it is a policy you purchase that pays cash to your family in the event that you die. If you request that they clarify the key features of the policy, how the policy works, how much should one buy, they will most likely try to change the subject. In any case, if you are looking for good life insurance policies, such questions are important to consider. This article will help answer your inquiries.

What is the definition of life insurance?

Life insurance is an agreement among you and an insurance organization. Basically, in return for your premium installments, the insurance organization will pay a singular amount known as a death benefit to your recipients after your passing. Your recipients can utilize the cash for whatever reason they pick. Regularly this incorporates taking care of ordinary bills, paying a mortgage or setting up a child for college. Having the safety net of life insurance can guarantee that your family can remain in their home and pay for the things that you planned for.

What is life insurance and how does it work?

As mentioned earlier, life insurance is an agreement between am insurer and a policyholder. A life insurance policy ensures that the safety net provider pays an amount of cash to named recipients when the protected policyholder passes away, in return for the charges paid by the policyholder during their lifetime. A life insurance policy can have two fundamental parts — a death benefit and a premium. Term life insurance has these two parts, however permanent or whole life insurance arrangements likewise have a cash value part.

Death Benefit — The death benefit (or face value)is the measure of cash the insurance organization guarantees to the recipients recognized in the policy when the insured individual passes away. For instance, the guaranteed may be a parent, and the recipients may be their kids. The insured will pick the ideal death benefit sum dependent on the recipients’ assessed future necessities. The insurance organization will decide if there is an insurable interest and if the proposed insured fits the bill for the inclusion dependent on the organization’s underwriting necessities associated with health, age, and any unsafe exercises where the proposed insured participates.

Premium — Premiums are the cash the policyholder pays for insurance. The safety net provider should pay the death benefit when the insured passes away if the policyholder pays the charges as required, and expenses are resolved to some extent by how likely it is that the insurer should pay the policy’s death benefit dependent on the insured individual’s life expectancy. Elements that impact life expectancy incorporate the insured’s age, sex, medical history, work related perils, and high-risk hobbies. Part of the charge likewise goes toward the insurance organization’s working costs. Premiums are higher on strategies with bigger death benefits, people who are higher risk, and permanent arrangements that collect cash value.

Cash Value — The cash value of permanent life insurance fills two needs. It is an investment account that the policyholder can use during the life of the insured; the money aggregates on an assessment conceded premise. A few approaches may have limitations on withdrawals relying upon how the cash is to be utilized. For instance, the policyholder may apply for a line of credit against the policy’s cash value and need to pay revenue on the loan principal. The policyholder can likewise utilize the cash value to pay premiums or buy extra insurance. The cash value is a living advantage that stays with the insurance organization when the insured passes away. Any exceptional credits against the cash value will diminish the policy’s death benefit.

What are the 3 types of life insurance?

There are three main types of life insurance: whole life, universal life, and term life insurance.

Whole Life Insurance

Within the domain of whole life insurance, you may discover it being alluded to under various names. The two most basic terms, other than calling it whole life are “straight life” or “permanent life”. We will not get into a history lesson and just add that whole life insurance is the original life insurance. It has been offered in its most recent form since the nineteenth century. On the off chance that you are searching for undeniable certainties, there is nothing that equals whole life. Notwithstanding its guarantee to pay a death benefit if the premium has been paid, it additionally offers an entirely steady and safe investment funds plan. There are a wide range of opinions on the web about whether whole life is any acceptable, regardless of whether it is great, or if it is a total sham.

From individual experience, one can absolutely say that it is anything but a sham. That being said, it ought to be utilized properly for the correct individuals. Policy plan, arrangement, and administration are critical for the policyholder to have an agreeable result, especially when looking at the savings part which is officially called the cash value. Back to the guarantees briefly as that is the essential part for whole life. There are three fundamental ones:

  • A guaranteed pace of return on cash
  • A guaranteed cost that will not change and is secured when you buy
  • A death benefit that is ensured to keep going “for your whole life”

Universal Life Insurance

Perhaps the first ever depiction that I at any point heard with respect to universal life insurance was that it was “based on a term insurance chassis”. Indeed, that sounds great yet to most typical individuals this definition is not sufficient to completely understand it, so how about we attempt to improve. Universal life insurance is actually a term insurance policy with a savings segment attached to it. Actually like any other kinds of life insurance, there is a crude expense to protect your life. In a universal life policy, this is known as the expense of insurance, and it is obviously unveiled for you. At its center, you should pay sufficient premium to take care of the expense of insurance to keep the death benefit  that you bought in power.

However, you additionally have different choices to take care of the expenses. In the event that the savings segment has cash value, the policy costs or expenses can be shrouded in whole or to some extent by the cash value. Universal life insurance is extremely adaptable in that there truly is no set premium. You just need to take care of the expense of insurance and maybe a couple of different costs to keep the death benefit in power. Your cash value will have revenue credited to it in any event every year as a rule. How much and what the interest depends on is a completely different conversation.

Going back to the root of universal life: the term part of the policy works a lot of like yearly sustainable term insurance as the expense expands somewhat every year. It begins extremely cheap and goes up as you age. This could turn into an issue and has for certain individuals. Be that as it may, this possibly turns into an issue when the policy is inaccurately planned, executed, and overseen. Try not to allow this to dissuade you from researching more on universal life. There is a lot of false claims out there that scare individuals into disregarding it as an option.

Term Life Insurance

It will not take a lot of space to precisely explain term life insurance to you. That is on the grounds that term insurance is exceptionally basic. Term life insurance really gets the name from the way that it is life insurance bought to cover you for a predefined period or term. Toward the end of the term, your level, fixed, and the affordable premium is finished as is your inclusion. Indeed, that truly portrays level term life insurance which is offered most ordinarily in 10, 15, 20, and 30-year terms. There are different kinds of term insurance, however they are to a great extent blurring into the past and not altogether important any longer. Those different sorts are decreasing term and yearly (or annually) renewable term insurance.

By far, most of the term life insurance sold today is level term insurance (10, 15, 20, or 30-year level periods). By and large toward the end of the term, the life insurance organization will permit you to proceed with a similar inclusion however at a significantly larger expense. Here is an example: In a 20-year term policy for a healthy 43 year old individual with a $1,000,000 death benefit, the yearly expense is guaranteed level at $854 for a very long time. Yet, when the insured turns 64, in the event that he might want to keep the inclusion in force, the premium leaps to $29,050 each year. That is a very huge bounce.

To add one more significant detail that is not referenced above with term insurance — the cash value. That is on the grounds that unlike whole life and universal life, term insurance has no cash value or savings segment. It is unadulterated insurance offered for a period at an affordable value which makes it an extremely famous alternative for the individuals who need a specific measure of inclusion to replace their pay on the off chance that they pass away.

Other types of life insurance

There are various kinds of life insurances available to meet all sorts of needs and preferences.

  • Level Term — In this type, the premiums are the same every year.
  • Increasing Term — In increasing term life insurance, you pay lower premiums when you are younger and as you get older, the premium increases. This type is also known as ‘yearly renewable term.’
  • Permanent — This life insurance stays in power, throughout the insured individual’s life. The only way it will not remain in effect is when the policyholder stops paying the premiums, or surrenders the policy. This type is usually more expensive than term life insurance.
  • Single Premium — Here, the policyholder pays all the premium up front instead of making monthly, quarterly, or annual payments.
  • Guaranteed Universal — This is a kind of universal life insurance. It does not build cash value and generally has lower premiums than whole life.
  • Variable Universal — The insured is allowed to invest the policy’s cash value.
  • Indexed Universal — This type of universal life insurance allows the insured to earn a fixed or equity-indexed rate of return on the cash value component.
  • Burial or Final Expense — This type of permanent life insurance has a minute death benefit. Regardless of the names, recipients can use the death benefit as they wish.
  • Guaranteed Issue — This is a type of permanent life insurance and is accessible to individuals with medical issues that would otherwise not make them insurable. Guaranteed issue life insurance does not pay a death benefit during the initial two years the policy is in force (unless the death is accidental), because of the high risk of insuring the person. Nevertheless, the insurer will return the policy premiums along with interest to the recipients if the insured passes away during that period.

How do I apply for life insurance?

The life insurance application is quite clear. Everything begins with getting quotes from an authorized broker or agent, for example, Policygenius. Finding a life insurance policy should be possible in five simple steps.

1. Fill out the application and complete the phone interview

The application and ensuing telephone interview gathers and affirms fundamental data about your health, your family’s health history, your interests, and your inclusion needs. You will additionally assign your policy’s recipients when you apply.

2. Take the medical exam

Unless you can fit the bill for immediate arrangement or no-medical exam life insurance, a clinical professional will go to your home or workplace and do an essential health test called a paramedical exam, which is like the one you get from your primary care physician. They may perform blood or urine tests to affirm the health data from your application.

3. Wait for the attending physician’s statement.

In case you have any major or chronic illnesses, the insurer might ask your doctor to submit an attending physician’s statement (APS). This statement will list down the conditions you are being treated for, your progress, and the likely development of the illness (if there is any).

4. Go through underwriting

The guarantor will evaluate the danger of guaranteeing you dependent on data from your application, your driving history, your credit score, and your data in the Medical Information Bureau, to compute how much your premiums will cost.

5. Pay your first premium

Whenever you have received your policy, it will not be in power until you pay your first premium. This is an ideal opportunity to set up an installment plan for your premiums. You may have to impart installment data to your agent or broker by telephone for the underlying payment or to put together recurring payments.

How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy Type

With all the life insurance choices accessible, it might appear to be difficult to pick the correct one. Start by settling on term life and permanent life insurance. Consider a term life insurance policy on the off chance that you need life insurance for a particular measure of time. For example, on the off chance that you need insurance to cover your working years as could really be expected “income replacement” in the event that you were at this point not around. Term life insurance is additionally a decent decision if your budget is restricted.

Since term life insurance gives security for a particular measure of time, and it is anything but a cash value life insurance policy, the rates will be lower than permanent life insurance. As you enter various phases of life, your life insurance needs may change. Many term life insurance approaches are convertible to a permanent policy. The alternatives will rely upon your policy and safety net provider. Term life change permits you to change to a permanent policy without re-applying or taking a life insurance medical exam.

Then again, a permanent life insurance policy will keep going for the rest of your life. On the off chance that building cash value is crucial for you, take a look at permanent life insurance alternatives. Be that as it may, in case you are buying a permanent policy just to exploit the gathering cash value, contingent upon the policy, you are in an ideal situation placing your cash into a savings or investment vehicle, so you are not paying for the life insurance and charges inside a permanent policy.

Also, cash value is not commonly proposed for recipients. Upon death, any cash value by and large returns to the life insurance organization. Your recipients get the policy’s death benefit, not the death benefit and the cash value. All things considered, some policy types will offer the death benefit in addition to cash value, however, at a greater cost.

Who Needs Life Insurance?

You should purchase life insurance if:

  • You have dependents
  • You own a business
  • You have a lot of debt
  • You want to cover burial expenses

Moreover, you need to have life insurance that is:

  • Enough to support your family
  • What your heirs need for business
  • Enough to clear your debts

How Much Life Insurance to Buy?

The expense of life insurance relies upon how much inclusion you need and how risky you are to guarantee — if your health, hobbies, and age make it more probable that you will pass away during the term of your policy, you will get a higher premium. Healthier individuals save money on life insurance; so do individuals who live a safer or less perilous lifestyle. In case you are not very healthy or have hobbies like skydiving, you can make life insurance more reasonable on the off chance that you buy more modest measures of inclusion or pick a more limited inclusion term.

Before you apply for life insurance, you ought to dissect your financial circumstance and determine how much cash would be needed to keep up your recipients’ way of life or address the issue for which you are buying a policy. For instance, on the off chance that you are the primary guardian and have kids who are two and four years of age, you would need sufficient insurance to cover your custodial obligations until your kids are grown up and ready to help themselves. You may explore the expense to hire a babysitter and a housekeeper, or to utilize commercial childcare and a cleaning service, at that point maybe add some cash for education. Include what these costs would be throughout the following 16 or so years, add more for inflation, and that is the death benefit you should purchase — on the off chance that you can manage the cost of it.

A good way to figure out how much coverage you need is to:

  • Add each one of the costs you need to cover, for example, income replacement for your work, a mortgage and kids’ school costs.
  • From that, subtract the sums that your family could use to cover those costs, like savings and existing life insurance. Leave out retirement savings if your spouse will require that later on.

The subsequent number is your life insurance need. It might appear to be high, particularly on the off chance that you have considered income replacement for a long time. In any case, life insurance quotes are free, so it does not damage to cost out the inclusion you need. In the event that it ends up being exorbitant, you can purchase what you can manage the cost of now to secure a decent rate. You can purchase all the more later, simply know that quite a while from now, your rate will be founded on your older age and any medical issue you have formed.

Importance of life insurance

1. Looking after your loved ones even after you’re gone

This is the most essential part of life insurance that one needs to factor in. Your family is reliant on you even after you are gone, and you absolutely do not have any desire to let them down. Regardless of whether it is for supplanting lost pay, paying for your kid’s college or ensuring your partner gets the necessary financial security, life insurance could make all the difference for your enduring dependents.

2. Dealing with debt

You do not need your family to come across and have to handle financial liabilities during an emergency. Any remaining debt, a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, or a credit card loan will be dealt with on the off chance that you end up purchasing the correct life insurance policy.

3. Helps achieve long term goals

Since it is an instrument that keeps you invested for as long as possible, it would assist you with accomplishing your drawn out objectives like purchasing a home or arranging your retirement. It additionally gives you various alternatives for investment, such options come with different kinds of policies. A few approaches are attached to certain investment items that deliver profits dependent on their presentation. On the off chance that you are settling on an investment connected policy, make certain to read the fine print to be completely mindful of the possible dangers and returns.

4. Life insurance supplements your retirement goals

Who would not care for their retirement savings to go on until they do? With a life insurance plan, you can guarantee you have an ordinary stream of pay each month. Placing cash in an annuity resembles a benefits plan; put in some cash consistently in a life insurance item and appreciate a consistent pay each month even after retirement.

5. Purchasing insurance is cheaper when you are younger

Not a lot of millennials require a life insurance policy. In the event that you have not made an emergency fund, or you are actually living off your parents’ cash, insurance should not be a need. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you do have any dependents, or you have co-signed a loan with your parents (or some other individual from your family or your spouse), regardless of whether it be a student loan or a home loan, you need to begin considering purchasing a life insurance policy. Plus, inclusion costs are a lot of lower when you are single. Insurance specialists may attempt to sell you a policy that you probably will not require. Along these lines, do your due persistence or approach a monetary organizer to determine how much insurance you need considering different resources you may own. Regardless of whether you are single, there might be other dependents , and you need to guarantee that they are dealt with.

6. Your business is also taken care of

Life insurance is not just for yourself and your family. Some insurance strategies likewise deal with your business. Assuming you own a business, your business partner or colleague can buy your part of the business without any issue. Your business partner(s) will enter a purchase-sell understanding and the payout would go to the dead partner’s chosen people, however without giving them a stake in the organization. There are two kinds of life insurance arrangements a term insurance policy and a life insurance policy. While we are largely mindful of the death benefits these insurance policies give, we know very less about the different choices they spread out that could help fortify your financial position. A term insurance gives security for a predefined timeframe (10, 20 or 30 years) and pays out the benefits just in the event that you pass away during the term. The policy will terminate and inclusion will end on the off chance that you outlast your policy. An investment-cum-insurance plan then again offers you a lump sum on the fruition of the term of the policy. These plans likewise offer you insurance, however the cover is typically not as high as offered with term plans.

7. Tax-saving purposes

You could save taxes with insurance arrangements regardless of what plan you purchase. The premium you pay on an insurance policy is qualified for a most extreme tax reduction, and for tax-free proceeds on death or old age

8. A tool for forced savings

On the off chance that you pick a customary or unit-liked policy, you pay a premium every month, which is higher than what the expense is to insure you. This piece of additional cash is contributed, and it accumulates cash value. This money would then be able to be acquired against the policy, or you can decide to sell it or draw pay from it.

9. You may not be qualified for it later

Life insurance approaches run on uncertainty. You might be healthy now, and paying a premium for life insurance may appear to be an additional monetary weight, yet in the event that you unexpectedly become sick, you may not be permitted to a life insurance policy. Along these lines, it is basic to get one right off the bat in your life since it stays in power if your health disintegrates later on. Insurance organizations permit you to join certain riders or benefits to your current or new policy. These riders upgrade the nature of your insurance. The sped up death benefit rider, for example, permits the policy proprietor to profit all or a piece of the policy’s death benefit on the off chance that the individual has less time to live because of a basic disease, or needs to utilize the cash for medical treatment or related costs.

10. Peace of mind

Death is unavoidable. Even with misfortune, the least you can accomplish for your family is to secure their monetary future. Regardless of whether it is a little policy, you realize that you have done everything you can to help them go through tough occasions.


Life policies are lawful agreements and the terms of the agreement depict the restrictions of the insured occasions. Certain exclusions are frequently composed into the agreement to restrict the risk of the insurer; basic models are claims identifying with suicide, war, fraud, riots, and civil upheaval. Challenges may emerge where an occasion is not plainly characterized, for instance: the protected intentionally brought about a danger by consenting to a trial operation or medication resulting in an injury or death.

The choice to purchase life insurance is your own, since so many of the insurance computations rely upon your conditions, monetary circumstance, and tentative arrangements. Yet, even people who do not have dependents right now, or a business, or critical debts, might need to think about getting life insurance. That is on the grounds that the expense will go up as you age, which means that right now is likely the least expensive time for you to purchase a policy.

Moreover, even the most proficient planners can’t anticipate the monetary aftermath of your end, so getting some life insurance can give a layer of monetary assurance for your recipients. Thoroughly considering the potential financial issues that could emerge after your death can help you answer the inquiries of if, when, and how much, with regard to purchasing life insurance.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.