Term life insurance pays a death benefit if the insured person dies within a specific period of time or before you reach a certain age. The length of your coverage can be either for:
- a fixed period of time, such as a term of 10 or 20 or 30 years
- until you reach a set age, such as 65 years old
If you die within the duration of the policy, your beneficiaries will be paid the death benefit. Once the term ends, the coverage ends and your beneficiaries don’t receive any payment.
Term insurance policies don’t have any ‘cash value’. This means you can’t borrow against your policy and you won’t get any cash value back if you cancel your policy. Most term policies can be renewed without any medical exam for a further duration of same number of years.
Also, most term policies are ‘convertible’ to permanent insurance without any further medical exams up to the amount of term insurance.
Generally, your insurance company will establish your premiums, or the fees you pay, for the length of the term. Your premiums may increase when you renew the policy. For example, premiums would increase every ten years on a ten-year renewable policy.
If you don’t pay your premiums, your insurance company may cancel your policy.
Term life insurance premiums are generally more affordable than permanent life insurance premiums when you first buy the policy.