Term Life InsuranceTerm life insurance is a policy with a fixed life or term during which payments are usually made periodically (i.e. monthly or annually). At the end of the policies life the obligations of the insurer end, in terms of having to pay out a sum on the death of the insured individual.
Term life insurance policies tend to be the cheapest form of life insurance that can be acquired to provide a significant benefit on the death of an insured individual. The actual costs vary based on the parameters set by the insurer, with factors like age, general health, and smoking playing a major role in determining the actual price. The cost of term life insurance increases the older that one gets, as the chances of dying increase each year, making late life term insurance often prohibitively expensive.
The specific benefit received can vary greatly and is stipulated by the terms of the actual policy purchased, with more funds being paid out resulting in higher premiums over the contract. Typical amounts paid out under term life insurance can include:
- Debt reimbursement to ensure the debts of the deceased don't pass on to a spouse or dependents
- Education costs for dependents
- Funeral costs
- Mortgage costs
- Lump-sum payments
Whole Life InsuranceWhole life insurance (or permanent life insurance) is a policy set up where a set benefit is to be paid out on the death of the insured and does not expire (as long as all required payments are made). The cost to the insured individual is often monthly or annual payments established at the onset of the policy that will not be changed over its life. The value of the policy is often a lump sum payment that is paid out on death or when the insured individual reaches the age of 100.
One benefit of whole life insurance is that it can be a good 'forced' saving measure for individuals when planning for their spouse or dependents. The cost of these policies can be high so they do tend to be utilized more by individuals with high income already. The biggest benefit of the plan is that the cost, while high, does not increase over time like term life insurance does. Once the terms are established the cost will remain the same.