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Life insurance provides invaluable protection for your family in the event of your death. It ensures the ones you care about can continue to support themselves financially when you are gone. Yet a recent study by the Life Insurance and Market Research Association revealed that more than half of Americans do not have an individual life insurance policy, and 30% have no life insurance at all.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance pays a specific sum of money upon the death of the insured. The money is paid to the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, named by the policyholder.
There are three basic types of life insurance:
1.Term life insurance 2. Whole life insurance 3. Universal life insurance
How you purchase life insurance coverage is up to you. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that 60% of U.S. employers offer life insurance benefits for full-time employees. You may purchase individual life insurance that's separate from your employer-sponsored benefits, including coverage for your dependents.
Let’s look at each type of life insurance and learn about life insurance concepts that can affect your coverage.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is usually the simplest and most affordable. It provides individual coverage for a specific number of years. The most common terms (aka the number of years you are covered) are 10, 20 and 30 years. If you die within the term of the policy, your beneficiary will receive the full death benefit.
For example, say you purchase a $1 million term life insurance policy that provides coverage for 20 years. If you die during year 17 of the policy, your beneficiary will receive $1 million. If you do not die within the 20-year term, your policy expires and no benefit is paid.
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