Policy Types

Understanding Temporary Policies

A term life insurance policy covers you for a period of time and then it is meant to expire. The length of coverage can range anywhere from one to 30 years. The choice is up to you.

Term Life Insurance Definition: Understanding How a Temporary Policy Works

Term life insurance is often referred to as a temporary policy or a policy that you rent. Why? Because term life insurance is only meant to cover you for a limited period of time. How long is term life insurance? The length of your policy can be anywhere from one year up to 30 years - the choice is up to you.

With term life insurance, your policy essentially composed of three main parts: the face amount (the limit or death benefit), the premium (your cost to maintain the policy), and the length of coverage (the policy's term that you select).

If you were to die during that specific term (the duration of your policy), your beneficiaries, established during your estate planning , will receive a set payout (the death benefit) as indicated on your policy. Note: There are some term life policies that may allow you to continue the policy after the level premium term is up, however you'll typically pay higher premiums and the face amount may be reduced.

In a way, term life insurance operates much like your vehicle insurance does, where if you have a six-month policy and have an accident during that time, you'll be compensated by the insurance company to get your car fixed. However, if at the end of the six-month policy term you have no accidents, you won't be getting any of that premium money back.

Key Benefits of Term Life

Term life insurance can help provide the immediate funds for paying your final expenses, mortgage payments and bills, or providing a monthly income for a period of time as your family adjusts to the loss of your paycheck.

Moreover, it can be an affordable way for you to address the difficult question of how your family will financially manage if you were to pass away unexpectedly. Key benefits may include:

  • An affordable way to have your life insurance needs covered with low initial costs and coverage limits ranging anywhere from $5,000 to several million
  • The flexibility of selecting the term length that best meets your needs - anywhere from 5, 10, 20, 25, or 30 years
  • A fixed level premium that won't increase
  • A level death benefit that guarantees that the amount of coverage won't decrease for as long as you own the policy and pay your premiums on time

Term life insurance may be appropriate if you're seeking an affordable way to replace your income during your working years, and at a time when you have people who are dependent on you to meet everyday living expenses and other debt obligations.

For more information on term life insurance or to determine “how much term life insurance do you need,” visit the Protective Learning Center.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Term Life Insurance Definition

Life insurance can be complex. But by understanding the basics, it can be easier to know what policy may be best for you and your needs. A term life definition can be much easier to understand when you know more about how it works. You pick the timeframe that works best for you and receive coverage throughout the length of your policy as long as you pay your premiums on time. As long as you own the policy, your benefits will stay the same and coverage won't decrease. For more information, visit our learning center.

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