Term Life: A Flexible and Affordable Option

For individuals who need protection for shorter terms, such as added protection while raising children, term life insurance is an affordable solution. Purchasable in large amounts for much smaller initial premiums, term life provides death protection for a stated term.

Many term life policies offer the option to keep your policy following the initial term period, usually 20 to 30 years. Conversions options vary by age, company and state, but most term life policies are convertible regardless of your health status. Otherwise, at the end of the term, if the policy’s death benefit isn’t paid, you’ll get your money back.

Comparing Term Life to Permanent Insurance

Permanent insurance policies provide coverage over your lifetime if premiums are paid. The cash value of the policy accumulates over time, providing you with an asset you can use during your lifetime. They also offer consistent premiums that don’t rise as you age. Some permanent insurance policies offer flexible payments and options for increasing death benefits. However, permanent policies are generally much more expensive and require payments over your lifetime.

Term life provides you with a death benefit but no cash value. This provides coverage for a limited period of time, though you can renew or convert your policy once the term is complete. For the many, the added flexibility and more affordable initial premiums make term life a better option. Term life is especially useful for younger individuals or families that want protection without the long-term commitment and costs of a permanent policy.

Term Life

  • Provides coverage for a limited time period (term), if premiums are paid.
  • Provides a death benefit, but typically no cash value.
  • Initially, less expensive form of life insurance.
  • May be renewable or convertible.

Permanent Life

  • Provides lifetime coverage, if premiums are paid.
  • Cash value accumulates over time and creates an asset which may be used during your lifetime.
  • Level premiums.
  • Some types of permanent insurance offer flexible premium payments and level or increasing death benefit options.

You can convert any term life insurance coverage to permanent coverage, regardless of your health status. Conversion options will vary by state and company with some term policy types by age.

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