A contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurance company, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the “benefits”) upon the death of the insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness may also trigger payment. The policy holder typically pays a premium, either regularly or as a lump sum. Other expenses (such as funeral expenses) are also sometimes included in the benefits.
The advantage for the policy owner is “peace of mind”, in knowing that the death of the insured person will not result in financial hardship for loved ones and lenders.
Life policies are legal contracts and the terms of the contract describe the limitations of the insured events. Specific exclusions are often written into the contract to limit the liability of the insurer; common examples are claims relating to suicide, fraud, war, riot and civil commotion.