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Does Temporary Life Insurance Work?

May 10, 2008
Term life insurance is a way of temporary insuring someone's life for a low cost.

Life insurance is essentially an agreement that a specific sum of money should be paid a specific way to named beneficiaries upon the death of a person whose life has been insured. One kind of life insurance is term life insurance, also known as temporary insurance.

Unlike other forms of life insurance, term life stipulates that payments will only be made to the beneficiaries of the deceased if the death occurs with a specifically stated period of time. The agreement only lasts for a fixed or specified term, to be considered automatically null and void the moment the insured survives the period or term.

Whether temporary or permanent, life insurance is merely to protect the family left behind by the deceased from financial worry, but rather more appropriately characterized as a form of investment and security to protect the beneficiaries from financial hardships occasioned by the death of the insured. Indeed, comforting the beneficiaries with an inheritance, as a consolation prize for the loss they suffered as a result of the death of the insured is not what life insurance delivers because human life is without precise economic measure or value.

Term life insurance typically costs less than a long term life insurance because of the short period of time the person will be insured. Premiums for term insurance policies are lower and often have a higher death benefit than most. This is because insurance companies are banking on statistics that the insured will not pass away during the term of the contract.

The amount of premiums that must be paid for a life insurance policy is heavily determined by the work of an underwriter. What an underwriter does is try to determine the suitability of a person for life insurance. Underwriters will consider several things such as current state of health, credit standing, medical history, family background, psychological state and occupation to test the probability that the prospective insured will pass away during the length of the term.

Chronic and fatal diseases such as heart defects, high blood cholesterol, tuberculosis and the like often make it hard to get life insurance, the person is either declared uninsurable or is given very high premiums and a low death benefit. This is because the insurance company believes the person may pass away before he pays the equivalent of his death benefits.

Other factors that could result in a high premium rate are risky professions, age, and a family background for poor health as well as psychological and mental health issues. Adding other bonuses or additional benefits called riders may also increase the amount of premiums that need to be paid for life insurance.

For term insurance, the company has a good probability that the insured will not pass away during the length of the specified term. That is why term policies are considered some of the most affordable life insurance policies available in the market.

Term insurance is often used by people who do not want to commit to a long term life insurance plan, or those who are embarking on something new, like an overseas trip, which they fear may be dangerous. Term insurance is an affordable way to provide temporary protection for someone's loved ones.
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