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Term Life Insurance: Affordable Protection for Your Loved Ones

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What Is Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is affordable coverage that lasts for only the number of years you select at issue. Once the term is over, your coverage ends. Among the various types of life insurance, term life  is traditionally viewed as one of the most economical options. Unlike whole life and universal life insurance, term insurance builds no cash value.

This type of protection can be beneficial if you need coverage for only a specific period of time – perhaps to cover the payback terms of a student loan or mortgage. Or you may go through periods in your life when money is tight or when you're not quite sure you want permanent life insurance, yet you know you need the coverage. Term may be a viable financial solution.

What are the Benefits of Term Life Insurance?

A term life insurance policy offers several benefits over other types of life insurance that may fit your needs. Here are a few of those advantages:


Term life insurance typically has lower premiums than permanent life insurance, making it more accessible and budget-friendly for many people.


Term life insurance allows you to choose the length and amount of coverage that suits your needs and goals. You can also adjust your coverage as your needs change over time, by converting, renewing, increasing, or decreasing your policy.


Term life insurance is easy to understand and apply for. You only need to answer a few questions about your health and lifestyle, and in some cases, you may not even need a medical exam.
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What Does a Term Life Insurance Death Benefit Cover?

Your beneficiary can use the death benefit to cover a variety of expenses, including:

  • Final expenses: expenses to be paid after your death, including funeral, cemetery and burial costs
  • Mortgage payments: monthly bank payments to pay off the remaining loan on your home
  • Education expenses: tuition and educational costs for private schools/college for your children
  • Debt: payments for car loans, personal loans and credit card bills
  • Medical bills: health care expenses for hospitals, doctors, surgeries and procedures
  • Necessities: everyday living expenses like gas, groceries and utilities

What Are the Different Types of Term Life Insurance?

There are two basic categories of term life insurance: guaranteed level and renewable/convertible. These categories are not mutually exclusive.

Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance

A guaranteed level term policy is a popular choice because the premium stays the same for the entire policy length. With no price increases during this term, it offers an economical way to purchase life insurance. When the term is over, coverage ends. A guaranteed death benefit with level premiums make this a good option.

Renewable & Convertible Term Life Insurance

A renewable policy can be renewed annually and premium will gradually increase over time. No additional underwriting is required as long as premium payments are up to date. Convertible means you can typically convert your term policy into a whole life insurance policy without any additional underwriting or undergoing another medical exam unless you increase your coverage.

Term Life Insurance Products Designed Just For You

Easy Choice Term Life Insurance

Our simplified issue term life insurance policy can provide you with insurance. You choose the term lengths and face amounts.

  • Fixed premiums: same amount owed every time a payment is due
  • Coverage amounts: up to $249,999
  • Conversion privilege: convert up to $49,999 into a permanent insurance plan
  • Easy and quick application process: immediate underwriting decisions that do not require medical exam, phone calls or lab tests

Simple Choice Term Life Insurance

Our term life insurance policy can be selected to fit your specific needs. You have the option to choose specified term lengths or the ability to convert the policy to permanent insurance when you're ready. 

  • Fixed premiums: same amount owed every time payment is due
  • Level death benefit: remains the same throughout the policy's lifetime
  • Conversion privileges: ability to change policy to a permanent policy1
  • Specific time period: coverage provided for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years

How Long Is Term Life Insurance?

The length of term life insurance depends on what policy you buy. For instance, if you bought a policy that lasted for five years, you would be covered the whole time unless you were to stop paying your premiums

Term life policies pay a benefit if you pass away during the insurance coverage period. This period, or policy term, generally lasts 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The premium must be paid in a timely manner for term policies to stay active.
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How Much Does a Term Life Insurance Policy Cost?

The cost of a term life insurance policy depends on a number of factors. Here are some examples:

  • The length of the term: Longer terms are typically more expensive than shorter ones.
  • Your age when applying: Life insurance usually gets more expensive as you get older.
  • Health issues or dangerous hobbies: These could increase the cost or even render you uninsurable.
  • The size of the policy: Bigger policies are usually more expensive.
  • Extra benefits: Known as riders, these extra add-ons tend to increase the premium.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Life insurance can be an important element of your overall financial strategy. Answer a few questions about your life situation to estimate how much coverage you might need.

What Is the Difference Between Term & Permanent Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is temporary coverage. It will only last during the policy's stated term, and your coverage will end if you outlive this period. On the other hand, permanent life insurance could last your entire life as long as you keep up with the premiums.

Since permanent coverage can last longer, these policies typically start out charging a higher premium than term life insurance. However, if you try to renew your policy when you're older, the premiums will likely get more expensive. In comparison, there are some permanent policies where the premium always stays the same after you sign up.

One other key difference is cash value. This is an extra benefit on some permanent life insurance policies that builds up money you can take out or borrow while you're still alive. Keep in mind that loans, withdrawals and advances will also reduce the death benefit and cash surrender value, and may cause the policy to lapse. Term life insurance policies do not include this benefit.

Importance of an Insurer's Financial Strength

Selecting an insurer with robust financial strength is vital, as it guarantees that the issuing insurance company is reliable and can fulfill its financial obligations, such as paying out claims. It is always recommended to review an insurer’s financial strength rating before purchasing a policy to ensure the company’s stability and trustworthiness.

With our financial ratings and a heritage of financial strength, Western & Southern has become one of the strongest life insurance groups, offering you stability you can count on. We have knowledgeable financial representatives available to help you with your insurance needs.

Financial Strength

established 1888

Longevity & Stability

96 comdex ranking

Financial Ratings

When Could Term Life Insurance Be a Good Fit?

Some people feel it's important to buy life insurance when they get their first job, while others wait until they have a family to support. Whatever your motivation for purchasing life insurance, there are reasons it's smart to get insured early.

An insurance policy helps protect your loved ones financially. If you have student loan debt, credit card debt, a mortgage — or any other financial obligations — term insurance can allow your loved ones to pay off debt without worrying about the financial implications if you pass away.

This is especially important for those who have co-signed loan documents with you and would need to take over payments after your death. As you continue to move forward in your career, your income will rise — but your premium will remain the same if you've chosen a guaranteed policy.

Examples of How Term Life Insurance Coverage Works

Once you understand the basics of term life insurance, it can be helpful to see how this type of policy can be used in the real world. Regardless of what life stage you're in, life insurance is something worth considering as you prepare for the future. Think about your needs and decide on a policy that fits your goals. Term life insurance can be an economical option that can provide value and help protect those you care about the most. Here are examples of how individuals can take advantage of term life insurance:
young woman using computer

Sarah is a 22-year-old college grad starting her first job.

While her company offers life insurance, her coverage ends if she changes jobs. She has student loans to pay off and wants to make sure that her parents — who co-signed on her loans — won't have to dip into their retirement savings if something happens to her. She decides to buy a 10-year term policy to cover the time remaining to pay off her student loans.
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Nicolette and Brad are newlyweds, both in their early 30s.

They have taken out loans on two cars, just purchased a house and plan to start a family soon. They have each purchased a 30-year term policy to ensure one another and their future children are protected in case one of them passes away unexpectedly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you decide the number of years to choose for your policy?

You may want to start by deciding if you want insurance coverage for your entire life (permanent life) or for a limited time period (term life). If you choose term life, consider the appropriate term for your financial situation. Perhaps you want to have coverage until your home mortgage is paid off 20 years from now or until your youngest child turns 21 in another 15 years.

What happens at the end of a term life insurance policy?

At the end of the term, your life insurance coverage will end. However, you may have options to continue your life insurance. First, some policies let you convert term life insurance into permanent life insurance. You may also be able to renew your policy for another term. Since you're renewing at an older age, your premiums may be more expensive after the extension.

How does a payout work?

When you sign up for term life insurance, your policy will have a death benefit. While you're alive, the policy will not pay you anything. If you die during the covered term, the life insurance company will pay your beneficiaries the entire death benefit in one lump sum or in monthly payments outlined in your policy as long as it wasn't an excluded cause of death and premiums are paid.

Can you cash out a term life insurance policy?

No, you cannot cash out a term life policy while you're still alive. It only pays out a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die while insured.

1Increases in coverage are subject to new underwriting.

Renewable and Convertible Term Policy ICC18 1801-307 WSA issued by Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, which operates in DC and all states except AK, NH, NY and RI.

These policies and benefits may not be available in all states, and benefits may vary by state.

Payment of benefits under the life insurance policy is the obligation of, and is guaranteed by, the issuing company. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Products are backed by the full financial strength of the issuing company.

Life insurance policies contain certain exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits and terms for keeping them in force. Please contact a financial representative for complete details.

Life insurance products are not bank products, are not a deposit, are not insured by the FDIC, nor any other federal entity, have no bank guarantee, and may lose value.