The Different Types of Life Insurance

Life insurance can financially protect your loved ones after you pass away.

Life insurance brochure with family image.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Life insurance is a legally binding contract between you and an insurance company. In exchange for premium payments (and if your policy is active when you die), the insurance company will pay a lump sum of money — referred to as a death benefit — to your chosen beneficiaries. However, not all life insurance policies are the same. 

There are two main types of life insurance: term and permanent. 

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.