Life insurance in the USA: Definition & Details.
The policy holder typically pays a premium, either regularly or as one lump sum. Other expenses, such as funeral expenses, can also be included in the benefits.
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.
Life-based contracts tend to fall into two major categories:
Protection policies – designed to provide a benefit, typically a lump sum payment, in the event of a specified occurrence. A common form—more common in years past—of a protection policy design is term insurance.
Investment policies – the main objective of these policies is to facilitate the growth of capital by regular or single premiums. Common forms (in the U.S.) are whole life, universal life, and variable life policies.