The Life insurance provides a monetary benefit to a decedent's family or other designated beneficiary, and may specifically provide for income to an insured person's family, burial, funeral and other final expenses.
The Life insurance policies often allow the option of having the proceeds paid to the beneficiary either in a lump sum cash payment or an annuity.
The annuities provide a stream of payments and are generally classified as insurance because they are issued by insurance companies and regulated as insurance and require the same kinds of actuarial and investment management expertise that life insurance requires.
The annuities and pensions that pay a benefit for life are sometimes regarded as insurance against the possibility that a retiree will outlive his or her financial resources.
In that sense, they are the complement of life insurance and, from an underwriting perspective, are the mirror image of life insurance.
The Certain life insurance contracts accumulate cash values, which may be taken by the insured if the policy is surrendered or which may be borrowed against.
Some policies, such as annuities and endowment policies, are financial instruments to accumulate or liquidate wealth when it is needed.
In any countries, such as the U.S. and the UK, the tax law provides that the interest on this cash value is not taxable under certain circumstances. This leads to widespread use of life insurance as a tax-efficient method of saving as well as protection in the event of early death.
In U.S., the tax on interest income on life insurance policies and annuities is generally deferred. However, in some cases the benefit derived from tax deferral may be offset by a low return.
This depends upon the insuring company, the type of policy and other variables (mortality, market return, etc.).
Moreover, other income tax saving vehicles (e.g., IRAs, 401(k) plans, Roth IRAs) may be better alternatives for value accumulation. A combination of low-cost term life insurance and a higher-return tax-efficient retirement account may achieve better investment return.
The Life insurance or life assurance is a contract between the policy owner and the insurer, where the insurer agrees to pay a sum of money upon the occurrence of the insured individual's or individuals' death or other event, such as terminal illness or critical illness.
In return, the policy owner agrees to pay a stipulated amount called a premium at regular intervals or in lump sums.
There may be designs in some countries where bills and death expenses plus catering for after funeral expenses should be included in Policy Premium.
In the United States, the predominant form simply specifies a lump sum to be paid on the insured's demise.
The most insurance policies, life insurance is a contract between the insurer and the policy owner whereby a benefit is paid to the designated beneficiaries if an insured event occurs which is covered by the policy.
The value for the policyholder is derived, not from an actual claim event, rather it is the value derived from the 'peace of mind' experienced by the policyholder, due to the negating of adverse financial consequences caused by the death of the Life Assured.
To be a life policy the insured event must be based upon the lives of the people named in the policy.
The Insured events that may be covered include:
The 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; for example claims relating to suicide, fraud, war, riot and civil commotion.
Life-based contracts tend to fall into two major categories:
- The Protection policies - designed to provide a benefit in the event of specified event, typically a lump sum payment. A common form of this design is term insurance.
- The Investment policies - where the main objective is to facilitate the growth of capital by regular or single premiums. Common forms (in the US anyway) are whole life, universal life and variable life policies.