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What is Term Insurance?

Term insurance is an important consideration for anyone who wants to ensure that their loved ones are financially protected in the event of their untimely death.

  • Jun 10, 2022

Life insurance is an important financial instrument that helps individuals in managing their family’s financial security after them. Term life insurance is a type of life insurance that offers life coverage to the policyholder for a set period of time, at a fixed rate of payment called premium.

    Key takeaways

  • Term Insurance is a pure life insurance product that provides financial aid to your family, in the event of your death, in exchange for a premium.
  • You purchase a policy and pay a regular premium for the duration of the policy term. If you pass away during the term of the policy, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit payout.
  • If you buy a return premium policy, you will get all of the premiums paid to the insurer by the end of the policy year. But this stands true only if you survive the policy term.
  • If you have significant debts such as a mortgage, car loan, or student loan, term insurance can provide the necessary funds to pay off these debts if something were to happen to you.

Before you delve into understanding term plan meaning, it is important that you understand insurance better and know the nitty-gritty before making a final decision.

What is Term Insurance?

Term insurance is an agreement between the policyholder and the insurance company wherein in case of the policyholder’s unfortunate demise, a certain amount is paid to the insured person’s family by the insurance company.

It is a pure life insurance product that provides financial aid to your family in your absence in exchange for a premium.

Although you do not get any benefit from surviving the term, you will surely live a stress-free life without worrying about your family’s well-being after you. If you are looking to buy a term insurance policy, make sure that you have done your research and chosen a plan that suits your requirements well.

Understanding the term insurance meaning is important to learn about ways to provide your family members or dependents with financial security during unfortunate events.

How Does Term Insurance Work?

The way term insurance works is relatively straightforward. You purchase a policy and pay a regular premium for the duration of the policy term. If you pass away during the term of the policy, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit payout.

The amount of the death benefit is determined by the policy you purchase and can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.

Term insurance policies are typically designed to be affordable. Because the policy is temporary and provides coverage only for a limited period, the premiums are often lower than those for permanent life insurance policies.

This makes term plan an attractive option for people who want to provide financial protection for their loved ones but have limited financial resources.

Types of Term Insurance Plans

There are different types of term insurance plans available in the market to suit the diverse needs of individuals. Each type has its own features, benefits, and limitations. Understanding the different types of term insurance plans and their meanings can help you make an informed decision when choosing a policy that fits your specific requirements. Let us have a look at the different types of term insurance plans.

Level Term Insurance Plan

In the level-term plan, the premiums to be paid for the entire policy term remains fixed. The premium and the sum assured agreed upon by you and the insurer will not change for the entire term.

Increasing Term Insurance Plan

In this type of term plan, the death benefit or sum assured keeps increasing as the years go by. But the premium remains the same and does not change. Certain policies also have a cap until the sum assured stops growing.

Decreasing Term Insurance Plan

In a decreasing term plan, the sum assured keeps decreasing every year till the policy term ends. The premiums of this insurance policy are comparatively lower when compared to other plans.

Term Insurance Return of Premium (TROP)

If you buy a return premium policy, you will get all of the premiums paid to the insurer by the end of the policy year. But this stands true only if you survive the policy term. So, in the event of your death, the sum assured would be given to your beneficiary, but if you were to survive, then only the premiums would be returned to you.

Convertible Term Plans

In convertible term plans, you can convert your term plan to a different life insurance policy in the future. The type of insurance policy would be of your choice, including whole life insurance, endowment plan, etc.

Why Do You Need Term Insurance?

Term insurance is relatively inexpensive and offers higher coverage amounts, making it an ideal choice for individuals who want to ensure that their family’s financial needs are met in case of an untimely demise. In this fast-paced world, where life is uncertain, having term insurance can provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones, knowing that they will be taken care of financially in your absence.

Financial Security for Your Loved Ones

The most important reason to get term insurance is to ensure that your loved ones are financially secure in the event of your unexpected death. The death benefit paid out by term insurance can help cover the expenses that come with losing a loved one, such as funeral costs, outstanding debts, and living expenses.

Pay Off Outstanding Debts

If you have significant debts such as a mortgage, car loan, or student loan, term insurance can provide the necessary funds to pay off these debts if something were to happen to you. By doing so, you can ensure that your loved ones are not burdened with these debts.

Affordable Premiums

Term insurance is often the most affordable type of life insurance. You can choose the length of the policy, the amount of coverage, and the premium that fits your budget. You can also opt for a level-term policy where the premiums remain the same throughout the policy term.

Peace of Mind

Getting term insurance can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind, knowing that they are financially protected in the event of your unexpected death. You could live your life without the constant worry of what would happen to your family if something were to happen to you.

Features of Term Insurance

Term insurance is one of the most popular and cost-effective types of life insurance. It provides financial protection to the policyholder’s family in the event of the policyholder’s untimely death. Here are some of the features of opting for term plans.

Term Insurance Benefits

Flexible Coverage

Term insurance policies offer a great deal of flexibility in terms of coverage amount and duration. You can choose the coverage amount that best meets your needs and budget, and you can also choose the duration of the policy, which is typically anywhere from one to thirty years.


One of the least expensive types of life insurance is term insurance. The premiums are generally lower than other life insurance because there is no investment component or cash value. This means that the entire premium goes towards the death benefit.

Renewable and Convertible

Most term insurance policies are renewable and convertible. This means that you have the option to renew your policy for an additional term at the end of the policy’s term without having to undergo a medical examination.

Additionally, you can be able to convert your term policy into a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life insurance, without having to undergo a medical examination. This is particularly useful for those who can have developed health issues over time that would make it difficult to obtain a new policy.

Death Benefit

The death benefit is the amount of money that is paid to the beneficiary in the event of the policyholder’s death. The death benefit for term insurance policies is typically tax-free and can be used for any purpose. The beneficiary can use the money to pay off debts, cover living expenses, or invest in the future.

Things to Know Before Buying Term Insurance

Term insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specific period. It is a popular choice for many individuals because it is affordable and easy to understand. However, before buying term insurance, there are several things you need to know to make an informed decision. Here are some essential things to keep in mind:

The Right Policy Term and Coverage Amount

The term of your policy should be long enough to cover the period during which your dependents are financially vulnerable. The coverage amount or sum assured should be sufficient to cover your outstanding liabilities, such as loans, and provide for your family’s future expenses.

The Ideal Premium Amount

The premium for a term insurance policy is one of the most important factors to consider. It is the amount you will have to pay regularly to keep your policy active. Make sure you choose a premium that you can afford, as it is important to keep your policy active to provide continuous protection.

If You Need Riders

Riders are additional term insurance tax benefits that can be added to your term insurance policy for added protection. These can include accidental death benefits, waiver of premium, critical illness cover, and more. You can choose the riders as per your needs and preferences.

Claim Settlement Ratio

The claim settlement ratio is an important factor to consider before buying a term insurance policy. It is the percentage of claims settled by the insurance company. Choose an insurance company with a high claim settlement ratio, as it ensures that your beneficiaries will receive the claim amount in case of your untimely demise.

Compare Premiums

Term insurance premiums vary from insurer to insurer. You should compare premiums from different insurers to find the best deal. However, do not make the mistake of choosing the cheapest premium without considering the insurer’s reputation and customer service.

Disclose Accurate Information

It is essential to provide accurate information while buying term insurance. If you fail to disclose any medical condition or lifestyle habits that can affect your health, your policy can be deemed invalid, and your beneficiaries can not receive any benefit. Therefore, it is important to be transparent and provide accurate information to the insurer.

Review Your Policy Regularly

Your life circumstances can change over time, and so can your insurance needs. It is crucial to review your policy regularly to ensure that it still meets your needs. If necessary, you can make changes to your policy, such as increasing or decreasing the coverage amount or changing the term.

Who Should Buy Term Insurance?

Term insurance is a type of life insurance that offers protection for a predetermined time frame. But the question is, who should buy term insurance? Let us find out here.

If You are in Starting Years of Your Career

Young adults who are just starting their careers and have just started earning an income should buy term insurance. Term insurance will provide financial security to their loved ones in case of any unfortunate events. Moreover, the premium for term insurance is relatively lower for younger individuals, making it an affordable option.

If You are a Married Couple

Married couples who are planning to start a family should consider purchasing term insurance. In case of the sudden death of one of the spouses, the term insurance policy will provide financial support to the surviving spouse and their children.

If You are Recent Homeowners

Homeowners with a mortgage should buy term insurance. In case of the sudden death of the homeowner, the term insurance policy will provide financial assistance to the family to pay off the mortgage.

If You are Business Owners

Business owners should consider purchasing term insurance to secure the financial future of their business in case of their untimely death. Term insurance can help in buying out the deceased partner’s share in the business, paying off any outstanding debts and continuing the operations of the business.

Young Parents

If you have young children, term insurance should be on your list. Children are dependent on their parents for their education and upbringing, and a sudden loss of income can disrupt their lives. A term insurance policy can provide a safety net for your children’s future and ensure that they are not deprived of opportunities due to a lack of funds.

Single People with Debt

Even if you are single and do not have any dependents, you can still need term insurance if you have outstanding debts like a home loan or a car loan. Your debts can become a burden on your family in the event of your demise. A term insurance policy can ensure that your debts are paid off and your family is not saddled with unnecessary financial liabilities.

People with no Savings

If you do not have any significant savings, term insurance can be an excellent way to provide for your family in the event of your untimely death. A term insurance policy can ensure that your family has enough funds to cover their daily expenses and meet their financial goals.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know all about term insurance meaning and its benefits, this is the ideal time to secure your family in your absence. The biggest reason why term insurance is important is that it not only acts as a source of lost income but also helps your family to pay debts and living expenses.

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- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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