Term life insurance or term assurance is life insurance which provides coverage at a fixed rate of payments for a limited period of time, the relevant term. After that period expires, coverage at the previous rate of premiums is no longer guaranteed and the client must either forgo coverage or potentially obtain further coverage with different payments or conditions. If the life insured dies during the term, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Term insurance is the least expensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit on a coverage amount per premium dollar basis over a specific period of time.
Whole life insurance, or whole of life assurance, is a life insurance policy which is guaranteed to remain in force for the insured's entire lifetime, provided required premiums are paid, or to the maturity date. Premiums are fixed, based on the age of issue, and usually do not increase with age. Normally you pay premiums until death, except for limited pay policies, which may be paid-up in 10 years, 20 years, or at age 65. Also, sometimes called "straight life," or "ordinary life." Whole life insurance belongs to the cash value category of life insurance, which also includes universal life, variable life, and endowment policies.