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Life Insurance Glossary


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Attained Age

This is the age an insured person has reached on a specific date.


This is the person who is named by the policyholder to receive the death benefit of the life insurance policy.

Buy-Sell Agreement

An agreement among part-owners of a business that says that under conditions stated in the agreement, death or disability, the person withdrawing themselves from the business or his or her heirs are legally obligated to sell their part of the business to the remaining part-owners, and the remaining part-owners are legally obligated to purchase at a price agreed on. It can also be a similar agreement between an owner or part-owner of a business and a key person or employee.

Cash Surrender Value

The amount due an insured who surrenders a cash value life insurance policy.

Contingent Beneficiary

A person or persons named to receive the policy benefits if the primary beneficiary has died at the time the insured dies.

Death Benefit

The amount stated in a policy that is payable upon the death of the insured.

Decreasing Term

This type of insurance provides a death benefit to the beneficiary which decreases throughout the term of the contract, until reaching zero at the end of the contract.

Entire Contract Clause

This is a provision in a life insurance contract stating that the entire agreement between the insurer and the insured is contained in the contract, including the application if attached, insuring agreements, exclusions, conditions, declarations and endorsements.

Free Look

A period of time normally 10, 20 or 30 days which a policyholder may examine a new individual policy of life insurance, and surrender it in exchange for a full refund if not satisfied for any reason.

Grace Period

The prescribed period in the life insurance contract, normally 30 to 31 days from the due date, during which the insurance contract is in force and the premium may be paid.

Guaranteed Insurability

An option in Life Insurance contracts that permits the insured to buy additional amounts of insurance at predetermined future time intervals without evidence of insurability

Life Insurance

Insurance one purchases to protect their family or business in the event of their death.

Mortality Rate

The number of deaths in a group of people normally expressed as deaths per thousand.

Permanent Life Insurance

A term used for a life insurance policy other than term and universal, with a cash value also known as whole life.

Renewable Term

This is term life Insurance that may be renewed for another term period without evidence of insurability.

Term Insurance

This is a type of Life Insurance that provides protection only for a specific period of time. Normally sold in 5,10,20, or 30 year periods. This is the most affordable for a young person but, can be quite expensive when one wants to renew at the end of the term.

Universal Life

This is a combination adjustable life insurance, flexible premium policy. The policy owner can select the amount of premium he or she wants to pay and the policy benefits are those which the premium will purchase. On the other hand, the policy owner may change the amount of insurance and pay the premium accordingly.

Whole Life Insurance

This type of life insurance can be kept in force for a person's whole life and pays a benefit upon his or her death, whenever that might be, Also known as permanent life .Whole life insurance policies build up non-forfeiture values


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