Term insurance can provide low-cost coverage for a specific period of time (the “term”) –most likely during an individual’s peak earning years when death can cause the greatest financial hardship. Term is also a good option for covering needs that aren’t permanent. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate college or a particular debt is paid off, such as a mortgage, or a business responsibility is fulfilled. Generally the most affordable type of life insurance when initially purchased, term insurance generally pays a benefit only if you die during the select period of coverage.
If you buy a term policy and then later realize that you still have a need for life insurance, you can either renew your term policy or (depending on the insurance policy’s rules about conversion) convert it to a different type of policy. If, in 10, 15 or 20 years you’re still healthy according to the company’s standards, you might re-qualify at a reasonable rate. But if your health has deteriorated, you may find that it’s too expensive to renew your policy or you may not even re-qualify.
So, when considering a term policy, be sure you carefully consider your needs and how they may evolve, financially, down the road. If your needs remain temporary, then term insurance may be right for you. But, if you think there’s a possibility that you might need the coverage for a long time, then remember that renewing your term policy after it expires or buying a new term policy at that time, may make coverage more expensive due to your age, health status or other factors.