Life insurance, otherwise known as level term assurance, has a known level of cover that will be paid out in the event of death within a known period of time.
Premiums remain level throughout and should you survive the policy term, there will be no benefit. As this type of contract only provides cover in the event of death there is no surrender value, so if you stop paying the premiums at any time, your cover will cease.
Premiums are based on your personal circumstances but the main areas for consideration by an insurer are your age and state of health. The older you are, the higher the premium will be. Similarly if you have or had a serious ailment the insurer may seek to charge you more or in some cases be unwilling to cover you at all. Higher levels of cover and longer policy terms all increase cost as will the fact that an individual smokes.
Essentially, level term assurance is cheap cover on your life for the benefit of your family or for your business, but there are limitations to it.
As it is a fixed term, there is no flexibility and you will be unable to increase cover or extend the term. Should you therefore find yourself ill at the end of the term you may be unable to obtain further cover.
There is no investment element to the policy, and your sum assured will take no account of inflation.