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Life Insurance

Definition

Life insurance provides a death benefit for an individual's beneficiaries. It allows survivors to pay off debts and other expenses; it can also provide a source of income to replace that lost by the death of the insured. There are two primary types of life insurance: term, which provides insurance for a specified period of time at a lower cost; and permanent, which provides a certain amount of coverage at variable rates. There are other variations, including universal life, which builds cash value and is widely marketed by life insurance companies.

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