Term insurance is a level term life insurance product that pays out a lump sum when the insurance policyholder dies or becomes terminally ill.
Term life insurance can be configured to pay off all existing loans – including the mortgage – and leave a cash sum in the bank to support your spouse and children.
Term insurance is different then mortgage insurance
It is important to realise that term insurance is a different life product to mortgage insurance. Term insurance is a long-term insurance product that can be taken out over a lifetime of 50 years. During this time the insurance premium remains the same as does the amount paid out in the event of death or terminal illness.
Mortgage insurance on the other hand mirrors the life of your outstanding mortgage loan. The insurance premiums remain the same throughout the life of the product, but unlike term insurance the amount paid out upon death or terminal illness reduces in line with the outstanding mortgage loan. So, if you were to die at the point that you owe only $40,000 on your mortgage, then the mortgage life insurance product would only pay out $40,000.
Terminal illness cover generally comes as standard with term life insurance polices. The terminal illness clause tends to trigger pay out if the insurance policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness named on the term policy and is given 12 months or less to live. Pay out in these circumstances allows the policyholder themselves or someone with power of attorney for the policyholder to receive the full lump sum from the term life insurance policy. They are then free to enjoy the final months of their life with their family free from financial constraints.
When a term life insurance policy pays out for terminal illness the policy will end. Therefore the life insurance company will not be liable to pay anything further upon death of the policyholder.
Term life insurance restrictions
As with most insurance policies there are restrictions and exclusions that apply to term life insurance policies. The main restriction is on pay outs to term life insurance policyholders who become critically ill, yet are not diagnosed as terminally ill. In this case, a standard term life insurance policy will not make a payment, unless a critical illness policy has been added to the term life insurance.