Life Insurance Glossary


Beneficiary – The person or persons named in the policy to receive the insurance proceeds at the death of the insured.

Cash value – The sum of money that can build inside many permanent life insurance policies and can be accessible. The actual cash value may be decreased by a surrender charge, loans or withdrawals.

Guaranteed Issue – A policy that is easier to get because it does not require answering medical questions or taking a medical exam.

Portable – Insurance portability lets you take your life insurance coverage with you when you leave a job, your employer stops offering life insurance as a benefit, or you retire.

Premium – The payment, or one of the periodic payments, a policy owner agrees to make for an insurance policy. Depending on the terms of the policy, the premium may be paid in one payment or a series of regular payments, e.g., annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly. The premium charged reflects the expectation of loss, expenses and profit contingencies.

Rider – An endorsement, also known as an amendment to an insurance policy, modifies clauses and provisions of the policy, including or excluding coverage.