A Primer on Life Insurance

Simply put, life insurance can help give you peace of mind while you’re alive, and financial support for your loved ones should you pass. It’s something you should have if there are people in your life depending on you for everyday living expenses, college tuition, retirement income – and if you’re a stay-at-home mom, the services you provide are just as important to your family’s well-being as work outside the home. A recent salary.com survey estimated stay-at-home mothers could charge upwards of $120,000 per year for their work.

Here’s a quick primer or refresher on life insurance:


  • It’s a legally binding contract that pays a death benefit to the policy owner when the insured dies.
  • You must pay a single premium upfront or pay regular premiums over time.
  • The policy’s named beneficiaries will receive the policy’s face value, or death benefit, upon death of the insured.
  • There are 2 primary types:
    • Term life insurance policies expire after a certain number of years.
    • Permanent life insurance policies remain active until the insured dies, stops paying premiums, or surrenders the policy.
  • Do your research: a life insurance policy is only as good as the financial strength of the company that issues it.