While our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product on the open market, we believe everyone should be able to make great financial decisions with the utmost confidence. The guidance we offer, the information we provide, and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence what products we write about and review and where on the site we put them. In no way does this affect our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in many hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners.

Top 10 Life Insurance Policy Features You Should Know

Life insurance is a crucial tool in providing security for your loved ones and ensuring their financial stability. With a multitude of policy options available, it’s vital to grasp the key features that can significantly impact your coverage. In this article, we will delve into the top 10 life insurance policy features that you should be aware of, enhancing your understanding and peace of mind.


These features, from flexible premium options to cash value accumulation, can enhance your policy and provide added benefits. For instance, an accelerated death benefit can provide financial support if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, and a critical illness rider can help cover medical expenses if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness. We will delve into the intricacies of these features, as well as provisions for long-term care expenses. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of a guaranteed insurability option and the impact of underwriting on your application.

Understanding these elements will not only empower you but also put you in the driver’s seat when choosing a life insurance policy that best suits your needs. So, if you’re seeking comprehensive coverage that goes beyond basic protection, keep reading to discover the essential features that can make all the difference in safeguarding your family’s financial well-being.

Understanding Life insurance Policy Features

what are the main features of life insuranceA life insurance policy is a complex financial instrument, and it’s essential to understand the key features that can significantly impact your coverage and overall experience. By familiarizing yourself with these features, you can make informed decisions and ensure that your policy aligns with your needs and preferences.

One of the most critical features to consider is the death benefit, which the insurance company will pay out to your beneficiaries upon your passing. The death benefit can vary widely, depending on the policy type, age, health status, and the coverage amount you choose. It’s important to carefully assess your family’s financial needs and select a death benefit that will adequately provide for them in the event of your untimely death.

Another essential feature is the policy’s premium, the recurring payment you make to maintain coverage. Premiums can be fixed or variable, depending on the policy type, and they can be influenced by factors such as your age, health, and lifestyle. Understanding how premiums work and how they may change over time can help you budget effectively and ensure that your policy remains affordable throughout its duration.

In addition to the death benefit and premiums, life insurance policies may offer a range of riders and additional benefits to enhance your coverage. These may include accelerated death benefits, which provide access to a portion of the death benefit in the event of a terminal illness, or waiver of premium riders, which can suspend your premium payments if you become disabled. Exploring these optional features can help you tailor your policy to your needs and preferences.

Coach B. Insurance logo

Compare the market, right here.

Coach B. saves you up to 60% by comparing the top-rated companies on our quote and apply platform.

Premiums and Payment Options

life insurance policy detailsWhen it comes to life insurance, the premiums you pay are a crucial factor in determining the affordability and sustainability of your coverage. Premiums can vary widely depending on the policy type, the amount of coverage you choose, and your characteristics, such as age, health, and lifestyle.

Types of life insurance policies like term life insurance generally has the lowest premiums, providing only coverage for a specific period. Premiums for term-life policies are typically fixed, meaning they remain the same throughout the policy’s duration. This makes it easier to budget and plan for the ongoing costs of your coverage.

In contrast, choosing a type of life insurance like permanent life insurance policies, example, whole life and universal life, often have higher premiums due to the lifelong protection and the cash value component. These premiums may be fixed or variable, depending on the policy type. Variable premiums can fluctuate based on factors like investment performance or changes in the insurance company’s expenses, so it’s essential to understand how these fluctuations may impact your long-term costs.

In addition to the premium amount, life insurance policies also offer various payment options to suit your financial needs. You may have the choice to pay premiums monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, with some insurers offering discounts for paying annually. Some policies also allow you to adjust your premium payments as circumstances change, providing greater flexibility and control over your coverage.

When selecting a permanent insurance whole life policy, it’s crucial to carefully consider the premium costs and payment options that fit your budget. This will ensure that your coverage remains affordable and sustainable over the long term, allowing you to provide for your loved ones without compromising your financial well-being.

Coverage Amount and Beneficiaries

The coverage amount and the designation of beneficiaries are two critical components of a life insurance policy that can significantly impact the protection and financial security it provides for your loved ones.

The coverage amount, also known as the death benefit, is the lump-sum payment the insurance company will provide to your designated beneficiaries upon passing. This amount should be carefully determined based on your family’s financial needs, considering factors such as outstanding debts, living expenses, and future goals like education or retirement. Choosing an appropriate coverage amount can ensure that your loved ones are adequately supported and can maintain their standard of living, even in your absence.

Equally important is the designation of beneficiaries, which determines who will receive the death benefit from your life insurance policy. You can name primary beneficiaries who will receive the full death benefit and contingent or secondary beneficiaries who will receive the proceeds if the primary beneficiaries are no longer living. It’s crucial to regularly review and update your beneficiary designations to ensure they align with your current wishes and family circumstances, as changes in relationships, marriages, or births can necessitate updates to your policy.

When selecting coverage amounts and beneficiaries, you must consider your loved one’s unique needs and financial situation.
This may involve consulting with a financial advisor to assess your family’s long-term goals and obligations and to ensure that your life insurance coverage provides the most comprehensive protection possible. By carefully considering these important policy features, you can have confidence that your loved ones will be well-cared for in the event of your passing.

what does life insurance cover

Policy Riders and Additional Benefits

With life insurance what often comes with a range of optional riders and additional benefits that can enhance your coverage and provide added protection for you and your loved ones. These features can be tailored to your needs and help you build a more comprehensive financial safety net.

One popular rider is the accelerated death benefit, which allows you to access a portion of your death benefit while you’re still alive if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. This can provide much-needed financial support during a difficult time and help you and your family manage the costs of medical care and other end-of-life expenses.

Another valuable rider is the critical illness or chronic illness rider, which provides a lump-sum payment if you are diagnosed with a covered critical or chronic illness, such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke. This can help you and your family cope with the financial burdens associated with these conditions, such as lost income, medical bills, and rehabilitation costs.

Some life insurance policies offer a long-term care rider, which can help cover the costs of in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home expenses if you require long-term care. This can be particularly beneficial as you age, providing an extra layer of protection and ensuring that your loved ones are not burdened with these significant expenses.

Other everyday riders include the waiver of premium rider, which can suspend your premium payments if you become disabled, and the guaranteed insurability rider, which allows you to increase your coverage without undergoing additional medical exams. These features can provide added flexibility and peace of mind as circumstances change.

When selecting a life insurance policy, it’s essential to carefully review the available riders and additional benefits to ensure that your coverage aligns with your specific needs and preferences. By taking advantage of these optional features, you can tailor your policy to provide the most comprehensive protection for you and your loved ones.

Compare and buy life insurance

Cash Value Accumulation and Loans

Permanent life insurance policies, such as whole life and universal life, offer a unique feature known as cash value accumulation. This means that a portion of your premium payments are set aside and invested, allowing the policy to build up a cash value over time.

The cash value component of a permanent life insurance policy serves several essential functions. First, it can provide supplementary income or financial flexibility in the event of an emergency or unexpected expense. Policyholders can borrow against their policy’s cash value, either through a policy loan or a withdrawal, without having to surrender the policy entirely.

The cash value can also help fund future financial goals, such as retirement or a child’s education. Some policyholders may even use the cash value to pay their premiums, reducing the out-of-pocket costs of maintaining their coverage.

The rate at which the cash value accumulates can vary depending on the policy type and the performance of the underlying investments. Whole-life policies typically offer a guaranteed minimum rate of return. In contrast, universal life policies may have more variable cash value growth tied to market performance or the insurer’s declared interest rate.

It’s important to note that borrowing against the cash value of a life insurance policy can have implications, such as reducing the death benefit or potentially triggering taxable events. It’s crucial to understand the terms and conditions of your policy and to consult with a financial advisor before accessing the cash value to ensure that it aligns with your long-term financial goals and doesn’t jeopardize the primary purpose of your life insurance coverage.

Policy Terms and Renewability

When selecting a life insurance policy, it’s essential to understand the policy terms and renewability provisions, as these can significantly impact the longevity and flexibility of your coverage.

The policy term refers to the length of time that the life insurance policy is in effect. For term life insurance policies, the term can range from 1 to 30 years, with the most common terms being 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. At the end of the term, the policyholder has the option to renew the policy, often without the need for additional medical underwriting.

Permanent life insurance policies, such as whole life and universal life, are designed to provide lifelong coverage as long as the premiums are paid. These policies do not have a defined term and can typically be renewed indefinitely as long as the policyholder meets the premium requirements.

The renewability feature is an important consideration, as it allows policyholders to maintain their coverage even as their health or age changes over time. This can be particularly valuable for individuals who may have developed medical conditions or become uninsurable since the initial policy was issued.

In addition to renewability, some life insurance policies may also offer a guaranteed insurability option, which allows policyholders to increase their coverage amount at specific life events, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or the purchase of a new home, without the need for additional medical underwriting. This can be a valuable feature for individuals who anticipate their coverage needs changing over time.

By understanding your life insurance policy’s terms and renewability provisions, you can ensure that your coverage remains in place and continues to meet your evolving needs, even as your life circumstances change. This can provide you and your loved ones with added peace of mind and financial security.

Ready to see the plans and pricing?

Choosing the Right Life Insurance Policy for You

Selecting the right life insurance policy can be a complex and daunting task, as numerous factors must be considered. However, by understanding the key features and benefits most important to you and your family, you can make an informed decision that provides the comprehensive protection you need.

When evaluating life insurance policies, it’s essential to start by assessing your financial goals and the specific needs of your loved ones. Consider your current income, outstanding debts, future expenses (e.g., mortgage, education, retirement), and the number of dependents you have. This will help you determine the appropriate coverage amount and policy type to meet your family’s needs best.

Next, explore the various policy features and riders that can enhance your coverage. As discussed earlier, these may include accelerated death benefits, critical illness riders, long-term care coverage, and the ability to adjust your premium payments or increase your coverage amount over time. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each feature to ensure that your policy provides the level of protection you desire.

It’s also important to consider the insurance provider’s financial stability and reputation. Research the company’s financial strength ratings, customer satisfaction, and claims-paying history to ensure your policy will be there for your loved ones when needed. Additionally, be mindful of the policy’s premium costs and payment options, as these can significantly impact the affordability and sustainability of your coverage.

Finally, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of a qualified financial advisor or insurance professional. These experts can help you navigate the complexities of life insurance, analyze your specific needs, and recommend policies that align with your goals and budget. With their expertise and your understanding of the key policy features, you can make a well-informed decision that provides the peace of mind and financial security your family deserves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the feature of a life insurance policy?

Some common features of a life insurance policy include a death benefit paid out to beneficiaries upon the insured's death, premium payments made by the policyholder to keep the policy active, and the ability to choose between term life insurance (coverage for a specific period) or permanent life insurance (coverage for the insured's entire life). Other features include borrowing against the policy's cash value or adding riders for additional coverage.

What is the key feature of term life insurance?

The key feature of term life insurance is that it provides coverage for a specific period, typically 10 to 30 years. During this time, the policyholder pays a fixed premium, and if they pass away during the term, their beneficiaries receive a death benefit payout. However, if the policyholder outlives the term, the coverage ends, and there is no payout.

What are the different types of life insurance?

There are several types of life insurance, including term life insurance, whole life insurance, universal life insurance, and variable life insurance. Each type has unique features and benefits, so it's important to understand the differences before choosing a policy.

Meet the team

About Coach B.

After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.

In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.

More Articles


Send Us A Message