Life Insurance Worldwide Directory

Life insurance definition is that one provides cash benefit to a decedent's family or other designated beneficiary by receiving a policy and paying a premium in exchange. Life insurance can be divided into two basic classes – temporary and permanent. The risk assumed by the insurer is the risk of death of the insured. There are three parties in a life insurance transaction; the insurer, the insured, and the policyholder (or owner). The insured and the policyholder are often the same person. The policyholder will designate a beneficiary to receive the policy proceeds upon the death of the insured.

The life insurance policy holder may change the beneficiary unless the policy has an irrevocable beneficiary designation. With an irrevocable beneficiary, that beneficiary must agree to changes in beneficiary, policy assignment, or borrowing of cash value. The life insurance policy becomes null if the insured commits suicide within usually two years time. Any misrepresentation by the owner or insured on the application is also grounds for nullification.

Most life insurance contracts have a contestability period, also usually a two-year period; if the insured dies within this period, the insurer has a legal right to contest the claim and request additional information before deciding to either pay or deny the claim for proceeds. The cost of life insurance is determined by Actuaries using mortality tables statistically based on average life expectancies calculated by insured's age, gender, and whether they use tobacco or not.Upon of the insured’s death, the insurer will require acceptable proof of death before paying the claim. The normal minimum proof is a death certificate and the insurer's claim form completed, signed, and often notarized.

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