Life insurance is available in different formats including the most common term and whole. Term insurance provides a death benefit for a specified time frame. Often 10, 20 and 30 year terms are common. Whole life covers a person for their entire life up to age 99 for most carriers.
The premium you pay into term life insurance provides a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die during the specified term. While money you spend on whole life insurance builds cash value that you can use later in life or that will add to the death benefit payout. In other words, you can take a loan against a whole life policy. A term policy does not have that feature.
There are many riders that are available with life insurance including an option with some carriers to have a chronic illness rider. That can provide funds in the event the policyholder needs to use long term care, assisted living or home care services due to a chronic condition.