Level Term Assurance pays a lump sum in the event of death during the term of the policy. There is no investment element within a term assurance contract, so at the end of the term there is no maturity value and life cover ends. The benefit is paid tax-free. Premiums are usually monthly and fixed throughout the term. As the term and benefit are known from the outset, and there is no investment content. Term assurance can be a cost-effective method of protection.
Decreasing Term Assurance works in a similar way to Level Term Assurance, but the benefit is set at the outset and gradually decreases over the term of the policy. These policies can be used as cover for a repayment mortgage, or other loans where the amount of capital outstanding also decreases over time. As the benefit reduces over time, the premiums are usually lower than for Level Term Assurance.
Family Income Benefit works the same as term assurance but instead of paying a lump sum upon death, it will usually pay a regular monthly/annual tax-free income in the event of death to your dependants up until the end of the term of the policy.
Critical Illness Insurance is usually available as an addition to all term assurance plans but can be bought on a standalone basis. Critical illness provides a lump sum benefit / income in the event of diagnosis of certain critical illnesses, such as heart attack, stroke, transplant, blindness, total and permanent disability. The illnesses covered will be specified in the policy along with any exclusions and limitations – these differ between insurers.