Life insurance is designed to replace all or part of your income if you die prematurely. Without life insurance, spouses or children who may be dependent upon your income could end up in an extremely difficult situation.
There are two main types of life insurance:
Term life insurance is life insurance that you hold for a specific amount of time, and then the policy must be renewed or it goes away. People like these policies because they are cheaper and require no long term commitment.
Whole, or permanent life insurance is a policy that you may hold forever. These policies build up equity, so you actually earn interest on the money you pay in premiums, and you can ultimately withdraw the balance before you die if it is prudent to do so. Some people like these policies because they feel it does not penalize them for not dying, and because they do not have to go through the qualification process over and over again.
While there may be circumstances, such as suicide, where a life insurance policy does not pay when the named party dies, in most cases, the beneficiary should receive benefits in a timely fashion in this event. If you have lost a loved one and the life insurance company is slow or refusing to pay, a good life insurance attorney may be able to help you resolve the problem more quickly and effectively.