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What Is Life Insurance & How Does It Work?

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Life insurance provides financial security and protection for your spouse, children, or anyone you designate as a policy beneficiary. Upon your death, these beneficiaries receive a sum of money called a “death benefit,” which can be used to pay off a mortgage or other debts, fund higher education, handle day-to-day expenses in your absence, or anything else.

There are several things to consider when buying life insurance, including what a policy covers, which type of policy best suits your needs, how much insurance to buy, and the cost of a policy.

This post originally appeared at TIME.