Life Insurance The insurer will pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal or critical illness may also trigger payment. In return, the policy holder agrees to pay a stipulated amount (at regular intervals or in lump sums). In the USA, the predominant form of life insurance simply specifies a lump sum to be paid on the on the insured’s demise. The value for the policy owner is the ‘peace of mind’ in knowing that the death of the insured person will not result in financial hardship. There are certain exclusions to claims that relate to suicide, fraud, war, riot and civil commotion. Some examples of life insurance include, term, whole life, universal life and variable life policies.