What is term insurance? Term life insurance is the most basic type of life insurance. That covers you for a specific period of time, such as 10, 20, 25 or 30 years. It’s also the cheapest and easiest to get. When the term expires, the owner must purchase a new policy to continue receiving protection. It can be renewed or extended beyond its original term. It is design to cover the financial needs of your family in the event of your death during that period of time.