Accumulation Stage

The period of an annuity during which contributions are made and seek growth though performance or crediting.


The person who receives income payments under an annuity contract upon annuitization. The contract owner and the annuitant are often the same person.


To begin a series of payments based on funds accumulated in the annuity.


A contract between an insurance company and an individual. It generally guarantees an income to the individual in exchange for a lump-sum payment or periodic payments.
 The guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

Beneficiary (Life Insurance)

The person(s) named to receive the death benefit proceeds from a life insurance policy, trust or annuity upon the death of the insured or contract owner/annuitant.

Cash Surrender Value

The amount available in cash for loans and that may be available for withdrawals. Accessing Cash Surrender Value reduces the contract value and death benefit and may increase the risk of lapse.

Contract Owner

The person who owns the contract, pays the premium and is entitled to ownership rights stated in the contract.

Convertible Term Insurance

Term insurance that can be exchanged (converted), at the option of the policyowner and without evidence of insurability, for a permanent insurance policy.


A commonly used term for funeral home representatives who specialize in preneed life insurance.

Deferred Annuity

An annuity contract that defers, or delays, income payments until the contract owner elects to receive them.


A return of part of the premium on participating insurance that is based on the insurer's investment, mortality and expense experience. Dividends are not guaranteed.

Face Amount

The amount stated on the face of the policy that will be paid in case of death. It does not include additional amounts payable under accidental death,other special provisions, or acquired through the application of policy dividends.

Fixed Annuity

An annuity in which the insurance company pays a fixed rate of interest on the funds placed in the contract. The insurance company guarantees both principal and interest.

Fixed Index Annuity

A fixed annuity that credits an interest rate either tied to the performance of a financial index or based on a fixed rate of return.

Flexible Premium

A contract in which the owner pays a series of premiums over a period of time.

Guaranteed Interest Rate

The minimum rate of interest the insurance company agrees to credit each year.

Immediate Annuity

An annuity contract purchased with a single lump-sum premium that begins systematic payments shortly following purchase.


Acceptable risk to the company of an applicant for insurance.

Insured or Insured Life

The person on whose life the policy is issued.


The insurance company that issues the contract or policy.

Joint and Survivor Income

An annuity payout option that covers two or more people. The annuity payments continue as long as one of the annuitants remains alive.  

Level Premium

Life insurance for which the premium remains the same from year to year. The premium is normally more than the actual cost of protection during the earlier years of the policy and less than the actual cost in the later years. The building of a reserve is a natural result of level premiums. The payments in the early years, together with the interest that is to be earned, serves to balance out the underpayment of the later years.

Life Income

An annuity payout option that pays during the lifetime of the annuitant. Payments cease upon the annuitant’s death.

Life Income with Period Certain

An annuity payout option that pays during the lifetime of the annuitant. If the annuitant dies before the time period expires, the scheduled payments will be made to the annuitant’s beneficiary for the remainder of the period certain.

Loan (Policy Loan)

A loan made by a life insurance company from its general funds to a policyowner on the security of the cash value of a policy. Generally, loans may reduce the policy's death benefit and cash value.


With variations in material, color or themed accents, there are many ways to personalize a funeral through your choice of burial, cremation and memorialization products. Each funeral home offers a varied selection.

Participating Policy

A life insurance policy that is eligible for the payment of dividends by the insurer (see also Dividend.)

Period Certain

An annuity payout option that guarantees payments will be made over a certain period of time, usually between five and 20 years.

Permanent Life Insurance

Any form of life insurance, except term; generally the insurance that builds up a cash value, such as whole life.


The person who owns a life insurance policy. This is usually the insured person, but it may also be a relative of the insured, a partnership, trust or corporation.

Premature Distribution

Taking a withdrawal from an annuity before the contract owner reaches the age of 59½ (unless he or she is disabled or dies).  Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are generally subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. 


Payments to the insurance company to fund an annuity or buy a life insurance policy and keep it in force.


Term used to describe the pre-planning and funding of funerals in advance of need through a licensed funeral home.

Renewable Term Insurance

Term insurance that can be renewed at the end of the term, at the option of the policyowner and without evidence of insurability, for a limited number of successive terms. The rates generally increase at each renewal as the age of the insured increases.


Professional services by the funeral home staff to complete the ceremonies, personalization, and other arrangements related to a funeral.

Surrender Charge (Early Withdrawal Charge)

A charge incurred when taking a withdrawal from an annuity before the contract owner reaches the age of 59½ (unless he or she is disabled or dies) or the stated surrender period expires. Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are generally subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

Tax Deferred

In an annuity contract, income taxes are delayed or postponed on earnings until withdrawn.

Term Insurance

Life insurance that is purchased for a defined period or renewable annually. It does not build up cash value and the premium normally increases as the insured gets older.

Universal Life Insurance

A flexible premium life insurance policy under which the policyowner may change the death benefit from time to time (with satisfactory evidence of insurability for increases) and vary the amount or timing of premium payments. Premiums,less expense charges, are credited to a policy account from which mortality charges are deducted and to which interest is credited at rates, which may change from time to time.

Variable Annuity

A type of annuity in which your premium is invested into your choice of various professional managed subaccounts, the performance of which will dictate the contract value of the annuity. Performance and values will fluctuate and the contract may lose money. Typically variable annuities will have optional benefits to help with income and legacy protection concerns. 

Whole Life Insurance

A basic type of permanent life insurance which can provide lifetime protection at a level premium. Premiums must generally be paid for as long as the policy is in force.