Life insurance is intended to cover funeral expenses and help protect against financial trauma that could result from the death of a family member. A named beneficiary receives the proceeds from a life insurance policy (aka "death benefit") upon the submission of a claim to the insurer following the death of the insured. The goal of life insurance is to maintain financial security for your family and ensure that certain goals are met (such as debt elimination or paying for college) after you die. Life insurance generally comes in two forms -- term and permanent (whole life is the most common permanent option) -- and with a variety of optional features available at an extra cost. So, before purchasing a life insurance policy, you should consider your financial situation, the standard of living you want to maintain for your dependents or survivors, and other financial goals you may have to determine an appropriate type of policy and amount of life insurance coverage.