When you purchase a life insurance policy, you are essentially entering into an agreement with an insurance company. Depending on the type of policy, you may or may not need to take a medical exam. The policy will last for an agreed-upon number of years, usually 20 or 30 years. During this time, you will pay monthly premiums in order to receive a death benefit.
If you pass away before the term ends, the insurance company will pay out the death benefit to your beneficiaries.