The terms life assurance and life insurance are often used to mean the same thing, but there's actually a number of key differences.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is term-based, meaning you choose the level of cover you require and the length of time you wish to be covered (the term). Your monthly premium is then calculated accordingly.
You continue to make payments throughout the term and if you die before the end of the policy, your beneficiaries receive a pay out.
However, if the policy comes to an end and you're still living, your life insurance expires and no pay out is issued. Thereafter you either need to take out a new policy or your loved ones could be left exposed.
What is life assurance?
Unlike life insurance, life assurance doesn’t expire, meaning that a pay out to your beneficiaries is guaranteed.
Because there is no expiration date on the policy, premiums must be paid for the rest of your life, meaning that whilst a pay out is guaranteed, you risk paying in more than your loved ones will receive.
As a result, assurance policies, like whole of life insurance, tend to carry more expensive premiums, as a pay out is assured.
In short, life assurance pays out when you die, whereas life insurance pays out if you die.