You may go through periods in your life when money is tight or when you're not quite sure you want permanent life insurance. Term life insurance is affordable coverage that only lasts for a certain period of time.
If you die within the term period and coverage is in force, a death benefit is paid to your beneficiary. If you are still living at the end of the term, protection ceases unless the policy is renewed. There is no "accumulation" element, or cash value with term insurance.