There are two main types of life insurance: term insurance and permanent insurance. Term insurance has a guaranteed premium (cost) for a fixed term, usually 10, 20 or 30 years. After the term has expired, the premium goes up, often substantially. If the insurance planning was done well, your life insurance need at the end of the term will be minimal, and you can cancel the policy instead of paying the higher renewal rates.

Term insurance can be used as your mortgage protection insurance
Why mortgage insurance is better with us than the banks?
You choose the beneficiary and they choose how to use the benfit.
Coverage stays, no matter where you bank.
Fully underwritten at time of application, no surprise at time of claim.

There are multiple forms of permanent insurance. The simplest form is Term 100, which is like a term-insurance policy that has a fixed premium until the age of 100. Whole-life insurance is similar in that it is payable with a fixed premium until 100, but it also has a cash value building up in the policy over time. You can borrow against the cash value, or use it as collateral for a loan, and you keep the cash value if you cancel the policy. Limited-pay whole-life is similar to whole life, but the premiums only need to be paid for a fixed number of years, and then the policy is guaranteed until death.