If the life insurance policy is "In Force" at the time of death of the insured, the policy will pay out the face amount of life insurance coverage (death benefit) at that time. There are forms the beneficiary needs to complete and send in to the insurance company to make a claim for payment on the life insurance policy.
When you purchase a Term Life Insurance Policy, you decide at that time when you want your coverage to end. Most term life plans offer coverage for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.
The "Term" corresponds with the number of years in your Term life policy.
As a rule, the older you are when the life insurance policy ends, the higher the premium will be. But level term life insurance has level premiums for the entire duration of the term of your policy.
But you also have to consider that, if you want to purchase a new life insurance policy after this term life policy ends, the price on the new policy will be much higher, or you may not be able to qualify for the amount of coverage that you want at that time.
So locking in the premium for a long period of time while you are healthy is a good idea, if you need the life insurance coverage for a long period of time.
Permanent life insurance ends when the life insurance policy matures, at which time you can take the face amount in cash. But most people choose to keep the policy in effect beyond that date , until death.
Basically, permanent life insurance provides lifetime coverage, while term life insurance provides coverage for a certain period of time, up to 30 years.
Here is further information comparing term life insurance vs. permanent life insurance and the pros and cons of each type of policy.