Paying a company to insure yourself against illness, disability and death is a necessity. For more coverage you can add on extras and pay more as you see fit. The basics cover the major 30 illnesses including cancer and will ensure you are able to payoff hospital/medical bills as well as payout upon death to a named beneficiary. After 10 - 15 years of paying monthly premiums, your policy matures and you make back what you put in. So it's like putting money in the bank while assuring yourself of coverage, provided you don't close the account or miss a payment before it matures.
For young people there are savings or investment linked insurance plans. For the middle-aged, there are retirement insurance plans. The premise is the same, you pay a monthly premium and it offers you differing types of coverage for illness, disability and death. After a certain amount of time, you make profits or losses depending on the investment/assets it is backed on.
Just like any other type of investment product you can choose to stay or cash out or even restart on another policy. When choosing a policy, remember that projected earnings are always optimistic.