Contract sold by an insurance company under which the premium payment frequency (monthly, quarterly, semiannually, yearly) may vary and the amount of each premium payment (usually subject to a minimum of $100) may vary. This contract pays a monthly (or quarterly, semiannual, or annual) income benefit for the life of a person (the annuitant), for the lives of two or more persons, or for a specified period of time. These income payments are scheduled to begin at a specified later date. The annuitant can never outlive the income from the annuity. While the basic purpose of life insurance is to provide an income for a beneficiary at the death of the insured, the annuity is intended to provide an income for life for the annuitant.