Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price. Mortgage insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default and enables consumers to purchase homes with little or no down payment - with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment.
As with any insurance, there are insurance premiums to be paid. The amount of the premium varies and can range between 0.65% and 2.75% depending upon how much of the purchase price/home value is financed with a mortgage loan.
Mortgage loan insurance is not to be confused with mortgage life insurance which guarantees that your remaining mortgage at the time of your death will not be a burden to your estate.