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Life Insurance Information
You don’t buy life insurance because you are going to die, but because those you love are going to live.
One of the most fundamental questions you should ask yourself when contemplating life insurance is this:
Will someone in my life be adversely effected (from a financial standpoint) by my untimely death?
Most everyone is aware that they need life insurance but, from my experience, most people procrastinate until there is an important life event that pushes them to buy it.
However, there are some serious benefits to buying insurance early on, especially if you have debt, are married or planning on marriage, have or are planning on starting a family, or you are a business owner.
Term Life Insurance is quite simple—use it or lose it. In other words, you pay an annual premium (determined by the insurance company) for the “term” of the policy (usually 20 years) and if you die within those 20 years, your beneficiary will collect the specified amount indicated on the policy. For example, let’s assume you purchase a $1 million, 20-year term policy and the premium is $600/year. Assuming you are current on your premium payment, if you die within the 20-year period, your beneficiary will receive $1 million, tax-free.
Whole Life Insurance coverage can last the rest of your life. As a result, you’d likely pay more for the same amount of coverage compared to a term life policy. Along with providing permanence, a whole life policy’s higher premiums also fund an additional cash account that gives your policy more and more value, and flexibility, as time passes. This cash value works a lot like a savings account. Later in life, after the policy accrues enough value, you can borrow against the value or cancel the policy and claim the cash. Some policyholders even donate their policies to charity.
Universal life insurance also commonly referred to as a “UL” policy, is a form of life insurance that offers flexible premiums, a level or increasing death benefit, and a tax-deferred investment opportunity to the insured. With universal life insurance, the insured pays the premium of their life insurance as well as some additional money to “over-fund the policy” and build a cash value. This cash value gains interest overtime and may be borrowed from or used to subsidize the cost of the life insurance policy in the future. Traditional universal life policies will lapse/expire when the cash account dwindles to the point that there are insufficient funds to cover the policy expenses and cost of insurance. With the “no-lapse” feature, the policies are guaranteed to stay in force for your entire life if the premium is paid regularly and on-time. No-lapse policies have little to no cash value compared to cash value-rich whole life policies. They are built purely as guaranteed level premium and death benefit
Final Expense Insurance such as funeral, burial, or cremation fees cost $10,000 to $25,000 in many cases. Life insurance can help provide this money when you die so your family doesn’t have to pay. Many people opt for simplified or guaranteed issue whole life insurance to provide this coverage. These policies offer smaller amounts of coverage and do not require the applicant to undergo a medical exam.
Guaranteed Issue Insurance (not to be confused with guaranteed universal) life offers a small amount of coverage — usually $5,000 to $15,000 max — to almost any applicant. Underwriters seek almost no information about an applicant’s health. Premiums cost a lot in relation to the benefit, and guaranteed issue policies usually come with a graded benefit.Graded benefits mean policyholders will pay premiums but will not become eligible for the policy’s full coverage amount for two to three years. Guaranteed issue policies can work well as burial insurance.
Life Insurance Riders
Riders are kind of like toppings — you don’t have to add them, but they can add a new element to your coverage. They’ll also add more cost. Common riders include:
- Return of Premium: If your term policy expires before you die, you could reclaim all the premiums you spent on the coverage if you have a return of premium rider.
- Guaranteed Insurability: With this rider, you can always renew your policy even if your health changes in a way that could prevent you from getting new coverage.
- Waiver of Premium: If a disability prevents you from working, you can keep your coverage for a while without paying the premiums.
- Accelerated Death Benefit: This rider lets you access your policy’s death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Accidental Death Insurance: Also known as a double indemnity rider, this addition could double your death benefit if your death results from an accident.
This is only a small sampling of the available riders you can find. Typically, you’ll need to add riders when you purchase your policy.
My advice is to speak to a independent agent as opposed to a “captive agent”.
A captive agent is someone who works for an actual insurance company and only sells that company’s insurance. Whenever we present clients with insurance options, we generally show them several quotes from various providers so that the client can see the differences in price.
Call our office now to set up a time to visit about what plan may work for you!! 636-791-1330