Life insurance is an important asset for anyone who wants to ensure the financial stability of their family, no matter what life throws their way. It is a form of risk management that helps to protect your family’s future, providing them with the funds to maintain their lifestyle in the event of an untimely death or disability. Life insurance can help to cover any outstanding debts and provide funds for education, medical bills, and other expenses. It also helps to provide financial security in retirement, ensuring that your family has the funds they need to maintain their lifestyle. With the right life insurance policy, you can ensure that your family is taken care of and provided for in the event of your death or disability.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a type of insurance that pays out a sum of money to the beneficiaries of an insured person upon their death. This money is designed to help provide financial security for the policyholder’s family or other dependents in the event of the policyholder’s death. Life insurance policies can also provide other benefits, such as providing financial support for retirement or covering funeral expenses.
KEY TAKE AWAY POINTS
- Life insurance provides financial protection for your family in the event of your death.
- The amount of coverage you need depends on your individual circumstances, such as your family size, income, and debts.
- There are several types of life insurance policies, including term, whole, universal, and variable.
- Most life insurance policies require a medical exam to determine your eligibility and rate.
- The cost of life insurance depends on a variety of factors, including age, health, and lifestyle.
- Life insurance policies are designed to provide financial security for your family in the event of your death.
- You should review your life insurance policy regularly to make sure it still meets your needs.
- You may be able to borrow against your life insurance policy in some cases.
- If you have dependents, it is important to have a life insurance policy in place to provide for them in the event of your death.
- Life insurance policies are generally not transferable between individuals.
Types of Life Insurance
Many different types of life insurance are available to meet all sorts of needs and preferences. Depending on the short- or long-term needs of the person to be insured, the major choice of whether to select temporary or permanent life insurance is important to consider.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specified period of time, generally between 10 to 30 years. The policy will pay out a lump sum to the policyholder’s beneficiaries if the policyholder passes away during the term of the policy. If the policyholder outlives the policy, the policy will expire without payment.
- Level Term Life Insurance: This type of term life insurance provides a death benefit for a fixed period of time and the premiums remain the same throughout the term.
- Decreasing Term Life Insurance: This type of policy provides a death benefit that decreases over time, while the premiums remain the same throughout the term.
- Convertible Term Life Insurance: This policy allows the policyholder to convert their term life insurance policy to a permanent policy without medical underwriting.
- Return of Premium Term Life Insurance: This type of policy provides a death benefit as well as a return of premiums paid if the insured survives the term of the policy.
- Annual Renewable Term Life Insurance: This policy provides a death benefit for a one-year term and the premiums increase each year.
If you are looking for a way to extend your life insurance coverage beyond the original term, then you may want to look into a convertible term life insurance policy. These policies allow you to renew the contract on an annual basis once the term is up. However, since the renewal rate is based on your current age, premiums can rise significantly each year. A better solution for permanent coverage is to convert your term life insurance policy into a permanent policy. Not all term life policies offer this option, so make sure you look for a convertible term policy if this is important to you.
Permanent Life Insurance
- Whole life insurance: Whole life insurance provides the insured with a death benefit, as well as the ability to accumulate cash value over time. Premiums are fixed and generally higher than those for term life insurance.
- Universal life insurance: Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance policy that combines life insurance coverage with an investment component. The policyholder’s premium payments are invested into a cash value account, and the death benefit is based on the balance of the cash value account.
- Variable universal life insurance: Variable universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance policy that combines life insurance coverage with an investment component. The policyholder’s premium payments are invested into a variety of investment options, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, and the death benefit is based on the performance of the investments.
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Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance
When it comes to life insurance, there are two main types: term and permanent. While both provide financial protection to the policyholder’s family and dependents, they differ in terms of their coverage, cost, and duration.
Term life insurance is a type of life insurance with a set coverage period. This means that it only provides financial protection during the designated term, usually between 10 and 30 years. After the term ends, the policyholder can either renew the policy for a new set period or let it lapse. Term life insurance tends to be the most affordable option and is generally easier to qualify for.
Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, has no set term and provides coverage for the entire life of the policyholder. This type of policy also accumulates a cash value and can be used as an investment tool. Permanent life insurance is often more expensive than term life insurance and is more difficult to qualify for.
When deciding between term and permanent life insurance, there are several factors to consider. Term life insurance is generally the most affordable option and is ideal for those who may only need coverage for a certain period of time, such as while they are raising a family or paying off a mortgage.
What Affects Your Life Insurance Premiums and Costs?
- Age: Generally, the older you are, the higher your life insurance premiums will be.
- Health: Generally, the healthier you are, the lower your life insurance premiums will be.
- Risk: Certain activities, such as scuba diving, skydiving, or working in a hazardous occupation, can increase your life insurance premiums.
- Coverage Amount: The higher the amount of coverage, the higher your life insurance premiums will be.
- Term Length: Generally, the longer the term of the policy, the higher the life insurance premiums.
- Smoking Status: Smokers pay higher life insurance premiums than non-smokers.
Life Insurance Buying Guide
The Life Insurance Buying Guide is a comprehensive guide to shopping for and purchasing life insurance. The guide covers topics such as understanding life insurance, how to compare policies, financial considerations, and other important considerations. The guide also provides advice on finding the right life insurance policy for your needs and budget. Additionally, the guide provides information on the different types of life insurance policies, the tax implications of life insurance policies, and what to expect during the application process. Finally, the guide provides information on how to make smart financial decisions with life insurance.
Benefits of Life Insurance
- Financial Security: One of the primary benefits of life insurance is that it provides financial security for your family in the event of your death. It helps protect your loved ones from the financial burden of your death by providing them with a lump sum payout to help maintain their lifestyle and pay for any expenses that arise.
- Tax Benefits: Life insurance policies often provide tax benefits, which can help you save money. Depending on the type of policy you have, you may be able to deduct premiums from your taxable income, which can result in significant savings.
- Estate Planning: Life insurance can be used to help manage your estate and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after your death. Through life insurance, you can provide your beneficiaries with the funds they need to pay off any debts or taxes that are due after your death, as well as provide them with a financial cushion.
- Retirement Planning: Life insurance can also be used to help you prepare for retirement. You can use a life insurance policy to supplement your retirement income or provide a lump sum payout that can be used to cover any unforeseen expenses.
- Investment: Life insurance can also be used as an investment tool. Permanent life insurance
Who Needs Life Insurance?
The truth is that life insurance is an important part of any financial plan—no matter who you are. Whether you’re single, married, or have a family, life insurance can provide financial security and peace of mind in case of an unexpected death. Everyone not only needs to discover the essential types of life insurance but also know the category of need they fall under.
- Young adults and parents – Young adults and parents who have dependents may need life insurance to provide financial protection for their families.
- Married couples – Married couples may need life insurance to cover the expenses of the surviving partner in the event of the death of either spouse.
- Business owners – Business owners may need life insurance to protect their business in the event of their death.
- Senior citizens – Elderly people may need life insurance to cover expenses related to end-of-life care or to provide an inheritance to their heirs.
- People with high-risk lifestyles – People who participate in activities with a higher risk of death, such as extreme sports or military service, may need life insurance to provide financial protection for their families in the event of their death.
Considerations Before Buying Life Insurance
- Determine Your Needs: Before you buy life insurance, it is important to consider your family’s needs and the type of coverage that is necessary. Think about the lifestyle you want to protect, and consider factors such as the size of your family, your current income, and any debt.
- Choose the Right Amount of Coverage: It is important to choose an amount of coverage that is sufficient for your family’s needs. Consider factors such as income replacement, paying off debts, and providing for your children’s educational needs.
- Compare Policies and Rates: Once you have determined your needs and the amount of coverage you require, it is important to compare different policies and rates to ensure you are getting the best coverage at the best price.
- Consider Additional Benefits: Many life insurance policies offer additional benefits such as accelerated death benefits, waiver of premium, and living benefits. Make sure to consider these options as they can provide additional financial protection for your family.
- Contact a Financial Advisor: If you have any questions or concerns about life insurance, it is a good idea to speak to a financial advisor. They can provide valuable advice and help you choose the right policy for your needs.
Life Insurance Riders and Policy Changes
Life insurance riders are additional provisions that can be added to a life insurance policy. These riders provide additional coverage, such as disability income protection, long-term care, accidental death and dismemberment, or accelerated death benefits. Riders may also provide additional services, such as access to financial advisors or access to a concierge service.
Policy changes are changes made to an existing life insurance policy. These changes may include adding a rider, increasing the death benefit, changing the policy beneficiary, or changing the policy’s payment schedule. Policy changes must be approved by the insurance company and may require additional premium payments.
Qualifying for Life Insurance
It is possible to qualify for life insurance with a high BMI, but it may cost more than a policy for someone with a lower BMI. Insurance companies view people with a high BMI as being at a higher risk for health problems and may charge higher premiums. Some companies may even require a medical exam to determine the applicant’s overall health before a policy is approved. People with high BMIs should shop around to find the best rates and coverage available.
What Affects Your Life Insurance Premiums?
- Age: Generally, the older you are, the more expensive your life insurance premiums will be.
- Health: Your health plays a significant role in determining your premiums. If you have any medical conditions or pre-existing health issues, your premiums may be higher.
- Amount of Coverage: The more coverage you purchase, the higher your premium will be.
- Occupation and Hobbies: Your occupation and hobbies can influence your premiums. If you have an occupation or hobby that is considered high risk or dangerous, your premiums will be higher.
- Smoking: If you are a smoker, your premiums will be significantly higher than those of a non-smoker.
How Does Life Insurance Work?
Life insurance works by providing a death benefit in exchange for paying premiums. One popular type of life insurance—term life insurance—only lasts for a set amount of time, such as 10 or 20 years. Permanent life insurance also features a death benefit but lasts for the life of the policyholder as long as premiums are paid.
How Do You Qualify for Life Insurance?
To qualify for life insurance, you need to submit an application. But life insurance is available to almost anyone. However, the cost or premium level can vary greatly based on your age, health, and lifestyle. Some types of life insurance don’t require medical information but generally have much higher premiums and involve an initial waiting period before the death benefit is available.
What Are the Benefits of Life Insurance?
Payouts are tax-free. Life insurance death benefits are paid as a lump sum and are not subject to federal income tax because they are not considered income for beneficiaries.
Dependents don’t have to worry about living expenses. Most policy calculators recommend a multiple of your gross income equal to seven to 10 years that can cover major expenses like mortgages and college tuition without the surviving spouse or children having to take out loans.
Final expenses can be covered. Funeral expenses can be significant and can be avoided with a burial policy or with standard term or permanent life policies.
Policies can supplement retirement savings. Permanent life policies such as whole, universal, and variable life insurance can offer cash value in addition to death benefits, which can augment other savings in retirement.