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Life Insurance Guide to
Protect Your Loved Ones

life insurance

What is life insurance?

Life insurance allows you to protect the people you love in case you pass away while you’re still being counted on to produce income to pay for their lifestyle including housing, food, medical, and other expenses. When you’re young or don’t have anyone who is dependent on you for these things, you may not need life insurance. However, if you’re getting married, or planning to have a baby, then if you didn’t have a life insurance policy, your loved one’s might not be able to continue the lifestyle they’ve been accustomed to living, if something unexpectedly were to happen.

If you have a life insurance policy in place then your dependents will get the financial proceeds from the policy and have access to money to help them move forward with their lives.

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Main benefits of life insurance

Affordable payments. Life insurance (especially term life insurance), is typically very affordable no matter what your budget. Some plans can be as little as $10 a month. If you work with an insurance broker like Policy Solver, then we will help you get an affordable payment that allows you to get the coverage you need.

Death benefits are tax-free. That means when you get the benefits you are not taxed on the proceeds. So for example, if a life insurance policy has a $500,000 face amount at the time of death of the insured, then the beneficiaries will receive the $500,000 and will not have to pay taxes on that money.

Policy length options. You will have the flexibility to choose between a term length of typically 10 to 40 years. The term most people choose will be based on the number of years they still plan to work. So for example, if you’re 35 and plan to retire at 65, you’d look for a term of 30 years.

Flexibility to change your policy. As life moves on and your situation changes, you’ll have the opportunity to convert your life insurance policy to another one, replace it with something else, or convert it. For example, you might want to convert a term life policy to a permanent policy. It can be tricky and there are some things to look out for, but your licensed agent will be able to help with that.

How does it work?

Life insurance is a promise made between the insured (that’s you, the customer) and the insurer (or insurance carrier as it’s known in the business) whereby benefits are paid to the beneficiary if the insured passes away. The insured and insurer create a contract together that outlines the terms of the policy. Included in those terms the amount of coverage or benefits, the term of the policy, the payment terms (how much it will cost and when you have to make the payment), and what exactly will be covered; so for life insurance it’s the loss of life. In other words, a life insurance policy is a promise made by the insurance carrier to pay the beneficiary of the insured, if there’s an event that happens to trigger to the payment of the policy face amount; which is the passing away (or death) of the insured (or policyholder).

Who needs life insurance?

Life insurance is needed by anyone who has people depending on them to provide for their lifestyle; whether that’s making the rent payment, the mortgage payment, putting food on the table, or other expenses associated with life. Or, it’s needed by anyone who may not have financial obligations to take care of people, but may want to leave them some money when they pass away.

Married people

Married people need life insurance, especially the main income producer in the household. If you don’t have a life insurance policy, then if you unexpectedly pass away, then your spouse or domestic partner maybe in a very difficult position to pay the bills, and possibly even pay for your funeral. Having life insurance can ease the worries in this situation.

Have a family?

Is you have a child or a family with several kids, then you should have a life insurance policy. Your kids depend on you to make sure they have shelter, food, clothing and other necessities. The money from a life insurance policy can make sure they will be taken care of if you pass away. Additionally, if you are planning on your kids going to college then proceeds from a life insurance policy can be used to cover those expenses.

The amount of coverage you’ll need to make sure those who are counting on you will be based on your expenses and what you think they’ll realistically need to at least keep their lifestyle for a long enough time to figure out a new income source. At Policy Solver we can help you figure out the right plan for the right coverage you’ll need based on your individual situation.

Single people

If you’re single then you might still have people depending on you for income. However, some people might have a relative that lives with them or a whom they take care of by paying bills regularly, and if you’re single and you pass away then those people may financially suffer. Additionally, funeral costs can be more than 5 figures, so having a life insurance policy can help with both of those situations, even if it’s a small one. And you might want to leave a legacy to someone, so having a life insurance policy is one way to do that.

Younger people

When you’re young it’s a great time to purchase a life insurance policy, even if you have noone depending on you. Since people are typically healthier when they’re younger, and since health is a big factor in how risky you are to insure, the policy rate and terms you are offered will be impacted. So even if you’re still starting your career, or in your mid 20’s, you can always get a life insurance policy, even if it’s a small one. Typically speaking, when it comes to life insurance (especially term), the younger you are when you get covered, the better rate you’ll get. So for example a $500,000 policy might cost a 25 year old $300 per year, but that same policy might cost a 50 year old $1000 per year.

When you’re older

If you’re nearing retirement or in retirement, having a life insurance policy can provide certain important benefits that provide some peace of mind. A life insurance policy may be used to pay for funeral expenses including burial costs (which can be very expensive). It may also be used to help you would like to have something to leave to people when you pass away. Sometimes either single people or older people will take out a life insurance policy as a way to leave a legacy to loved one’s.

Looking for a consultation? Get started with a Policy Solver representative

Factors that affect your life insurance cost

Age: The younger you are, typically the better rate you will get on your life insurance cost.

Gender: There are different rates based on gender.

Height and Weight: This is an indicator or health, and so is a factor in the cost calculation.

Health: Your current and prior health history is factored in. So, if you had a previous disease or were treated for cancer, then that will be taken into account. Or, if you’re currently being treated for a heart condition, then that will also be factored in.

Family health history: The health of your immediate family – parents and siblings – is important to understand. Typically if you’ve had a parent pass away at a younger age (like in their 50’s) of heart disease as an example, then that will impact your rate. Your risk of premature death may be viewed as ‘higher than average’ and therefore your costs could be affected.

Smoking history: If you currently smoke or have smoked in the past for any material period of time, this is also considered a risk factor, and will affect how much your policy will cost you. Same for marijuana use.

Driving history: If you’ve had certain moving violations, or a material amount over time, then this will affect your rate. Additionally, if have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), then this will also be factored in.

Hobbies: How you spend your free time is also factored in. For example, if you go bungee jumping every weekend or work part-time on the high-wire in the circus, then you’re considered a higher risk, and so that will also affect your rates. Foreign travel, and other things like flying planes and even scuba diving will also affect your rates.

Criminal past: If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, then you can expect to pay more for your life insurance.

What are the different types of life insurance?

The two main types of life insurance are term, and permanent. The following outlines the differences between the two types of insurance so you can better understand which may be right for you. We always recommend that if you have questions about these or want to understand more detail, give us a shout. A Policy Solver agent is always ready to help.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is a type of policy that offers benefits for a fixed period of time, a defined set of benefits and at a reasonably affordable cost. The coverage length typically ranges between 10 to 40 years. Most people will buy a term life policy with a term that equates to the number of years they plan to keep working and earning an income. That way, if they unexpectedly pass away during their earning years, their beneficiaries will have the benefits of the proceeds from the policy to offset the income loss. Term life policies do not build cash value over time, so what that means is the policy owner cannot borrow money or draw funds against it. But, it’s a great option for folks who want to protect their loved one’s at an affordable cost.

Main benefits

Term life insurance provides typically low cost insurance for a defined period of time. It is designed to help people protect the one’s they love if they pass away during the years they are in the workforce and earning a paycheck. So, if you have dependents, or anyone who is counting on your income to help support them, then having a term life insurance policy can be a good thing to have so the dependents listed on the policy will get the benefits, or proceeds (typically a check or direct deposit) of the face amount of the policy.

When is a good time to buy term life?

A great time to buy term life insurance is when you’re young and healthy. You’ll get the most coverage for the lowest rates possible. So, even if you’re 25 and think to yourself that you don’t have anyone depending on you for financially, well, that may be true. But maybe in another 5 years you’ll get married. And then in another 3 years after that you might have your first child. So, if you plan ahead and get a life insurance policy in place even before you getting married or having a child, you’ll be able to get the most coverage for your money. But, of course you don’t have to do that. You can also get term life when you experience a life event like when you actually get married, or when you’re expecting to have a baby. The biggest factors in getting the most coverage at the best cost will be your age and health. So, keep that in mind.

Types of term life

There are 4 main types of term life insurance. Level term, Annual renewable term, Return of premium term, and decreasing term.

Level term life insurance

This is most people know as the type of term insurance that has the same premiums each year of the policy. So, if the premium for year 1 of a 30 year term-life policy costs you $500 for the year, then you can expect that to be the same premium cost for years 2 through 30. In other words, your costs will remain the same each year.

Annual renewable term life insurance

With annual renewable term, you are ale to get a set term period (so you can pick a 20 year term or a 30 year term, for example), but your annual costs (premiums) will increase each year. So, the costs will be lower early on and this might help make it more affordable to you, but you’ll need to be prepared and plan for cost increases each year. For people who like to plan a budget, this might not be the best choice.

Return of premium term life insurance

If you purchase a return of premium term life insurance policy and you are still alive after the policy term has expired, then you will get a refund of all the premiums you paid. However, beware that this type of policy is typically very expensive, and so you’ll pay a lot of premium each year for it’s entire term.

Decreasing term life insurance

With decreasing term life insurance your annual premiums won’t change, however, the death benefit amount will decrease over time. So that means if you live for a long time while the policy is in force, but pass away before the policy expires, then the benefits provided to your beneficiary will be low. However, the upside to this type of policy is they’re very affordable compared to other term life insurance plans, and can be beneficial to you if you’re on a really strict budget. They can also be a good option if you are looking for some temporary insurance or plan to leave your loved one’s with very little debt. It’s a good combination of affordable coverage, helps with temporary needs, and can serve as a back up plan for debt obligations in case you pass away early.

Terms available

Term life insurance typically is offered in term lengths of 10 to 40 years. Some policies might offer you the option of a 5 year term. But, typically, it’s in 10 year increments and most people will get a policy to cover their working years. So if you start working at 22 then with a 40 year term life insurance policy you’d be covered until you’re 62. But then you may either be retired or getting close to it, and if you have invested for retirement wisely then you should have enough money to protect your loved one’s in the event that you unexpectedly pass away. So, you might not need a term policy beyond that.

Cost

Term life insurance is typically very affordable, and there are carriers that may be able to offer some life insurance coverage for as little as $10 a month. But, of course, lower costs (or rates) typically come with fewer benefits or coverage. So, for a policy that only costs $10 a month, you might only be getting $10,000 in term coverage. But, overall, even for a $1,000,000 of coverage, you might only have to pay $500 a year. Of course it depends on your age, health and a few other factors.

So from an affordability perspective, there are several of options to find the right amount of coverage for your needs at the best prices available. That’s what we specialize in at Policy Solver.

 

Looking for a consultation? Get started with a Policy Solver representative

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance is also known as permanent whole life insurance. This is a type of policy that just like the name suggests, is permanent. You have it for your whole life, from the date you receive the policy, whether that’s for 5, 10, 25, or the next 75 years. It is typically much more expensive than a term policy, but it also builds cash value, so you can borrow or draw funds against it. All permanent life insurance policies pay a benefit to beneficiaries when the policyholder dies, require you to pay a regular premium to keep the policy active, and provide a lifetime of coverage. Since permanent life insurance policies have a cash value over time, that is accomplished by putting a portion of the regular premium payments into an account that’s tax-deferred. The rate of return and specific portion will be determined by your specific policy that you choose.

Who should buy term life insurance?

Term life insurance is a top choice for people who want to cover financial obligations that are common when raising a family. With term life insurance in place, there’s a safety net that can provide funds for paying a mortgage, sending kids through college and other important concerns if you were no longer around to earn a paycheck.

Typically very affordable. Some plans can be as low as $10 a month depending on the coverage you’re looking for and other factors determine in your application. The overarching benefit of having a term life insurance policy is it provides you the ability to get the coverage you need at the best price available, especially if you’re able to either shop around to different carriers or work with a licensed insurance broker who can do that for you.

There are several of options to find the right amount of coverage for your needs at the best prices available. That’s what we specialize in at Policy Solver. Contact us or schedule a free consultation today!

Key Takeaways:

Looking for a consultation? Get started with a Policy Solver representative

FAQs

You should get life insurance if there are people who depend on you to provide for them.  It will help keep their finances in good standing in the event that you pass away during your earning years.

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