Purchasing life insurance is one of the best things you can do to protect family and loved ones after you die. And the policy limits should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure you have the right amount of coverage based on your situation.
For example, you might consider increasing your benefits when purchasing a new mortgage or as you have college expenses and then decreasing your benefits as you pay down your debts.
There are typically two types of life insurance policies: Term Life and Whole Life.
Some considerations for the different types of policies include the following:
- Term Life insurance provides death benefits for a certain amount of time, usually a 20-30 year span. If the policyholder passes away during this time, then the insurance company will issue to the beneficiaries of the policy a payment equal to the amount of coverage purchased. If the policyholder outlives the term, then the funds are forfeit and premiums aren’t reimbursed.
- Whole Life insurance lasts throughout your entire life. Unlike Term Life insurance, there’s no end to the contract. Additionally, a Whole Life insurance policy builds cash over time. Part of the premiums that you pay go toward the cost of the insurance while another part essentially goes into an investment account. As you accumulate cash in your account, you’ll have the option to borrow against that money at typically low interest rates. And when the policyholder passes away, the beneficiaries will receive not only the payout from the insurance policy but also the funds accumulated during the time the Whole Life insurance policy was in place.
- Determining whether Term Life or Whole Life is better is dependent on your individual circumstances. Whole Life tends to be much more expensive because you’re paying for the cost of the insurance and paying into your investment account. Whole Life is also much less flexible because you aren’t able to increase or decrease your benefits as your finances change over time. And life insurance companies tend to use the money from Whole Life policies to invest in very conservative portfolios meaning your money could be more productive by investing it in other ways. But Whole Life leaves your beneficiaries with something more than just the life insurance payout. And it guarantees that your premiums won’t be forfeited because you’ll never outlive the policy like you could with a Term Life insurance policy.
- Regardless of which type of policy you choose to purchase, determining how much Life insurance you need can be based on several factors. The first thing to consider is your amount of debt. At a minimum, you’ll want your policy to pay off all of your outstanding debts. That includes mortgages, car loans, college expenses, etc. Secondly, if you’re earning income, then you’ll want the Life insurance policy to replace that income. Ideally, the payout will be enough to cover several years of your lost income. And finally, you should consider the financial peace of mind that the insurance is providing to you and your loved ones. So, in addition to covering your debts and your income, the amount of money necessary to allow the existing standard of living to continue should be considered.
The best way to determine the type and amount of life insurance you should purchase is to ask a licensed agent in our office. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.
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