When we think about insurance, we may first think of insurance for our businesses, cars, homes, and even our pets. But what if something were to happen to you or a loved one?
Life Insurance is a foundational part of the planning process and can help your family financially in the event of your early passing.
With life insurance tailored to your needs, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your family is protected to help pay for things like:
In its simplest form, a life insurance policy is a contract between the person who owns the policy and an insurance company that says upon death, the insurance company will pay out the death benefit to a named beneficiary – tax-free in most cases. Term life insurance provides financial protection to that listed beneficiary (family, friend, charity, etc.) if you were to pass on unexpectedly during a set period, or term. The death benefit is typically paid out as a one-time lump sum payment that can then be used for whatever the beneficiary wants or needs – to help cover funeral costs, mortgage payments, outstanding bills or debts, college expenses, etc. because Term life insurance is more affordable and straightforward than other types of life insurance policies, Term life policies are a great life insurance option for most people.
With term life insurance, you choose the amount of time that you want to be insured – term lengths can vary between 10 and 40 years. You will also choose your policy’s death benefit which is the amount of money you want the life insurance carrier to pay your loved ones (a.k.a., beneficiaries) in the case of your passing. The death benefit, term length, and your personal characteristics (age, sex, assumed health rating) will determine the cost (a.k.a., premium) of your policy which will typically be paid on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
Deciding how long you want to be insured is largely dependent on two factors: your financial obligations (dependents, mortgage, etc.), and how much you are comfortable spending on your policy. The longer the term policy, the more expensive your premium will be because it increases the risk that the insurance carrier will have to pay out your death benefit.
For example, perhaps you and your spouse just purchased a home with a 30-year mortgage. You may want to consider purchasing a 30-year term policy on each other in case something unexpected happens and one of you is left to pay off the balance of your home.
Another common example would be purchasing a 15-year term policy to cover the time in which you have children or dependents living in your home so that if anything happens to you, your family can afford to pay off expenses, replace the income you were providing, and protect their financial future.
Term Life Insurance: Should you pass away unexpectedly; term life insurance protects your loved ones for a specified period (the term duration) by paying out a guaranteed death benefit to your beneficiary. Typically, term life insurance is easier to understand, and the premium payments are cheaper than permanent coverage. The biggest risk with term life insurance is that it can expire before you pass away.
Permanent Life Insurance: Should you pass away unexpectedly, permanent life insurance protects your loved ones for a much longer period of time – typically throughout your lifetime or at a specified age (age 90, for example). Permanent life insurance is often more expensive than term but there’s less risk since your coverage lasts longer. Permanent life insurance may also be designed to build up “cash value” then can be used during the lifetime of the contract.
If someone depends on you financially, you are most likely someone who needs life insurance.
Life insurance provides cash to your family or loved ones after your death. This cash, known as the death benefit, replaces your income and the many non-paid ways you support your household. Your family can use this cash to pay for expenses like funeral costs, a mortgage, college tuition and more.
Just a few examples of people who often answer “yes” to the question of “Should I get life insurance?” include:
Married or partnered couples
Many partners find it difficult to make ends meet without the other earner’s income in the picture.
Married or partnered couples with kids
In addition to losing one partner’s income, the surviving parent may have to pay for childcare and more without the other parent around to pitch in.
As the sole income earner for your family, you’ll want to think about how to replace your child’s only source of financial support.
From cooking meals to shuttling kids to school to helping with homework, stay-at-home parents perform many critical responsibilities that would be costly to outsource.
Many surviving partners would not be able to maintain the lifestyle they worked so hard to achieve without life insurance.
Depending on the size of your estate, your heirs could be hit with an estate-tax rate of up to 45%. Fortunately, cash from a life insurance policy gives heirs access to tax-free money to pay for immediate costs and more.
Life insurance can help your business in many ways if you, a fellow owner or a key employee were to pass away
The price of life insurance depends on four main factors: your age, your health, the type of policy and how much coverage you buy. In general, you’ll pay less the younger and healthier you are.
That said, don’t let your age or health status discourage you from considering life insurance. There are policies available for people of any age as well as those with high blood pressure, diabetes, and a smoking habit. (Just know that you’ll generally pay more for your policy if you’re in poor health and/or smoke.)
Still wondering the answer to the question of how much does life insurance cost? If so, here’s a working idea:
A healthy 30-year-old male can get a $250,000 20-year level term policy for just $13 a month.
That means that if you purchase that policy and pay the $13 a month without fail, your loved ones would get $250,000 if you were to die at any point during those 20 years.
Our partners, Insuring Income, are experts at helping you determine the correct coverage for you and your family! Click here to get a quote.
For a general idea:
Life insurance covers virtually any type of living expense. Some common expenses include:
As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to touch base with your life insurance agent at least once a year or whenever a life change happens. A life insurance review will help ensure your coverage is at the right level to protect your loved ones.
Life insurance often needs to be adjusted after a big change like getting married, having a baby, starting a business, retiring, and more. In these kinds of instances, you’ll want to schedule a life insurance review with your life insurance agent as soon as possible.
In most cases, the life insurance payout is a lump sum paid to beneficiaries when the policyholder dies. To receive the life insurance payout, you will have to file a claim with the insurer. They will need a certified copy of the death certificate to process the claim.
It can vary on how long it takes to get a life insurance check. Most insurers take between 30 and 60 days after receiving the claim. However, there can be delays. This is especially true if the policyholder dies within two years of taking out the policy or if there are unusual circumstances. Other insurers deny coverage if the policyholder died doing something illegal or lied on the life insurance application.
A life insurance payout works differently if there’s an installment-payout option or an annuity option.
When you apply for life insurance, your life insurance application goes through a process called underwriting. Underwriting is when your insurance risk is evaluated. Approval and costs are based on your risk class.
There are two types of underwriting: traditional underwriting and accelerated underwriting. In traditional underwriting, you fill out a formal application and typically undergo a short medical exam and medical records. It can take several weeks to be approved when the life insurance application undergoes traditional underwriting.
In contrast, accelerated underwriting is usually a quick online life insurance application that may not require a medical exam or medical records. You can often receive streamlined life insurance coverage in as little as 24-48 hours.