No one likes to think about their own mortality, but unfortunately, death is a fact. Though there’s nothing we can do about it, life insurance is one way we can soften the blow for our loved ones after we go. More than half of all Americans have some sort of life insurance, and it only gets more popular during uncertain times such as these.
Learn more about choosing the right life insurance policy today.
How Life Insurance Works
Life insurance is a financial product that you can apply for through your bank or insurance broker. In its simplest form, the policyholder (you) pays a monthly premium in order to secure a death benefit.
The death benefit is the total amount of money paid to the beneficiary or beneficiaries—the person or persons who receive the money after the policyholder dies.
There are several different types of life insurance, which we’ll cover below, and they can all be customized to your needs. For instance, the amount of the death benefit depends on how much you anticipate your beneficiaries will need, as well as how much of a premium you can afford to pay.
The earlier you invest in life insurance, the cheaper it is, since many plans require a medical assessment. There are plans that don’t require a health check, but those tend to be more expensive.
Reasons To Get Life Insurance
There are a few reasons you might want to get life insurance, but the main one is to protect your loved ones if anything happens to you.
For example, if you have a mortgage on your house, your spouse may be left carrying the debt on their own. A life insurance payout can either help with the payments or pay off the house entirely, lightening their load considerably.
Another example is if you have children and you want to make sure they will have enough for their care and education down the road.
Life insurance money can also cover other milestones like their first down payment, marriage, or purchasing a car.
Alternatively, you may have elderly parents and want to make sure there will be enough to fund their care.
In rarer cases, you may have a disabled relative that you want to look out for in case anything happens to you. Situations like this are what life insurance is made for
Choosing The Right Life Insurance For You
Before you can choose the right life insurance, it’s important to know the differences between the three basic types, term, whole, and creditor. They each offer unique features and benefits.
Term Life Insurance
- Covers the life of an individual over a specific time, for example, anywhere from 10 to 40 years.
- Premiums are more affordable.
- Premiums remain the same for the agreed-upon term.Advertisement
- Policy renews automatically at the end of each term.
- Premiums increase after each term as the policyholder ages.
Whole Life Insurance
- Covers the life of an individual through their entire life.
- Whole life premiums are higher than term life premiums with similar coverage amounts.Advertisement
- Premium payments remain the same until age 100, or until the client chooses to pay it up.
- The policy itself has a guaranteed cash value, which grows as premium payments are made.Advertisement
- A term life policyholder can switch to a whole life policy without a medical assessment.
Creditor Life Insurance
- Covers the repayment of a specific amount of debt of the insured person, such as mortgage, loan, or line of credit.
- Depending on the policy, creditor life insurance can help pay off or reduce debt if you pass away.Advertisement
- The cost of the premium varies with the size of the debt and the age of the policyholder.
- Payments are made directly to the lender to help reduce or pay off the outstanding debt.Advertisement
- Coverage can start or end at any time.
As you can see, these three types of basic coverage serve very different purposes. However, all of them can have a significant impact on making life easier for your loved ones after you pass.
If you’re considering life insurance, there are plenty of options out there. It’s important to do your research to make sure you’re getting the one that meets your needs at a premium you can afford. Going with your regular financial institution doesn’t always guarantee the best deal, so start your search by looking online for life insurance policies that are right for you.