Life Insurance Quote Guide
If you have loved ones who depend on you, you want to know that they will be taken care of if something should happen to you. Good financial planning can help ensure that you leave behind a bit of a nest egg, but in reality, it can be really hard to set aside enough savings to really give you peace of mind. That’s where life insurance comes in. Simply put, life insurance will give your loved ones a tax-free sum of money in the event of your death. It should enable your family to cover your end-of-life expenses, live comfortably while paying off debt such as student loans or a mortgage, and help protect future plans such as college tuition for your kids or retirement for your spouse.
Yet while the idea of life insurance is pretty straightforward, purchasing the right life insurance policy can be complicated. The life insurance market is highly competitive and it is possible to get a comprehensive policy at a truly affordable price. However, it’s important to know exactly what you are looking for, and when you are comparing different policies, that you really are comparing “apples to apples”. So to assist you through the process, we have compiled a list of some key questions that you should ask when getting quotes for a life insurance policy.
- What types of policies can I choose from? There are two basic types of life insurance. Term life insurance has guaranteed premiums for a fixed period, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. Permanent life insurance provides coverage for your entire life (assuming premiums are paid). “Whole life” permanent life insurance builds cash value, while permanent insurance known as “universal life” offers the flexibility to adjust premiums, benefits, and accumulation.
- How much does life insurance cost? The cost of your policy will depend on your age, health and medical history, lifestyle, and other factors that may impact the risk of premature death. Cost will also depend on the type of policy you select, the coverage amount, and the term of the policy.
- Will I have to get a medical exam? Because your policy will depend, in part, on the state of your health, most insurers do require a physical exam before determining coverage limits. Some medical conditions may disqualify you from obtaining life insurance.
- Is there a “waiting period” before death benefits can be paid out? Many plans do come with a waiting period; in other words, benefits will only go into effect once you have been paying premiums for a certain period of time.
- How are benefits paid out? Usually, benefits are paid out in a one-time lump sum or in timed payments, but each policy may handle payouts differently. It is also critical to understand how long it takes for benefits to be paid out, especially if you are counting on the death benefit to cover your end-of-life expenses.
- When might death benefits not be paid? Most plans contain benefit exceptions, or circumstances under which the plan will not pay out the anticipated benefits; different policies have different types of exceptions so it’s important to compare the exceptions carefully. You may also want to ask what the appeals process is, in case of a denial of benefits.
- What is the process for making changes to the policy, such as changing beneficiaries or cancelling the policy altogether? Just as your life circumstances are always changing, your life insurance needs are also likely to change over time, so you will want to understand each company’s process for making necessary alterations. The implications of cancelling a policy will depend on company policy as well as the type of insurance you have, so understanding these details is also important.
While no one wants to think about the possibility of a premature death, we all want the peace of mind that comes from knowing, if the worst should happen, that we will leave our loved ones on a sound financial footing. So while it may not be a pleasant task, purchasing a high quality, comprehensive life insurance policy—tailored to fit your specific life circumstances—should be part of everyone’s financial plan. Contact your neighborhood independent insurance agency—Sungate Insurance Agency—for a free life insurance quote today!
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