5 things to know before buying term life insurance
Oith so much going on in the world right now, life insurance might not seem like a hot topic at the dinner table. However, because so much has happened in the past year, people are more likely to discuss what they need to do to prepare for emergencies.
In fact, a survey by insurance industry group Life Happens found that more than half of respondents said last year was the first time they had spoken specifically about life insurance. with a loved one.
If the pandemic has got you thinking about how life insurance could give your family more financial security, you might be wondering about the types of life insurance available. There are several options, but if you’re young and healthy, term life insurance can be a good place to start.
“I generally equate term life insurance with your first home,” says Faisa Stafford, president and CEO of Life Happens. “Term life is an inexpensive product that gives you protection for what you have now.”
It’s also quite simple, especially when compared to some of the complex cash value life insurance products on the market. Term life insurance covers you for a certain number of years: usually 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. Even 40-year term life insurance is now available from a few companies. If you die during the term of coverage, the insurance company will pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries.
Despite the simplicity of term life insurancethere are things to know before buying a policy.
Know the length of tenure you need
Before you start shopping for term life insurance, decide how long you want. Longer term lockdown costs more of course. That doesn’t mean you have to skimp on coverage to save money. The key is to have a term long enough to cover your major financial concerns, such as the years until retirement or the years on a mortgage.
This often means choosing a term equal to the length of a debt or situation you wish to cover. For example, if you have a house with a 30-year mortgage, you might want to purchase a 30-year term life insurance policy to cover the mortgage payments if something happens to you. If you have young children, you may want a warrant that will be in effect until they graduate from college.
Know what coverage you need
Calculator how much life insurance you need doesn’t need to be complex, but should consider both your financial obligations and your assets. A good calculation is:
- Add up the debts and concerns you want to cover, such as a mortgage or the children’s future school fees
- Subtract the amount your family should already pay for these things, like existing life insurance
- The difference is a good estimate of your life insurance need
life comes to a calculator you can use to give you a good starting point for determining how much life insurance you need. Stafford recommends working with a financial professional who can help you assess your financial situation and review your goals to determine how much coverage you really need.
Be ready to shop
To obtain life insurance quote of several insurance companies will give you a good idea of who can offer you the best deal. Rates vary between insurance companies for the exact same coverage. And if you’re not in perfect health, some insurance companies are more lenient, so to speak, and less likely to put you in a higher rate category if you have certain conditions.
Online insurance marketplaces will provide quotes from several companies. Another option is to find a qualified life insurance agent. Independent insurance agents work with multiple insurance companies and can do the comparison for you.
Consider coverage features in addition to cost
Term life insurance can be an affordable way to get the coverage you need to protect those who rely on you for financial support. For example, the average monthly rate for a 20-year term life insurance policy with $500,000 coverage is $25.63 for a healthy 35-year-old non-smoking female and $30.68 $ for a healthy 35-year-old non-smoking male, according to Policy Genius.
However, don’t just focus on price when choosing a policy and insurer. the best term life insurance will have the option to convert the policy to permanent life insurance and will receive “living benefits” including an accelerated death benefit if you become terminally ill.
Pay attention to whether the coverage amount can be adjusted in the future and whether the policy is guaranteed to be renewable up to a certain age.
Also see what kind of life insurance riders the insurer offers if you want to add coverage features, such as a waiver of premium rider that allows you to stop paying premiums if you become disabled.
You can get coverage quickly, especially if you are in good health
The typical life insurance application process can take time, even several weeks are common. Typically, you must fill out a lengthy questionnaire, pass a life insurance medical exam, and give the insurer permission to collect information about you from third-party sources. Insurance companies use this information to determine the risk you run to insure and the rate to charge you.
But you might be able to bypass a lengthy application process and medical exam. There are several companies that offer fast life insurance– like Bestow, Fabric, Haven Life and Jenny Life. They use a process called accelerated underwriting which relies on data analytics to assess the risk of applicants without a medical exam. They use online applications and can approve coverage in minutes if you are younger and in good health. If you have health issues, they can send you through a more typical application process with a life insurance medical exam.
Many other insurance companies have also streamlined their application process over the past year in response to the pandemic, Stafford said. Prices for accelerated underwriting policies are similar to those for medically underwritten policies.
If you have to take a medical visit life insurance and wait through a lengthy underwriting process to be approved, you can usually lock in temporary coverage by including a check or electronic payment for your first premium with your application. Be sure to inquire about this option with the insurance company or agent before applying.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.