What if you already have a policy through your employer The Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) cautions consumers against relying solely on their employer-sponsored life insurance coverage, which may not provide a significant safety net should a primary wage earner die. Within six months or less, 44% of U.S. dual-income households would run into financial trouble.
The amount of life insurance you need depends on various factors, including your personal and household income, the needs of your dependents or prospective beneficiaries, and your financial goals. Here are some questions to ask when determining your policy coverage amount:
There are two primary types of life insurance to choose from: term life, which lasts for a set period of time, or permanent life, which covers you for as long as you live. Understanding the defining characteristics of each type can help you choose the right one.
Term life insurance is life insurance that provides coverage for a specific period, called a term. Policies can have term lengths that are short, lasting one or five years, or that remain active for longer, like 15 to 30 years.
Term insurance policies typically have fixed, or level, premiums that stay the same for the duration of your policy. Term life insurance also offers a guaranteed death benefit, or a guaranteed sum of money, as outlined in your contract.
With term life policies you may have the option of two types of death benefits. One is level, which means that it will stay the same for the entire time the policy is active. And the other is decreasing. This means that the amount of money your beneficiary would receive will decrease over the life of the policy.
Term life insurance policies may also be renewable, meaning the policy can be renewed at the end of the initial term. They can also be convertible, which means the policy can be converted to a permanent policy.
Permanent life insurance also typically has a separate cash value component, which is separate from your death benefit and functions similar to an investment account from which you can withdraw or borrow available funds. When you pay your premium, part of the payment goes into an investment account.
As a form of permanent life insurance, these policies also typically include a cash value that you can access before death, either by borrowing against or withdrawing from the account or using the funds to cover premiums. How the cash value grows depends on the type of policy you choose. There are types of whole life policies where cash value accumulation is set at the beginning of the policy as well as types where it grows based on dividends paid to you by the insurer.
Universal life insurance is another form of permanent life insurance that allows insureds to maintain coverage for life. In this type of policy, premiums and death benefits are not fixed and can be changed by the policyholder. That gives some policyholders the flexibility to adjust their policy based on life circumstances. However, policy value and premiums can also vary based on investment market performance.
There are also variable universal life (VUL) and indexed universal life policies (IUL) which you can read more about in our guide to universal life insurance. The former incorporates features of variable life insurance as well.
There are trade-offs. A no-exam life insurance policy is typically more expensive than alternative life insurance plans. These policies may also offer less coverage and less flexibility. For instance, you may not be able to convert a term policy to a permanent coverage policy.
An insurance agent is a licensed professional who sells insurance products, like life, auto, or home insurance, to consumers. They can be a captive agent, which means they represent a single insurance company, or they can be an independent agent, meaning they may represent multiple companies.
Many insurance companies offer discounts to customers who bundle policies. If you currently carry another insurance policy, like homeowners or auto insurance, check with your carrier to see if they offer life insurance and, if so, if they offer a multi-policy discount.
If you name a minor as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, speak with a financial advisor who can determine the best way to ensure death benefit funds are properly managed and transferred to your child.
Another factor that can impact the cost of life insurance is how you choose to pay your premiums. Many carriers allow policyholders to choose between monthly payments or annual payments. However, you may be able to choose alternative payment schedules, like quarterly or semi-annual payments.
Finally, consider how the policy type will impact your premiums over time. If you have a permanent life insurance policy with a cash value, you may be able to draw upon the cash value to cover your premium payments. However, keep in mind that if the cash value goes below the cost of your premium, your coverage may lapse.
To help find the best life insurance carrier for you, we researched what matters most to consumers, experts, and professional reviewers when it comes to life insurance. We then provided an unbiased evaluation of the companies our research determined they searched for most frequently.
In fact, confusion over how much and what type of life insurance to buy is one of the top reasons people give for not having life insurance, according to a survey by Life Happens and LIMRA. But the COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for many Americans, with almost one in three people (31%) reporting they are more likely to buy a policy because of the pandemic, according to the 2021 Insurance Barometer study.
The rate you pay also depends on the type of policy you get and how large the death benefit is. If you get a term life insurance policy, the length of the term you choose also will affect your premium.
If you can only afford a term life policy now but want permanent life insurance, most term life policies offer the option to convert to permanent life insurance. You can lock in a low rate with term life now and switch to a permanent policy if your income increases.
Many insurers offer free quotes online, which makes it easy to compare life insurance quotes. Because rates can vary, you should get quotes from several companies to help you decide which company to apply to for coverage. You also could work with an independent insurance agent who works with several insurance companies and can help you find the best coverage at the best price.
Yes, you can purchase life insurance online. Some insurers specialize in instant life insurance that often uses algorithms to instantly offer you a price, provided that you qualify based on your age and health.
Buying life insurance requires a few simple steps: deciding how you want to shop, identifying reputable life insurance companies, and determining the coverage length and amount you need. And, if you have life insurance through your employer, you'll want to factor that in to how much coverage you get when you buy another life policy.
Depending on where you live, you'll likely have three options when it comes to buying life insurance. You can shop for life insurance with an independent local insurance agent, through an independent online broker, or by going directly to an insurance company. You can even try all three methods of shopping for life insurance to compare quotes and determine which experience you're most comfortable with:
Your employer might offer you another option to purchase life insurance. Companies often provide a set amount of life insurance as part of their benefits package. If you decide to take the benefit offered at work, it's still a good idea to review your financial situation and make sure you don't need additional coverage. The coverage amount offered by your employer might not be enough to provide for your dependents long term or pay off debt if something happens to you.
Especially when shopping independently, be sure to research the life insurance companies behind the offers you're presented with. Key things to look for in an insurer before purchasing a life policy include:
Another factor to consider when buying life insurance is the type of life policy. Ultimately, your two main choices will be term life or permanent life insurance, each of which is designed differently. A term life insurance policy will typically cover you for a set period, usually somewhere between 10 and 30 years, while permanent life insurance covers you for life, as long as the premiums are paid.
Once you determine how much life insurance coverage you need, selecting a plan that fully provides for your loved ones becomes easier. Keep in mind that your premium will depend on the type of coverage and benefit amount you choose. That's why it makes sense to get multiple quotes to determine the best life insurance for you and your budget.
If you're looking for a life insurance policy, we've got you covered. The GEICO Insurance Agency, LLC has teamed up with partners to offer affordable life insurance options to meet your family's needs. Get a life insurance quote online or call us at (888) 532-5433 to get the assurance of knowing your loved ones will be protected.
The cost of life insurance depends on your specific situation. Many factors are considered such as your medical history and your hobbies. For more information about life insurance quotes, we have the answers to your life insurance questions. 59ce067264