Reasons to Buy Life Insurance

For many people, the first introduction to life insurance is when a friend or a “friend of a friend” gets an insurance license. For others, a close friend or relative died without having adequate coverage or any life insurance. For me, I was introduced to a life insurance company where I had to set appointments with friends and family as I learned the ends and outs of the industry and hopefully, make some sales.

Unfortunately, however, this is how most people acquire life insurance – they don’t buy it, it is sold to them. But is life insurance something that you truly need, or is it merely an inconvenience shoved under your nose by a salesperson? While it may seem like the latter is true, there are actually many reasons why you should purchase life insurance.

As we grow older, get married, start a family, or begin a business, we need to understand that life insurance is absolutely necessary. For example, picture a safety net. You may be the greatest tightrope walker in the world, without a doubt. You could perform without a net, but, “Why?” You cherish your life and the life of those close to you and you wouldn’t do anything that showed that you felt differently. Let’s face it, we have no control over the unpredictability of life or of unforeseen occurrences. With that in mind, just as a safety net protects the uncertainty life, so does life insurance. It is an indispensable and fundamental foundation to a sound financial plan. Over the years, life insurance has given many caring and responsible people the peace of mind knowing that money would be available to protect the ones most important in their life, family and estate in a number of ways, including:

1. To Pay Final Expenses

The cost of a funeral and burial can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and I don’t want my wife, parents, or children to suffer financially in addition to emotionally at my death.

2. To Cover Children’s Expenses

Like most caring and responsible parents, it is necessary to be sure that our children are well taken care of and can afford a quality college education. For this reason, additional coverage is absolutely essential while children are still at home.

3. To Replace the Spouse’s Income

If one parent passes away while the children are young, the surviving caring parent would need to replace that income, which is essential to their lifestyle. The responsible surviving parent would need to hire help for domestic tasks like cleaning the house, laundry, and cooking. Add to that equation if it is a single parent, helping with schoolwork, and taking your children to doctor’s visits.

4. To Pay Off Debts

In addition to providing income to cover everyday living expenses, a family would need insurance to cover debts like the mortgage, so they wouldn’t have to sell the house to stay afloat.

5. To Buy a Business Partner’s Shares

In a business partnership, the partners need insurance on each other partner’s life. The reason is so if one dies, the others will have enough cash to buy his interest from his heirs and pay his share of the company’s obligations without having to sell the company itself. They have the same needs (due to the risk that one of the partners might die), and they simultaneously purchased insurance on each other’s life.

6. To Pay Off Estate Taxes

Estate taxes can be steep, so having insurance in place to pay them is essential to avoid jeopardizing assets or funds built for retirement. Use of insurance for this purpose is most common in large estates, and uses permanent (rather than term) insurance to ensure that coverage remains until the end of life.

7. To Provide Living Benefits

With the advancements in medicine and rising healthcare costs, people are living longer, but cannot afford to. Living benefits is an option to use death proceeds before the insured dies to help with obligations or necessities to ease the pressure on themselves and others.

How Much Coverage Should I Buy?

The face amount, or “death benefit” of an insurance policy (i.e., the amount of proceeds paid to the beneficiary) should be high enough to replace the after-tax income you would have earned had you lived a full life, presuming you can afford the annual premiums for that amount. In other words, the insurance replaces the income you didn’t have the chance to earn by living and working until retirement due to a premature death.

The proper amount of insurance allows your family to continue their lifestyle, even though your income is no longer available. The actual amount that you should purchase depends upon your present and probable future incomes, any special circumstances affecting you or your family, and your existing budget for premiums.

Whole Life or Term?

Some people prefer to drive Cadillac, Lincoln or Rolls Royce, which come with all of the electronic gadgets that make driving safe and as easy as possible. Others prefer less customized makes, equally reliable to their more expensive cousins, but requiring more hands-on attention.

Whole life is the “Cadillac” of insurance; these companies try to do everything for you, specifically investing a portion of your premiums so that the annual cost doesn’t increase as you grow older. The investment characteristic of the insurance means that premiums are generally higher than a similar term policy with the same face value. After all, whole life insurance is intended to cover your whole life.

Term insurance, on the other hand, is temporary life insurance. There are no excess premiums to be invested, and no promises or guarantees beyond the end of the term, which can range from 1 to 30 years. The annual premium for term insurance is always less than whole life, lacking the investment component, but your premiums will rise (often substantially) once the term period expires.

Both types of life insurance, term or whole life (or one of their derivatives) have benefits and drawbacks; both have their place depending upon the needs, desires, and financial objectives of the purchaser. A knowledgeable professional insurance agent can help you decide which type of policy is best for you depending upon your circumstances. But whichever you select, be sure that you have enough coverage to meet your objectives in the short term and the long term.

The Last Word

Some people mistakenly believe that life insurance is a scam. This is because the money for premiums is lost if death doesn’t occur during the coverage period (in the case of term insurance), or because many people live to a ripe old age and continue to pay their permanent insurance premiums. Such naysayers compare life insurance protection to gambling, and forgo the protection entirely.

There are others, who have the belief that life insurance does not help them. To those individuals, the answer is: You are absolutely correct! The truth of the matter is that life insurance is a way for caring and responsible people to help ensure that their family can continue to move forward in the event of your untimely demise, a truly difficult time of loss. Of course, there is no bet – you will die, but no one knows when. It could be today, tomorrow, or 50 years into the future, but it will happen eventually.

Do you have life insurance? Why or why not?

Choosing the Best Life Insurance Option for You

Life insurance in the UK is becoming more and more popular with many people now realizing the importance and the benefits of a good life insurance policy. There are two main types of popular life insurance, both of which offer a range of invaluable benefits to UK consumers.

Level Term Life Insurance

Level term life insurance is the most popular type of life insurance policy with UK consumers, and this may be because it is also the cheapest form of insurance. With level term insurance, you and your family can enjoy peace of mind at an affordable price. If you die during the term of this insurance policy, your family will receive a lump sum payment, which can help to cover a number of costs as well as provide some degree of financial security at what will inevitably be a difficult time. The money could assist with costs such as:

  • Mortgage repayments
  • Funeral costs
  • Education costs for the children
  • Day-to-day living

One of the reasons that level term life insurance is a fair bit cheaper than other life insurance is because the insurer only has to make a payment if the insured party passes away, and even then the insured party has to die during the term of the policy for the next of kin (or the named beneficiary) to be eligible for a payout. One of the great things about levels term insurance is that you can benefit from cover for just a few pounds each week, and because the payments remain the same throughout the term of the policy, you’ll never have to worry about rising payments.

The reason why a level term insurance policy is so called is because the repayment remain level throughout the term of the policy, so you will never have to worry about the cost of your policy rising. The policy is also taken over a fixed term, which is where the ‘term’ part of the policy comes in. This means that you can enjoy easy budgeting and low cost repayments, and you’ll know exactly how long you will be making payment for. On the downside, once the policy expires you will not be able to reclaim any money and the policy will be cancelled, so you will then need to look at taking out alternative life insurance cover.

The average term of a level term life insurance policy – unless otherwise specified – is fifteen years. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the cost of the policy such as whether you go for the most basic package or whether you include a bolt-on such as critical illness cover, whether you are a smoker, your general health, and the term over which you take the policy out.

Whole Life Insurance

Unlike level term life insurance, whole life cover offers a guaranteed payout, which to many people makes it better value for money in the long run. Although the repayments on this type of cover are more expensive than level term insurance, the insurer will make pay out whenever the insured party passes away, so the higher monthly payments will guarantee a payout at some point.

There are a number of different types of whole life insurance policies, and consumers can select the one that best fits their needs and their budget. As with other insurance policies, you can tailor-make your whole life insurance cover to include additional cover such as critical illness insurance. The variations on whole life insurance cover include:

Non-profit UK whole life insurance policies: This is the simplest form of whole life cover, and enables you to enjoy the convenience of level payments through the term of the policy until you die. Upon death, your family received a payout and the policy becomes null and void. If you want to pay a little extra, you can take out a policy that is fixed over a specified term, which means that you will only be making payments for a certain amount of time, but your family will still receive a payout when you die.

With-profit UK whole life insurance: This is a cover and investment type scheme, where your monthly payments are split between your cover premiums and the investment side of your policy. You will enjoy a guaranteed assured sum, and you may find that your insurer adds discretionary bonuses.

Low cost UK whole life insurance: One of the cheapest forms of whole life cover, this type of policy features a decreasing term plan, and the policy is combined with a profits fund. As bonuses are added to the profit side of the policy, the policy term decreases. This provides a cost effective solution for those that want to enjoy the benefits of whole life insurance cover without having to make high monthly payments.

Unitised UK whole life insurance policy: When you purchase this type of whole life cover, you will also be investing in with-profit units. This means that when the insurer makes a payout, the sum awarded will be dependent upon the value of the units in comparison to the value of the death benefit (the payout will be based upon whichever is the highest in value). Each month units are cancelled in order to increase levels of death benefit cover, with reviews carried out from time to time to ensure adequate levels of death benefit cover.

Summary

Both level term insurance policies and whole life policies offer valuable peace of mind to policyholders. The cost of this type of life cover is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with being protected, and you can increase this peace of mind by adding extras such as critical illness to your policy for just a small extra fee.

As a nation, we like to insure just about everything we can…our cars, our homes, our belongings, our pets, and even our credit repayments. It therefore makes sense that we should insure the most important thing of all – our lives.