Life Insurance Policy – The What, Why and How Of A Life Insurance Policy

A life insurance policy could help you to provide your family with financial security when you die and can no longer look after them. In this article I will discuss the what, why, how, when and where of a life insurance policy. If you are wondering about getting life insurance, then you may want to read this.

What is a life insurance policy?

A Life insurance policy is a contract between an insurance company and the insured which promises to pay out a certain amount to your beneficiaries in the event of your death.

It also sets out the provisions of the life insurance coverage. These provisions include premiums, loan procedures, face amounts, and the designation of beneficiaries, among many other clauses.

Policies may be for term or permanent cash value types of coverage.

Why is a life insurance policy essential?

The benefit from a life insurance policy is not for you. It is to provide for your loved ones, but after you have gone.

After your death, the life insurance money is paid to those who rely on you to give them a secure standard of living, which they might lose if you should die. This is money when they need it the most, with no income tax or publicity.

How does a life insurance policy work?

Term life insurance is only for a certain period of time, and if the policyholder dies during the term of insurance he/she receives the death benefit. In the case of the insured person dying after the policy expires, however, no benefit is paid.

At the end of the term period, the policy expires with no accumulated cash value, and no benefits are payable. Term is the cheapest, but it’s unlikely the death benefit will be paid since the life insurance policy will probably lapse before you actually die.

When a person has family and becomes ill, not only does the sick person need support, but also the family often requires relief. Short-term income protection is an added coverage to life insurance and provides extra cash to cover the family’s needs when one spouse is ill.

You will need to decide on the amount of term life insurance before you start to shop around. Most companies have effective savings rates at $250,000, $500,000 and $1 million.

When can you take out a life insurance policy?

You may be able to get a lower premium for your insurance if you have lowered your cholesterol, lost weight or quit smoking.

A 35 year old nonsmoking male in excellent health can buy a $500,000 term life insurance policy for about $700 per year.

Keep in mind your age determines the length of time the term policy will have a guaranteed level premium. You may not be able to get more than a 10 year guarantee if you are over 50 years of age, so start while you are still young.

Where can you find a life insurance policy?

Finding a life insurance policy is something that you should not rush into.

If you are planning to apply directly for life insurance, then you may find it easier to apply online. All this information will enable you to make the right decision about the best company to get your most suitable life insurance policy from.

Getting online term life insurance quotes can be a very effective and convenient way to save you both time and money when shopping for term life insurance. The quotes are free and you’re never under any obligation to accept any quote that is offered to you.

How To Find Affordable Life Insurance Policies

All of us try to make our future secure. More than that we all try to make our family`s future secure. Though we are leading a peaceful and well settled life sometime we get awed by the unseen thought that if some untoward happen to us and our happy and secure family may come on the road. To think negative is not a good habit but so many such incidents happen in front of us every day that we can not avoid thinking about ourselves and get worried. So, to guaranty our and our family’s future we go for life insurance policies. But, here comes the question as which policy is affordable for us.

Before speaking about affordable life insurance policies it is necessary to first categories the section of people for whom the policies are meant for. Normally, there are three sections of people in our society i.e. rich, middle class and poor.

The poor sections are satisfied if they get their daily meal, some clothes and a shelter. They earn on daily basis and buy daily food for the family. They can hardly think about their future security. Further, they are not so aware about life insurance policies. If they are little bit literate then they keep some saved money in the bank.

In a middle class family the main source of income is job, agriculture or small business. The middle class people are the most aware about life insurance policies as they feel not so safe about other investment policies. These days, almost all the grown up members in a middle class family are well educated and earning either taking job or some other fields. So in such cases it is easy to take affordable life insurance policies for them. They should prepare a monthly budget of all the essential expense. Suppose an individual can save Rs 2000/- per month then he can choose Rs 12000/- half yearly premium policy. After deciding the amount of premium as how much you can afford it is to decide as which type of policy you want to go for. In the market there are so many types of policies like critical illness cover, accident cover, education, to protect the assets etc. So we can decide as which one suits us. Normally, only the head of the family worry to go for life insurance policies. But if the children are also working or earning it is better if they can also go for such policies according to their income.

As the rich section of people has big properties vast empire of business they normally have their own consultant for investment. Still, it is better for them to insure their property buy life insurance policies for self and family members to guaranty a secure future, as no one knows what happens tomorrow.

As we know that the amount of premium of life insurance policies is exempted from income tax it is always wise to calculate the income tax before going for the policies. This will do double profit of tax saving and a secure future as well.

Understand The Suicide Clause In A Life Insurance Policy

A policy holder who feels like he is down in the dumps would be tempted to take his own life only to leave his loved ones a considerable amount of money from a life insurance policy. Suicide of a family member is one of the most disheartening situations any family can encounter. This incident could also complicate the process of claiming the life insurance benefits. But the question whether an insurance company will grant the insurance benefits to the recipients will be hinge on clauses in the policy. There are instances when a policy’s suicide clause holds back the redemption of the benefits. Sometimes the policy holder does not easily recognize this clause concerning suicide because some policies use languages like “intentional self-destruction” or “death by one’s own hand” to describe the act.

Forms

A suicide clause is just one of the clauses or stipulations that you can find most life insurance policies, while the stipulations may also differ to some extent depending on the state or country. Some insurers include a free look provision that offers the policy owner a considerable period of time to review a policy after it was issued to for the buyer to decide whether he wants to purchase the policy. Incontestability clause prevents the policyholder from annulling the policy after it takes in effect for a definite period of time, except if the policyholder cease from paying the premium.

Purpose

A suicide clause states that policy benefits will not be granted to policyholder’s beneficiaries if he ends his own life within a specific term following the inception of the policy. In circumstances a policyholder passes away within that period covered by the suicide clause, the insurer usually investigate the claim strictly to guarantee that the demise of the policy holder was not a case of suicide.

Benefits

A suicide clause guards an insurer against a circumstance where a policy holder commits suicide with the objective to give his recipients a considerable sum of money from life insurance claims. Considering the fact that contemporary life insurance policies can easily build up a face value of $100,000 or more, the clause can protect the insurer from disbursing such a significant amount of money.

Insurers are not the only one who benefit from suicide clause, even the desperate and emotionally distressed policy holders gains from this clause. For example, if a desperate policy holder learns that their beneficiaries might not get any benefits from their insurance plan if they commit suicide, the person may reconsider his attempt to commit suicide.

Time Frame

A suicide clause usually covers the first two years that the life plan has been in effect. In case the suicide transpired within that period, the insurer will just hand back to the policyholder’s recipients any premiums that have been given to that point. If suicide happened subsequent to the clause period, the life insurance company cannot refuse coverage.

Different Life Insurance Policies, Different Rates – But, Now’s The Time To Reevaluate Your Policy

Here are the top four life insurances listed from most expensive to the least expensive.

Universal life insurance

Whole life insurance

Return of Premium life insurance (R.O.P.)

and least expensive of all – Standard Term life insurance

The least expensive may sound good but it may not necessarily be the best insurance for you and your family. A lot of people may have different policies. Two or even three. Each one covering a specific need.

Okay, let’s get to these important tips that could save you money when shopping for life insurance.

Buy life insurance while you’re young.

The younger you are when you purchase a life insurance policy the better. Your rates will be much lower. Buying life insurance for your children when they are young will keep their premiums low for the rest of their lives. Up to 10 times lower!

Find a life insurance policy that meets all your needs.

In other words, a policy that is’ tailor-made’ just for you and your family. Everyone has different needs.

You have a home with a 30 year mortgage that you would want to protect with a 30 year policy. You are 30 to 40 years of age. You should consider a small Whole life insurance policy with an additional 20 year Term life policy. Perhaps you are close to retirement. A 10 year Term life insurance policy may be right for you.

If you are a smoker, you want to consider a short term life insurance policy. (Just quit smoking!! Get a new policy! Many policies are much cheaper for a non-smoker. You will not only get healthier, but think of the money you’ll be saving! Not just on your premiums, but on all that you spend on tobacco!! )

How much life insurance should you purchase to meet your needs and the needs of your family?

First, you need to sit down and figure out what your needs are and the needs of your family.

You need to be prepared when dealing with insurance companies. Their goal is to make money off you. They will do their very best to try and sell you more coverage than you really need. Only purchase enough coverage that will take care of your family if something should happen to you. Such as, burial expenses, out-standing debts, mortgage, etc. Enough insurance for them to live on in a way they have become accustom to. (Note: An average standard is 10 times your yearly gross income plus any large debts you may have.)

The reason one should need to purchase more life insurance than needed is if you are leaving behind a large estate. This would be to keep the assets of your estate from being taxed.

If an insurance company is trying to push you to buy more coverage than you need, move on to another insurance company! There is no trick to buying life insurance. It’s not only fast and easy; It’s free on the internet! You can get many different quotes from many different insurance companies in no time at all and save you a lot of money.

Save money by matching the right insurance company to your lifestyle Let’s say that you have a high risk occupation. Such as an airplane pilot or construction worker. Or perhaps you have a high risk hobby. Such as jumping out of an airplane rather then piloting one. Insurance companies are well aware that they are taking a big. Therefore, they will charge you much higher rates figuring that you may not be paying them premiums as long as they had planned on.

The insurance companies will still insure ‘high risk’ people. But the amount of those individuals is limited. Example: An insurance company, let’s say, has a limit of 10,000 policies that they will issue to a ‘high risk’ individual. Each individual pays $1,000 per year for their policy. Now, after the insurance company reaches their limit of 10,000 policy holders, a ‘new’ high risk individual, (#10,001), is going to pay double for that exact same policy. Why? Because insurance companies are NOT going to exceed that limit and put their assets at risk. They need to compensate by charging higher rates to everyone over that limit.

Take notice of fluctuating rates as your insurance policy increases Some insurance companies are willing to give you a bit of a price break when you increase the amount of your coverage. It is possible to get a $300,000 policy from one insurance company for less than a $275,000 from another insurance company, even if both insurance companies charge the exact same price for that $275,000 policy.

It really pays to check both above and below the coverage you are looking at. You may be surprised at what you might find when you compare.

Are you paying too much for life insurance through you place of employment? Chances are, yes! You see your employer and the insurance company work together to agree on one set ‘group’ rate. Meaning, all employees’ pays the same price for their life insurance policy. They are going to figure in the number of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ employee’s. Now, we already know that a person who is unhealthy will pay more.

Not the case through work. Everyone pays the same rate. The ‘group’ rate’. Therefore, if you are one of the ‘healthy’ employee’s, chances are, you are pay too much because you are paying a portion of the ‘unhealthy’ employee’s premium payment.

Let’s say that in a normal situation, an insurance companies rate would be $50 per week for a healthy person and $100 per week for an unhealthy person. In a ‘group’ rate situation, a set rate would be $75 per week for everyone. Every employee whether healthy or not.

That means that a healthy employee is getting an extra $25 per week taken out of their paycheck to help pay for a portion of the ‘unhealthy’ employee’s premiums.

If this is your case, the wise thing to do, if you are one of the ‘healthy’ employee’s, is to take that $75 per week out of your paycheck yourself and invest it in a life insurance policy that is tailor-made just for you. You would now be in control. You must also keep in mind that if you should ever leave this job, or retire, most likely you would lose any life insurance benefits you had through the company. By investing in your own policy, (and as long as you pay your premiums,) you would never be in fear of losing a policy that you may have paid many, many years in to.

You may save money by paying your premium payments annually.

By making annual premium payments, your life insurance company may give you a discount rate. After all, they are saving money with less labor and less paper work compared to those who pay monthly. If annual payments won’t work for you, ask the insurance company if they will offer a discount on your monthly premium if you pay by credit card. Many insurance companies don’t just willingly offer a discount. So don’t be afraid to ask!

Watch out for “Age Nearest” in your policy

When an insurance company raises your rates as you get older, these increases may not occur on your birthday as most would assume. The fact is, most insurance companies will raise the rates of your policy six months prior to your birthday. They call this ‘Age Nearest’. This could end up costing you a lot of money over the length of your policy. Make sure that you ask your insurance company ‘how’ and ‘when’ they increase their rates.

When to reevaluate your life insurance policy

There are several reasons for reevaluating your life insurance policy every year or so. Insurance rates are dropping, mainly because the internet has made it so easy for everyone to get life insurance quotes. This is resulting in a fierce competition between insurance companies. People are also living longer these days. That means longer policies for the insurance companies and longer premium payments.

It is possible to double your existing policy without paying any more than you are now. Anytime there is a substantial change in your life, you need to reevaluate your life insurance policy. You could be paying for coverage that you no longer need such as, your mortgage, your debts, or you no longer have dependants living at home.

Or, You may need to increase your coverage because, you had a child or purchased a new home. Very, very few insurance companies will ask you on a yearly basis if there are any major changes in your life. You need to inform them and ask them to reevaluate your policy. You can get a cheap life insurance quote but you have to ask and compare.

Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies – Introduction

The business of life insurance is serious business and the business of unclaimed life insurance cash is a serious problem. Many people believe that a loved one who has life insurance at the time of their death somehow magically advises the company of their death and the policy is paid. That is obviously not the case. Just because someone had a life insurance policy and died doesn’t mean that their beneficiaries automatically get the money that the deceased wished to leave for them. Somebody who is still living after the insured’s death had better know where to locate that policy and provide it, along with documented proof of the insured’s death, to the insurance company or else insurance proceeds will not be paid out; and right now, today, as you read this, BILLIONS of dollars are waiting to be paid out!

Make no mistake – insurance companies are in the business of paying claims and that’s what they will try to do. But there is a procedure that must be followed and that procedure begins with notification.

Once the legitimacy of a claim has been established, funds will be paid out. If there is a problem with establishing legitimacy, funds will be held until any problems are cleared up. If problems are not cleared up and legitimacy cannot be established, money, which the company doesn’t get to keep but which also won’t go to intended beneficiaries, remains unclaimed… and right now, today, as you read this, BILLIONS of dollars are waiting to be paid!

The procedure must, however, begin with notification.

Now, what might you, the living insured, do to make sure that your insurance proceeds get paid out per your wishes? Well, aside from assuring that all of the pertinent policy information is accurate and up to date, you MUST make sure that beneficiaries know that they are beneficiaries and, ideally, where to Find Lost Life Insurance Policy documents. At the very least, you must make them aware of the company or companies that issued the coverage and policy numbers. Otherwise the payment procedure breaks down and money goes unclaimed. (Also, don’t forget that if someone that you have designated as a beneficiary predeceases you, you need to update your beneficiary designations).

What to Do if You Are a Beneficiary

If you are certain of being a beneficiary or you are an executor of the decedent’s estate but he/she never told you where to find the policy information or even the name of the company, there are things that you can do to find the information that you need.

To start with, if you have any idea of the financial companies that the deceased did business with, make some telephone calls. Ask to speak with someone in the Claims or the Life or Policy Owner Service area. Explain the situation and ask how you may request that they do a search for any coverage that may exist/have existed on your loved one. Or, if you know that the deceased had a financial adviser, definitely call him/her. There is a good chance that he/she will have the information that you are looking for.

Also, because many employees simply go with employer-provided group life insurance, if the decedent was still working at the time of death, check with his/her employer. Or, if he/she was retired and receiving a pension, check with the retirement administrator.

Safe deposit boxes are one of the places where people routinely keep important papers. Don’t overlook this possibility. If these efforts fail you can look into hiring a private investigator who may have resources and legal allowances that you don’t.

If you are a beneficiary, don’t put insurance proceeds… and your loved one’s wishes to provide for survivors… at risk. Talk to your insured loved ones while talk is still possible. The subject is not an easy one to bring up but it is one that must be addressed. Not doing so could frustrate your loved one’s wishes and cost you thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.