Life Insurance – 3 of the 7 Secrets to Reduce Your Life Insurance Premiums by 50% to 100% Guaranteed

We are in the midst of one of the most uncertain financial times in the history of America. This is the perfect time to take a very close look at the Life Insurance policy you’ve been paying for all these years and find out about the new, innovative and guaranteed policies which could reduce your annual premium outlay by 50% to 100%, assuming you qualify medically. Tens of thousands of policy owners have already taken advantage of these new plans issued by the largest and highest rated insurance companies in the world.

The Wall Street Journal recently warned that thousands of older Universal Life Insurance policies are failing due to Life Insurance companies having credited much lower interest rates over the years than they originally projected when these policies were first purchased. This interest deficit leaves the policy owner on the hook for unplanned-for cash-value shortfalls and policy expenses. These factors determine how long the policy will last based on the original non-guaranteed planned premium. Many of these so-called permanent policies are subject to early lapse in spite of the fact that the policy owner had been paying his billed “planned premium” each and every year. It’s all too common that neither the original agent who sold the policy nor the life insurance company ever took the time to educate the policy owner about the fact that the so-called “planned premium” they’ve been paying all these years was based on assumptions that failed to materialize. As a result, thousands of policy owners who expected to keep the policy in force until the insured’s death have been receiving lapse notices when the insureds are at advanced ages with medical conditions that preclude them from any reasonable economic options. In addition, if the worst happens and a policy lapses, its demise can result in a big tax income tax bill to the policy owner.

Fortunately, many older insureds are able to leverage their relatively good health combined with the cash value in their old policies and our physician-directed medical underwriting to qualify for the same coverage at a much lower cost. To address these very serious issues, we provide you with the following 3 of The 7 Secrets to Saving 50% to 100% on your Life Insurance Costs:

1. How to Double your Life Insurance Death Benefit at the Same Cost, Guaranteed. A large number of top rated life insurance companies are now offering guaranteed premium Universal Life insurance products with innovative premium payment strategies that can actually double an insureds death benefit at the same original outlay, assuming they qualify medically. These new Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance policies are much more competitively priced and have far stronger guarantees than older Whole Life and Universal Life policies.

A 67 year old husband and wife had an old Last-To-Die policy with a non-guaranteed death benefit of $1,200,000 at a $13,625 annual outlay. Their new policy had a guaranteed death benefit of $1,825,000, a 51% increase in death benefit, at a $6,000 annual outlay, a decrease of 56% in cost. The new policy was guaranteed to their age 100 by one of the highest rated and safest insurance companies in America.

Their older policy had a so-called blend of Term Insurance and Whole Life to maintain the total original death benefit. Most people are unaware of the fact that the Term Insurance portion of their Whole Life insurance policy is not guaranteed. The price of this term component can be increased by the parent company anytime the company feels the product is not profitable enough.

2. Using a Physician Directed Medical Underwriting approach consistently achieves the best possible insurance company ratings, resulting in the lowest possible outlay. The average life insurance agent typically submits your application to only 1 or 2 insurance companies and simply waits and hopes for the best underwriting offer. Life Insurance agents don’t normally have any real resources to make a difference in the dynamic process of medically underwriting your risk. Many agents often turn over the responsibility of ordering your private medical records to the insurance companies themselves, which is the worst thing they can do for their client, for many reasons. Because Doctors are now so afraid of potential lawsuits, they routinely write down everything in your medical file including remotely suspected and often unsubstantiated medical issues. This way, if a serious medical condition develops in the future with one of their patients who may be the litigious type, they have a written record to protect themselves. Unfortunately, this “write everything down and cover yourself” approach with today’s medicine causes many difficulties for older people who apply for life insurance. The problem is that when they apply for life insurance, insurance companies search their medical records for keywords in their medical records like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and carcinoma. Even when the medical issue was simply suspected and turned out to be nothing, insurance companies routinely rate you up and charge you a higher premium.

The better way to underwrite is to have a physician obtain and review each of your medical records before they go to the insurance company. If something is in your records where your doctor more than likely wrote something to “cover themselves”, the physician will personally call the doctor to confirm his suspicion. If it was, in fact, a Cover Yourself item, which it often is, he will ask your Doctor send a follow up letter to the insurance company which accurately explains the issue away. This kind of “hands on” medical underwriting approach obtains consistently low premiums from Life Insurance companies.

In addition to your medical records being reviewed, an insurance physical is completed by a doctor at your home. Generally you should do this physical first thing in the morning, because you have to fast for 8 hours before the test and you are the most calm early in the morning.

After these steps are complete, don’t apply to only 1 or 2 insurance companies, your complete medical package and insurance exam should go to the 10 highest rated insurance companies that specialize in low outlay, guaranteed life insurance policies. Today, Life Insurance companies are quite willing to compete for your business. Out of the 10 companies, often 1 or 2 will give a much better medical rating than the other companies. This translates into the lowest possible outlay for you.

For example, a 65 year old recently applied for $2 million of life insurance who had a number of health issues which included a history of cancer and physical disability. The best underwriting offer he had gotten was a “Standard”. However, another insurance company that had originally offered him Standard agreed to a make a Business Decision and give him a “Preferred” health rating. His new insurance death benefit  increased by 80%, and his premiums decreased by 45%, on a guaranteed basis to his age 100, with one of the largest and highest rated companies in America.

3. How to pay $0 premiums for your life insurance. Many of our high net worth clients who have lost much of their net worth and income in this economic downturn have a reduced need for the life insurance they bought. Some have taken advantage of the Life Settlement Marketplace to sell their policy for cash instead of simply surrendering their insurance for its cash surrender value.

Most people are not aware of an exciting new type of Life Settlement Program that only a few companies offer: The Shared Death Benefit Program. Through this Shared Death Benefit Program, the client gets to keeps half of their death benefit for their family and never has to pay anymore premiums. The buyer pays all the future premiums for as long as you live, and they get to keep half the death benefit when you die in exchange for paying all future premiums.

A 72 year old woman had a five million dollar insurance policy and because her net worth and income dropped so dramatically, she decided she only needed to retain half of her $5,000,000 policy. Her insurance company offered her a paid up policy of $1,600,000 with no further premiums. The Shared Death Benefit program gave her a fully paid up $2,500,000 paid up policy, with no further premiums for as long as she lives.

AmerUS Life Insurance Company Review

AmerUS Life Insurance Company has been a leading provider in life insurance policies in the United States. Their main website lets customers know that the company started in the year 1896 when it was founded as a Central Life Assurance Company. Although the company itself did not grow much from the start, through the span of the years it got the people needed to operate correctly and be successful at becoming a primary life insurance company in the United States. It was not until the year 1996 that the company actually acquired the name AmerUS Life Insurance Company and at that time they actually started to organize as a stock insurance company.

Things continue to grow and after the year 2000 they acquired Indianapolis Life Insurance and finally closed the year with an estimated $21.5 billion in assets. The big news about AmerUS took place in the year 2006 where AmerUS and Aviva Corporation signed an agreement under which Aviva acquired them and paid $69 per share in cash. This meant that all their operations would be combined and the business would have their headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Life insurance in the United States is just starting to be a big thing. In the past nobody thought that life insurance was the right thing to get, and some people actually thought that it would be a waste of money to buy. With present events such as 9/11, Americans have come to their senses and have actually realized that accidents can happen to anyone at anytime and for that reason it is always better to be prepared.

With the market for life insurance increasing, it is not a surprise that more and more life insurance companies are being created. With so many companies it is hard to know which one of them is the best one for you. That is why a customer must always try and shop around either online or in person. If you locate a company that you think might be the one and when you compare its price to other companies you find that it’s not that expensive, and then you will feel much confident in signing with them.

When you try to log into the main website for AmerUS you will be directed to a letter from the Aviva Life Insurance Company. Since both of the companies combined and are being run under Aviva’s name it is important to know about them. Aviva is the world’s fifth largest insurance group and it is the biggest provider of life insurance in the United Kingdom. The company is huge and it employs about 58,000 people that serve an estimated 35 million customers around the globe. They are one of the strongest life insurance and long term service Product Company with assets of over $600 billion and more than $65 billion in sales. The company itself is based in London, England and its history can be traced back to the year 1696. This means that the company is over 300 years old and for this reason it has the recognition and world fame that not many other can claim.

AmerUs Life Insurance Company (now called Aviva Life and Annuity Company) offers many life insurance products that can help someone establish financial security for the future in case of an unexpected death. Some of the products offered by this company in the United States are Indexed Life Insurance, Universal Life Insurance, Single Premium Life, Indexed Survivor Universal Life, Level Premium Term Insurance and Excess Interest Whole Life Insurance.

Indexed Life Insurance: This type of life insurance allows people to have flexible payment options and death benefits. What is good about this type of policy is that it provides cash value accumulation based on how leading market indices grow. It is also good to note that this type of policy also protects the policy from the risks of a downside market and a drop in the indices. If you purchase what Aviva calls the “no Lapse Guarantee Rider” on your “Advantage Builder” part of the policy, the death benefit in the policy can be extended to the entire life of the person insured.

Universal Life Insurance: This type of life insurance is a very common type of permanent life insurance in the American market. This type of policy will actually specify the amount a beneficiary to the policy gets within certain minimum and maximum limits. This will allow the policy holder to actually buy the amount of life insurance that he or she prefers.

Single Premium Life: This type of policy is unique in that the person will only pay a single one time premium for a death benefit that will actually last a lifetime. This is primarily designed for individuals that have savings or that need cash when they have an emergency.

Indexed Survivor Universal Life: This type of life insurance company is one in which two lives are insured (more than likely a couple) and pays the benefit after the second person dies. In other words, if a husband dies before his wife; the policy will not be reimbursed to the beneficiary. It also has the potential to accumulate cash value that in the end will be given to the beneficiary after both people in the policy die.

Level Premium Term Insurance: Perhaps the most famous type of life insurance in the United States because it is not permanent. This type of insurance simply allows a policy holder to have protection for a specified period of time. In AmerUS (now Aviva) people can purchase 10, 15, 20 or 30 year term policies based on the needs that they have. This type of policy does not accrue cash value, but it will pay the beneficiary the amount that the policy holder purchases in case of the policy holder’s death.

Excess Interest Whole Life Insurance: There products are made to ensure that professionals, business owners, individuals and executives get what they need from the life insurance industry. What this type of policy does is give you fixed premiums and guarantees you death benefits.

As you can see AmerUS has gone far beyond what many life insurance companies have achieved. With the joint help of Aviva of North America, these two companies have taken the life insurance market in the United States to a whole new level. To decide if AmerUS and Aviva may be a good life insurance choice for your needs then be sure and carefully research your options with a licensed Aviva life insurance agent.

What Type Of Life Insurance Is Best?

Life Insurance (though it shouldn’t be) is to this day a very controversial issue. There seems to be a lot of different types of life insurance out there, but there are really only two kinds. They are Term Insurance and Whole Life (Cash Value) Insurance. Term Insurance is pure insurance. It protects you over a certain period of time. Whole Life Insurance is insurance plus a side account known as cash value. Generally speaking, consumer reports recommend term insurance as the most economical choice and they have for some time. But still, whole life insurance is the most prevalent in today’s society. Which one should we buy?

Let’s talk about the purpose of life insurance. Once we get the proper purpose of insurance down to a science, then everything else will fall into place. The purpose of life insurance is the same purpose as any other type of insurance. It is to “insure against loss of”. Car insurance is to insure your car or someone else’s car in case of an accident. So in other words, since you probably couldn’t pay for the damage yourself, insurance is in place. Home owners insurance is to insure against loss of your home or items in it. So since you probably couldn’t pay for a new house, you buy an insurance policy to cover it.

Life insurance is the same way. It is to insure against loss of your life. If you had a family, it would be impossible to support them after you died, so you buy life insurance so that if something were to happen to you, your family could replace your income. Life insurance is not to make you or your descendants rich or give them a reason to kill you. Life insurance is not to help you retire (or else it would be called retirement insurance)! Life insurance is to replace your income if you die. But the wicked ones have made us believe otherwise, so that they can overcharge us and sell all kinds of other things to us to get paid.

How Does Life Insurance Work?

Rather than make this complicated, I will give a very simple explanation on how and what goes down in an insurance policy. As a matter of fact, it will be over simplified because we would otherwise be here all day. This is an example. Let’s say that you are 31 years old. A typical term insurance policy for 20 years for $200,000 would be about $20/month. Now… if you wanted to buy a whole life insurance policy for $200,000 you might pay $100/month for it. So instead of charging you $20 (which is the true cost) you will be overcharged by $80, which will then be put into a savings account.

Now, this $80 will continue to accumulate in a separate account for you. Typically speaking, if you want to get some of YOUR money out of the account, you can then BORROW IT from the account and pay it back with interest. Now… let’s say you were to take $80 dollars a month and give it to your bank. If you went to withdraw the money from your bank account and they told you that you had to BORROW your own money from them and pay it back with interest, you would probably go clean upside somebody’s head. But somehow, when it comes to insurance, this is okay

This stems from the fact that most people don’t realize that they are borrowing their own money. The “agent” (of the insurance Matrix) rarely will explain it that way. You see, one of the ways that companies get rich, is by getting people to pay them, and then turn around and borrow their own money back and pay more interest! Home equity loans are another example of this, but that is a whole different sermon.

Deal or No Deal

Let us stick with the previous illustration. Let us say the one thousand 31 year olds ( all in good health) bought the aforementioned term policy (20 years, $200,000 dollars at $20/month). If these people were paying $20/month, that is $240 per year. If you take that and multiply it over the 20 year term then you will have $4800. So each individual will pay $4800 over the life of the term. Since one thousand individuals bought the policy, they will end up paying 4.8 million in premiums to the company. The insurance company has already calculated that around 20 people with good health (between the ages of 31 and 51) will die. So if 20 people pass away, then the company will have to pay out 20 x $200,000 or $4,000,000. So, if the company pays out $4,000,000 and takes in $4,800,000 it will then make a $800,000 profit.

This is of course OVER simplifying because a lot of people will cancel the policy (which will also bring down the number of death claims paid), and some of those premiums can be used to accumulate interest, but you can get a general idea of how things work.

On the other hand, let’s look at whole life insurance. Let us say the one thousand 31 year olds (all in good health) bought the aforementioned whole life policy ($200,000 dollars at $100/month). These people are paying $100/month. That is $1200 per year. If the average person’s lifespan (in good health people) goes to 75, then on average, the people will pay 44 years worth of premiums. If you take that and multiply it by $1200 you will get $52,800. So each individual will pay $52,800 over the life of the policy. Since one thousand individuals bought the policy, they will end up paying 52.8 million in premiums to the company. If you buy a whole life policy, the insurance company has already calculated the probability that you will die. What is that probability? 100%, because it is a whole life (till death do us part) insurance policy! This means that if everyone kept their policies, the insurance company would have to pay out 1000 x $200,000 = $2,000,000,000) That’s right, two billion dollars!

Ladies and gentleman, how can a company afford to pay out two billion dollars knowing that it will only take in 52.8 million? Now just like in the previous example, this is an oversimplification as policies will lapse. As a matter of fact, MOST whole life policies do lapse because people can’t afford them, I hope you see my point. Let’s take the individual. A 31 year old male bought a policy in which he is suppose to pay in $52,800 and get $200,000 back? There no such thing as a free lunch. The company somehow has to weasel $147,200 out of him, JUST TO BREAK EVEN on this policy! Not to mention, pay the agents (who get paid much higher commissions on whole life policies), underwriters, insurance fees, advertising fees, 30 story buildings… etc, etc.

This doesn’t even take into account these variable life and universal life policies that claim to be so good for your retirement. So you are going to pay $52,800 into a policy and this policy will make you rich, AND pay you the $200,000 death benefit, AND pay the agents, staff and fees? This has to be a rip off.

Well, how could they rip you off? Maybe for the first five years of the policy, no cash value will accumulate (you may want to check your policy). Maybe it’s misrepresenting the value of the return (this is easy if the customer is not knowledgeable on exactly how investments work). Also, if you read my article on the Rule of 72 you can clearly see that giving your money to someone else to invest can lose you millions! You see, you may pay in $52,800 but that doesn’t take into account how much money you LOSE by not investing it yourself! This is regardless of how well your agent may tell you the company will invest your money! Plain and simple, they have to get over on you somehow or they would go out of business!

How long do you need life insurance?

Let me explain what is called The Theory of Decreasing Responsibility, and maybe we can answer this question. Let’s say that you and your spouse just got married and have a child. Like most people, when they are young they are also crazy, so they go out and buy a new car and a new house. Now, here you are with a young child and debt up to the neck! In this particular case, if one of you were to pass away, the loss of income would be devastating to the other spouse and the child. This is the case for life insurance. BUT, this is what happens. You and your spouse begin to pay off that debt. Your child gets older and less dependent on you. You start to build up your assets. Keep in mind that I am talking about REAL assets, not fake or phantom assets like equity in a home (which is just a fixed interest rate credit card)

In the end, the situation is like this. The child is out of the house and no longer dependent on you. You don’t have any debt. You have enough money to live off of, and pay for your funeral (which now costs thousands of dollars because the DEATH INDUSTRY has found new ways to make money by having people spend more honor and money on a person after they die then they did while that person was alive). So… at this point, what do you need insurance for? Exactly… absolutely nothing! So why would you buy Whole Life (a.k.a. DEATH) Insurance? The idea of a 179 year old person with grown children who don’t depend on him/her still paying insurance premiums is asinine to say the least.

As a matter of fact, the need for life insurance could be greatly decreased and quickly eliminated, if one would learn not to accumulate liabilities, and quickly accumulate wealth first. But I realize that this is almost impossible for most people in this materialistic, Middle Classed matrixed society. But anyway, let’s take it a step further.

Confused Insurance Policies

This next statement is very obvious, but very profound. Living and dying are exact opposites of each other. Why do I say this? The purpose of investing is to accumulate enough money in case you live to retire. The purpose of buying insurance is to protect your family and loved ones if you die before you can retire. These are two diametrically opposed actions! So, if an “agent” waltzes into your home selling you a whole life insurance policy and telling you that it can insure your life AND it can help you retire, your Red Pill Question should be this:

“If this plan will help me retire securely, why will I always need insurance? And on the other hand, if I will be broke enough later on in life that I will still need insurance, then how is this a good retirement plan?”

Now if you ask an insurance agent those questions, she/he may become confused. This of course comes from selling confused policies that do two opposites at once.

Norman Dacey said it best in the book “What’s Wrong With Your Life Insurance”

“No one could ever quarrel with the idea of providing protection for one’s family while at the same time accumulating a fund for some such purpose as education or retirement. But if you try to do both of these jobs through the medium of one insurance policy, it is inevitable that both jobs will be done badly.”

So you see, even though there are a lot of new variations of whole life, like variable life and universal life, with various bells and whistles (claiming to be better than the original, typical whole life policies), the Red Pill Question must always be asked! If you are going to buy insurance, then buy insurance! If you are going to invest, then invest. It’s that simple. Don’t let an insurance agent trick you into buying a whole life policy based on the assumption that you are too incompetent and undisciplined to invest your own money.

If you are afraid to invest your money because you don’t know how, then educate yourself! It may take some time, but it is better than giving your money to somebody else so they can invest it for you (and get rich with it). How can a company be profitable when it takes the money from it’s customers, invests it, and turns around and gives it’s customers all of the profits?

And don’t fall for the old “What if the term runs out and you can’t get re-insured trick”. Listen, there are a lot of term policies out there that are guaranteed renewable until an old age (75-100). Yes, the price is a lot higher, but you must realize that if you buy a whole life policy, you will have been duped out of even more money by the time you get to that point (if that even happens). This is also yet another reason to be smart with your money. Don’t buy confused policies.

How much should you buy?

I normally recommend 8-10 times your yearly income as a good face amount for your insurance. Why so high? Here is the reason. Let’s say that you make $50,000 per year. If you were to pass away, your family could take $500,000 (10 times $50,000) and put it into a fund that pays 10 percent (which will give them $40,000 per year) and not touch the principle. So what you have done is replaced your income.

This is another reason why Whole Life insurance is bad. It is impossible to afford the amount of insurance you need trying to buy super high priced policies. Term insurance is much cheaper. To add to this, don’t let high face values scare you. If you have a lot of liabilities and you are worried about your family, it is much better to be underinsured than to have no insurance at all. Buy what you can manage. Don’t get sold what you can’t manage.

Convertible Term Life Insurance Rates

Considering purchasing convertible term life insurance? How exactly does a convertible term life insurance policy work? Is it possible to find a cheap convertible term life insurance policy? These are all important questions to ask and to understand the answers to before you decide to make the important decision of which type of life insurance coverage to buy.

At the time of deciding what type of life insurance to buy, a person must know every single type offered in the market in order to truly make the best choice for their specific coverage needs. It is true that perhaps many companies simply refer to their policies as term or permanent life insurance, but a person must know that there is much more to that and such is the case of convertible term life insurance. In this article you will be able to know what convertible term is and the many things associated with this type of life insurance.

What Exactly Is Convertible Term Life Insurance?

Life insurance is perhaps easily understood because it simply is a contract between a person and an insurance company. The contract simply states that the person must pay monthly premiums for a certain period of time in exchange for a death benefit paid to the beneficiary in case of the insured’s death.

A term life insurance policy is simply a policy that will cover for a specific period of time, but with a convertible term life insurance policy you will have the ability to transform your policy from a temporary one to a permanent one.

What this means is that if you have a policy for 25 years and you have a convertible term life insurance policy, then you will be able to change the term policy into a whole, universal of variable life insurance policy (depending on the company).

Things To Know At The Time Of Purchasing Your Policy

Like any other product, there are a few things that a customer must know in order to make the convertible life insurance experience a successful one.

Health and Family History: At the time of applying for a policy, whether you are doing it online or in person at a local agency; make sure to have some general information about your medical history. Although companies have the right to access your files when you apply for a policy (with your permission that is), most of the times they will ask you questions about your health and family history. The more prepared you are to answer these questions, the easier the quoting process will be.

Amount and Duration of the Policy: You must also have an idea of how much life insurance you wish to buy at the particular time. The reason for this is that with term life insurance policies a person must choose an amount at the time of getting the policy. There are tools online or that the company has that will help you get the amount you will more than likely need. It is also important to understand that the particular amounts change from company to company. Also, make sure that you know the amount of time you want the policy to last. Some common ones include 15, 20, 25 and even 30 years.

The Beneficiary: Last but not least it is important to be completely certain of whom you want your beneficiary to be. The reason for this is that many people actually don’t know at the time of signing the policy and just put the first person in mind. However, many insurance companies are actually very strict when it comes to beneficiaries and they wont let a person make a change unless they fill out the appropriate paperwork. Nevertheless, it is important for a customer to know the company and their stand when it comes to particular beneficiary changes.

Lower Premiums Compared To Other Types Of Policies

Compared to many of the other types of policies, the convertible term life insurance policies give the customer a better choice. The reason for this is that a person will have the main option of converting the term life insurance to a permanent one or of simply letting the policy expire in their own hands. Having a term life insurance first also helps a lot, simply because term life insurance has lower premiums than a permanent life insurance policy.

The difference for these cheaper premiums is simply that with a term life insurance policy, the death benefit is not guaranteed to the beneficiary (particularly because the insured can still be alive at the end of the policy). Because of this reason, a person that chooses the option of having a convertible life insurance policy will have the great option of paying low premiums at first.

Medical Examinations

Another good thing about convertible term life insurance policies is that they allow a person to convert regardless of the medical condition and health of the insured. If the person in the policy chose the option of having a convertible term life insurance policy and they have paid premiums at the right time, then they have by law the right to extend their coverage if they choose to.

It is also important to highlight that this change in coverage must be made without the insured being forced to take a medical examination. The freedom of continuing the coverage regardless of everything and not having the chance of being denied might be the reasons why this insurance option is so popular nowadays.

No Premium Increases For Medical Problems

The last thing worth talking about when it comes to convertible life insurance policies is that at the time of changing your policy you cannot be charged any additional premium for any medical problems that you may have. It is important to highlight that I’m not referring to the fact that your premiums will not go up in value, because when converting from term to permanent there is always a chance of that. What I’m referring to is that at the time of converting your term life insurance to a permanent one by law you are protected against a raise in premium based on a medical condition.

No One Policy Is Right For Everyone

It is important to note that this type of plan is not for everyone, because some people just rather have a permanent policy right away or some others just want to be covered until they get retired. However, this might be exactly what some people are looking for simply because it starts as perhaps the low cost choice.

Compare Quotes To Find The Best Value

Compare the prices of regular life insurance quotes against the prices of convertible term life insurance quotes to find the best value. If you want the freedom of having a term policy and being able to convert it in the near future to a permanent life insurance plan that covers you for life then go ahead and start shopping around for your convertible life insurance plan!

Credit-Related Life Insurance – Should You Buy It?

Credit insurance is one of the most misunderstood and fraudulently marketed products in the field of personal finance. The types of insurance sold by creditors to debtors range from the old standard credit life and accident and sickness insurance to such worthless contracts as “life events” which will be explained below. Almost all of these policies are grossly overpriced and are a source of substantial profits for lenders and sales finance companies.

The use of insurance as a type of security for a loan or other extension of credit is not an inherently a bad choice. Both the creditor and the debtor can benefit from removing the risk of death or disability from the equation. If the reduced risk is a factor in providing a lower interest rate, or in basic credit approval, it can be a win-win situation. The problem arises, however, when the creditor intimidates or otherwise induces a customer to purchase an insurance product not for its effect on risk but as an additional and substantial source of revenue.

Normally insurance rates are set by the competitive market, which tends to hold rates down at least for the reasonably informed consumer who does some comparison shopping. Automobile insurance companies, for example, are highly competitive and the rates are seldom regulated. But in the context of an application for credit there may be no competition at the point of sale of the insurance. The creditor may be the only practicable source. The only “competition” is between insurance companies to see who can charge the highest premium and pay the highest commission to the creditor or its officers for selling the coverage. This tends to force rates up rather than down and has been dubbed “reverse competition”.

During the 1950s as consumer credit was expanding rapidly and many states had strict usury laws (laws limiting maximum finance charge rates) both lenders and sellers began relying on commissions from credit insurance premiums to pad the bottom line profits. Many engaged in selling excessive coverage (not needed to pay the debt if something happened to the debtor) and nearly all charged outrageous premiums, with 50% or more being paid to the creditor or its employees, officers or directors as “commissions” for writing the coverage. As incentives for paying as few claims as possible there were also “experience refunds” awarded to creditors, which sometimes raised the total compensation to 70% or more of the premiums. In addition, the premium was added to the loan or unpaid balance of the sale price and finance charges were charged on the premium.

Finally the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) declared it had had enough of the consumer abuse and model legislation was drawn up and passed in nearly every state authorizing insurance commissioners to limit the amount and cost of credit life and accident and sickness insurance…the two biggest sellers in the field. In some jurisdictions the legislation had very little effect because the commissioners would not seriously exercise their new regulatory powers, but in others the rates came down almost immediately. Over a number of years where there was pressure from consumer groups the rates on these two products reached a reasonable level…with some states requiring that the rates produce a 50 or 60 per cent “loss ratio”….ratio of incurred claims to earned premiums….and limiting commission payments to creditors.

While this progress helped the consumer buying credit life and accident and sickness insurance creditors soon realized that it was easy to develop new products which were not regulated under the NAIC model law…products such as “involuntary unemployment insurance” to protect the consumer against job loss and “unpaid family leave” insurance to make payments in the event of a family emergency that required the debtor to have to leave his job temporarily.

Now, back to the question of whether you should purchase credit related insurance in connection with your next transaction, that really depends on the type of transactions, your individual circumstances and the kind of coverage in question. The first question to answer before deciding who to buy credit life insurance from is whether you need life insurance at all. The first step in the answer is “Do I already have life insurance in sufficient amount to cover this obligation and other needs?” If so it is obvious you don’t need any more, and the answer should be “No”.

Life insurance is justified when (a) there are dependents to be cared for after you are gone; (b) you have a moral obligation to a co-signer or co-maker or guarantor…possibly a family member…that you will pay at least your portion of an obligation, living or dead; (c) you own property or other assets which you want to leave to someone upon your demise, and unless this debt is otherwise paid the property may have to be sold to pay it; (d) you are buying something important “on time”, such as a home or an expensive vehicle, and don’t want it to be foreclosed or repossessed if you are not there to make the payments; or (e) you and a partner have invested heavily in a business that depends on both of you working, and you don’t want your partner to suffer a hardship if you are not there. There may be other reasons, but the point is that you must examine your individual circumstances.

You do NOT need life insurance if you have no dependents, own very little and are not leaving anything to anyone, and there is no co-maker to protect, because your debts essentially die with you. No one will have to pay them if you don’t. And if there is no money to bury or cremate your remains don’t worry. Something will be done with them because public health requires it. If you want an expensive send-off buy just enough to pay for the funeral and name a beneficiary with instructions to use it for that purpose so your creditors won’t try to grab it.

If you want to make gifts to others when you die, perhaps to make up for the mistreatment of them while you were around, life insurance is a very expensive “estate substitute”. It is better to put your money into savings than to pay it to some national insurance corporation on the hope that you will profit by dying. With life insurance you are essentially betting that you will die and the insurer is betting you won’t.

Assuming you decide you need life insurance, the next question is whether to buy it from a creditor or on the open competitive market. Most of the time it is best to purchase a proper amount of term life insurance payable either to a beneficiary, or to a trust for the benefit of minor dependents, or to your estate to be used to pay your last rites and obligations. If you have it paid to a beneficiary, such as your spouse or children, your creditors cannot claim it for the payment of your bills….unless you designate a particular creditor as a beneficiary to the extent of your debt obligation. No creditor has an insurable interest in your life except to the extent of your debt.

If you owe a mortgage debt on your home it may be wise to scale your term life policy to approximate the amount of your mortgage so it will be paid off for the benefit of your spouse and children if you, a provider, cannot provide. If you have a car note you need to adjust your total life insurance amount to discharge that obligation as well, so that whoever gets the car gets it free and clear. If you don’t care what happens to the vehicle don’t worry about the additional coverage. The creditor will take it and sell it and eat the balance. It is theoretically possible for a sales finance creditor to sue an estate for a deficiency after repossession but it very seldom occurs. It’s just too much trouble.

Aside from large obligations such as home mortgages and car notes there is usually very little justification for buying life insurance, and certainly not from a creditor. The premium rates on creditor-provided life insurance are much higher, as a general rule, than the rates for other life coverage.

Credit life insurance comes in three varieties…level, decreasing, and revolving. Level life insurance begins and ends with the same coverage over the term and is normally associated with single payment obligations. It is illegal in most states to sell level life insurance on installment transactions. Decreasing credit life comes in two sub-varieties…gross and net. Gross decreasing credit life begins with the “total of payments” (the principal plus all interest you will probably have to pay over the whole term of debt) and decreases by one monthly payment each month until it reaches zero at the end of the term. Net decreasing credit life starts at the “amount financed” and declines as the principal balance declines over the term. Usually net decreasing life is enough to pay the obligation because it tracks the remaining principal, unless you fail to keep up with the payment schedule and reduce the debt accordingly. Gross decreasing life will normally be excessive at the beginning and less so as the term continues. For example, if the principal is $10,000 and there will be $4000 in finance charges on a car note over a six-year term, the insurance will start at $14,000, but during the first month the debtor in fact only owes $10,000 plus a few days interest. This means that if the debtor dies during the term the excess coverage should be paid either to the debtor’s estate or to a named beneficiary. In some states creditors are limited to net decreasing life plus three or four months of payments just in case the account is in arrears at the time of death.

Auto accident deaths create a unique insurance situation where credit life is involved because the casualty insurance on the vehicle will often pay off the car note leaving the credit life insurance to be paid directly to the debtor’s estate as a cash benefit. Millions of dollars of insurance benefits have been lost because the surviving spouse was unaware of the double coverage on the note.

“Revolving account” credit life insurance usually involves a monthly premium computed on the basis of the outstanding balance being billed. The premium covers that amount for 30 days, discharging the obligation if death occurs before the next billing date.

Unfortunately, national banks that issue credit cards have developed a scam to get around the accusation of illegally high credit life premiums. Most of them if pressed would take the position that since they are a “national” bank the states cannot limit their insurance premiums, even if the state also limits premiums charged by state banks, but this legal position stands on shaky ground.

Many have issued their own policies in the form of “debt cancellation clauses” which are amendments to credit card agreements under which the account balance will be canceled if the debtor dies. But because of the risk that some state may clamp down on their rate-setting practices they “bundle” the credit life with up to a dozen other coverages, nearly all of which are not rate-regulated, so the charges produce a very large margin of profit. They won’t sell credit life alone, but require an “all or none” purchase of the various components such as credit accident and sickness, involuntary unemployment coverage, unpaid family leave coverage and even such weird products as “college graduation”, “having a baby”, “retirement”, “divorce” and other “life events”, each of which results in a month or two of benefits at the minimum payment level on the account. These bundled products usually cost upward of $1.00 per $100 per month, or twelve per cent per annum on top of the existing finance charge rate. Truth in Lending does not require that additional 12% to be reflected in the annual percentage rate, however, because the coverage is deemed “voluntary” and not part of the “finance charge”.

So the answer to the initial question is a resounding “maybe”…depending on your individual circumstances, the options available to you, and the cost of each alternative. Perhaps having read this you will know what questions to ask and make an informed choice.

Life Insurance For Adults Or Children

When families make the decision to purchase life insurance, they are often in the process of experiencing a major life-altering event such as getting married, starting a family, or purchasing a home. In fact, there are many good reasons for purchasing a insurance policy and most of us, at some point in our lives, will realize that owning insurance is very important to ensure our sense of security. Can you even imagine the anxiety of driving on the freeway without auto insurance? All of us know that at some point an accident is almost inevitable. When you purchase life insurance, you are making a plan to be sure your family will be safe from the effects of losing your contribution to the household income

Life insurance insures your life and pays your survivors.

Importance of insurance No one likes to think about the need for life insurance, but if you were no longer in the picture what would happen to the people who depend on you for financial support?. Even if the deceased has some life insurance, the amount is often inadequate. insurance is an essential part of any financial program. Your insurance coverage should be reviewed regularly as changes occur in your life, career and financial goals. Most people buy insurance to replace income that would be lost at the death of a wage earner. Proceeds from a life insurance policy also can help ensure your dependents are not burdened with significant debt when you die.

An important advantage of insurance is that the proceeds pass income tax free to beneficiaries and without going through probate. Most people think of life insurance only as a legacy something left behind after they die. If diagnosed as terminally ill, the insured may request payment of the insurance policies face amount instead of the death benefit being paid to a beneficiary. Portability Under most group policies employees can take their life insurance protection with them when they leave the company or retire and take advantage of group rates and the convenience of direct billing. Cash accumulation some insurance policies have a cash value account or investment component that lets you contribute premium in addition to the amount you pay for your insurance coverage.

Here are answers to other common questions about insurance. How much insurance you need depends on your financial situation and your specific circumstances at this point in your life. Our insurance needs calculator will help you estimate how much insurance you may need to sufficiently provide for the well-being of your loved ones. Everyone’s situation is unique and only you can determine the exact amount of life insurance you need.
Why insurance is so important for us?

On this post I’ll try to make a simple explanation about the importance of life insurance. Everyone surely die now, with health insurance, we can manage the risk of death leaves us with the things of value and benefit to families who leave when we die. With health insurance, we have to give stock to my family when we die, where the insurance company will pay the amount of money insurance money to my heirs, in this case is our family and that money can be used to pay for school children’s etc. That is the most common example of the benefits of life insurance. If expanded, the product according to each insurance company, there are many more benefits from life insurance. After we know a basic knowledge about the importance and the benefits of life insurance, then the second step is to act and find one of the best insurance companies that we can trust. Finding the best insurance companies and the right policy for our insurance plan can be hard if we didn’t know much about the terms in insurance plan.

In most families the major bread winner will have a term insurance policy as it can be very damaging to families when the main means of financial support is cut off. It is always difficult to determine if you should carry term or permanent life insurance.

Term life insurance really only offers death benefits such as funeral costs etc, so if you die then it is worth having the policy. Term insurance is the more affordable way to have death benefits. Currently term life insurance is the simplest form of insurance you can purchase. You can purchase large amounts of this insurance for a long time at very low prices. If you need to pay off a loan and may have difficulties if a family member dies or if you want to protect your children then term life insurance is an excellent insurance choice. The main benefit from term insurance is that you receive large payouts after a short time period. Having term insurance coverage is great if you are carrying debt as it can cover the debt instead of leaving your debt to your nearest relative.

It ensures that your family will not suffer the consequences of living without your earnings. You want to be sure that your family won’t have to uproot their lives and change their living standards in the event their income level is affected by your premature or unexpected death. And you can continue driving through the highway of life, without having to suffer the anxiety of wondering what will happen to those who depend on your earnings.

Avoid These Six Common Life Insurance Mistakes

Life insurance is one of the most important components of any individual’s financial plan. However there is lot of misunderstanding about life insurance, mainly due to the way life insurance products have been sold over the years in India. We have discussed some common mistakes insurance buyers should avoid when buying insurance policies.

1. Underestimating insurance requirement: Many life insurance buyers choose their insurance covers or sum assured, based on the plans their agents want to sell and how much premium they can afford. This a wrong approach. Your insurance requirement is a function of your financial situation, and has nothing do with what products are available. Many insurance buyers use thumb rules like 10 times annual income for cover. Some financial advisers say that a cover of 10 times your annual income is adequate because it gives your family 10 years worth of income, when you are gone. But this is not always correct. Suppose, you have 20 year mortgage or home loan. How will your family pay the EMIs after 10 years, when most of the loan is still outstanding? Suppose you have very young children. Your family will run out of income, when your children need it the most, e.g. for their higher education. Insurance buyers need to consider several factors in deciding how much insurance cover is adequate for them.

· Repayment of the entire outstanding debt (e.g. home loan, car loan etc.) of the policy holder

· After debt repayment, the cover or sum assured should have surplus funds to generate enough monthly income to cover all the living expenses of the dependents of the policy holder, factoring in inflation

· After debt repayment and generating monthly income, the sum assured should also be adequate to meet future obligations of the policy holder, like children’s education, marriage etc.

2. Choosing the cheapest policy: Many insurance buyers like to buy policies that are cheaper. This is another serious mistake. A cheap policy is no good, if the insurance company for some reason or another cannot fulfil the claim in the event of an untimely death. Even if the insurer fulfils the claim, if it takes a very long time to fulfil the claim it is certainly not a desirable situation for family of the insured to be in. You should look at metrics like Claims Settlement Ratio and Duration wise settlement of death claims of different life insurance companies, to select an insurer, that will honour its obligation in fulfilling your claim in a timely manner, should such an unfortunate situation arise. Data on these metrics for all the insurance companies in India is available in the IRDA annual report (on the IRDA website). You should also check claim settlement reviews online and only then choose a company that has a good track record of settling claims.

3. Treating life insurance as an investment and buying the wrong plan: The common misconception about life insurance is that, it is also as a good investment or retirement planning solution. This misconception is largely due to some insurance agents who like to sell expensive policies to earn high commissions. If you compare returns from life insurance to other investment options, it simply does not make sense as an investment. If you are a young investor with a long time horizon, equity is the best wealth creation instrument. Over a 20 year time horizon, investment in equity funds through SIP will result in a corpus that is at least three or four times the maturity amount of life insurance plan with a 20 year term, with the same investment. Life insurance should always been seen as protection for your family, in the event of an untimely death. Investment should be a completely separate consideration. Even though insurance companies sell Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) as attractive investment products, for your own evaluation you should separate the insurance component and investment component and pay careful attention to what portion of your premium actually gets allocated to investments. In the early years of a ULIP policy, only a small amount goes to buying units.

A good financial planner will always advise you to buy term insurance plan. A term plan is the purest form of insurance and is a straightforward protection policy. The premium of term insurance plans is much less than other types of insurance plans, and it leaves the policy holders with a much larger investible surplus that they can invest in investment products like mutual funds that give much higher returns in the long term, compared to endowment or money back plans. If you are a term insurance policy holder, under some specific situations, you may opt for other types of insurance (e.g. ULIP, endowment or money back plans), in addition to your term policy, for your specific financial needs.

4. Buying insurance for the purpose of tax planning: For many years agents have inveigled their clients into buying insurance plans to save tax under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Investors should realize that insurance is probably the worst tax saving investment. Return from insurance plans is in the range of 5 – 6%, whereas Public Provident Fund, another 80C investment, gives close to 9% risk free and tax free returns. Equity Linked Saving Schemes, another 80C investment, gives much higher tax free returns over the long term. Further, returns from insurance plans may not be entirely tax free. If the premiums exceed 20% of sum assured, then to that extent the maturity proceeds are taxable. As discussed earlier, the most important thing to note about life insurance is that objective is to provide life cover, not to generate the best investment return.

5. Surrendering life insurance policy or withdrawing from it before maturity: This is a serious mistake and compromises the financial security of your family in the event of an unfortunate incident. Life Insurance should not be touched until the unfortunate death of the insured occurs. Some policy holders surrender their policy to meet an urgent financial need, with the hope of buying a new policy when their financial situation improves. Such policy holders need to remember two things. First, mortality is not in anyone’s control. That is why we buy life insurance in the first place. Second, life insurance gets very expensive as the insurance buyer gets older. Your financial plan should provide for contingency funds to meet any unexpected urgent expense or provide liquidity for a period of time in the event of a financial distress.

6. Insurance is a one-time exercise: I am reminded of an old motorcycle advertisement on television, which had the punch line, “Fill it, shut it, forget it”. Some insurance buyers have the same philosophy towards life insurance. Once they buy adequate cover in a good life insurance plan from a reputed company, they assume that their life insurance needs are taken care of forever. This is a mistake. Financial situation of insurance buyers change with time. Compare your current income with your income ten years back. Hasn’t your income grown several times? Your lifestyle would also have improved significantly. If you bought a life insurance plan ten years ago based on your income back then, the sum assured will not be enough to meet your family’s current lifestyle and needs, in the unfortunate event of your untimely death. Therefore you should buy an additional term plan to cover that risk. Life Insurance needs have to be re-evaluated at a regular frequency and any additional sum assured if required, should be bought.

Conclusion

Investors should avoid these common mistakes when buying insurance policies. Life insurance is one of the most important components of any individual’s financial plan. Therefore, thoughtful consideration must be devoted to life insurance. Insurance buyers should exercise prudence against questionable selling practised in the life insurance industry. It is always beneficial to engage a financial planner who looks at your entire portfolio of investments and insurance on a holistic basis, so that you can take the best decision with regards to both life insurance and investments.

How Does a Whole Life Insurance Policy Work?

How exactly does a whole life insurance policy work? Whole life policies are popular with some select groups of people but they are a little bit more complex than their plain vanilla easy to understand term life insurance counterparts.

The business of insurance has to be one of the most underrated services offered in the United States nowadays. Not many people think having life insurance is important and because of this we see that the industry is not as successful as the auto and homeowners insurance business. It is important to know however, that death comes at any age; and if a person wants to protect their family or other people after their death it is imperative for them to purchase a life insurance policy.

There are two basic types of life insurance in the United States that work in completely different ways and because of this have different premiums. One of these types of insurances is one that is called a temporary policy. This policy covers a policyholder for about 5 to 30 years and their premiums are most of the time stagnant. On the other hand we have the permanent policy in which members are covered for life as long as they pay all their premiums. Part of your premium will go toward a little saving portion of the policy that will accumulate over time and the other portion of the premium goes towards the insurance cost of the death benefit.

Whole life insurance is one of the three types of insurance polices that you can obtain if you want a permanent life insurance policy. This means that whole life will cover you for life and that your cash value (saving portion) will get higher as time goes by. However, whole life is different in that your cash value is tax deferred until the beneficiary withdraws it and you can also borrow against it.

A person should consider whole life insurance when the need for coverage is lifelong. Whole life may be used as part of your estate planning because it accrues money after a person pays the premiums, as mentioned before. Because premiums for this type of policy are much higher than those of temporary policies, a person must know that this is what they want after all. Whole life is a good choice if you want to make sure that your family or dependents have a good life after your death, and that the transition from the death of a person close to their lives is a close one.

Within the whole life realm, there are six different kinds that a person can choose from.

1. Non-Participating Whole Life Insurance: This type of whole life policy has a leveled premium and a face amount through the entire policyholder’s life. Since the policy has fixed costs the premiums will not be necessary high, but it will no pay you any dividends after the policyholder dies.

2. Participating Whole Life Insurance: This type is much different from the first type mentioned. One of its differences is that this one does pay dividends and because of this premiums can be said to be a little bit more expensive. These dividends can be used to reduce your premium payments because they can be paid in cash, they can be left to accumulate at a specified rate of interest or they can be used to purchase additional insurance which in turn will increase the value in cash that a beneficiary will receive after a policyholder’s death.

3. Level Premium Whole Life Insurance: This kind of insurance is one that has the same premiums with no significant drop or rise in the money paid monthly through the entire life of the policy. At first the premiums will be enough to cover the services given and a little portion of it can be put away to cover the premiums that will come in later years when the cost of insurance in the market rises. The insurer can also pay extra premiums that will go toward the cash value part of the policy one the policyholder dies.

4. Limited Payment Whole Life Insurance: This is the type of policy that will allow you to only pay premiums over a specified period of time. This means that if you only want to pay premiums for about twenty to thirty years or up until age 65 or 85; this is the type of policy that you want. Because premium payments are going to be paid over a specified period of time, your premium payments will be significantly higher, but after you get done with them you will be covered for life.

5. Single Premium Whole Life Insurance: This type of policy is one that is very common for people that select the whole life insurance type. This is a limited policy with a single relatively large premium due at issue. Due to the fact that the owner of the policy will pay the single premium payments when the policy is first signed, the life insurance policy will immediately have cash and loan value! This type of whole term life insurance is mostly an investment oriented type than some of the others.

6. Indeterminate Premium Whole Life Insurance: This is the easiest type of whole life policy to understand and also one of the most common ones in the life market. With this insurance the company will give you a premium based on how the company is doing economically and on expense costs. This means that while one year the premiums can be slightly lower than expected, in the next the company can charge more if they are not doing up to expectations. It is also good to note that there is a maximum guaranteed premium when you first sign your policy and that the life insurance company can never charge above the premium stated

While the cost of whole life coverage is substantially higher than a term life policy with the same death benefit it is important to keep in mind that the reason for the difference in price is that the death benefit for the whole life policy will almost certainly be paid out – after all everyone dies sometime! With the term policy of course the insurance company is counting on not paying the death benefit out on over 90% of the policies it issues.

The issue of life insurance should not be taken lightly if one has a family or dependents. While some people in the United States are fed up paying all the different kinds of insurances and they figure that they don’t need to pay extra for life insurance when they are young, it is important to understand that life insurance can be a life saver after a family member, husband or parent dies.

Whole life insurance covers you for life and it will allow a beneficiary to continue life only having to cope with the issue of death and not having to worry about the economic hits that come with it. Life insurance policies are a must for anyone that has someone that relies on them for support and it’s time for all responsible Americans to realize that.

Ignoring A Life Insurance Cover Could Be Fatal – Check Why

Many of us feel that investing in a life insurance cover is a big burden. This info is especially for them. Statistics suggest that one in four breadwinners in the UK does not have a life insurance. This is an alarming ratio as the families would be left to live a financially unstable life in the event of the breadwinner’s death. That means almost one fourth of British families live under the risk of facing an economic crisis. As a solution, the support from NHS or other government schemes could be taken. However, all government support may not be enough for the education of kids, rentals, medication for critical illness or other basic facilities.

Find here some of the myths associated with buying a life insurance policy:

Life insurance is for the man!

A survey suggests that 45% of British men and 38% women are insured for a life cover. Again, both the percentages are quite low. Moreover, its general psyche that women who do not earn do not feel the pressing need of an insurance. It was observed by Cancer Research that more than 130 women die every day due to breast cancer. With such an increasing number of women health issues, women should not keep themselves without a life insurance cover. Again 1 in 3 people is likely to suffer from critical illness. This way, life insurance cover is vital for both men and women. Ignoring a life insurance cover could prove fatal as your family would be left with many financial burdens.

Contents insurance is enough!

Contents insurance is enough! This is another misconception. While we get our car, house, laptops and other accessories insured, we tend take for granted the most important part of the family i.e. its members. Losing a family member especially if one was a breadwinner may result in a sudden financial crux. Your loved ones may need to manage for money required for the daily needs. Thus, even if you have contents insurance it is always important and urgent to buy yourself a life insurance cover. You never know the future but can certainly prepare yourself for the worse.

Mortgage cover would do!

Mortgage is a common thing in the UK. People who have a mortgage should also go for a life cover so that in case of their accidental death, the insurer would pay the remaining mortgage amount. The facts do not point to any such awareness in the Brits. According to statistics, nearly 50% of people have a mortgage with no associated life cover. All these facts and figures bring out the importance of life insurance. Be it an existing mortgage, a critical illness or death, a life cover helps the beneficiaries to manage the economic situation easily and comfortably. The lump sum amount received from insurer helps in paying for the funeral cost, mortgage, debts or other family expenses.

Reasons for a life insurance cover:

  • To support you in case of a critical illness
  • To support the family in the event of the breadwinner’s death
  • To manage funeral and other expenses
  • For financial support to the family in the future
  • For paying educational expenses of the kids
  • For mortgage payments

Who needs life insurance cover?

  • Anybody who has dependents
  • Married people
  • Newly married couples
  • Parents with a new born child
  • Every family that plans for the future
  • A retiree with a dependent partner
  • If you have a mortgage

Types of life insurance covers:

There are different types of life insurance policies in the UK. Depending on the age, health and occupation, the life covers are categorised into the following types:

Term insurance: This cover gives your life assurance for a pre-decided and specified interval of time. If the policyholder dies within this time frame then the beneficiaries would get a lump sum amount. Otherwise, the policy will lapse.

Group life cover: It is provided as part of a complete employee benefit package. This cover is for people who die while they are working with the employer. It is not required that the death should have happened during the work hours or in the office premises.

Critical illness cover: This life insurance cover is bought if one has a particular medical condition. If you die due to any other disease or ailment then the policy would lapse.

Over-50 plans: Specially designed for people who have crossed the 50 year mark, this cover pays money that can be used for various financial needs of the beneficiaries. As the policy is taken after 50, one can expect higher premiums.

Whole of life plan: Offers you cover for entire life. It is the best cover to meet your debts or can be left to a loved one when you die.

Reasons why people do not buy life insurance cover:

Lack of awareness: If you think that a certain illness or cancer cannot happen to you then you are living in an illusion. With an increasing risk of sickness and critical ailments, one cannot afford to think that ‘this won’t happen to me’. This is lack of awareness and such a biased optimism may turn out to be fatal. A life cover works well for everyone and is much needed by healthy individuals with dependents.

Too expensive: The premiums would feel nothing when compared with the cost of your life and the amount of damage your death can cause to your family. A small monthly investment as premium would give lump sum amount in case of the policyholder’s death. The return on investment is much higher as far as life cover is concerned. So, there is no point thinking that it is costly.

Government support is enough: Many of us think that NHS and other government schemes would be enough to facilitate the dependents. Well, please check with the friends and family of people who have lost a loved one and who are living on the Government’s support. You will quickly realise that this help is not enough for all the financial expenses of the family. If your partner is suffering from critical illness then the NHS service may not be enough and so, a personal insurance is a must.

Better save than insure: Few of us have a mind-set of savings. In their opinion a decent amount of saving can replace a life insurance cover. Savings may not be the best idea as it takes a longer time to accumulate a big chunk of money. For life insurance covers, we may need to pay monthly or yearly premiums but the total amount received in return is much higher than the premiums paid. This way, insurance gives much more return of investment than savings.

Considering the pros and cons, a life insurance cover seems much more reliable than any other way of ensuring the wellbeing of the dependents and loved ones. If you have not insured yourself yet then it is high time to get yourself insured so that your demise may not prove fatal for the family. Therefore, do not ignore buying a life insurance cover as it would be the best help to the family in the event of your permanent absence. Isn’t it?

Life Insurance: Back to Basics

Life Insurance: A Slice of History

The modern insurance contracts that we have today such as life insurance, originated from the practice of merchants in the 14th century. It has also been acknowledged that different strains of security arrangements have already been in place since time immemorial and somehow, they are akin to insurance contracts in its embryonic form.

The phenomenal growth of life insurance from almost nothing a hundred years ago to its present gigantic proportion is not of the outstanding marvels of present-day business life. Essentially, life insurance became one of the felt necessities of human kind due to the unrelenting demand for economic security, the growing need for social stability, and the clamor for protection against the hazards of cruel-crippling calamities and sudden economic shocks. Insurance is no longer a rich man’s monopoly. Gone are the days when only the social elite are afforded its protection because in this modern era, insurance contracts are riddled with the assured hopes of many families of modest means. It is woven, as it were, into the very nook and cranny of national economy. It touches upon the holiest and most sacred ties in the life of man. The love of parents. The love of wives. The love of children. And even the love of business.

Life Insurance as Financial Protection

A life insurance policy pays out an agreed amount generally referred to as the sum assured under certain circumstances. The sum assured in a life insurance policy is intended to answer for your financial needs as well as your dependents in the event of your death or disability. Hence, life insurance offers financial coverage or protection against these risks.

Life Insurance: General Concepts

Insurance is a risk-spreading device. Basically, the insurer or the insurance company pools the premiums paid by all of its clients. Theoretically speaking, the pool of premiums answers for the losses of each insured.

Life insurance is a contract whereby one party insures a person against loss by the death of another. An insurance on life is a contract by which the insurer (the insurance company) for a stipulated sum, engages to pay a certain amount of money if another dies within the time limited by the policy. The payment of the insurance money hinges upon the loss of life and in its broader sense, life insurance includes accident insurance, since life is insured under either contract.

Therefore, the life insurance policy contract is between the policy holder (the assured) and the life insurance company (the insurer). In return for this protection or coverage, the policy holder pays a premium for an agreed period of time, dependent upon the type of policy purchased.

In the same vein, it is important to note that life insurance is a valued policy. This means that it is not a contract of indemnity. The interest of the person insured in hi or another person’s life is generally not susceptible of an exact pecuniary measurement. You simply cannot put a price tag on a person’s life. Thus, the measure of indemnity is whatever is fixed in the policy. However, the interest of a person insured becomes susceptible of exact pecuniary measurement if it is a case involving a creditor who insures the life of a debtor. In this particular scenario, the interest of the insured creditor is measurable because it is based on the value of the indebtedness.

Common Life Insurance Policies

Generally, life insurance policies are often marketed to cater to retirement planning, savings and investment purposes apart from the ones mentioned above. For instance, an annuity can very well provide an income during your retirement years.

Whole life and endowment participating policies or investment linked plans (ILPs) in life insurance policies bundle together a savings and investment aspect along with insurance protection. Hence, for the same amount of insurance coverage, the premiums will cost you more than purchasing a pure insurance product like term insurance.

The upside of these bundled products is that they tend to build up cash over time and they are eventually paid out once the policy matures. Thus, if your death benefit is coupled with cash values, the latter is paid out once the insured dies. With term insurance however, no cash value build up can be had.

The common practice in most countries is the marketing of bundled products as savings products. This is one unique facet of modern insurance practice whereby part of the premiums paid by the assured is invested to build up cash values. The drawback of this practice though is the premiums invested become subjected to investment risks and unlike savings deposits, the guaranteed cash value may be less than the total amount of premiums paid.

Essentially, as a future policy holder, you need to have a thorough assessment of your needs and goals. It is only after this step where you can carefully choose the life insurance product that best suits your needs and goals. If your target is to protect your family’s future, ensure that the product you have chosen meets your protection needs first.

Real World Application

It is imperative to make the most out of your money. Splitting your life insurance on multiple policies can save you more money. If you die while your kids are 3 & 5, you will need a lot more life insurance protection than if your kids are 35 & 40. Let’s say your kids are 3 & 5 now and if you die, they will need at least $2,000,000 to live, to go to college, etc. Instead of getting $2,000,000 in permanent life insurance, which will be outrageously expensive, just go for term life insurance: $100,000 for permanent life insurance, $1,000,000 for a 10-year term insurance, $500,000 for a 20-year term insurance, and $400,000 of 30 years term. Now this is very practical as it covers all that’s necessary. If you die and the kids are 13 & 15 or younger, they will get $2M; if the age is between 13-23, they get $1M; if between 23-33, they get $500,000; if after that, they still get $100,000 for final expenses and funeral costs. This is perfect for insurance needs that changes over time because as the children grow, your financial responsibility also lessens. As the 10, 20, and 30 years term expires, payment of premiums also expires thus you can choose to use that money to invest in stocks and take risks with it.

In a world run by the dictates of money, everyone wants financial freedom. Who doesn’t? But we all NEED financial SECURITY. Most people lose sight of this important facet of financial literacy. They invest everything and risk everything to make more and yet they end up losing most of it, if not all- this is a fatal formula. The best approach is to take a portion of your money and invest in financial security and then take the rest of it and invest in financial freedom.

Ultimately, your financial plan is constantly evolving because you are constantly evolving. You can’t set a plan and then forget it. You need to keep an open eye on your money to make sure it is working hard because that money needs to feed you for the next 20-30+ years that you will be in retirement. You have to know how to feed your money now so that it can feed you later.