Life Insurance – Learn From an Old Agent

Life Insurance is an insurance product that pays at the death of the insured. It really should be called “Death Insurance,” but people don’t like that name. But it insures the death of an individual. Actually, what is insured is the economic loss that would occur at the death of the person insured.

Those economic losses take a lot of different forms, such as:

– the income stream of either “breadwinner” in a family
– the loss of services to the family of a stay-at-home-mom
– the final expenses at the death of a child
– final expenses of an individual after an illness and medical treatment
– “Keyman” coverage, which insures the owner or valuable employee of a business against the economic loss the business would suffer at their death
– estate planning insurance, where a person is insured to pay estate taxes at death
– “Buy and Sell Agreements,” in which life insurance is purchased to fund a business transaction at the untimely death of parties in the transaction
– Accidental death insurance, in which a person buys a policy that pays in case they die due to an accident
– Mortgage life insurance, in which the borrower buys a policy that pays off the mortgage at death – and many more.

Life insurance has been around for hundreds of years, and in some cases, has become a much better product. The insurance companies have been able to develop mortality tables, which are studies of statistical patterns of human death over time…usually over a lifetime of 100 years. These mortality tables are surprisingly accurate, and allow the insurance companies to closely predict how many people of any given age will die each year. From these tables and other information, the insurance companies derive the cost of the insurance policy.

The cost is customarily expressed in an annual cost per thousand of coverage. For example, if you wanted to buy $10,000 of coverage, and the cost per thousand was $10.00, your annual premium would be $100.00.

Modern medicine and better nutrition has increased the life expectancy of most people. Increased life expectancy has facilitated a sharp decrease in life insurance premiums. In many cases, the cost of insurance is only pennies per thousand.

There is really only one type of life insurance, and that is Term Insurance. That means that a person is insured for a certain period of time, or a term. All of the other life insurance products have term insurance as their main ingredient. There is no other ingredient they can use. However, the insurance companies have invented many, many other life products that tend to obscure the reasons for life insurance. They also vastly enrich the insurance companies.

Term Insurance

The most basic life insurance is an annual renewable term policy. Each year, the premium is a little higher as a person ages. The insurance companies designed a level premium policy, which stopped the annual premium increases for policyholders. The insurers basically added up all the premiums from age 0 to age 100 and then divided by 100. That means that in the early years of the policy, the policyholder pays in more money that it takes to fund the pure insurance cost, and then in later years the premium is less than the pure insurance cost.

The same level term product can be designed for terms of any length, like 5, 10, 20, 25 or 30 year terms. The method of premium averaging is much the same in each case.

But this new product caused some problems. Insurers know that the vast majority of policyholders do not keep a policy for life. Consequently the level term policyholders were paying future premiums and then cancelling their policies. The insurance companies were delighted because they got to keep the money. But over time, they developed the concept of Cash Value.

Cash Value Insurance

With Cash Value insurance, a portion of the unused premium you spend is credited to an account tied to your policy. The money is not yours…it belongs entirely to the insurance company. If you cancel your policy and request a refund, they will refund that money to you. Otherwise, you have other choices:

1. Use the cash value to buy more insurance
2. Use the cash value to pay existing premiums
3. You may borrow the money at interest
4. If you die, the insurance company keeps the cash value and only pays the face amount of the insurance policy.

So, does this cash value product make sense? My response is “NO!”

Cash Value Life Insurance comes in lots of other names, such as:

– Whole Life
– Universal Life
– Variable Life
– Interest Sensitive Life
– Non-Participating Life (no dividends)
– Participating Life (pays dividends)

Many life insurance agents and companies tout their products as an investment product. But cash value insurance is not an investment. Investment dollars and insurance premiums should never be combined into one product. And investment dollars should NEVER be invested with an insurance company. They are middle men. They will take your investment and invest it themselves, and keep the difference.

Think about the methods that agents use to sell life insurance, and compare them to any other type of insurance. What you’ll see is that life insurance sales tactics and techniques are ridiculous when compared to other insurance products.

Would you ever consider buying a car insurance policy, or homeowners policy, or business insurance policy in which you paid extra premium that the insurance company kept, or made you borrow from them? But, curiously, life insurance agents have been wildly successful convincing otherwise intelligent people that cash value life insurance is a good product to buy.

Care to guess why insurance agents have aggressively sold cash value insurance and eschewed term insurance?

Commissions.

The insurance companies have become vastly wealthy on cash value insurance. So, to encourage sales, they pay huge commissions. Term insurance commissions can range from 10% to 50%, sometimes even 100%. But cash value insurance commissions can be up to 100% of the first year’s premium, and handsome renewal commissions for years after.

But it’s not just the commission rate that matters. It’s also the premium rates that come into play. Term insurance is FAR CHEAPER than cash value insurance.

Here’s an example of a 30 year old male, non-smoker, buying $100,000 of coverage:

Term insurance costs $0.50 per thousand for a premium of $50.00. At 100% commission, the commission would be $50.00.

Cash Value insurance costs $12.50 per thousand for a premium of $1,250.00. At 100% commission, the commission would be $1,250.00.

So you see that it would be easy for an agent to place his own financial well-being ahead of the well-being of his client. He would have to sell 25 term policies to make the same commission as only one cash value policy.

But, in my opinion, that agent would have violated his fiduciary duty to the client, which is the duty to place the client’s needs above his own. The agent would also have to set aside his conscience.

My opinion is that life insurance agents operate from one of three positions:

1. Ignorance – they simply don’t know how cash value insurance works.
2. Greed – they know exactly how cash value insurance works and sell it anyway.
3. Knowledge and Duty – they sell term insurance.

Which agent do you want to do business with?

How do I know this stuff? Because I sold cash value life insurance early in my career.

When I started as an insurance agent in 1973 I knew absolutely nothing about how life insurance worked. The insurance company taught me to sell whole life insurance, and to discourage clients from term insurance. But, after some time of reading and research, I learned that cash value insurance is a bad deal. I began to sell only term insurance. I refused to set aside my conscience. I also went back to some early clients and switched their policies from cash value to term.

The insurance company fired me for that decision.

I found a new insurance company that only sold term insurance and also paid high commissions. I made a good living selling term insurance, so I know it can be done.

So, as you shop for life insurance, please accept the advice of an old agent. Never, never, ever buy cash value life insurance. Buy term insurance.

Quick Approval Life Insurance – Life Insurance Criteria For Being Approved Quickly

What are some of the life insurance criteria for being approved quickly? Many people are interested in finding a quick approval life insurance policy as they do not want to go through a long and drawn out medical underwriting process. Enforcements and the criteria for people to be approved quickly into life insurance policies within life insurance industry are simply made by the companies so that they don’t lose money when it comes to claims.

For life insurance companies there is a risk associated with insuring someone because you are basically either going to have to end up paying the death benefit of the person that is deceased, or you will gain money by their paying of premiums; however, it’s important to understand that there are applicants that have it easier when it comes to life insurance policies, and that the life insurance criteria for being approved quickly varies according to many factors and is not the same from company to company.

Age Is Perhaps One of the Most Important Criteria to be Approved Quickly For A Life Insurance Policy

Although not all the companies are the same, one of the most important things about life insurance is to try and get the policy while you are still young. Just like the health insurance industry, the life insurance industry understands that the risk of dying increases as your age increases. It is because of this reason that premiums for younger people are less than those of older individuals, and it is also because of this that many life insurance companies are starting to use medical examinations as one of the most important factors in being approved.

An example of this would be a person trying to get a term life insurance policy in an insurance company that has offices all across the United States. If the person is younger or of middle age, endless possibilities will arise because they will be able to purchase term life insurance (temporary life insurance that only covers you for a specific amount of time) or a permanent life insurance policy (a type of policy that covers you for life) because the insurance company knows that the chances of you dying young are very slim (unless you have a critical illness that is). It is for this reason that many senior citizens have trouble qualifying for life insurance and they must go apply in companies that specialize in senior citizen products.

It is important to highlight that just because a person is old it does not mean that they won’t be approved easily for life insurance. If you are a senior citizen of 50 years of age or older and you are in perfect health conditions with no risk of any serious illnesses, the life insurance company might even propose a term life insurance policy, a whole life insurance policy or any other type of policy; but it all depends on how good your health is.

The Credit Report and It’s Role For a Person to Be Approved Quickly

Another way or criteria for which a person can be approved very quickly when applying to life insurance is credit reports. Many people argue about this measure because they don’t think its fair that their credit report is now taking the place of any paperwork and it is becoming more and more important in all aspects of life. The reason credit report can get you accepted very quickly is simply your commitment to the company.

What this simply means is that if you have a better credit report it will be more credible when you tell your company that you will be paying premiums every month at the exact same date and the entire amount without a penny less. On the other hand, if you have a bad credit some companies might not even take the risk of insuring you because they don’t want to insure an individual that is true to his or her word. As you can see credit report has not become a major thing when it comes to life insurance companies.

Your Lifestyle Can Help You Get Approved Quickly

Last but not least in order to get approved quickly you should be a person that does not take many risks in life. This means that your job is not a high risk one and that you do not have any hobbies that threaten your life. If you want to see an example of what this means let us compare a firefighter with a lawyer. A firefighter will more than likely be faced with life threatening conditions every single time they go into a fire. They have to run into a house consumed by flames to prevent other houses from burning or to save a life. On the other hand you have a lawyer that spends most of his or her day sitting behind a desk wondering about how to win the case. All they do that can cause harm their lives other than health related conditions involve driving to and from work, and to the courthouse. Unfortunately for a firefighter it will be a little bit more difficult for a company to insured them because they know the risk associated with their job. The same thing applies to hobbies.

Who do you think will have an easier time applying and getting accepted for a life insurance policy? A person that enjoys sailing, sky diving and kayaking in wild rivers or a person that enjoys going out on the beach, spending time with the family and maybe on occasion playing chess? The answer is the person that has the hobbies with the least degree of danger. Life insurance is a business and like any other industry, its companies are concerned with making money and not losing money.

Compare Life Insurance Quotes Because Of Differences In Underwriting

As you can see the criteria for being accepted when you apply for a life insurance policy is not that hard. You must always try to apply when you are younger not mattering if you want a term or permanent life insurance policy (always remember that the younger and healthier you are, the less your premiums will be). You must also have an OK credit report that should be good when checked by the life insurance company. This helps because they can see that they are insuring a person that is making a commitment and will try to pay premiums on time.

You will also have to show the life insurance company that the risk of insuring you is not that great and show them that your hobbies are nothing to be worried about. If you follow all these steps a life insurance company will never deny you and they will be happy insuring you. The criteria for an easy acceptance in the life insurance world is not that hard; go and get the policy that you have always dreamed of!

How to View Life Insurance As An Investment Tool

A lot of people have been approached about using life insurance as an investment tool. Do you believe that life insurance is an asset or a liability? I will discuss life insurance which I think is one of the best ways to protect your family. Do you buy term insurance or permanent insurance is the main question that people should consider?

Many people choose term insurance because it is the cheapest and provides the most coverage for a stated period of time such as 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. People are living longer so term insurance may not always be the best investment for everyone. If a person selects the 30 year term option they have the longest period of coverage but that would not be the best for a person in their 20’s because if a 25 year old selects the 30 year term policy then at age 55 the term would end. When the person who is 55 years old and is still in great health but still needs life insurance the cost of insurance for a 55 year old can get extremely expensive. Do you buy term and invest the difference? If you are a disciplined investor this could work for you but is it the best way to pass assets to your heirs tax free? If a person dies during the 30 year term period then the beneficiaries would get the face amount tax free. If your investments other than life insurance are passed to beneficiaries, in most cases, the investments will not pass tax free to the beneficiaries. Term insurance is considered temporary insurance and can be beneficial when a person is starting out life. Many term policies have a conversion to a permanent policy if the insured feels the need in the near future,

The next type of policy is whole life insurance. As the policy states it is good for your whole life usually until age 100. This type of policy is being phased out of many life insurance companies. The whole life insurance policy is called permanent life insurance because as long as the premiums are paid the insured will have life insurance until age 100. These policies are the highest priced life insurance policies but they have a guaranteed cash values. When the whole life policy accumulates over time it builds cash value that can be borrowed by the owner. The whole life policy can have substantial cash value after a period of 15 to 20 years and many investors have taken notice of this. After a period of time, (20 years usually), the life whole insurance policy can become paid up which means you now have insurance and don’t have to pay anymore and the cash value continues to build. This is a unique part of the whole life policy that other types of insurance cannot be designed to perform. Life insurance should not be sold because of the cash value accumulation but in periods of extreme monetary needs you don’t need to borrow from a third party because you can borrow from your life insurance policy in case of an emergency.

In the late 80’s and 90’s insurance companies sold products called universal life insurance policies which were supposed to provide life insurance for your whole life. The reality is that these types of insurance policies were poorly designed and many lapsed because as interest rates lowered the policies didn’t perform well and clients were forced to send additional premiums or the policy lapsed. The universal life policies were a hybrid of term insurance and whole life insurance policies. Some of those policies were tied to the stock market and were called variable universal life insurance policies. My thoughts are variable policies should only be purchased by investors who have a high risk tolerance. When the stock market goes down the policy owner can lose big and be forced to send in additional premiums to cover the losses or your policy would lapse or terminate.

The design of the universal life policy has had a major change for the better in the current years. Universal life policies are permanent policy which range in ages as high as age 120. Many life insurance providers now sell mainly term and universal life policies. Universal life policies now have a target premium which has a guarantee as long as the premiums are paid the policy will not lapse. The newest form of universal life insurance is the indexed universal life policy which has performance tied to the S&P Index, Russell Index and the Dow Jones. In a down market you usually have no gain but you have no losses to the policy either. If the market is up you can have a gain but it is limited. If the index market takes a 30% loss then you have what we call the floor which is 0 which means you have no loss but there is no gain. Some insurers will still give as much as 3% gain added to you policy even in a down market. If the market goes up 30% then you can share in the gain but you are capped so you may only get 6% of the gain and this will depend on the cap rate and the participation rate. The cap rate helps the insurer because they are taking a risk that if the market goes down the insured will not suffer and if the market goes up the insured can share in a percentage of the gains. Indexed universal life policies also have cash values which can be borrowed. The best way to look at the difference in cash values is to have your insurance agent show you illustrations so you can see what fits you investment profile. The index universal life policy has a design which is beneficial to the consumer and the insurer and can be a viable tool in your total investments.

Arkansas Life Insurance Guide – How to Find Cheap Arkansas Term Life Insurance Rates

Cheap Arkansas term life insurance rates are not that hard to find. There are many companies out there that can be of a lot of benefit to the great population of the state. According to the United States Census Bureau there were approximately 2,810,872 people living in the state of Arkansas in the year 2006. This means that the state’s population grew 5.1% from the year 2000 to 2006. With so many people in the state it is very probable that there are some out there wondering about life insurance and what companies are best for your interests. Below you will see some companies that give coverage in the state of Arkansas, as well as a brief explanation about the life insurance business and how it works. Take a few moments to read up on AR life insurance business and then use your new found knowledge to find cheap Arkansas term life insurance quotes!

Types Of Arkansas Life Insurance Policies

Life insurance is simply an agreement between a person and a company, in which the company gives word to the policy holder that it will pay death benefits in exchange for premiums. This means that the person will be paying premiums and keeping the policy active as much as possible. In return the company will simply pay in case of an unexpected death to the policy holder. People generally choose life insurance to protect their families from economic losses that they may have after the death of a family member. There are two types of AR life insurance: term life and permanent life.

Arkansas term life insurance policy: With this kind of insurance policy the person will only be covered for a specified amount of time and they are not guaranteed a death benefit. This means that at the time of getting the policy, the person to be insured picks the amount they want to purchase and the amount of time they want to keep the policy active. The policy will end after the specified period end and if the policy holder does not die within that specified amount of time the death benefit won’t be distributed.

Arkansas permanent life insurance policy: With this type of life insurance policy they customer will simply start paying premiums and they will be covered for their entire lives. After having paid the policy the rest of the premiums paid will simply go into what is called the “cash value” of the policy, which is simply the savings portion. The insured and its family will be guaranteed a death benefit if they pay the premiums regularly and keep the policy to date.

Arkansas Life Insurance Companies

The state of Arkansas like many other states has some prominent life insurance companies that you have heard of, as well as some that are only familiar to some people. Below we will analyze some of the companies and the plans that they offer. Keep in mind that you can also search for your own life insurance companies through the use of your yellow pages or a search engine such as Yahoo or Google; and that there are many AR life insurance companies in the market from which you can choose from.

Prudential Financial: This might be one of the big companies when referring to life insurance in the United States. They were founded in the year 1875 and since that year they have helped people establish good economic futures. It all started when John Fairfield Dryden, an insurance agent from the city of Newark, New Jersey decided to found the Prudential Friendly Society. The company grew tremendously in the first four years and they inundated the markets of New York and Pennsylvania as well. Ten years later the company reached the magnificent mark of $1 million in assets and continued expanding itself across the United States.

Nowadays, Prudential is in the Top 100 companies in the United States and they are all over the world with offices in South America, Europe, Asia and Canada. Their life insurance division is one of the most recognized around the world and they provide excellent choices of products for customers. They offer three types of Arkansas term life insurance: Term Essential, Term Elite and PruLife Return of Premium Term. If a customer decides to obtain Term Essential they will simply be paying constant premiums of the same amount. After completing the specified time in your policy you will be able to convert your policy to a permanent one, but your premiums more than likely will rise. If you decide to go with Term Elite then you will have constant premiums and have the ability to convert it to a permanent one if you reach 65 years of age or 5 years after the policy started. If you do this, you might receive credit toward your policy.

Last but not least, they offer PruLife Return of Premium Term which only differs in that it offer life insurance to the people that you name your beneficiaries and it provides you with a guaranteed return of any out of pocket expenses that you might had paid. In addition to this plans, Prudential offers AR permanent life insurance for whoever that wants to get it. Keep in mind that there are different types of permanent and if you want one you should check with Prudential to see what options they have.

New York Life Insurance: This Company was founded in the year 1845 and they have continued to grow dramatically until this date. The company prides itself in having New York agents that are some of the best trained and specialized agents in the country. They have approximately $169 million in assets and they are ranked in the top of A.M. Best Rankings. The company itself offers many types of life insurance policies including 5 and 20 year term life insurance, as well as Whole Life Insurance in Arkansas (a type of permanent life insurance in which you can build protection for your business or family, such as retirement funding, estate protection and mortgage protection), and Universal Life Insurance (a type of permanent life insurance that gives you supreme flexibility in how and when you want to pay the premiums).

They also offer Survivorship life insurance (also known as second to die insurance) and it basically only pays the death benefit after the second person in the policy dies. This means that if you are couple and you decide to obtain this insurance, then more than likely your children will be the beneficiary because until both of you die, the amount will not be distributed. New York Life Insurance also offers many other policies, however it is important that you first identify your needs and then pick your policy accordingly.

There are many other insurance companies in the state such as MetLife, Allstate, and AIG. The important thing however, is to shop around and see which one of them interests you the most.

How To Find Cheap Arkansas Life Insurance Rates

The fact of the matter is that Arkansas life insurance prices vary quite a bit depending upon many different factors. The first thing you need to know is that if you have major health issues it will be better for you to go with a company that does not require a medical exam examination. If you are reasonably healthy then it is your decision to go with your choice of a fully underwritten permanent or term life insurance policy. Both are great and in the state of Arkansas many people have different opinions about each. Be sure and consult with a licensed Arkansas life insurance agent or broker in order to determine which type of life insurance policy will be best for your specific needs.

Once you know the Arkansas life insurance company of your choice and the plan that you want to purchase you should ask yourself the question of: How much coverage is enough for me and my family? The fact of the matter is that views change when speaking about how much life insurance to purchase. If you are a single man or woman without any children then you will need less than a father or mother with three children in the household. Perhaps one basic rule about life insurance is to buy a death benefit of at least six times that of your annual gross income. Whatever the amount is, the decision lies in your hands!

Compare Arkansas Life Insurance Quotes Online

As seen in the few words above, the life insurance industry in Arkansas offers the residents many products that can be of great benefit for their futures. Whether you decide on term or permanent life insurance; do what is best for you and for your family. Your future and the one of your loved ones can be secure if you do the responsible thing!

Life Insurance – Pros and Cons of Term Life and Whole Life Policies

“Do I need life insurance?” “Is whole life insurance a good investment?” “Is term life insurance risky?” Questions like these are posted in online communities on a daily basis. The answers vary widely, with the term life and whole life camps polarized. The tone of the debate is surprisingly strident. After all, the topic is insurance–not a something expected to inspire strong opinions, let alone strong language. But words like “rip-off,” “scam,” and “waste of money” fly back and forth, sometimes accompanied by rows of exclamation marks or worse. What is behind the brouhaha? And which camp -if either – is right?

The two sides do not even agree about whether a person needs life insurance. Whole lifers say, yes. You do not want the death of a family member to disrupt your family’s finances or jeopardize its future. It is hard enough to adjust to the loss of a loved one. Adding financial difficulties exacerbates the problem. With the skyrocketing costs of funerals, even children and seniors should have at least a small life insurance policy.

Not so fast, say the term lifers. The only reason to have life insurance is to replace the lost income of a family member who dies, and then only when the spouse or family is dependent on that income. If you are single with no dependents and no debts that might be transferred to your family in the event you die, then you do not need life insurance. If you are married and your spouse works, you probably do not need life insurance, either, assuming your spouse makes enough to support himself or herself.

The time for life insurance, term lifers say, is when the policyholder’s income is vital to the financial security of the family. If, for example, you have purchased a home together and your spouse could not pay the mortgage and other bills by himself or herself, then life insurance is in order. If you have children, you will want to have enough life insurance to allow your family to maintain its lifestyle after you are gone. This includes not only meeting day-to-day expenses, but also being able to follow through with plans for higher education. Insurance professionals recommend buying a policy with a face value 5-10 times the breadwinner’s annual salary to help family meet expenses for a period of years.

Whole lifers see problems with the term-life scenario. The view it as overly optimistic, even naive. Many things can happen during the 20- to 30-year period covered by term life insurance policy that could extend the need for coverage beyond the policy’s end date. For example, children may be born mentally retarded, with severe autism, or with another serious condition that could prevent them from becoming independent when they reach adulthood. Children also can develop a disease or suffer an accident that disables them. A spouse, too, can become disabled. In these situations, the family will remain dependent on the breadwinner’s income long after the term life policy expires.

Term life insurance advocates point out that in such cases, the breadwinner can renew the term life insurance policy, or take out a new one. Now it’s the whole lifers’ turn to say, “Not so fast.” By the time the second term life insurance policy is needed, the breadwinner will likely be in his or her fifties or even sixties. Due to the age of the insured, the cost of a second term life insurance policy will be much higher than the cost of the first was.
With the added years come added risks of certain diseases. If the breadwinner is obese, has developed high blood pressure, a heart condition, diabetes, or another disease, the cost of the term life insurance policy will skyrocket. If the individual has developed cancer or AIDS, he or she may not be insurable at all. In such situations, the cost savings realized on the first term life policy could be wiped out by the high cost of a second term life policy.

By contrast, the premiums of a whole life policy are set for life and do not go up with age or medical condition. A whole life policy cannot be canceled due to medical conditions, either. The policy remains in force until death, as long as the premiums are paid.

“Until death” is another advantage of whole life, its advocates maintain. Whole life gets its name from the fact that it insures the policyholder life until death. As a result, whole life insurance is guaranteed to pay a death benefit-the amount the policy pays upon the death of the insured. The death benefit can be increased-at certain points at no additional cost-as the policyholder ages. A small policy designed to cover the funeral costs of a child can be increased to provide adequate coverage during an adult’s peak earning years. Whatever the death benefit or “face value” of the whole life policy, the insurance company guarantees to pay it. As a result, the policyholder or his or her beneficiaries always receive some, all, or more than the premiums paid into the policy.

This is not the case with a term life insurance policy, whole lifers point out. The term life insurance policyholder can pay premiums for 30 years, but if he or she outlives the policy-even by a day-then all of the premium money is gone. The only thing the policyholder will have received is 30 years worth of peace of mind.

Whole life insurance, by contrast, accumulates a value that the policyholder can access during his or her lifetime. This value is known as the cash value or the surrender value. The whole life policy holder can use the cash value as collateral for a loan, or even borrow some of it during his or her lifetime. The policyholder must pay this amount back. If he or she dies before it is paid back, then the unpaid amount is deducted from the death benefit. If the policyholder decides to cancel the policy, the insurance company will pay him or her the cash value, which is then known as the surrender value. Whole life, its proponents maintain, is not only insurance against death. It is an investment for life.

This is where the debate turns nasty. Term lifers often ridicule the investment features of whole life. Because whole life always pays a death benefit, it costs 5-10 times more than term life does. Term lifers argue that a person is much better off getting a term policy for the same face value that they would get a whole life policy, then saving and investing the difference in premiums. Almost any investment will return more than a whole life policy will, term lifer proponents maintain. Over 20 or 30 years, the difference can be vast. Buy insurance to insure, the term lifers say, and use the savings to invest.

Whole lifers respond that the return on a whole life policy is guaranteed at the outset, something than cannot be said for other investments. To earn greater rewards, the term life policyholder must take greater risks in the open market. Many investments will outperform whole life insurance, but not all will. Some investments lose money, as shareholders in World Com, Enron, Peregrine Systems, and many other companies can attest.

Even if the investment will pay out, it is not certain that the term life policyholder will actually make it. To do so, he or she must calculate the amount saved over whole life insurance; save that money every month, quarter, or year; research possible investments; and contribute to that investment regularly for 20 or 30 years. This makes sense for disciplined and savvy investors, but many others will find the endeavor daunting and time consuming. They may not start it, and if they do, they may not continue it. Whole life takes care of insurance, savings, and investment in one easy payment. Even if the returns on whole life are not great, saving something is better than saving nothing, and nothing is exactly how much many term life policyholders will end up saving.

Both whole life and term life have pros and cons. People who are financially savvy and disciplined will gain from the term life scenario. Those who need a convenient and simple mechanism for insurance and savings will benefit from whole life insurance. Deciding which is best for you requires an honest appraisal of your goals, your lifestyle, and your investing skills.

Honey Get the Door It’s The Change in Our Term Life Insurance

“Term Life Insurance” is not just an affordable choice for many Americans needing the financial security of obtaining life insurance to cover their survivors or beneficiaries needs, or for paying debts they might owe. The concept of “Term Life Insurance” is relatively new, and is distinctly American. It is a close cousin to permanent “life Insurance”, or “Whole Life Insurance” that grew out of the insurance industry of Great Britain which was founded originally in the insuring of sea vessels, their cargo, and especially the cargo so precious, human beings to be sold as slaves in the New World. The originations of “Term Life Insurance” followed two paths as it grew in the United States. The first was it was to be affordable to the American of lower or middle class economic status.

The second it was to follow closely the establishment of “mortality tables” and was to be at pay out “tax free”. Today the major insurers may sell either “whole” or “term” life insurance over the Internet, but at the end of the Great Depression Americans welcomed two salesman’s to their door, the life insurance salesman and the “Bible Salesman”. If Americans slammed the door on the Hoover Vacuum salesman foot, it was common to suspect one or the other of those selling term life insurance or the Scriptures was flim flam.

Today we are suspect of “spam” at our Email, abhor pop ups advertising that intrudes on our Internet Searches, and may even be overwhelmed to find the President caricature, or photograph being used as a sells technique for insurance products. “Trust”‘ has always been a value of the world of bankers, and of insurance.

While “Term Life Insurance” is seldom a life insurance product chosen to be “trusted” or given as charitable due to low payouts it’s development to meet the needs of the average worker in the United States came to set a standard in the insurance industry very much different then that carried originally by Lloyd’s of London. Americans suffered greatly during the Great Depression, and then the advent of the Second World War left so many without. These decades would prove that Americans could be leaders in the insurance industry.

Today most of the world uses the concepts, and standards of the insurance industry which grew out of the development of “Term Life Insurance” and the establishment of the Social Security Trust Fund, and today what we depend upon as Medicare and its substandard sister, the public dole of “Medicaid” and supplemental Security Income Benefits. Standards of the insurance industry are managed by companies individually; but all must meet the conditions of “honesty” or ethical practice carried as “protections” of consumers by the Federal Trade Commission. Insurance companies in the United States obey the Surgeon Generals Office of the United States and uphold “life”, the American Medical Association, and the Food and Drug Administration. And according to the wisdom of President Franklin Roosevelt in the planning for the “well “of the American people all insurance carriers (companies) must meet terms of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

As medical science in the United States surpassed that available throughout the world it became apparent that “whole” and “term” life insurance had to be made to meet the challenges of Americans living longer, and recapturing health after serious injury, accident or illness. Today the Rehabilitation Specialist has been added as a “guide” for those aging, or handicapped/disabled when using the insurance products of Retirement Benefits, or Disability Insurance. The medical specialty of the Rehabilitation Specialist was born from the Veterans Administrations need to reintegrate injured War Vets back into the workforce.

These Rehabilitation Specialists guided passages of the Older Americans Act, and helped insure the civil rights of the disabled be protected in the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act. These developments in the insuring of Retirement and Disability saw changes as well in both “whole” and “term” Life Insurance. These changes saw firmed management of ethical guides within the insurance industry and consolidated regulation of honesty and consumer protections for the American purchasing insurance. It also saw the regulations of “Term Life” insurance changed in what consumers thought were “great” ways and reduced the cost of “Term Life” insurance policies. These changes followed the quest of the American worker aging or disabled not to be presumed “useless” and further upheld standards of the United States Civil Service (a trendsetter) and the United States Labor Department. Today the only “term life” insurance carried by the Social Security Administration is the profoundly minimal “Death Benefit” which has not been raised by the United States Senate since the Korean War. And the only “term” life insurance awarded to United States War Veterans is the American flag, folded carefully, and presented to the surviving families of those Americans who gave their all for their country.

The standards of “term” life insurance have been changed as well. Not only do Americans heal and are able to come off disability benefits and return to work. Those American aging are healthier and stronger and many enjoy employment full or part time after the age of fifty five and even sixty five. Today “term” life insurance is still affordable. Is still a good investment. And now is well protected. The concept and then the standards set of “term life” insurance certainly protected the American needing affordable life insurance safe from the flim and flam of the dubious of mind. Today though those needs of Americans to be protected their investment in life insurance policies is at severe risk. And who is today at the door of America selling insurance products that will not meet what we the buyer, the consumer, must have which is “honesty” at purchase, and ethical delivery if in need? Times have changed if we wonder today that this “Latest of Great Depressions” will reduce us to the dust that saw our heartland demoralized and destroyed. Following the Bible Belts influence on the election of our political leaders since the late 1980’s and then the “rebirth” or birth of the Christian Political Far Right “we” have suffered a “lack” of trust in our insurance carriers.

The all but demise of the American Insurance Group (AIG) and then it’s “saving” by the 9 billion dollar Senate bailout violated not just the consequences of those who regulate, oversee the insurance industry, but in end will ruin the rights of consumers when purchasing or using insurance products. That bailout of AIG also violated the Social Security Act and the FEMA Act, disproving the United States Senate understands prohibitions against organized crime. This failing of “trust” has been evidenced by both the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration failing to use the “Rehabilitation Specialist’s” expertise in the finding of “Claims Decision”. This has resulted in countless Veterans homeless these nights in America.

This has resulted in 4000 American workers vested in Social Security Disability Benefits dying each year awaiting the Judge Advocates Office of the Social Security Administration to hear their “claim” that they are indeed disabled. The inability of these two government agencies, each carrying insurance on an American, if one earned coverage by devotion to country, and the other paid Social Security/Medicare tax as hard earned. The Veterans Administration stalls returning War Veterans disability benefits while they argue what even Great Britain has removed from the “books” of insurance precepts. Are all returning War Veterans actually suffering PTSD or are they lousy free loaders?

The United States Senate argues rather or not the “mentally ill” are equal to, are eligible for equity in health, and life insurance, while ignoring Social Security Disability “claimants” their day of justice by believing that those American workers dying without their benefits. Without food, housing, and medical care, who are complaining are just “mentally ill” and simply too impaired to understand that at their door is not just the flim flam man bearing a Bible but the three piece suit stealing their insurance payments. The coincidence of this rip off is coupled with the cowards’ way out following 9/11 when contrary to the law the United States Senate gave away our coverage to FEMA to the United States Department of Homeland Security. Coupled with the United States Senate illegally (Ricco) bailing out AIG with nine billion dollars of money we didn’t have, and now direly need will in my estimation not just result in more claims of human rights violations being filed before the United States Senate and the World Court by Americans suffering unduly while the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration remakes “insurance” and beneficiary into “public dole”. We will fairly know that the “trust” is failed for all Americans vested in insurance products. Failed our rights as consumers.

What do we suffer for lack of term? The lives of disabled vets, and disabled American workers cut far too short. The quality of their remaining lives severally reduced. The why of “term” life insurance impaired, the trust gone, and we, our dependents, and our survivors are left unprotected. Why is it called “Term Life Insurance”? The connotation, the usage of the word “term” was preferred to carry in trust to any American that life is as it is defined by FEMA, and by the United States Surgeon General’s Office the most valuable possession of the United States. Think twice, buyer beware, when you consider these days purchasing term life insurance or thinking the Veterans Administration or Social Security will be there, because it just seems it is the Bible salesman at the door?

Everything About Life Insurance!

I want to start off this 2010 with an article regarding Life Insurance. Many people find this topic morbid but believe me when I say this contract is as important as a Will and should be taken just as seriously as health insurance. Due to the length in details of this article I have provided chapters for easy reading. I hope this will educate you on Life Insurance and the importance of its necessity. (Note: For better understanding “You” is the policy owner and the insured)

Chapters:

1= Introduction

2=When/If you have Life Insurance already

3= Difference between a Insurance Agent and Broker

4= Types of Policies

5= What are Riders and popular types of Riders

6= The medical exam

1) About general Life Insurance:
This is a contract between you and an insurance company to pay a certain amount (the premium) to a company in exchange for a benefit (called the Death Benefit, face amount, or policy amount) to the beneficiary (the person you want to get paid in the time of your death). This can range based on the type of policy (which will be discussed momentarily), your health, your hobbies, the Insurance company, how much you can afford in premiums, AND the amount of the benefit. It sounds overwhelming but it is not if you have the right agent or broker.

Now many people can say that Life Insurance is like gambling. You are betting that you will die in a specific time and the insurance company bets you won’t. If the insurer wins, they keep the premiums, if you win…well you die and the death benefit goes to the beneficiary. This is a very morbid way of looking at it and if that is the case you can say the same for health insurance, auto insurance, and rental insurance. The truth is, you need life insurance in order to ease the burden of your death. Example 1: A married couple, both professionals that earn very well for a living have a child and like any other family has monthly expenses and 1 of the couple has a death. The odds of the spouse going back to work the next day is very slim. Odds are in fact that your ability to function in your career will lower which RISK the cause of not being able to pay expenses or having to use one’s savings or investments in order to pay for these expenses NOT INCLUDING the death tax and funeral expenses. This can be financially devastating. Example 2: lower middle income family, a death occurs to 1 of the income earners. How will the family be capable of maintaining their current financial lifestyle?

Life insurance is about the ability of lowering the risk of financial burden. This can be in the form of simple cash or taxes via estate planning.

KEY Definitions:

The Insured: The person that is covered by the insurance company (He/She does NOT have to the policy owner)

The (policy) Owner: The one that pays the premium, controls the beneficiary, and basically owns the contract (Does NOT have to the insured…hope you understand it can be either/or).

Face Amount: Also known as the death benefit. The amount to be paid to the beneficiary.

The Beneficiary: Is the person/persons/organization who will receive the face amount (death benefit)

2) When/If you have Life Insurance:
First, you should review your beneficiaries once a year and your policy approximately once every 2-3 years. This is free! You need to make sure the beneficiaries are the people/person you want to get paid! Divorce, death, a disagreement, or anything of the sort can make you change your mind about a particular person to receive the benefit so make sure you have the right people, estate/trust, AND/OR organization (non-profit preferably) to receive the benefit. Furthermore, you need to review every 2-3 years because many companies can offer a lower premium OR raise the benefit if you renew your policy or if you find a competitor that sees you have been paying the premiums may compete for your business. Either way, this is something you should consider to either save money or raise the policy amount! This is a win-win for you so there should be no reason not to do this.

3) Life Insurance Agent or Broker, what is the difference?:
The major difference is an Agent is usually an independent sales man that usually works with different insurance companies in order to give the client the best possible policy while the Broker works for a particular company. My personal advice: always choose an Agent. Not because I am one myself BUT because an agent can look out for your benefit by providing different quotes, types, riders that are available (explained later), AND pros/cons regarding each insurance company. If you don’t like a particular insurance company, tell the agent and he should move on to the next carrier (if he persist for some odd reason, fire him). Buyers BEWARE: The Agent should get paid by the carrier that is chosen, not by you specifically. If an Agent asks for money upfront for anything, RUN! There are also Insurance consultants that you pay but to keep things simple, see an Agent. Consultants and Agents are also great in reviewing current policies in order to lower premiums or increase benefits.

4) Types of Policies:
There are 2 main categories: Term and Permanent Insurance. Within each of the 2 categories have sub-categories. I will explain them at a glance in order for you to make the best possible choice for you and your loved ones. Remember, you can have estate/trust or a organization as the beneficiary. (Note: There are even more sub-sub-categories within these sub-categories but the difference are so small and self explanatory that I have not included it in this article. Once you speak to an agent you will have enough knowledge by this article that you will know what questions to ask and know if you agent is right for you).

Term Insurance: A temporary policy in which the beneficiary is paid only upon death of the insured (you) within a specific time period (hence the word “Term”). Term Insurance is usually less expensive with a smaller death benefit. Some do not require medical exams BUT expect to pay a higher premium since the risk of the insurance company is unknown. Also, term insurance normally does not accumulate cash value (explained in permanent insurance) but can be purchased on top of your permanent policy (for those that may have coverage already):

Convertible Term: Ability to convert policy to permanent. There are some REALLY GOOD policies that require no medical exam, driver history, or hazardous avocations at a certain point in order to convert to permanent coverage guaranteed with all the benefits that permanent insurance policies has to offer.

Renewable Term: Able to renew a term policy without evidence of insurability.

Level Term: Fixed premiums over a certain time period than increases (great for those that are young adults and expect within 10 years to have a increase in pay).

Increasing/Decreasing Term: Coverage increases or decreases throughout the term while the premium remains the same.

Group Term: Usually used for employers or associations. This covers several people in order to reduce premiums. (Great for small business owners)

Permanent Insurance: Just as the name states, this provides coverage throughout the lifetime of the insured. This also builds cash value which is fantastic for tax purposes because if you loan out money to yourself using this cash value there are no tax implications. Few policies may have in general withdrawal tax-free. However in most cases, If you withdraw the cash value you pay the only the taxes on the premiums (the amount that grew) which is fantastic. Just make sure your agent knows not to have the cash value grow larger than the death benefit otherwise it is subject to 10% taxes! Surrender charges may also apply when you withdrawal so PLEASE consult with an agent who can assist you with these details. You should consider Permanent Insurance if you have a family and don’t mind an increase in premiums (amount you pay) by a few dollars compared to term.

Traditional Whole Life: Pay a fixed amount of premium in order to be covered for the insured’s entire life which includes accumulating cash value.

Single-Premium Whole Life Insurance: Whole life insurance for 1 lump sum premium (usually that 1 lump sum is very large in order to get a great death benefit).

Participating Whole Life Insurance: Just like Traditional Whole life except it pays you dividends which can be used as cash OR pay your dividends for you! There is no guarantee that you will be paid the dividends, this is based on performance within the insurance company.

Limited Payment Whole Life Insurance: Limited payments for whole life but requires a higher premium since you are in fact paying for a shorter amount of time. This can be based on payment amounts (10, 20, 30, etc payments) or a particular age (whole life is paid up at age 65, 75, 85, etc).

Universal Life Insurance: Flexible premiums with flexible face amounts (the death benefit) with a unbundled pricing factors. Ex: If you pay X amount, you are covered for X amount.

Indexed Universal Life: Flexible premium/benefit with the cash value is tied to the performance of a particular financial index. Most insurance companies crediting rate (% of growth) will not go below zero.

Variable Life Insurance: Death Benefit and cash value fluctuates according to the investment performance from a separate account of investment options. Usually insurance policies guarantee the benefit will not fall below a specified minimum.

Variable Universal Life Insurance (also called Flexible Premium Variable Life Insurance & Universal Life II/2): A combination of Variable and Universal which has premium/death benefit flexibility as well as investment flexibility.

Last Survivor Universal Life Insurance (also called Survivorship or “Second to die” Insurance): Covers 2 people and the death benefit is only paid when both insurers have died. This is FANTASTIC and somewhat a necessity for families that pay estate taxes (usually High-Net-worth individuals).

5) Life Insurance Riders, what is it and why is it very important:
Rider is the name of a benefit that is added to your policy. This provides special additions to the policy which can be blended and put together. There are SO MANY types of riders that I would have to write a different article regarding Riders (and insurance companies add new types of riders often) but I want to at least name the most popular (and in my opinion, the most important) that you should highly consider when choosing a policy. Riders add to the cost of the premium but don’t take riders lightly; it can be a life saver!

Accidental Death Benefit Rider (AD&D): Additional death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary if you die from a result of an accident (ie: Car accidents, a fall down the stairs). This is especially important if the insurer travels often, relatively young, and has a family. Please note: You can buy AD&D Insurance separately.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Rider: Same as above BUT if you lose 2 limbs or sight will pay the death benefit. Some policies may offer smaller amounts if losing 1 eye or 1 limb. This is great for those that work with their hands.

Disability Income Rider: You will receive a monthly income if you are totally and permanently disabled. You are guaranteed a specific level of income. Pay attention to this detail, depending on the policy it will either pay you depending on how long the disability lasts OR time frame of the rider.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider: Ability to purchase additional coverage in intervals based on age or policy years without having to check insurance eligibility.

Level Term Rider: Gives you a fixed amount of term insurance added to your permanent policy. This rider can add 3-5 times the death benefit or your policy. Not a bad deal!

Waiver of Premium Rider: If you become disabled which results to the inability to work/earn income, the waiver will exempt you from paying the premiums while your policy is still in force! There is a huge gap between policies and insurance companies so the devils in the details with this rider.

Family Income Benefit Rider: In case of death of the insurer, this rider will provide income for a specific time period for your family.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: An insurer that is diagnosed with a terminal illness will receive 25-40% of the death benefit of the base policy (The decision is made between the insurer and the insurance company). This will lower the death benefit however depending on your finances or living lifestyle, this rider should not be taken lightly and should seriously be considered.

Long-Term Care Rider: If the insurer’s health compels to stay in a nursing home or receive care at home, this rider will provide monthly payments. Please Note: Long Term Care insurance can be bought separately for more benefit.

6) The Medical Exam:
This section is not to scary you away but to mentally (and possibly physically) prepare you for the medical exam so this way you know what to expect and can get the lowest possible premiums while receiving the highest possible death benefit. This really shouldn’t be a concern if you work out regularly and maintain a healthy eating habit (notice I said habit and not diet. Diets don’t work for long term).

The exam is mandatory for most insurance policies. Many term insurance do not require one but expect a low death benefit and/or higher premium. The idea of the exam is not just to see if you’re insurable but to also see how much they will charge the insurer/policy owner. The exam is done by a “paramedical” professional that are independent contractors hired by the insurance company who either come to your home or has an office where you/the insurer visit. They are licensed health professionals so they know what to look for! In very few cases the insurance company may ask for an “Attending Physician Statement (APS)” from your doctor. This must be provided by your doctor and NOT copies by you. TIP: The “paramedical” job is to give the insurance company a reason to increase your premiums so don’t give any details that are not asked.

First part (either called Part 1 or Part A) is complete by the Agent or by you. Part 2/B is the paramedical or physician portion. The best bet is to have your agent contact a paramedical that specializes in mobile exams for an easier exam for you. Paramedical will contact you to schedule an appointment. The exam is not optional so it’s not a matter of yes or no but when and where. This entire exam will cost you nothing except time so make the time, life insurance is important!

The paramedical/physician will take your medical history (questions), physical measurements of height and weight, blood pressure, pulse, blood, and urine. Additional tests will vary based on age and policy amount (yes, the higher the death benefit = the more tests that must be provided). Now if the policy is substantial, the insurance company may not send a paramedical but require an actual Medical Doctor to exam you. Of course, this is chosen by the insurance company so remember my tip earlier! This exam may even include a treadmill test and additional crazy exams in order to see if you qualify for that substantial amount and low premium. On the flip side, if you choose a low insurance policy, you will just have a paramedical doing simple tests that mentioned earlier with no additional exams.

What they are looking for: Paramedical/Physicians are looking for health conditions that may shorten your life. Remember, insurance companies are here to make a business and if you’re a liability then it might be a risk they do not want to take or raise the premium to make the risk tolerable. Blood and urine is taken to see the following:

– your antibodies or antigens to HIV

– Cholesterol and related lipids

– Antibodies to hepatitis

– Liver/kidney disorders

– Diabetes

– Immunity disorders

– Prostate specific antigen (PSA)

– Drug tests such as cocaine

The Results: They are sent directly to the insurance company’s home office underwriters for review. Many times you can request (must be written request) to receive a copy of the results however many insurance companies will automatically do this. Many times they will find abnormalities but it’s usually not a concern and just speak to your medical professional for a follow up (remember: the insurance company will look at these exams with a “fine tooth cone” in order to see what the risk are). The underwriters will look at the exam results and the application (remember part 1/a? well, now they want to see if your also lying) and determine the premium amount. Smokers pay more; any nicotine in your system will consider you a smoker, even if it is just socially.

The premium is determined by a category that you fit in. This really depends on the insurance company on how they factor but the general rule is if you are a higher risk, you pay higher premium. If you are standard risk, you will pay a standard premium, and if you are a preferred risk, you will pay a low premium.

You can decline the policy after you receive the final quote after the exam but do remember this: All results will become part of the MIB group’s database (Medical information Bureau). This is a clearinghouse of medical information that insurance companies use to store information after you apply for Life/Health/Disability Income/Long Term care/Critical Illness insurance. So for seven years it will be on database. You can receive a free report annually (like a credit check) at their website which I included at the bottom of this article.

Now that you know practically everything there is to know about life insurance. I hope you realize how important it is. It may seem like a lot but the hardest part is simply choosing what type of policy is right for you. This can be done with the help of your Agent. In the end, everyone is different and everyone should analyze their own situation and need for the beneficiaries. If you have even the slightest concern for a loved one regarding what will happen if you was no longer with us then you should consider life insurance. There truly is a feeling a relief once you know you and your loved ones are covered regardless of how much you or that person makes. For many that feel that their loved ones don’t need the death benefit due to whatever the case may be (“they earn enough money to survive” is the biggest reason I hear against life insurance), this can be a simple last gesture of “I love you” or appreciation for them being part of your life.

I hope I was able to educate you in Life Insurance and if you have any additional questions please feel free to email me.

MIB website: http://www.mib.com/html/request_your_record.html

What is Permanent Life Insurance? Should I Choose Permanent Life Insurance Or Term Life Insurance?

What is permanent life insurance? Is it better to purchase a permanent life insurance policy or a term life insurance policy? Is it possible to find low cost permanent life insurance? It is important for those searching for life insurance coverage to do a permanent life insurance comparison to decide if a whole life policy, a term life policy, a universal life policy, a variable life policy, or even a combination of the above may be a good choice for their needs.

Life insurance can be a term relatively unknown for the younger generations of this country. While the old and retired people of this great nations plan financially to leave their dependents with money so they can get through; the younger generations have not done much to protect themselves or their families in case of an accidental death. Life insurance in the United States is not as common as the other types of insurances (car, homeowners, health) because it is not required. Every state requires you to have car insurance, if you own a house you should have homeowners and the rule of thumb is for you to have health insurance if you want to pay lower premiums and stay healthy (which has now started to decrease because people don’t have the money to buy independent policies). Life insurance on the other hand is the insurance of the wise! This is because the person with the policy is not only thinking about the present, but is thinking about the future and what it may hold to their dependents of family.

Permanent life insurance (also called universal and whole life insurance) is one of the main kinds of life insurance and one that can be the difference between burden and stability after a head of the household dies unexpectedly. The definition of a permanent life insurance policy is that it simply consists of a policy that is for the entire life of the person being insured, guarantees payout at the end of the policy, and most importantly accrues value. This is of supreme important because with these insurance policy you are guaranteed money at the end of the road and best of all your family will have the stability that many families lack after a person contributing some income dies unexpectedly.

Although permanent life insurance is a good way to save yourself and your family some trouble at the end of the road, many people simply decide to get term life insurance instead. When comparing term life insurance vs permanent life insurance many opt for term simply because of the cost. The reason for this is that premiums for term life insurance are cheaper based on the fact that the insured is not guaranteed money at the end of the policy. This policies are simply for ten or twenty years and if the insured does not decease in that certain amount of time, the family will not see a single penny. Since the burden of paying money at the end of the contract is gone from the policy when we speak about term life insurance, families save money because the premiums are cheaper.

It is important to mention that at first the amount of money received by the family will not be as much because they will be paying for the agent and all the fees, not to mention that they will be paying the life insurance company for their commitment to insure the person. With time however, the cash accumulates due to the amount of the premium you are paying. That extra cash is deposited into a saving’s component, which is also known as the policy’s “cash value”. As the savings increase with the payments, the quantity that your family gets at the end of the road will increase. It is important to know that the policy is called permanent life insurance because as long as you pay your premiums and maintain the policy accurate, you will be allowed to have this kind of insurance for your entire life!

It is important to know that permanent life insurance is divided into three groups: whole life, variable life, and universal life. When we speak about a whole life policy we speak about a type of life insurance that offers both insurance and investment, with the advantage that premiums are leveled. Variable life insurance is the most expensive of all kinds of permanent life insurance because it allows the policy holder to allocate a portion of the savings accounts into other things such as stocks, bonds and investment funds. Last but not least the universal life type of permanent life insurance is a very common one as well. Universal life insurance separates the investment and death portions of your policy and it allows the insured to build his savings faster with the help of some sort of equity investments. As time goes by, universal life insurance can also allow you to change your premiums and death benefits to suit your current living situation.

As you can see permanent life insurance does not sound too bad compared to term life insurance. The policies are simply a little bit more expensive due to the fact that the beneficiary will in fact receive some money when all is said and done due to the savings part of the policies. Although many people just don’t see the good thing of having life insurance through their whole lives because once a person is retired there is no need for such income, the truth is that permanent life insurance can help you out in the long run. It is not bad for you to protect yourself for life, especially if you are married or if you have a son or daughter that is not doing too well economically. Permanent life insurance policies can be a great help to some families and the truth is that if you search and shop around you can find a policy that is right for you!

What Type of Life Insurance Policy Should You Get

The primary purpose for getting life insurance will always be to protect the people you care about in case something were to happen to you. How much capital would you need in order to pay off debts, support your loved ones, or to take care of all your affairs?

After you understand what priorities you would like to protect through life insurance it is fairly easy to determine the correct amount of coverage.

What Type Of Life Insurance

The next question is what type of coverage will best serve your needs. In order to get the right amount of coverage you also have to make sure that the premiums fit comfortably into your budget.

Term Insurance Benefits

Term insurance is less expensive than whole life insurance, because you are renting the insurance. Your coverage is considered pure insurance in this case, because it doesn’t develop cash value or participate in company dividends.

Instead it allows you to get the right amount of protection for the least expensive premiums available. Term insurance has also developed over the years to offer more comprehensive options. You can get a return-of-premiums policy where you pay more during the life of the policy, but the insurance company refunds all of your premiums at the end of the fixed term.

There are also term policies that allow you to lock in your age and health for the remainder of your life, so that you can have the coverage and premiums locked in for the rest of your life. This is a great and inexpensive way to obtain permanent insurance.

How Long Should You Lock In Your Premiums

The longer you can lock in your premiums the more advantageous it will be in the long run. The insurance company takes into consideration the mortality risk during the level period of the term. If you are 35 and you get a level 20-term policy then the rates will be fixed until you are 55. And because you are locking in the premiums at a younger age, the average risk and rates will be less than if you were to lock in your premiums at 55.

Most people have an insurance need that will last throughout the rest of their lives. If you can permanently lock in a portion of your insurance at a younger age this can save you substantially on premiums. It happens quite often where people will have to apply for new coverage after the fixed rates on their current policy have expired, and because they are now older and have to pay much more in premiums.

Your health is also locked in when you first take the policy out. Many people looking for insurance in their fifties or sixties are dealing with some type of medical condition that makes the cost of life insurance double or triple in cost. The same logic that applies to locking in your age is also good to keep in mind when locking in your health. We don’t know what is going to happen to us, and if we have our insurance locked in then our insurability and premiums will be unaffected by a medical event.

Level Term Insurance

I always recommend getting a level-term policy as opposed to one that will start off lower and increase premiums each and every year. The level term policies allow you to lock in your age and health for the remainder of the term, whereas the increasing-premium policies become more expensive every year based on your new age.

Because term insurance is a less expensive way to get the right amount of protection, I believe that it is the right choice for a large majority of people looking at life insurance.

Cash Value Life Insurance: When To Consider It

First A Word Of Caution About How The Life Insurance Industry Operates

An agent who pushes one company above the others is doing his or her clients a disservice. Every company has its positives and negatives and each company has focused on certain demographics to try to create a competitive edge. There are 17 life insurance companies in the fortune 500 alone. These companies have very similar investment portfolios and conduct business in ways that are more common than not. Eight of these companies are mutual, nine are stock companies, and they all operate in order to make a profit. The most important thing that anybody can do is to have an agent who can help them shop the market for the company that is going to fit their needs best. Somebody that is a smoker with high blood pressure is going to have better options outside of the companies that target nonsmokers without health conditions. Finding the least expensive company on the market for your age and health can save you thousands of dollars.

I used to work for an insurance agency where we only sold a single triple-A-rated-insurance company. When I worked for this agency, my fellow agents and I were especially inculcated with the benefits of this company’s whole life insurance. This situation is not unique.

Captive agencies have managers that groom agents to push one company because they get paid commissions when their agents sell these products. Please don’t assume that life insurance agents are experts on the benefits of different companies and types of insurance plans, because many of them are unaware of the benefits beyond their own company. Instead of consulting their clients and shopping the market they push a single product that doesn’t always match up well. There are far too many people being given advice from agents to consider whole life insurance, because they are trained to present the same products to every client.

When You Are Considering An Insurance Company It Will Always Be Advantageous For Some People And Ill Advised For Others

If you sit down with an agent who goes over a list of benefits about a single insurance company, keep in mind that most benefits are really trade-offs. For instance, if a company is a triple-A rated insurance company than they are probably also more conservative with whom they insure. A triple-A rating is great, but it is really only necessary if you plan on participating in the companies dividends, or in other words buying their whole life insurance. There is no need to pay extra money for the privilege of having a triple-A rated company as many agents insist. A.M. Best considers a company with an A-rating to be in excellent financial health and there are many A-rated companies with less expensive insurance offers if you are not planning on participating in whole life.

When Whole Life Insurance is a Good Idea

For some people, whole life insurance can be a great complement to their financial security. I have sold whole life insurance based on the following benefits.
1) It has a guaranteed return that will consistently build up the cash value in the policy.
2) It gives policyholders permanent insurance so that they are insured throughout their lifetime.
3) It allows them to stop paying premiums after a certain number of years, because the dividends from the company will be enough to keep the policy in force.
4) It allows policyholders to take cash from the policy in the form of a loan, so that you have another option if liquidity is needed.
5) The growth of the policy is tax deferred and tax-free as long as long as the policy is kept in force.

The problem can be that many of these benefits point to life insurance as an asset or investment. Life insurance should always be considered for the death benefit first and foremost. If you have already maxed out both your Roth Ira and 401(k), have at least three months of expenses in accessible savings, and are looking for something else to build up savings then whole-life insurance can be a good option. The point is that whole life insurance is a good choice when you have the ability to max out your qualified retirement funds and are looking to complement your savings with a conservative tie in to your life insurance.

Whole life can be a mistake for a couple of reasons

There are risks when putting your money into whole life insurance. The risks aren’t always clearly explained, because the agents focus on the guaranteed dividends that will grow the cash value every year. However, one significant risk is buying into whole-life insurance, paying the premiums for a number of years, and then not being able to keep up with the premiums down the road. Life insurance companies bank on this happening to a certain percentage of policyholders.
If this occurs you are in danger of losing thousands of dollars in paid premiums without the benefit of accumulating any cash value. When a policy lapses or you can’t keep up with whole life premiums then the insurance company will retain your premiums without you having any cash value built up or any insurance in force.
These whole life polices are structured to have large front end expenses and it will take at least a couple of years before your premiums start to build up cash value. It takes about ten years before the amount of premiums you put into the policy will equal the cash value in the policy.

How Cash Value In Whole Life Insurance Works

The other risk with whole life insurance is not understanding how the cash value in the policy works and taking out too much of it. The cash value in the policy is liquid, but the insurance company will let you take out about 97% of it in order to protect against the policy lapsing. Any cash that is taken out of the policy is loaned from the policy at interest.

Lets assume that you are in the first 20 years of your whole life policy and are taking a loan from the cash value in the policy. The loaned interest rate is 8.0 %, the non-loaned dividend interest rate is 6.85%, and the loaned-dividend interest is rate is 7.9 %. Notice that the insurance company steps up the interest rate on the loaned amount or the amount borrowed from your cash value. This mitigates the cost of the loan, but the loan still creates an ongoing obligation to pay interest. For instance the cost of borrowing here would be 6.95 %.

(The loaned interest rate (8.0 %) + (the non-loaned dividend interest rate (6.85%) – the loaned-dividend interest rate (7.9%)) = cost of borrowing (6.95%).

The cash value in the policy is really a double-edged sword, because it leads to a significant risk that you will not be able to keep up with the premiums. It is practically intended for people who can repay the loan quickly so that the policy continues to develop dividends instead of an obligation to pay interest. It is great for people who aren’t ever tempted to borrow from the policy, because the dividends will compound and eventually be able to cover the cost of annual premiums. When this occurs the risk of lapsing will be negligible. However, this takes quite some time to achieve and it truly depends on how disciplined you can afford to be with the additional cost of these premiums. If you would rather have control of your money up front there is an argument that you can buy term and invest the rest instead of leveraging the insurance companies general fund.

Your Personality Profile And Budget Must Be In Line

I recommend taking a look at both your budget and how much control you want over your money for at least the next ten years if you are considering whole life. Because term insurance can now permanently lock in your age and health in the same manner as whole life insurance, the biggest question is whether or not you want control over investing the difference in premiums. Many people prefer whole life insurance because they don’t have to think about investing the difference; the insurance company does it for them. They can also grow their death benefit by the amount of growth in cash value and act as their own creditor if they ever want to borrow cash from the policy.

A Couple Other Points About Whole Life Insurance

The cash value component in a whole life insurance policy needs to be addressed. The first is that cash value is based on compounding dividends. So the longer you keep the paying premiums the more advantageous it is. The second is that if you go with a reliable insurance company they will usually pay non-guaranteed dividends that are based on the results of an insurance companies investments. This is when rating is important to consider, because you are now participating in these dividends. Also if you have allowed the cash value to grow and take out modest loans from the policy later in life, you will most likely have enough in dividends to keep pace beyond the ongoing obligation of interest. However if you do surrender the policy the gains will be taxed as capital gains and you will have to pay a surrender charge as well. If the policy is in force and you pass away while there are still outstanding loans, the death benefit will be paid out after it covers the cost of the loans that you have taken from the policy.

Term Insurance Vs. Whole Life

I believe the most important factor in all of this is the human element. If you are patient, conservative, and comfortably able to continue paying premiums without the temptation to borrow from the cash-value then you are a good candidate for whole life insurance. The majority of people have fluctuating budgets and circumstances where they are better off with something that locks in their age and health and gives them the opportunity to invest the difference elsewhere.

Types Of Life Insurance Policies – Which Is Right For You?

Term Life by definition is a life insurance policy which provides a stated benefit upon the holder’s death, provided that the death occurs within a certain specified time period. However, the policy does not provide any returns beyond the stated benefit, unlike an insurance policy which allows investors to share in returns from the insurance company’s investment portfolio.

Annually renewable term life.

Historically, a term life rate increased each year as the risk of death became greater. While unpopular, this type of life policy is still available and is commonly referred to as annually renewable term life (ART).

Guaranteed level term life.

Many companies now also offer level term life. This type of insurance policy has premiums that are designed to remain level for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years. Level term life policies have become extremely popular because they are very inexpensive and can provide relatively long term coverage. But, be careful! Most level term life insurance policies contain a guarantee of level premiums. However some policies don’t provide such guarantees. Without a guarantee, the insurance company can surprise you by raising your life insurance rate, even during the time in which you expected your premiums to remain level. Needless to say, it is important to make sure that you understand the terms of any life insurance policy you are considering.
Return of premium term life insurance

Return of premium term insurance (ROP) is a relatively new type of insurance policy that offers a guaranteed refund of the life insurance premiums at the end of the term period assuming the insured is still living. This type of term life insurance policy is a bit more expensive than regular term life insurance, but the premiums are designed to remain level. These returns of premium term life insurance policies are available in 15, 20, or 30-year term versions. Consumer interest in these plans has continued to grow each year, as they are often significantly less expensive than permanent types of life insurance, yet, like many permanent plans, they still may offer cash surrender values if the insured doesn’t die.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance Policies

A permanent life insurance policy by definition is a policy that provides life insurance coverage throughout the insured’s lifetime ñ the policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, a permanent life insurance policy provides a savings element that builds cash value.
Universal Life

Life insurance which combines the low-cost protection of term life with a savings component that is invested in a tax-deferred account, the cash value of which may be available for a loan to the policyholder. Universal life was created to provide more flexibility than whole life by allowing the holder to shift money between the insurance and savings components of the policy. Additionally, the inner workings of the investment process are openly displayed to the holder, whereas details of whole life investments tend to be quite scarce. Premiums, which are variable, are broken down by the insurance company into insurance and savings. Therefore, the holder can adjust the proportions of the policy based on external conditions. If the savings are earning a poor return, they can be used to pay the premiums instead of injecting more money. If the holder remains insurable, more of the premium can be applied to insurance, increasing the death benefit. Unlike with whole life, the cash value investments grow at a variable rate that is adjusted monthly. There is usually a minimum rate of return. These changes to the interest scheme allow the holder to take advantage of rising interest rates. The danger is that falling interest rates may cause premiums to increase and even cause the policy to lapse if interest can no longer pay a portion of the insurance costs.

To age 100 level guaranteed life insurance

This type of life policy offers a guaranteed level premium to age 100, along with a guaranteed level death benefit to age 100. Most often, this is accomplished within a Universal Life policy, with the addition of a feature commonly known as a “no-lapse rider”. Some, but not all, of these plans also include an “extension of maturity” feature, which provides that if the insured lives to age 100, having paid the “no-lapse” premiums each year, the full face amount of coverage will continue on a guaranteed basis at no charge thereafter.

Survivorship or 2nd-to-die life insurance

A survivorship life policy, also called 2nd-to-die life, is a type of coverage that is generally offered either as universal or whole life and pays a death benefit at the later death of two insured individuals, usually a husband and wife. It has become extremely popular with wealthy individuals since the mid-1980’s as a method of discounting their inevitable future estate tax liabilities which can, in effect, confiscate an amount to over half of a family’s entire net worth!

Congress instituted an unlimited marital deduction in 1981. As a result, most individuals arrange their affairs in a manner such that they delay the payment of any estate taxes until the second insured’s death. A “2nd-to-die” life policy allows the insurance company to delay the payment of the death benefit until the second insured’s death, thereby creating the necessary dollars to pay the taxes exactly when they are needed! This coverage is widely used because it is generally much less expensive than individual permanent life coverage on either spouse.

Variable Universal Life

A form of whole life which combines some features of universal life, such as premium and death benefit flexibility, with some features of variable life, such as more investment choices. Variable universal life adds to the flexibility of universal life by allowing the holder to choose among investment vehicles for the savings portion of the account. The differences between this arrangement and investing individually are the tax advantages and fees that accompany the insurance policy.

Whole Life

Insurance which provides coverage for an individual’s whole life, rather than a specified term. A savings component, called cash value or loan value, builds over time and can be used for wealth accumulation. Whole life is the most basic form of cash value insurance. The insurance company essentially makes all of the decisions regarding the policy. Regular premiums both pay insurance costs and cause equity to accrue in a savings account. A fixed death benefit is paid to the beneficiary along with the balance of the savings account. Premiums are fixed throughout the life of the policy even though the breakdown between insurance and savings swings toward the insurance over time. Management fees also eat up a portion of the premiums. The insurance company will invest money primarily in fixed-income securities, meaning that the savings investment will be subject to interest rate and inflation risk.