Life Insurance: Coverage for you and your family

[ Join discussion ]

When you have family members depending on your income, saving for the future of your loved ones is a good idea. Investing in life insurance will give you enough financial support to take care of the future of your loved ones when you are no longer around. A life insurance plan also makes provision for a cash value where a part of your premium is put into a savings account. Hence, while you invest for a secured future, you can make savings too.

What is life insurance?

Life Insurance means insuring your life to save for the future of your family. If you have family members depending on your income you may invest in life insurance. This is a contract between you and your insurance company where your insurer agrees to pay a certain amount of money to your beneficiary in the event of your death.
Top

What are the types of life insurance?

  • Term Life Insurance:

    For those who are running on a budget, you can opt for a simple life insurance. Term life insurance allows the beneficiary death benefits for a specific period or 'term'. This term may be 1 or more years and the benefits are paid only in the event of death of the policy holder within the term of the policy.

    There are certain term life insurance that can be renewed for more than one additional term. However, if you do so, your premiums may go higher. You may even sometimes be allowed to trade your term life insurance for a whole life insurance policy.

    Term Insurances are of 5 types:

    1. Annual renewal term insurance: Allows you to renew your term insurance every year till you reach a specific age which often freezes at 65.
    2. Renewable term insurance: With expiry of the term of the policy (generally 5-20 years), you can automatically renew the policy even if your health condition has worsened. It is similar to the annual renewable policy but this one is for a longer period of time.
    3. Level premium term insurance: Ensures that your premiums will not go higher for the term (between 5 and 20 years) of your policy.
    4. Decreasing term insurance: Allows your premiums to stay level throughout while decreasing your cash benefits each year. Such policies are usually used to cover items whose costs decrease with time.
    5. Convertible term insurance: With this policy you may convert your term insurance into any other type of life insurance policy that the company offers.

  • Whole Life Insurance:

    A whole life insurance covers a policy holder for his entire life. There is no date of expiry like in a term life insurance and the death benefits will be received by the beneficiary mentioned in the policy only in the event of the death of the policy holder. If you buy a whole life insurance you will have to pay a higher premium as compared to a term life insurance. The reason for this is that a certain portion of the premium paid for whole life insurance is put away into a savings program.

    When you compare the total premiums paid for whole life insurance and the total premiums paid for term life insurance it is seen that whole life insurance is less expensive. Even if you pay higher premiums for whole life insurance, the fact is that the premiums remain the same throughout the tenure of the insurance. But in the case of term life insurance, you may be paying lesser premiums in the beginning, but as you renew your term policy, premiums will increase. Hence, the total value accrued in term policy is bigger than a whole life insurance.

    Certain clauses in a whole life insurance allow you to pay premiums for a lesser period of time. The greatest advantage in this policy is that the premiums develop cash values that may be claimed or used for purchasing rider policies for more protection. Few of the whole life insurance benefits are:

    • Guaranteed death benefits
    • Guaranteed cash values
    • Fixed annual premiums

    A whole life insurance also known as "straight life" or "ordinary life" insurance, is not just an investment for your future alone, but also for the future of your family.

    To understand the basic difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance click here.

  • Universal Life Insurance:

    Universal life insurance is a flexible policy that provides security for you and your family. To know more please click here.

Top

How to save money on life insurance policy?

When you shop for life insurance coverage, there are certain ways by which you can save money on your policy. You must look for a policy that meets your needs and the right kind of benefits received. If you think that buying a policy with a low premium will save your money think again. If you buy inadequate insurance, it will be a sheer waste of money. However, you can maximize your life insurance dollars using some of the tips provided here.
  1. Seek financially sound companies: Look for companies that are financially strong so that when your beneficiary(s) make a claim, he may receive the benefits of life insurance without hassle.

  2. Shop around: Get life insurance quotes from more than one insurance provider. You may even ask an insurance agent or an insurance broker to get you few insurance quotes from different carriers. You may then compare the quotations and find a policy that suits your needs as well as pocket.

  3. Seek group insurance: Employer provided group life insurance is often given at subsidized rates so you may find a less expensive policy here. Even if you have to pay premiums out of your own pocket this might be a good idea for the subsidized rate they provide. However, premiums paid by you will probably be through payroll deduction which is convenient. But a comparison of group and individual rates depending on your age, health must be done to assess which is the best policy for you.

  4. Change in lifestyle: Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Smoking may rate you as a risk option and you may have to pay higher premiums. Exercise regularly and consider making more lifestyle changes if necessary.
Top

How to decide on the type of life insurance to choose from?

You may go for term life insurance if:
  • You need to make a short term investment and not a permanent one. With term life insurance benefits you can ensure the education of your children if you can invest in time. If there is a debt that you have to pay off, you may invest in term life insurance. Term life insurance covers you for a term of 5 to 20 years.

  • You need a big amount of life insurance with a premium that suits your pocket. A term insurance usually pays only in the event of death of the policyholder. However, if you are alive at the time the policy ends, term life insurance coverage will stop until you renew it. But here, you will not build a savings like in a whole life insurance.
You may opt for whole life insurance if:
  • You need life insurance stretching for the tenure of your life. A whole life insurance would pay the beneficiary the death benefit no matter when the policyholder dies.

  • You feel the need to accumulate a savings on a tax-deferred basis. A whole life insurance has its own savings program that puts aside a certain portion of the amount you pay as premiums into the savings program.
Click here to know more.
Top

Can you pay your mortgage with life insurance?

Yes. With mortgage life insurance your mortgage loan can be paid for in the event of your death in a time when the loan is not paid off fully. This insurance is available for 15 and 30 years where for the first 5 years, the amount of insurance is level and then decreases on an annual basis. The premiums for mortgage life insurance can be paid annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly.

How should you choose a life insurance company?

When choosing a life insurance company, take the following into consideration:
  • Identity of companies - Make sure to know the full name, office location and affiliation of the insurance company that you plan to buy from.

  • Product sold - Check out what products the company is selling. Most often the companies provide a wide range of policies. Check for what you need and if they have it you may consider buying from them.

  • Financial Security - Select a company that is strong financially and has been in business for long. Your life insurance is an investment to secure your lifetime. Be sure that your insurance company will make life easy for you and not otherwise.

  • Ethics - Check if your company abides by the codes of conducts and principles of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association. This non-profit organization promotes ethical conduct in life insurance marketing.

  • Agent - An agent is supposed to help you out with your insurance needs on behalf of the company. You must consider taking help from a reliable person only. If there is any discomfort in dealing with the agent, move to another one.

  • Cost of insurance - Based on your age, type of policy and features, and the amount of insurance to be purchased, compare one insurance company with the others. Find out one which offers a better coverage.

  • Claims - A national claims database will give you the complaints (if any) against an insurance company. You may want to check to find if the company you are considering buying from is listed for consumer complaint.
Top

How does a life insurance company choose you?

Your application for a life insurance policy has to go through the insurance underwriting process before it's approved. The underwriters evaluate the risks associated with your application and forward it to the insurance processing department of the company.

Factors that influence underwriting procedure for Life Insurance
  1. Age of the individual to be insured.
  2. Gender of the person
  3. Pre-existing medical conditions
  4. Medical records of the family
  5. Smoker or non-smoker
  6. Mental health of the person
  7. Occupation
  8. Hobbies or lifestyle habits (activities like race car driving, mountain climbing or bungee jumping might be marked as risky)
  9. Driving records
  10. Credit history
  11. Selection of coverage limits, benefits etc.
  12. Medical reports after thorough health check-up including tests like :
    • > Blood pressure level
      > Blood sugar level
      > Cholesterol level
      > Weight of the individual
      > Urine tests
      > Blood tests
      > EKG/ECG
      > X-Rays
      > Stress tests etc.

Click here to know how the above mentioned factors affect the rates of a life insurance policy.

Your life insurance policy might not come to your assistance in your lifetime. However it'll help securing the future of your loved ones when you won't be there to take care of them. A small amount spent at regular intervals will thus be able to give you the sense of security, as you hand over the risks to your insurer. Top

Related Discussions

Useful Calculator

Ask Sil on this topic
Your Name
Subject
Message body
Message Author
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:33 pm   Post subject: Death Certificate  

My fiance died in Mississippi. I am a beneficiary on his policy. His employer knows this. The insurance company knows this. I cannot get a copy of the DC from Mississippi because I am not related to him. Mississippi wants a copy of the signed beneficiary designation form. The employer so far has ignored this request. The funeral home won't send it due to instructions of my fiance's sister. Since it is needed to process the claim, what do I do? Whose ultimate responsibility is it to get a copy of the death certificate? Thanks.

Chaka
New member

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 8


1.97 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:37 pm   Post subject:   

While you may not be able to get a "Certified" copy of the death certificate, you should still be able to get an "Informational" copy, which the insurance company will accept. If this is a group life policy, usually all that's necessary is certification by the employer that the employee has died.



_________________

CA-licensed Life & Disability Analyst. CA Insurance Lic #0596197. Also investigating insurance company abuses, and providing litigation support/expert witness services. Send me your questions, and I'll send you my answers.
MaxHerr
Forum Expert
Forum Expert
MaxHerr
Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Posts: 7888

Location: Pomona CA
107.61 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:13 pm   Post subject: Mississippi Death Certificate  

Thank you for responding, MaxHerr. I was just reading another thread and I was first pissed at all the people who wanted to contest the 19 year-old's beneficiary designation and then I calmed down after reading your rebuttals to several other posters. (As an aside, I think it was his freaking business who he chose and I thought it was rude that so many people said "She (the girfriend) shouldn't get that money!" Maybe I feel that way because I'm a beneficiary who is having to deal with an ex-wife and sister of my fiance who are livid that I am a [40%] beneficiary.)



Anyway, back on topic. I spoke with Vital Records in Mississippi. The state does not have "Informational" copies of vital records. They made it clear that they need the policy and the signed beneficiary designation form.



The claim form states that the employer must send the death certificate. But, it seems like everybody is relying on me to provide it. Is it ultimately the beneficiary's responsibility to get the death certificate?



Thank you.

Chaka
New member

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 8


1.97 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:10 am   Post subject:   

If you know what funeral director handled those details, they can order a copy of the death certificate for you. There is nothing on the Mississippi death certificate form about sending in the life insurance policy or beneficiary form. That information is just plain wrong. http://msdh.ms.gov/phs/forms/Form%20523E_20110321.pdf



_________________

CA-licensed Life & Disability Analyst. CA Insurance Lic #0596197. Also investigating insurance company abuses, and providing litigation support/expert witness services. Send me your questions, and I'll send you my answers.
MaxHerr
Forum Expert
Forum Expert
MaxHerr
Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Posts: 7888

Location: Pomona CA
107.61 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:07 pm   Post subject:   

I do know which funeral home. The director is somehow connected to the ex-wife and sister and told me "You'll have to get that from the family."



I applied for the Mississippi DC twice and both times they returned it with emphasis on the statements that "Mississippi death certificates are not public record" and that the applicant must have "a legal tangible interest" in receiving it. That means, if you are not an heir, parent or sibling, you have to prove your interest. For me, they told me specifically how it had to be proved - the policy and signed beneficiary designation. Dumb.

Chaka
New member

Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 8


1.97 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:17 am   Post subject:   

Basically life insurance policies were purchased to eliminate the uncertainty arising due to death or disability of the bread winner for the family. But today it is being purchased as a useful investment tool. A good life insurance policy can be purchased for the following purpose:



• Purely as a life insurance cover

• As an investment for future

• Investment for child education

• Investment for the years of retirement



An interested buyer can purchase from a variety of insurance products available in the market to cater to his and his family’s financial requirements.



[Link removed - Admin]

amitsinha225
New member

Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 1


1.11 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:29 am   Post subject: policy bond lost.  

What should I do if I can’t find a family member’s life insurance policy?

hasadd
New member

Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 4


1.18 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:56 pm   Post subject: lost policy  

Use the MIB's 'Policy Locator Service' to track down insurance applications for over the last 12 years against a service charge.

StacyBarbee
Member

Joined: 03 Apr 2012
Posts: 75


5.89 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:58 pm   Post subject: Paid up at 65  

I turn 65 in October and my insurance policy is paid up at that time. Will the face value, cash value, and dividends be there at the time of my burial


_________________
Register Now to have your Insurance queries solved.
guinea pig
Guest





1.00 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:10 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Will the face value, cash value, and dividends be there at the time of my burial
When are you planning to be buried? You may have some misunderstandings about your insurance.



Face value = the maximum amount payable as the death benefit

Cash value = the amount you would receive (minus any surrender penalties) if you cancel your insurance or borrow against the death benefit

Dividends = refund of excess premiums paid (you have several options as to how to receive dividends including: cash, extra "paid up" insurance, use to pay future premiums, pay loans/loan interest, possibly add to cash value)



A policy "paid up at age 65" simply means no future premiums will be necessary to keep your policy in force to age 100. But at age 65, the cash value is probably not more than about 60%-70% of the face amount (the death benefit).



At the time of your death, the beneficiary receives the larger of (1) the face amount of insurance or (2) the cash value . . . either of which is paid minus any outstanding policy debt (loan principal and unpaid interest). Paid up additional insurance increases the total paid to your beneficiary. In whole life, the beneficiary never receives the face amount PLUS the cash value.



Not unless you have any form of Universal Life policy with Death Benefit Option B (or Option II), known as "increasing death benefit". In that case, your beneficiary receives both the face amount of insurance and the cash accumulation, if any.



Dividends are generally only paid at the policy anniversary, so unless you die on or immediately after the policy anniversary, your beneficiary will not see the next dividend payment based on last year's insurance company results.


_________________

CA-licensed Life & Disability Analyst. CA Insurance Lic #0596197. Also investigating insurance company abuses, and providing litigation support/expert witness services. Send me your questions, and I'll send you my answers.
MaxHerr
Forum Expert
Forum Expert
MaxHerr
Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Posts: 7888

Location: Pomona CA
107.61 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:38 pm   Post subject: beneficaries  

i was the beneficiary of a life policy the beneficary was changed in 2012...person died 2013 and met life states that it paid the previous beneficary i have in writtin that it was changed now the person is dead and met life wants me to appeal.....its not my mistake....

toeworks
New member

Joined: 15 Apr 2013
Posts: 1


1.08 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:15 pm   Post subject:   

Unless the change of beneficiary was made properly and in writing to MetLife prior to the death of the insured, what you have in hand means nothing, unless it is a copy of the letter from MetLife to the insured indicating the change of beneficiary was made.



Quote:
now the person is dead
Are you talking about the beneficiary being dead or the insured? In either case, really, your only claim is against the person who received the money or their estate, not the insurance company if it believed it paid the right person. State insurance laws protect the insurance company in most such situations.



The only reason for an "appeal" with the insurance company is if the money has not already been paid to someone.


_________________

CA-licensed Life & Disability Analyst. CA Insurance Lic #0596197. Also investigating insurance company abuses, and providing litigation support/expert witness services. Send me your questions, and I'll send you my answers.
MaxHerr
Forum Expert
Forum Expert
MaxHerr
Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Posts: 7888

Location: Pomona CA
107.61 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:40 pm   Post subject:   

If Metlife screwed up, you can go directly against MetLife. That may be why they are asking you to appeal so that they have something in writing.


_________________
Register Now to have your Insurance queries solved.
gksb
Guest





1.00 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:11 pm   Post subject: life insurance  

i've always found life insurance to be too introverted a pursuit, call me spammer call me what you will, seems a waste of time



Exclamation

changeitup10
New member

Joined: 27 Apr 2013
Posts: 1


1.06 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:22 am   Post subject:   

Well! Am not going to call you a spammer...Wink



_________________

Owning a home is a keystone of wealth - both financial affluence and emotional security. ~ Suze Orman
MangoQurious
Senior member
MangoQurious
Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 270

Location: Sacramento, CA
61.23 Dollars($)

All times are GMT
 Previous  1, 2, 3, ... 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18  Next  
Page 14 of 18

 

Get a Quote
Ask Community Experts

flash plugin

Quick Links

Must See

Community

Hot topics in forums

Latest in blogs

    Connection Error: Connection refused