What is life insurance?
In its simplest state, every life insurance policy is made up of these four components:
- Insured – The person whose life is covered under the policy. Typically, this is the person who owns the policy and pays the premiums, however, it is possible for the policy owner and payor to be someone other than the insured.
- Beneficiary – The person(s), entity, or institution(s) that receive the death benefit if the insured person dies. You can name one person (or more) as beneficiaries when you purchase a policy.
- Premium – The money paid to keep a policy active. Payment ensures that the insurance company will provide your beneficiaries with the stated death benefit in the event of your passing. If you stop paying premiums, the policy lapses.
- Death benefit – The money paid out if the insured person passes away. Death benefits are generally not subject to an income tax and beneficiaries usually receive the benefit in one lump-sum payment
Wonder how much coverage you need?
What type of life insurance is right for me?
As long as the premiums are paid, this type of coverage is active for your whole life, guaranteeing the eventual payout of a death benefit. It can cost 5-10X more but if the premium is within budget, it can be a good option for anyone interested in insurance that accumulates cash value and doesn’t end.
- Most types of permanent life insurance offer a cash value component that accumulates as policy premiums are paid. This cash value typically grows with a guaranteed minimum rate of return.
- In most cases, the insured person can borrow against the cash value that’s accumulated in the policy, withdraw the cash value, or leave it in the policy to increase or maintain the death benefit.
- Due to the duration of the coverage and cash value accumulation possibilities, premiums for permanent coverage are typically more expensive than those for term life insurance.
Real-world example: Frank is 68 years old, and retired. He wants to make sure he doesn’t saddle his loved ones with expenses when he passes away. He’s looking for coverage that doesn’t expire, so he can guarantee the payout of a death benefit that will take care of his final expenses. A whole life policy makes the most sense for Frank because he will be covered for the duration of his life.
Term policies last for a specific amount of time (your term), and there is no cash value accumulation. The death benefit is only payable to the beneficiaries upon the death of the insured person during the term. Because it costs less and is more straightforward it’s a good option for many people.
- You are able to choose the length of your term and the amount of coverage that would be paid out to your beneficiaries if you die before your term ends. If you die after your term ends, no death benefit is paid. It’s that simple.
- If you outlive your term, you will typically have the option to renew your policy.
- Term life insurance premiums usually cost less than permanent life insurance, making it an affordable option for many.
Real-world example: Sarah is a married, 35-year-old mother of 2 young children. She’s the primary breadwinner for her home, and she wants to ensure that her children will still be able to attend college in the event of her untimely death. For Sarah, a term policy makes the most sense. By structuring the term length around the time her children expect to make it through school, she can protect her children’s educational future.
Whole vs term life
Employer-sponsored (group) life insurance
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How much coverage do I need?
How much does life insurance cost?
It’s different for everyone and varies based on your unique situation. The biggest factors that can affect your premium include:
- The type of policy you choose: Whole life policies tend to cost more than term life policies because they last for your entire life, and accumulate cash value.
- The type of underwriting experience you want: Simplified and guaranteed issue policies tend to be more expensive because they don’t require full underwriting and are written without a medical exam.
- Your coverage amount and term length: Less coverage and shorter term lengths tend to cost less–that’s another reason whole life policies cost more, they never expire.
- Your age: Younger people typically have lower rates.
- Your health status: Healthier people typically have lower rates.
- Your tobacco use: Non-smokers typically have lower rates.
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September 11, 2021
Sean is an extremely knowledgeable and personable agent who pays attention to detail.. He made me aware of the various life insurance options available and affordable to me. I am pleased with my purchase, and would highly recommend Sean and his partners to anyone looking for life insurance and agents with integrity. 😀
September 11, 2021
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September 11, 2021
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August 24, 2021
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August 20, 2021
a son to us and give his very best to keep us in the knowing of our
policies at all times. We love him and appreciate him so much,
keep up the good work. ❤️ Very professional, agent S. Grant