Is A Term Life Insurance Policy Beneficial In Your Situation?

Getting life insurance is a challenging subject for most people, first of all due to the financial efforts necessary to meet monthly payments in a timely manner and also due to the emotional implications concerning the need to purchase this type of protection. This type of service is created to cover funeral expenses and replace the income of the policyholder after his death. Regardless of these sensitive matters, getting financial protection for your loved ones once you are no longer here to support and provide for them is central to their well-being and happiness.

You can choose a whole life insurance policy, considered by many more beneficial because of its cash value. To put it simple, by acquiring this type of service, a part of the premium you’re paying every month will cover your life insurance and the rest is deposited in a savings account. As you continue to pay the premiums in time, the amount of money in the cash account continues to rise, as it pays interest. In case of death, your survivors will receive the face value of the policy, whereas if you continue to live, you can get the amount that’s been accruing in the savings account.

With term life insurance policy, you will only be financially protected for a given period of time, ranging from 1 to 30 years. People take this option into consideration since it is much cheaper than the whole life type of policy and has basically the same benefits. This type of policy has a face value also that your beneficiaries will receive in the eventuality of your death, provided that you continue to pay the premiums accordingly.

So it all comes down to getting life insurance policy-term or whole? Depending on your financial possibilities and needs, you can review the benefits of both types and keep an open mind, as you will encounter a generous offer on the market. If you decide to go for a term insurance policy, you can convert it into a whole life insurance policy if you decide it suits you better.

Getting life insurance is essential nowadays, especially in this challenging economic climate we live in. No matter how financially secured you feel and how responsibly you manage your finances, you should take in consideration the fact that, at some point in time, you will no longer be here to support your family and maintain a certain lifestyle.

Life Insurance Policies: Term vs Permanent

When it comes to purchasing life insurance, deciding which kind of policy to buy can be a challenge. But by learning about the characteristics of available life insurance policies and working together with an experienced life insurance agent, you’ll be able to choose the right policy to protect your loved ones.

Term Life Insurance

As the name suggests, term life insurance provides coverage for a certain period of time, as specified in your policy. This means that a death benefit will only be paid out if you die within your policy’s term. Because of this central characteristic, term life insurance policies tend to be much cheaper than permanent life insurance policies–making it a very appealing option to young adults or families who can’t spend a lot on life insurance.

Though term life insurance comes in two forms–level term (pays the same death benefit no matter when you die during the term) and decreasing term (the death benefit decreases throughout the duration of the policy)–level term policies are by far the most popular.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) common types of level term policies are:

  • Annual (least popular)
  • 5 year
  • 10 year
  • 15 year
  • 20 year (most popular)
  • 25 year
  • 30 year

Many term life insurance policies are renewable, which means that you may be able to reinstate your policy after the term ends, although reinstatement may be contingent on passing a medical exam and will likely involve an increased premium. Additionally, the I.I.I. reports that most insurers will not renew a policy ending after 80 years of age.

Premiums for term life insurance are typically based on your age and health status at the time the policy is written. Some insurers guarantee your premiums to stay the same throughout the length of the term, but others may not make that guarantee (and increase your premiums throughout the term)–so be sure you’re aware of premium provisions before signing a policy.

Life insurance tip: Buying life insurance when you’re young and healthy will help you secure low premiums. Not a spring chicken? Take care of your health–stop smoking and exercise regularly to get the lowest insurance premium.

Permanent Life Insurance

Unlike term life insurance, permanent life insurance pays a death benefit whether you die they day after you sign the policy or 50 years later. Permanent life insurance policies are also appealing because of their ability to grow tax-deferred over a certain length of time–which can result in a large chunk of change. This cash value can be used in a variety of ways, providing additional benefits to policyholders and their families.

Because of these characteristics, permanent life insurance policies tend to be more expensive than term policies, which may not be conducive for young adults or families with income limitations.

Life insurance tip: Some term life policies can be converted to permanent life insurance policies, so if you’re interested in a permanent policy but can’t afford the premiums, ask your agent about term policies with this feature.

Permanent life insurance policyholders also have a wide array of policy options to choose from. The four common types of permanent life insurance are whole, universal, variable and variable-universal.

Whole life policies are the most common form of permanent life insurance and offer both a death benefit and the additional benefit of a savings account. If you buy a whole life policy, you agree to pay a certain amount for a predetermined death benefit. And, unlike a term life policy, whole life policies have the potential to earn annual dividends–which will earn interest if you let them accrue.

Universal life policies offer more flexibility, allowing you to vary how much you pay and when you make premium payments (with some limitations, of course). You may also be able to obtain a larger death benefit, provided you pass a medical exam, and like whole life policies, your universal policy may earn cash value over time.

Variable life policies incorporate a death benefit with a savings account that you can invest in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. While this may increase the value of your policy, it’s important to remember that if your investments don’t perform well, your death benefit will decrease. To avoid this, the I.I.I. says you can ask about variable policies that guarantee that the death benefit will not fall below a certain amount.

Variable-universal policies combine the features of variable and universal life policies, meaning that you have the investment options of a variable policy and the flexibility of premium payments of a universal policy.

Which Policy is Right for You?

Now that you have some idea of what policy options appeal to you, take the time to speak with a licensed life insurance professional that can answer questions and help you come closer to your life insurance decision. Because when you have all the facts, it makes finding affordable life insurance that much easier!

The Ideal Amount of Life Insurance Policy

Scouting for a life insurance policy? You must be sure of your need for taking life insurance before you can decide about how much and where to take a policy from. Life insurance is a must for anyone with dependents and fixed obligations. Financial investment planning can protect you from future financial difficulties and also secure your family in the event of any untoward incident. But the task of arriving at an optimum amount of insurance policy is quite difficult and confuses the best of minds.

Practically, your life insurance requirements change every few years as you take on more responsibilities and your family grows. For an unmarried young man with his father still working, there is not much need for life insurance. But as one gets married, has kids and with dependent parents, the need for an insurance policy increases. Every insured person needs to review his insurance coverage periodically to match it with his increasing/decreasing needs. Factors like age, marital status, earning power of all employed in the family etc. have to be considered for arriving at your life insurance needs. Your financial investment planning should neither be in excess of your requirements nor less than what you must have. By under-insuring, your family may have to bear everyday financial hardships in the event of an untoward incident like death or disability of the insured. Similarly with excess insurance you could end up wasting a lot of hard earned money that could have been utilized for other household needs.

There are various methods available to help calculate your insurance requirements. Depending on your earnings potential and your ability to folk out regular premiums from your salary, the insurance plan should be able to:

• Provide minimum income protection to your family to uphold their present level of living standards. The basic requirements for food, clothing, shelter and education should be easily met with at current standard of living.
• Once you ensure that basic life needs are secure, you should plan your long term savings to meet goals and inevitable needs arising in future like child education, marriage, buying a house and vehicle etc.
• To remain independent throughout your life, you need some pension plan post retirement to maintain a respectable living standard and be able to meet the increased medical expenses. A good pension scheme taken early in life when you are young and healthy means lower premiums and regular income for old age.
• Finally, having planned and secured all immediate and future needs, you would also want your wealth to grow. Judicious financial investment planning should help you determine the long term wealth creation goals and how much you need to invest at regular intervals to achieve the same. Your life insurance India policy should be able to negate the effect of inflation and increase your wealth corpus.

The easiest and basic income based life insurance thumb rule agreed to by most financial experts says that you must insure 8 to 10 times your gross annual income for your family’s security. It will be even better if you can incorporate fixed costs like rent and fixed obligations like home loan, child education loan etc. along with minimum income ensuring insurance plan. Supposing your annual income is Rs 200,000 and your other long term fixed costs amount to another Rs 300,000. Then your optimum insurance policy should be for Rs 1,900,000 (Rs 200,000 * 8 + Rs 300,000).

Affordability of premium payment is another important factor to be kept in mind while planning insurance coverage. Going overboard with huge premium payouts for a large insurance policy can muddle up your daily finances. Plan to set aside a reasonable 6% to 8% of your disposable income for regular insurance premium payments to ensure that you do not face cash flow problems now. By planning the premium as a certain percentage of your income, you can scout for the maximum and best insurance cover available in the market at that rate.

Besides these general methods of life insurance calculation, you can also opt for well planned and comprehensive insurance calculation techniques like:

1) Total dependents’ needs calculation will incorporate all the current cash needs the your family after the insured’s death as well as the ongoing financial needs to main a certain lifestyle.
2) Sufficient insurance to replace the loss of regular income in case of premature/ sudden death or disability of the insured is also a good way of securing your family. This approach calculates the future expected earnings of the insured during his entire life time including promotions and the cost of inflation.
3) For people with big loans and mortgages, the asset preservation approach of calculating insurance cover is best. This ensures that the taxes and debt arising due to death of insured are easily taken care of while preserving the estate and assets at the current value.