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Life Insurance Information
There are many kinds of life insurance, but they generally fall into two categories: term insurance and permanent insurance.
Term insurance is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the ““term”) and generally pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you need coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.
In contrast, permanent insurance provides lifelong protection. As long as you pay the premiums, and no loans, withdrawals or surrenders are taken, the full face value will be paid. Because it is designed to last a lifetime, permanent life insurance accumulates cash value and is priced for you to keep over a long period of time.
It’s impossible to say which type of life insurance is better because the kind of coverage that’s right for you depends on your unique circumstances and financial goals.
But remember, the best way to figure out the amount and type of life insurance that makes sense for your particular situation is to meet with a qualified and licensed life insurance professional.
How Far Back Does Life Insurance Go?
Since many types of life insurance require that you permit underwriters to look at your medical records and prescription history, it’s natural to wonder how much of your past they’ll evaluate.
Each insurance company develops underwriting procedures. Life insurance companies may use information from several sources to evaluate public records, driving records, lab tests results and previous insurance applications.
Here are some issues that life insurance companies may consider a red flag:
- Multiple traffic violations or DUI convictions
- Recent bankruptcy
- Severe medical conditions such as cancer or organ failure
Even if something in your background makes qualifying a bit more complex, a no-medical-exam policy or guaranteed issue policy may be an option. Your agent can help you find coverage for nearly any situation.
How Long Should My Life Insurance Be?
Many people need life insurance coverage that lasts 20 to 30 years, but you may want a policy with a shorter term, or you may prefer the permanent coverage provided by a whole life policy.
Since there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you may need life insurance coverage, it’s crucial to discuss your situation with your insurance agent. There may be options you aren’t aware of, and your independent insurance agent works for you, so they are ready to help you get the coverage you need.
How Many Life Insurance Policies Can You Have?
There are no legal limits to how many insurance policies you can have. Some people choose to purchase a term life insurance policy when they get married or have a child. They may choose to buy additional term policies as their family grows.
Many people choose employer-provided life insurance and purchase a policy on their own. Employers’ group life insurance policies are only in force while you work for that company. Your life employer-sponsored group life insurance terminates when you leave the company. So, while it makes sense to take free or low-cost employer-provided coverage, it’s also wise to purchase a stand-alone policy that isn’t tied to your employer.
Permanent life insurance policies may serve as an essential part of your comprehensive financial plan. Policy owners can use them to pay potential estate taxes or as a tax-advantaged savings vehicle. Depending on your motivation for getting a permanent policy, it may make sense to have multiple life insurance policies.
Your agent can help decide whether purchasing multiple life insurance policies may help you fulfill your financial goals.
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