Life Insurance   

How much life insurance do I need?

Before buying life insurance, you should assemble personal financial information and review your family's needs. There are a number of factors to consider when determining how much protection you should have. These include:

--Any immediate needs at the time of death, such as final illness expenses, burial costs and estate taxes;

--Funds for a readjustment period, to finance a move, or to provide time for family members to find a job; and

--Ongoing financial needs, such as monthly bills and expenses, day-care costs, college tuition or retirement.

Although there is no substitute for a careful evaluation of the amount of coverage needed to meet your needs, one rule of thumb is to buy life insurance that is equal to five to seven times your annual take-home pay.

What is Term Insurance?

Term insurance provides protection for a specific period of time. It pays a benefit only if you die during the term. Some term insurance policies can be renewed when you reach the end of the specific period. Others give you the ability to reenter. The premium rates increase at each renewal date or each reentry. Many policies require that evidence of insurability be furnished at reentry for you to qualify for the lowest available rates.

Initially, premiums are generally lower than those for permanent insurance, allowing you to buy higher levels of coverage at a younger age, when the need for protection often is the greatest.

What is Permanent Insurance?

Permanent insurance provides lifelong protection and is known by a variety of names. As long as you pay the necessary premiums, the death benefit always will be there. these policies are designed and priced for you to keep over a long period of time. If you do not intend to keep the policy for the long term, it could be the wrong type of insurance for you.

Most permanent policies, including whole life, universal life, adjustable life, and variable life have a feature known as "cash value" or "cash surrender value." This feature, which is not found in most term insurance policies, provides you with some options:

--You can cancel or "surrender" the policy -- in total or part -- and receive the cash value as a lump sum of money. If you surrender your policies in the early years, there may be little or no cash value.

--If you stop paying premiums, you can use the cash value to continue your current insurance protection for a specific period of time or to provide a lesser amount of protection to cover you for a longer period.

--You may borrow the cash value from the policy. If you do not repay the loan with interest, your beneficiaries will receive a reduced death benefit.

Keep in mind that, with all types of permanent policies, the cash value of a policy is different from the policy face amount. Cash value is the amount available when you surrender a policy before its maturity or your death. The face amount is the money that will be paid at death or at policy maturity.

What are the types of Permanent Insurance?

There are many different types of permanent insurance. Two major ones are described below.

Whole Life

This is the most common type of permanent insurance. The premiums for a whole life policy must be paid as scheduled in the amount indicated in the policy. These premium amounts remain constant over the life of the policy. The death benefit and cash value are guaranteed as stated in the policy if premiums are paid when due and there are no loans or withdrawals outstanding at the insured's death. Quite often dividends may be credited to this type of policy.

Universal Life


This variation of permanent insurance allows you, after your initial premium payment, to pay premiums at any time, in virtually any amount, subject to certain minimums and maximums. You can also increase or reduce the amount of the death benefit more easily than under a traditional whole life policy. Typically, current interest rates are credited to the cash value in this type of policy.

 

Copyright 2012 | Collins & Miller Insurance LLC | all rights reserved
 Disclaimer: This material is for informational purposes only and is not a contract. It is intended to provide a general description of products and services. Please remember that only an insurance policy or contract can give actual terms, coverage's, amounts, conditions and exclusions. For complete descriptions of the terms, conditions and exclusions of insurance coverage's or other products or services, please contact your independent agent or refer to the policy or service contract.
Licensed in the following states: Tennessee