Life insurance is not a decision to be taken lightly. Choosing the right plan and the right coverage option means you’ve got to step back and evaluate your life. As you question whether or not you need life insurance, take a look at our list of ten quick tips as a guide to determining your life insurance needs.
- Pick Your Type
There are two broad types of life insurance for you to choose from: Term Life and Permanent Life. Term life insurance is the less expensive option that covers you for a specific period of time. Permanent life insurance covers you for the rest of your life and often comes at a higher price tag. For individuals with a sizeable estate that needs protecting, insurance agents will often explore some type of permanent life insurance that will offer comprehensive coverage, savings options, and tax considerations.
- Get it When You’re Young
If you think life insurance is only for people who are in their 30’s and 40’s, married with 2.5 kids… think again. A policy doesn’t just cover the income your dependents would need following your passing. For young people, this inexpensive coverage acts as an effective debt squasher, tackling any accumulated debt you left behind like student loans that a parent co-signed on. Take a hard look at what payments you’re making in your life right now and ask yourself: who might be stuck with these costs if I’m gone?
- Get it When You’re Single
As noted above, you don’t need a significant other living as your dependent for life insurance to be applicable to you, and there’s no better time to consider a policy than when you’re still a bachelor or bachelorette. For business owners, this advice is especially important for you to hear. If you weren’t in the picture, would your business and its employees be able to go on? The same question goes for people without a business. If you have a roommate, have you ever considered who would be saddled with your apartment lease payments? Or what about your loved ones, would they be responsible for paying for your funeral out of pocket?
Often, people will shop for a policy when they’ve found “the one,” but you really should have coverage to support all of the other people in your life who may need the extra support without you there.
- Life Insurance Is Made for the Golden Years
As you head into retirement age, the last thing that many people consider is life insurance. They may have a dependent in their life, but they’re probably thinking that their retirement fund and savings will carry their loved-ones through. However, expenses like debt, estate taxes, and funeral costs are hefty bills to pay and can consume large amounts of people’s savings. Instead, purchasing a life insurance policy can offer peace of mind, knowing that costs have been accounted for and will be covered should the policyholder pass away.
- Consider Your Income, But Don’t Be Deterred By It
How much you make will play a part in how much you can expect to have covered by a life insurance policy. But if you’re considering life insurance and don’t think you can afford it, don’t be afraid to shop around. Policy offerings are flexible and affordable, it just takes time finding the right plan. Before you sit down with an insurance agent, prepare a list of how much you’re making, what debts you are currently paying off, and what additional costs dependents look to you for. This will give your agent a much better idea of what needs to be covered by the policy he or she suggests.
- Staying Healthy
Your premiums and policy costs are all associated with levels of risk. When you are looking to purchase a coverage plan, be prepared to answer a number of questions about your health. These questions will assess what kind of risk you pose to the insurance company, which is often why some pre-existing conditions have a higher rate to start with. People with anxiety, obesity, heart disease, and high cholesterol should expect their health to affect their policy and premium price tag. If you can limit the effects of your condition, or simply work on living a healthier, more active lifestyle, you can expect to see a lower cost.
- Know What Isn’t Covered
It’s important to know what the fine print on your policy says about your coverage. Understanding what can be covered by your plan will ensure no surprises if you’re expecting a claim but it’s denied. Many plans will not pay out following the death of a holder if the person commits suicide, dies in a plane crash, or is an active serviceman or woman.
- Make Payments Annually
This is one of the most straightforward ways to save on your policy: pay your premiums annually. Because you are making one large payment every year instead of twelve smaller payments, you are saving the insurance company the cost and hassle of handling more transactions. In your own policy, there will be a line item that says how much your savings could be with annual payments. In some cases, people have been able to save up to as much as 8%.
- Review Your Policy Often
After you’ve purchased your policy, don’t let that be the last time your read through it. Life is constantly changing. As the years go by, it’s important to know that policy is still working hard for you. Pay attention to what costs and debts you may have accrued over time and make sure those are represented accurately in your policy coverage.
- Get Help Planning So There’s Nothing Left Behind
You don’t have to tackle your insurance needs alone. Exploring your options is something to encourage and partnering with an experienced insurance agent is going to give you the leg up you’re looking for. Work together on weighing the pros and cons and evaluating all of your life’s costs. After all, it’s what an agent is there for!
If you’re looking for help navigating your life insurance options, give Doyle & Ogden a call. Our team can help you find the perfect policy that will offer you better coverage at the best price. Call us at 616-949-9000 or request a quote online today!