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10 Must Know Life Insurance Questions and Answers

by Jeff Rose on March 25, 2012 · 1 comment

term life insurance questions and answersWhen it comes to buying life insurance there are many questions that can come up.

Buying life insurance should be simple, but it never fails that there’s always something that comes up that can be just a bit confusing.

Here’s a look at some of the common life insurance questions that will come up when it comes to purchasing term life insurance.

1.  How much life insurance should you buy?

This is a common question that I get all the time.  If somebody asks me if they’re concerned about buying too much life insurance, that’s typically only an issue if they just flat out can’t afford it.  It’s pretty hard to have too much life insurance.  There are several rules of thumb that you can follow and probably the most common is to take ten times your annual salary.  For some individual this might not be enough, but at least it’s somewhere to get going.  Another way to look at it is to think of how much you expect to be making in the next five years, especially for the Gen X or Gen Y generation.

2.  How long of a term should you purchase on your life insurance?

If you are in you mid-30s or younger, then I think you absolutely should purchase a 30 Year Term life insurance at the bare minimum.  Some could argue that you only need it for as long as you have your home mortgage and if you pay your house off early, then life insurance is an unneeded expense.  If that’s the case and you really do think that you don’t need it, then just stop making the payments.  For myself, even though I plan on having my house paid off well before 30 years, it still made since for me to buy a 30 year term policy.  Why?  For what I’m paying per month, it won’t be that much of an expense in my later 50 or early 60s so that in the event something does happen to me, my family is still taken care of, even more so.

3.  Where should you buy your life insurance from?

There are so many different options now a days on where to buy your term life insurance.  Many people buy directly from their life insurance agent.  Some people buy it online.  The one piece of advice I can give you is to make sure to shop around.  You can even use the free quote engine on this site that will give you a quick and accurate life insurance quote so you can see how much out of pocket expense you’re looking forward to.

 

4. How difficult is it to pass a life insurance exam?

If you’re in good health, then you should have no worries whatsoever.  Make sure to drink plenty of water a few days before the medical exam and follow the nurse’s instructions, especially if they tell you not to eat the morning of.

5.   Should you buy term or whole life?

This is a common question that I often get from people who are not sure about how the two different types of insurance policies work.  If you’re more concerned about protecting your family with the right amount of coverage, the term life insurance policy is going to be the most affordable.  A whole life policy will continue to cover you for the rest of your life, but the cost of whole life insurance is much more than term and you probably won’t be able to afford a whole life policy that gives you the amount of coverage you really need.

6.  Should you buy return of premium life insurance?

From what I can tell return of premium insurance seems like it’s much more expensive than what it’s worth.  That being said, I am a believer in the markets and that someone could take the difference, invest it and make much more over the next 20 or 30 years.  For people that aren’t as confident in the market as I may be, then the return of premium insurance might make sense for them.

7.   Should you buy life insurance on your child?

Personally I don’t see the value of buying life insurance for your child.  I think your child could have much more money if you opened up a custodial account that is invested into good mutual funds.  That being said, there are many policies out there that only cost about $7 a month.  If it’s not a huge out of pocket expense, then it’s hard for me to argue that your wasting your money, but if you’re putting in several hundred dollars a month into the life insurance policy for your child you might want to consider other options.

8.   How can you check the ratings on your life insurance company?

When you’re deciding what carrier to purchase your life insurance from, it’s best to know if they have a solid rating.  You can go to websites like Moody’s or AM BEST that will show you the ratings of the life insurance company that makes sure that they are in good standing with the creditors.

9.  What happens when a life insurance policy lapses?

A few years ago I had made the mistake of letting one of my term life insurance policies lapse.  I had three separate term policies and having a conversation with my wife, I had told her that we were going to let one lapse.  Unfortunately, there was some miscommunication and the wrong policy lapsed.  It had already been over a month since we realized our error and I was fearful that I’d have to go through the entire life insurance exam process.  After making a quick call to life insurance company realized that that was not the case.  All we had to do was send a check for the next year and the policy was back in force.

10.  When is a good idea to purchase more life insurance?

You always think that you might have enough life insurance until another life event happens.  For me this has happened on three occasions, after I got married, after I had my first son and then after I had my second son.  After each life event, I questioned myself whether I had taken out enough life insurance on myself and each time I wasn’t confident in my feeling so, I decided to up the amount of term coverage that I had.

These are just some of the common life insurance questions that people might have when purchasing it.  If you have questions before buying life insurance, be sure to speak to a independent life insurance agent prior to purchasing.  Be informed and make sure to take care of your loved ones.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa Kellogg December 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Jeff,
I like your site and you have some really great information here!
Also, as a Marine mom, I’d like to personally thank you for serving your country, as a member of our fine military family…AND as a provider of information to help people discover their true need to have ENOUGH quality life insurance coverage for their needs. (and my hubby is a Sr. U/W at Banner, too!)
Two things:
1. Your article about what type of life insurance you may need…first, whole life allows for guaranteed options to purchase additional coverage (NO MATTER the insured’s health at the time the options are offered…EVER), allowing the insured to increase the benefits accumulated presumably as their earning capabilities increase so there is a step-up in cost as the insured has the ability to pay for it. And options when they have life events, such as marriage and having a child, natural or adopted. It is that guaranteed ability to obtain life insurance which makes insurance for a child a VERY good idea. That, in my opinion, is the SOLE reason for selling life insurance on a child. Or an adult, as well.
2. The whole life policy on an individual that has those options added when the insured elects to exercise them (usually between 4-10 options, depending on the company) will have their basic whole life policy which was initially purchased (let’s say $100,000) and then the option that is exercised will be issued as a separate, stand-alone policy all on its own, but considered a part of the whole life product purchased. That means a couple of things. First, if they need cash value and it’s built up (usually begins building after year 12) a particular amount, they can cash in only that option policy, and leave the remainder intact. And, if they still have more options to be offered in the future, those still may be purchased. Second, and probably more important, a whole life product counts as a part of the insured’s net worth. That is considered part of net worth for lenders, which may mean the difference between a family perhaps being able to purchase a home or a badly needed new car, for example. Or the insured can take a loan against their policy, as you described in your blog. However, I hadn’t thought much about collateral assignment. Thanks for that tip!
3. Lastly, I found a really cool tip for someone who may have misplaced that very important document, their policy. MIB (yep, that MIB…the one that may contain “hits” on someone’s medical history) has a service wherein they can find and issue a copy of a lost life insurance policy. They cover all US policies issued and some Canadian. This makes life easier on US, the advisors, as it means we don’t have to fight with an insurance company’s process to obtain that copy, and neither would an estate’s executor. I thought that was a really valuable piece of intel which I ran upon this week. Wanted to pass it along.
And Jeff, I truly agree wholeheartedly about term insurance. Or UL. In fact, I actually have three sons. And their dad, my ex (yep we can’t stand each other) is a high risk guy with a kidney transplant that’s not working really well. He isn’t going to last much more than 2-3 years. If one of my sons could get their dad’s information to you, could you help them with some guaranteed issue? I’m a fully licensed advisor, but I don’t sell in my current capacity. I train. So, I’d rather they work with a veteran-owned business if they can. Just please let me know what I need to tell them. Please be detailed enough that they won’t get frustrated about this. He (dad) needs enough to take care of final expenses and I think they have some high credit debt. Whatever you could get for the guy would help my sons not have to carry that financial burden. And, as you know, an E3 salary combined with a manager trainee for a Dominos store can’t afford to carry much on dad’s behalf and they shouldn’t have to. I’d appreciate it.
Have a terrific Friday.

Lisa Kellogg

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