Life insurance is an essential part of financial planning, but understanding it, and buying the right policy can be tricky. There are whole and term life, riders and convertibility clauses to make sense of, and then you nave to choose the right one. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get the perfect policy for the best price.
As you get older, evaluate how your life insurance needs have changed to be sure you aren’t paying more than you should. For example, if you are retired and your children are all employed and living independently, there is no need for a zillion-dollar policy. They simply don’t need that income if something should happen to you. So if you have no dependents in the house and no debts, you should ramp down your life insurance coverage to a minimum level – say, to support only your spouse if he or she survives you.
Make sure you understand all the exclusions, inclusions, and terms involved in your contract before signing on the dotted line. Items like non-payment for pre-existing diseases, no coverage if you were doing an activity considered dangerous and other exclusions are very common. Read the fine print and understand fully what you are paying for.
Be sure to read over all of the information about the life insurance plan that your company offers. You may find that it will not be enough. You may want to invest in an additional policy to be sure that your family is going to have enough money in the event of your passing.
Disclose any high-risk jobs or hobbies. Although you’ll have to pay higher premiums if you engage in risky activities, it’s better to be honest with your insurance company. If the company finds out that you’re engaging in these activities from someone other than you, you may lose your eligibility for coverage. Keeping this information from them can be construed as fraud, and could cause huge penalties.
Before shopping for life insurance, put together a budget to project the amount of financial coverage you might need. Include your mortgage payoff, college costs for the kids, money to pay any other large debt obligations, funds to cover funeral and medical expenses and enough money to supplement your remaining spouse’s retirement funds.
When buying term life insurance, make sure the duration of your policy matches the amount of time you need it. For example, buy term insurance that stays in force long enough until the kids become independent and also, that the remaining spouse has coverage until he or she, becomes eligible for retirement income.
Consider a convertible policy if you cannot decide between term or permanent life insurance. This type of life insurance policy starts out as term life insurance, and if they choose to before the term expires,the insured can convert the policy to permanent insurance without having to take a new medical exam.
As you read, life insurance is incredibly important to your current and future financial planning and so is understanding all the different kinds. With this understanding, it makes it easier for you to determine what policies fit your personal needs. Following these simple tips, is a very good starting place.