Typically consumers take out life insurance in order to protect themselves from events that may possibly occur, such as illness, car accidents, fire and other things. The likelihood of such things happening is one of the factors that is considered in order to set rates. However, life insurance is very different.
Life insurance differs because you are not insuring against something you expect to never happen. You know you will die, it is just a matter of when. This makes pricing life insurance more difficult than other types of insurance. Life insurance is much more a financial product than a true insurance product. Such things can lead to confusion and make it easy for people to be fooled more often.
Purchasing life insurance allows you to solidify the financial future of those you love and your legacy can be composed of it. The benefits from life insurance can cover funeral costs, college funds, mortgages or more.
Below are some definitions from the world of life insurance:
- Life Insurance Premiums: This is the amount of money you pay an in order to have life insurance.
- Life Insurance Convertibility: This is what makes a policy able to convert from one type to another.
- Life Insurance Face Value: This is the original amount of the benefit on a policy.
- Life Insurance Cash Value: This is the saving part of a policy that can be cashed in or borrowed from.
- Paid Up Life Insurance : This is a type of policy that has no outstanding premiums due.
- Life Insurance Beneficiary: The person who will receive benefits from a life insurance policy.
Life Insurance Options
There are 6 different types of life insurance options.
- Term life insurance: This type of coverage is often referred to as temporary and is the easiest to get and the least expensive. It covers the individual for a set number of years for a premium that is stable.
- Declining Balance Term: This is a different form of term insurance that is commonly matched with mortgages. The benefit decreases over the life of the term, which is typically equal to the length of the mortgage. When the mortgage is paid off, the policy is useless and will expire. It has no cash value.
- Whole Life: This policy gives you permanent life insurance with savings built in. If you continue to pay your coverage at the locked in rate, you will be accruing cash value.
- Universal Life: This is similar to whole life but you can also earn on the savings associated with your policy. Premiums and face values are more flexible than other types of coverage and can be altered as needed. Cash values can be accessed.
- Variable Life: This type has fixed premiums and gives the holder more control over the cash value of the policy. This cash value is invested therefore it and the death benefits associated with the plan can vary. Taxes are deferred on capital gains and other earnings if the money remains in the insurance policy.
- Universal Variable Life: This is an aggressive policy that is invested in mutual funds. No guarantees are made other than the original face value death benefit.
Understand the different types of life insurance so that you can be sure you are getting the right life insurance policy for your needs before you buy.
Instant Life Insurance Quotes
Multiple websites exist that offer complimentary term life insurance quotes to consumers who are looking to buy coverage. However, few of them actually explain term life insurance coverage and the different options available. It is important to understand the basics of this important insurance product and to know what option to choose in order to best protect you and your family.
There are variations on the rules and regulations concerning life insurance coverage from one state to another. Therefore if you are getting an online quote, make sure that it is from a reputable insurer that actually is licensed to sell coverage in your state. The agent you deal with should be familiar with the particularities of where you live. In addition, it is wise to learn about the guidelines of your state in regards to life insurance.
Comparing Term Life Insurance Coverage
When you decide to use a free online quote tool to help you search for the right life insurance tool, you will be surprised by how easy it is. It is critical to shop around for a variety of prices, because every company has slightly different guidelines for setting rates. Therefore you need to get as many quotes as possible and compare them to get the best deal.
In addition, it is important for you to feel totally confident in the choices you make concerning life insurance. When you know you have opted for the right insurer you will feel that way. Talk with several agents until you find the right one for you.
Different Life Insurance Plans
There are a variety of life insurance products available. It is important to know which one is the right one for you. Agents can help you make such choices as they have more education than the average person when it comes to life insurance. Your agent will teach you a great deal. By using an online quote tool, you can quickly and easily access the right agent for you.
When you are ready to get a life insurance quote, it is as simple as accessing an online quote tool. You start by giving your zip code and in no time you will be on your way to getting multiple quotes from companies serving the area you live in. The presentation of the results even makes it easy to compare and contrast the options available to find the best coverage possible.
Get started today with a free online life insurance quote to help you get started finding the best coverage possible.
The most important rule for applying for life insurance
is to be completely honest. A medical exam may or may not be a part of the process of applying, but you will certainly get asked questions concerning your medical history. This is standard in the world of life insurance, even if you have to undergo an exam. Typically exams are done in the convenience of your home, are non-invasive and take very little time. They check basic things such as blood pressure, your heart and draw blood.
It is tempting on times to skim over some the not so ideal information when you are filling out an application for life insurance in order to keep your premiums low. However, this is a bad idea because it can cost you your policy or stop a claim from being paid if the deception is discovered after your death.
It is a common occurrence for insurers to deny payment of life insurance benefits because a policy holder lied about something on their application, such as whether or not they were a smoker. Rates can be very different for a smoker versus a non-smoker even on term life policies. If you use tobacco do not lie about it because the truth will come out. Instead talk to an agent about other ways to keep premiums down and try to quit smoking.
People with high blood pressure often try to not give such information when it comes to life insurance. This is another bad idea, as the information is critical and can be a deal breaker.
The rationalizations for lying on applications for life insurance are far and many. One of the most common ones is that the insurer is a big company and can afford it. Individuals feel like they are pulling one over on the big name insurance company. However, in reality the ones who suffer are often the loved ones left behind when the death benefits are not payable due to deceit. In such cases, the only thing the insurer has to pay is the amount you paid in premiums. There is often not enough money in such cases to provide the assistance with mortgages, college education and more as was originally planned.
Right now, life insurance rates for term life are lower than they have ever been. Be honest. Get a variety of quotes on life insurance and compare and contrast them for the best price possible for the best coverage.
In addition to the standard death benefit, you may also be surprised to learn there are other ways you can use your life insurance policy.
Here are five ways to use your life insurance policy to your benefit:
1. Living benefits. Many state life insurance policies offer a Living Benefits or Accelerated Death Benefits provision, which means the policy will pay for care expenses should you or another policy holder be diagnosed with a terminal illness. With the ever-increasing cost of health care, this benefit can prove invaluable, so check with your life insurance agent to find out more.
2. Cash value. If you own permanent life insurance, such as whole life, universal life or variable life, you can use the policy to preserve your cash flow during hard times. You may borrow against the accrued cash value at any time, with no questions asked. This kind of life insurance not only provides a death benefit; it can also save you from financial ruin in the event of a job loss, health problem or other emergency.
3. Long-term care. Many families have found the cost of long-term care for an ill or elderly individual to be financially devastating. In some cases, using a state life insurance policy to pay the cost of long-term care can prevent this problem. The rider on such a policy allows a portion of the value to be applied to the long-term care, with the death benefit reduced proportionally.
4. Waiver of premium. A "waiver of premium" rider will keep paying the premiums on your state life insurance in the event of certain misfortunes, such as the loss of a job or disability. This allows you to keep your policy in effect for a specified amount of time, typically six months, even if you cannot pay.
5. Conversion. Should you be diagnosed with a serious medical condition and want to ensure your term life insurance will last beyond the length of the term, a conversion could prove invaluable. This allows you to convert a term life insurance policy to a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life, without the need for a medical exam.
Instant Life Insurance Quotes
According to Rothman Research, a leading research firm specializing in the insurance services
industry data, many insurance companies
are struggling to deal with loss of business as the financial sector is faced with a very difficult industry atmosphere in America. There is still tension in the industry about the massive $182.3 billion dollar AIG bailout. This atmosphere is likely to last at least until mid-2010. If progress occurs, the second part of the year should see the economy start to rebound more quickly.
Poor credit and equity markets lead to fewer losses anticipated in investments in the near future. This means premiums are dropping slowly. A dip in underwriting reserves have contributed to the industry tensions which are currently felt. AIG and Travelers Insurance Companies Inc. are both the focus of the Rothman Research report on the subject.
AIG is not recovering as quickly as first anticipated because the poor economy continues to hamper it. In addition, having to make regular repayments to the government and having no reserves have made the recovery process difficult. The last 3 months of 2009 saw AIG helping General Insurance with $2.3 billion from the loss reserves. A September 2008 injection of $85 billion from AIG gave it an almost 80% share in the company.
The fourth quarter also saw the Domestic Life Insurance & Retirement Service undergo a restructuration and reemerge as SunAmerica Financial Group. They also made major changes in how they deal with business relationships and their sales distribution channels. The new group is poised to be at the forefront of their industry worldwide. They have a strong US life and annuity program in place as well as a variety of other businesses.
The Travelers Companies Inc. is, in reality, a holding company with its own subsidiaries. They offer commercial insurance, personal property insurance, casualty coverage and other services as they relate to government departments, businesses and other associations. Its main segments include Business Insurance; Personal Insurance: and Financial, Professional and International Insurance. The portion which offers Business Insurance provides casualty and property insurance, as well as other insurance type services in the United States. The various offerings of the company include credit-based processes.
Given more time and the right conditions, these and other firms will improve even more significantly.
One of the country's top term life insurance companies
, ING Life Companies, has lowered its price for much of its term life insurance product line being sold through ReliaStar Life Insurance Company and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York. This strategic move is in order to help maintain its strength in that category of products. Other changes to the ING TermSmart product line have been made with this same goal and include:
- offering a 25 year term policy as well as the 10, 15, 20 and 30 year policies already available
- providing an option to reduce premiums on plans that have a value of $500,000 to $999,999
- allowing policies to be issued to people up to 5 years older than current guidelines.
The company's American CEO Butch Britton states, "ING remains committed to being a leader in this market. These moves...will help us keep our extremely competitive position and help us provide protection to more middle income Americans." Statistics on the group of companies show that it is the 2nd largest life insurance provider in the country. Some of the other products sold by ING include universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life and return-of-premium term life.
ING sells their line of insurance products through independent insurance agents and online agents. ING Life Companies provide support in the form of a dedicated web site, online tools and custom marketing tools. They strive to make selling their products an easy undertaking for agents.
TermSmart products can be upgraded to permanent insurance until age 70 or 5 years before your product ends, whichever occurs first.
About The ING Group
Originally a Dutch company, ING is now worldwide. It offers financial products and services to consumers and corporate clients. They have over 85 million clients from over 40 countries. The 115,000 strong staff is committed to promoting the ING goal of providing excellent assistance in the financial future of each client.
The US division offers investment options, life insurance products, retirement plans, banking, employee benefits, financial planning and much more. With over 30 million clients in the country, it is in the top of each field it works in.
The ING TermSmart policy, one of the newest additions to the ING line-up, may not be for sale in all states and may include state-specific variations. In the state of New York the only products that can be sold are through the ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York and TermSmart is not included. Guarantees on products are based on the strength of each issuing company, which is uniquely responsible for the products sold under its name.
Medicare beneficiaries fill in Medicare's coverage gaps in a number of different ways, including:
Government Programs (Medicaid/QMB/SLMB);
Group Retirement Policies (Non-Standardized);
Non-Standardized Individual Medigap Policies (Issued Prior to July 31, 1992);
Standardized Individual Medigap Policies (Issued After July 31, 1992).
Medicare beneficiaries who are also eligible for Medicaid (Title 19) do not need Medigap insurance since Medicaid will cover the cost of their health care expenses. People who do not qualify for Medicaid but are within 100% of the federal poverty level are eligible for coverage under a program known as the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB). QMB program benefits include:
Payment of Medicare premiums.
Payment of Medicare annual deductibles.
Payment of Medicare coinsurance amounts.
Thus individuals who qualify for the QMB program generally also do not need, and should not pay for, Medicare Supplement Insurance. The qualifying income figures change in April each year. Contact the Department of Social Services office in your area to find out more about Title 19 and QMB eligibility and enrollment.
Individuals who do not qualify for QMB because of excess income may qualify for the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB) or Qualified Individual Program (QI). People who have incomes within 120% - 135% of the federal poverty level are eligible for SLMB or QI coverage. However, SLMB and QI only pay for the Medicare Part B monthly premium. Therefore, SLMB and QI individuals may still want to purchase Medigap insurance if they can afford to do so. Like QMB, the qualifying income figures change in April each year and the programs are administered by the Department of Social Services.
Some employers offer health insurance coverage to their retirees. Retirees who are covered by such group plans may not need to purchase an individual policy. While a retiree may choose to switch to an individual plan, this may not be a good choice because group retiree plans usually do not cost anything to the individual and the group coverage is often as good or better than most individual Medigap policies. Thus the individual should compare his company's policy costs and coverage with the ten Medigap policies. The retiree should also consider the stability of his company. If it is conceivable that the company will falter, that his costs will rise, or that coverage will diminish, the individual may wish to purchase an independent policy. Remember, however, that if a new policy is purchased the old policy must be dropped.
Most Medicare beneficiaries are not eligible for Medicaid or QMB, however, and may want to obtain Medigap insurance. Approximately two-thirds purchase Medigap policies. As of July 31, 1992, Medigap policies were standardized throughout the United States. This mandatory standardization was a result of legislation passed by Congress through the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. There are ten specific benefit plans which federal law permits to be sold as Medigap policies. Two new plans were added in 2006. States may allow all or some of these plans to be marketed. Insurance companies may sell all or some of the plans which the individual state allows them to market. However, there is a basic benefit package, known as the "core benefit" plan, which must be allowed in all states and which must be offered by any company which sells Medigap insurance.
Although individual Medigap policies have been standardized since 1992, some seniors are still covered by previously issued non-standardized plans. These policies are no longer available for purchase. However, individuals may continue to keep their old policies and many people have chosen to do so. Individuals covered by an old policy should consider changing to a new "standardized" plan, and should compare the benefits and costs of each of the policies. Then an informed decision can be made. An individual who purchases a new standardized policy can only have one Medigap policy and must therefore drop the old, non-standardized plan. This protects people from the unnecessary costs of duplicate coverage.
Before you are totally decided on a health insurance provider
a good measure to take is to ensure that you have adequate outpatient service provider coverage. If you already have a health insurance coverage plan
you should check with your current HMO, PPO, or health care provider to determine what level of service you do or do not have.
Equally as important is finding a quality outpatient service provider in your area well before having a medical procedure done so that you know the care you are provided with will be top notch. You can always ask friends and family how their personal experiences with their outpatient service provider was and your doctor is also an excellent reference point. But before you claim an outpatient service provider as your own you should ask yourself and the facilities themselves the following questions:
- Do they accept your HOM, PPO, or current health care plan?
- Is there more than one facility in your area that can service your needs?
- Will your health insurance cover all expected costs?
- Is the facility located at a reasonable distance from your home?
- Will they communicate well with your doctor and let your doctor verify tests and test results that are conducted?
- Is the outpatient facility accredited by a national medical board or other accredited agency?
- What is the staff like, how experienced are they, and how long has the facility itself been in operation?
- Will you be able to be fully treated at the facility or be forced to go elsewhere for follow up care?
- How obliging is the facility when it comes to helping with financial assistance if needed?
- Will they give you clear instructions before, during, and after any procedures?
- How well equipped is the facility to be able to handle any special needs that you may have during and after a procedure?
- Does your doctor approve of the facility?
- What is the facility's reputation around the community?
Additionally, you should always visit the facility in person before you have any procedures done. This will give you the opportunity to see firsthand how clean the facility is and how friendly a knowledgeable the staff seems. You can also ascertain whether or not there are some of the little things that you might like to see in an outpatient service provider such as a waiting room for your family that is going to be comfortable for them.
Only by asking questions, and lot of them, will you be able to determine if in fact you are going to get the best possible out patience service for your particular needs. While talking with friends, family, and your doctor are a great place to start, you should never take anybody's word for it and always plan a trip to the facilities in advance with a list of questions in hand.
Working out the details of a divorce is an emotionally draining period of dividing up the aspects of a life once shared. Everything must be considered and difficult decisions made, in order to avoid future conflicts, omissions and errors that could prove costly and inconvenient for either side. Amongst the many things to divvy up in a divorce is the auto insurance policy. There are several different aspects to consider when deciding what to do with the auto insurance policy for a couple that is splitting up.
If each of you has separate policies, the process is simple. You remove the other person from your coverage and you are done. However, in most cases married couples have joint policies, in order to get discounts that they would not otherwise be entitled to. If you have only one car, you will need to begin by deciding who gets the car. Logic says that the one who has the car will also need the car insurance policy. This simplifies things greatly.
However, if you have more than one vehicle and each of you gets to keep one or more of them, typically only one person will get to keep the policy. The choice of who gets it should not create an unfair advantage for one person or the other. Talking to your insurance agent or shopping around for prices before making a decision will help you. If you have joint custody of your children and an amicable divorce, you may want to consider keeping the policy as is. You can share the joint insurance policy for a period of time following the divorce if your relationship allows for it.
Occasionally, the division of property in a divorce case in court will even include things like auto insurance policies. If the details of dividing up property have become cumbersome, often the lawyers for each side and a judge will end up making the final decisions. You can make requests to your lawyer in such cases, but things may not end up exactly as you wish.
Divorce is complicated and multi-faceted. Avoid getting bogged down in the details of dividing up things. Sometimes it is beneficial to give up some of the small easily replaceable things like the auto insurance policy in order to get more important things. Use common sense in your dealings with your ex-spouse and follow your lawyer's advice. By doing so, you will reduce the tension and stress surrounding you at this difficult time.
If you are one of the many Americans who will face divorce, you know that there are many things to consider. One of those things is the security of your alimony payments. If your former spouse becomes disabled and can't work, what will become of your alimony payments? Luckily, you can request that an individual disability insurance policy be maintained by your ex, to make sure alimony continues even if he can not work. Many good lawyers make this a standard request when negotiating divorce settlements these days.
The facts are that an individual has a 30% risk of becoming disabled for 3 months or more between now and the time he or she is 65. Average disability duration is 3.2 years in length. If your ex were to suffer a disability that kept him from work for a long time period, how would your alimony get paid?
Different Types of Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is exactly what is needed to ensure that an individual can survive and meet his or her financial obligations in the case of becoming disabled. There are three different types to choose from. Long-term disability coverage is available through your workplace. Plans are also available through professional groups and unions. Individual disability insurance is the third option and the best one. It is typically the option that provides the best benefits with the loosest set of qualifications, making it easier to become eligible. While this is also the most expensive of the three types, it is the most secure. If you are looking to protect your alimony, make sure that your lawyer includes a clause in the divorce agreement that your ex must maintain a private individual insurance plan.
The Reality of Disability
More than 90% of disability claims result from common illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, MS and back and neck problems. Such illnesses often begin without warning unless you have major risk factors for them. Despite the fact that it is rather unfortunate when illnesses happen to anyone, you would still be concerned about your alimony should your former spouse fall ill. However if he or she carries disability insurance, you can feel more at ease about it.
Even though a disability insurance policy is just one of the multitudes of things to think about when planning a divorce, it can make a huge difference to your financial future. Get started today looking for an individual policy for yourself and get the information you need to pass along to your former spouse.