Frequently Asked Questions
You obtain a policy to safeguard against financial catastrophe for your loved ones. You also want to have peace of mind that if it’s your time to go, the ones you love most can still live on with dignity.
Life insurance aims to prevent financial burden for final expenses, burial costs, mortgage protection, income replacement, and leaving a legacy.
Final expense life insurance refers to specific protection individuals purchase to cover charges and affairs that are associated with your such as burial, funeral service, or final medical bills. Final expense policies are whole life with a fixed premium amount that lasts for as long as the insured lives.
“No-questions-asked life insurance,” also known as guaranteed issue life insurance, is a policy which ensures your acceptance regardless of your current or past health challenges. There are three caveats to these plans:
- There is a graded benefit clause which will not pay the full death benefit amount should you pass aways during the first two policy years.
- These policies are over priced.
- You must be between the ages 40-85
You probably do. Most group coverages aren’t portable, which means if you lose or quit your job, you also let go of your insurance coverage. Most importantly, group coverage doesn’t offer sufficient protection and typically offers two or three times your yearly income, which by all accounts, isn’t enough. The recommended amount is 10x your yearly income.
If you are the one that will be financially responsible for your parents’ final expenses, then yes, you should purchase insurance for your parents. Also, take into consideration if they will have medical bills, mortgage payments, income replacement for the other parent and the list goes on. No one gets rich from getting insurance for their parents. It protects you from having to liquidate your savings and assets to properly take care of their end-of-life expenses and/or financially help the surviving parents.
Buy coverage when you are young. The younger and healthier you are the cheaper it is. Your coverage will be as cheap as it will ever be right now! The older you are, the higher the premiums. Buying a policy early in life is also a good way to ensure a lower premium.
Since you, the client, may not know what plan is best for you based on your health history, you may find that you’ve applied for the wrong policy with the wrong company. Moreover, the quotes you see online aren’t the rates you will qualify for.
Talking to a broker is the key to obtaining the best policy.
Life insurance’s primary purpose is to prevent financial hardship for your loved ones. No one is entitled to a funeral (for those who say,” I don’t really care what happens when I die”), so if no one pays for your funeral service, guess what? The local government will take over and bury you in a potter’s field or cremate your body.
Premium rates are typically based on factors such as age, gender, height, weight, health status (including whether or not you use tobacco), and if you participate in high-risk activities or occupations.
Most policies have a 31-day grace period wherein you can pay the premium with no penalty or interest.
Thankfully, no. Life insurance prices are fixed by law and are subject to the insurance carrier and the stat’s department of insurance approval. If that were the case, brokers, agents, and the insurance companies couldn’t compete ethically in the marketplace, and consumers would be even more baffled with life insurance.
Your designated beneficiary will have to file a claim with the carrier. He will also need to supply the death certificate along with the deceased’s policy number, social security number and address.
Insurance companies are in the risk evaluation business, and they view applicants with a criminal history as high-risk individuals. They refrain from insuring felons because within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners are rearrested.
Work with a broker! An applicant can reapply with a different company and get coverage. If you have been declined, it will help the broker if you know the reason why.
The suicide provision states that, if you die within two years after buying the policy is a result of suicide, the carrier will contest your claim and will not pay your beneficiaries. After two years, the company can not challenge the death claim and must pay the benefit.
Most policies have a life insurance contestability period of two years after you buy the policy. During this time, if the insurance company finds that they issued the policy under misrepresentation or withholding of information by you, they can declare your policy void. In that case, sometime the company will return the premiums.
Some policies have a provision that allows you to collect a significant portion of the death benefit while you are still alive should you become terminally ill. The money can be used at your discretion. The amount you take out early will be subtracted from the death benefit payment along with interest.
There are four kinds of term policies:
- Level Term Policy: the death benefit amount will remain the same for the entire term. Depending on the policy, your premiums may be level or may increase over the term.
- Decreasing Term Policy: The death benefit decreases over the term. Your premium will typically remain the same throughout the term. This type of plan is beneficial to cover mortgages or loans which also decrease over time.
- Annual Renewable Term: The death benefit remains the same throughout the term, but the premium increases each you as you get older.
- Convertible Term Policy: You are allowed to convert the policy into a permanent policy, typically without a medical exam or further underwriting. Generally, the conversion must be done by age 65.
Typically, you will need to provide your social security number, driver’s license number, and banking information. Some applications ask for additional personal information.
The insurance company checks the medications that you have been provided. They do include medications that you take now and prescriptions you have had in the past and no longer take.
Insurance companies check to see if you have had driving infractions that could put you in a higher risk category. For example, a prior record of a DUI or DWI can prevent you from qualifying for insurance.
The owner of the policy can change the beneficiary at any time the policy is in force.
To determine how much life insurance you need, it’s best to look at your surviving family’s immediate, ongoing, and future financial needs. Immediate financial concerns include funeral costs, medical bills, and taxes. Additional concerns include ongoing mortgage payments, utilities, food, car payments etc.
A graded benefit life insurance is coverage for individuals who aren’t in the best of health. Should the insured die within the first two or three years, the beneficiary will receive all the premiums paid plus 10% or a percentage of the face value of the plan.
The life insurance underwriting process is a method through which carriers assess your risk based on the answers on the application, a prescription report, and motor vehicle report to conclude whether or not to approve, deny, or rate up a life insurance policy.
The average cost of a cremation ranges from $750 to $4,000. Direct cremation is the least expensive.
The average cost of a burial ranges from $7,400 to $13,000 or more according to the latest data from the NFDA (National Funeral Directors Association)
Planning is the leading way to save money on funeral expenses. Deciding early on, on what you would like will prevent you from making costly emotional decisions. Do your research!
The beneficiary must file a death claim and a death certificate before receiving payment. The benefit could be delayed or denied due to policy lapses, fraud, or certain causes of death.
Many life insurance companies try to contact beneficiaries if the beneficiaries don’t contact them first. The “catch” is that there’s no automatic process that tells them about policyholder deaths.
When the life insurance company is contacted, they will record the date of death, but if you are not the beneficiary of the policy, the life insurance company will NOT give you any further information about the policy.
When a beneficiary disclaims the proceeds, he or she doesn’t have the right to decide who should be paid instead. If you waive your rights to the money, the life insurance company will treat the circumstances as if you were a beneficiary who died before the insured.
A life insurance payout can typically be distributed as a check or directly deposited into the beneficiary’s account.
Your primary beneficiary is first in line to receive your death benefit. If the primary beneficiary dies before you, a secondary or contingent beneficiary is the next in line.