Term life policies are cheaper than permanent life policies, but only provide coverage for a specified amount of time; usually between 10 and 30 years. If you outlive the term of your policy, your beneficiaries will not receive a death benefit. On the other hand, permanent policies provide coverage for your entire life, as long as scheduled premiums are paid.
Group life insurance is offered by your employer, whereas individual life insurance policies are purchased outside of work. Sometimes group insurance can cost less, depending on the person’s age or pre-existing health condition. The downside of group life insurance however, is that it isn’t always transferable. That means if you leave your employer and find another job, you will most likely lose your life insurance coverage.
For applications that don't require a medical exam, it usually takes about 3 - 5 days to get it approved and placed in force, depending on the insurance company. A medically underwritten life insurance policy will typically take about 3 weeks from start to finish. This process can take longer if you have health issues and the underwriter orders medical records from your doctor. If this occurs, we will let you know so that you can call and ask your doctor to expedite the submission of your medical records to the insurance company. Sometimes that can speed up the application process.
Typically, you can get up to 20 times your annual income in coverage. The total coverage amount you'll qualify for often decreases with age, as retirement draws nearer. As an example, a 30 year old earning $50,000 annually can be qualified for up to $1,000,000, whereas a 60 year old earning the same amount can only qualify for up to $500,000. It’s also possible to get coverage that is more than 20 times your annual income if you can show that you have additional assets to protect. Homemakers can also qualify for the same amount of coverage their spouse has, even without a separate income, as long as the homemaker's coverage does not exceed their spouse's coverage amount.
There is no cost to apply for a policy. If a physical exam is required, the insurance company will pay for it. When you apply, you have no obligation to purchase a policy. Once you’re approved for coverage, you can change the terms of your policy and the coverage amount to fit your budget if your rate comes back higher due to health related issues.
You can always apply for a new life insurance policy and add on to your existing one, as long as your total amount of coverage is within the underwriting guidelines regarding income and insurability needs. However if you are replacing an old policy for a new one, it's best to wait for the new policy to get approved first in case you discover that you are no longer insurable and get denied.
This depends on the pre-existing condition. For example, it becomes harder to get approved if you’ve had cancer within the last 2 - 5 years, or if you've recently experienced a heart attack. On the other hand, it’s easier for people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar (such as those with type 2 diabetes) to obtain coverage, as long as they are under a doctor’s care and the condition is under control. For those with more serious medical conditions, there are final expense policies available with graded death benefits. The premiums for these policies most likely will be higher, depending on the severity of the pre-existing condition.
Your beneficiary can be a person, a charity, a trust, or your estate. Almost any person can be named as your beneficiary, although it's usually someone who will suffer financially by your loss, such as a spouse or family member. However, it is advisable to name a person who is at least 18 years old as your beneficiary to avoid any delays when claiming the death benefit.
Each of the carrier’s underwriting guidelines differ from one another, so if you get declined for life insurance with one company, you still have options with other carriers. Some might be less strict when it comes to their health requirements, and our licensed agents can help you get approved with the right insurance company.
Nowadays, most people choose to make automatic payments from their bank accounts so that their policies never lapse or get cancelled. You can authorize the insurance company to make automatic monthly payments from your checking or savings account. If you prefer not to make automatic payments, there are other options as well. You can receive a paper bill by mail if you choose to pay quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
Most insurance companies today only accept automatic payments from your bank account or a personal check if paying by paper billing. However a few companies will still honor money orders as a mode of payment. Talk to one of our licensed agents to find out more about the different ways to pay for your policy.
Under what's called the "Free Look Period", if you decide for whatever reason that you don't want the policy, you can cancel it for a full refund within 10 days of receiving the policy from the life insurance company. There is no application fee and there is no cost to use our services.