Term Life Insurance: Your Most Asked Questions Answered
Life insurance can be complicated – but it doesn’t need to be.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive.
Why do I need Life insurance?
Think of Life insurance as a financial safety net in the event you die. It provides your family with benefits that can be used to:
- replace income so your loved ones can maintain their standard of living
- fund education and retirement expenses
- pay off debts, including mortgages and student loans
- cover final expenses like medical and funeral bills
What’s the difference between Whole and Term Life?
- Whole Life insurance has two components: life insurance and a savings feature or “cash value.” Whole life insurance doesn’t end after a specified period of time – it’s permanent insurance you can keep your whole life, which means it can be quite expensive.
- Term Life insurance is the most basic type of life insurance. It provides protection for a specified period of time or to a specified age. Because it has no savings feature, Term Life is quite affordable, making it a valuable option for those with financial obligations to cover (like a mortgage) for a set period of time.
Why aren’t my Term Life premiums level?
Many people are familiar with Level-Term insurance: premiums are the same for the duration of your policy.
However, most people don’t realize that because mortality risk – and therefore rates— increase with age, Level-Term is priced so people “over-pay” in early years to subsidize rates in later years. Therefore, if one cancels a Level-Term policy before the term ends, he or she will have paid the “subsidy” in the early years but not have fully realized the benefit of that subsidy in the later years of the term.
Adjustable-Term insurance, like ours, takes an alternate approach: premiums start much lower in early years and increase over time. While you will pay about the same total premium over the term of your policy as you would for a Level-Term plan, our plans provide you with more flexibility. If you decide to drop your coverage before your term ends, you won’t have “overpaid”. Adjustable-Term insurance may also appeal to younger people whose disposable income and ability to cover premiums will likely grow over time.
How much Life insurance do I need?
It depends how much money your beneficiaries will need. Could your loved ones afford college? Could they pay off the mortgage? You need Life insurance that’s sufficient to cover all of your debts and expected financial obligations.
Our free online calculator can help you calculate how much life insurance you need. As you move through the exercise, you may be surprised at just how many expenses life insurance proceeds can cover.
For how many years should I purchase coverage?
Situations vary, but your term life insurance policy should last as long as your outstanding debts and expected financial obligations. If you have education debt, young children to raise and educate, and a mortgage, coverage for 20 years may be appropriate. However, if you have older children, 10 years of coverage may be sufficient.
Generally, the longer your term, the higher your premium.
Consider this: life insurance rates are based on your age and health, so chances are good that your rate will never be lower than what you can buy today. If your health deteriorates, you may even become uninsurable. Remember, you can always reduce your coverage or cancel your policy at no additional cost if you decide you no longer need coverage.
Although it may be more expensive to pay for a longer term up front, you’ll lock in affordable rates and guarantee coverage, no matter what happens with your health.
Can I name my minor child as a beneficiary?
It’s best to avoid naming your minor child as your life insurance beneficiary. Instead, name a custodian or guardian, or designate a trust account as your policy’s beneficiary to ensure your child’s financial protection. Learn more about how you can ensure that minors, through the people entrusted with their care, have access to the life insurance proceeds intended for them.
Is my coverage still effective if I move out of the U.S?
How is Accidental Death insurance different from Term life?
Accidental Death insurance (AD) pays benefits in addition to any life insurance you have. Your beneficiary will receive payment if you have a covered accidental injury that is the direct and independent cause of your death within one year of the injury.
AD insurance can be added as a companion to your life insurance at any time. Many people add AD since it’s so inexpensive—$100,000 of AD insurance costs under 20¢ a day.
Because acceptance is guaranteed, AD coverage can also be used as an alternative when securing life insurance is not possible due to health or other reasons.