Topics:Life Insurance 101 buying life insurance final expense insurance tips and advice policy riders business life insurance life insurance facts research
May 7th, 2021
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October 15th, 2020
You may find yourself wondering: Is life insurance really worth it? Do I even need it? The answer to these questions depends on what your life looks like. As you assess your life insurance needs, here are six questions to consider: Are your funeral expenses taken care of? What would happen to your debt? Do you have dependents? Are you a dependent? Are you interested in an asset? Do you want to leave a legacy? 1. Are your funeral expenses taken care of? When was the last time you saw a GoFundMe fundraiser for a funeral? The National Funeral Directors Association reported that the median cost for funerals in 2019 were $9,135 for burials and $6,645 for cremations. Ask yourself the following questions: Are your funeral costs taken care of? (You can set aside your own savings, purchase things like burial plots in advance, or work with a funeral home to prepay your funeral.) Can your friends or family cover the funeral costs while waiting for your will to be processed fully? If you answered either of these questions "no," considering a life insurance policy can help your family pay their respects and focus on their grief rather than how they'll fund your funeral. Personal experience Randy VanderVaate president and owner of Funeral Funds, "I learned first-hand the importance of life insurance when my father died on May 10, 2017, without life insurance. When my father died without life insurance, our family had to figure out how to pay for his final expenses, which was emotionally stressful and financially burdensome. This experience reinforced my conviction that people need life insurance if they don't want their family or friends to struggle emotionally or financially after they're gone." Back to List 2. What would happen to your debt? Some debts are shared. Others are not. Review your debt to be sure you understand what debts would become the full responsibility of another or just be collected from your estate if you passed away. If any of your debt would become someone else's responsibility personally or professionally, be sure to have a life insurance policy in place to cover these debts. Personal experience: Business loans Matt Schmidt, Diabetes 365 Founder, "There are many reasons an individual may need life insurance coverage, but one popular example of why you may need a policy is to satisfy obligations for a SBA Loan. Every year, thousands of people will apply for a SBA loan. One little known fact that many are unaware of is that the lender will require a life insurance policy for collateral assignment. I personally went through this process about 10 years ago and got through to the very end before they stated to me that I needed a policy for a specific amount. While I was thrown a little bit off by this requirement, it obviously made perfect sense as to why the lender would require this type of collateral. Being able to find a very affordable life insurance policy was a relief, and ultimately the loan went through without a hitch. Obviously receiving the loan amount was of tremendous use." Learn more about entrepreneurs and life insurance. Back to List 3. Do you have dependents? Whether you work or not, a life insurance policy is especially important if you have dependents. Consider what your partner and dependents would need to replace the work you do. If you provide income for your family, make sure you buy enough life insurance coverage to replace your income. If you are a full-time parent, think about the costs of child care, food preparation, tutoring, cleaning, etc. when deciding how much coverage to buy. Personal experience: Growing family Kelan Kline, personal finance expert and cofounder of The Savvy Couple, "We recently got life insurance when we started to grow our family and felt the need to protect them better if something were to happen to my wife Brittany or myself. Since we run an online business, it's even more important to have all of our ducks in a row with our will and life insurance. We both got policies from Haven Life after shopping around for a bit. We ended up both getting a 30-year term life insurance policy covering us each for $500,000. We also recently set up our will so everything is in place and our family is protected." (Incidentally, Haven Life ranks first on Best Company's list of life insurance companies and agencies. Read customer reviews of Haven Life.) Personal experience: Special needs child Kari Lorz, Head Mama Money Nerd for MoneyfortheMamas.com, "My husband and I have a few different life insurance policies in place, although we didn't intend to do this. We have a very typical 25-year term insurance policy for each of us (different amounts); we did this when we purchased our first home. Term policies are great to bridge the gap until you have enough in savings to be self-insured. My husband is 20+ years military, so he has a smaller policy through an ARMY package as well. We have a 5-year-old daughter together, and she has Cerebral Palsy. We're unsure of her future ability to earn enough income to support her needs. As part of a larger dependant care plan (Revocable Living Trust for us, a Special Needs Trust for her, an ABLE account, etc.), we found we were $1.2 million short of having enough to cover her costs for her lifetime. Hearing that dollar amount was comically sobering (I even laughed out loud a bit when our planner told us our figure). To help bridge the gap, we took out a whole term policy to leave behind significantly more funding. Yet, it still (most likely) won't be enough. A special needs parent's greatest fear is what will happen to their child after they aren't there anymore. I never want her to have to worry about money, so we are doing everything possible to make sure we reach that $1.2 million!" Back to List 4. Are you dependent? If you depend on someone else's income for support, you can buy a life insurance policy to insure their life and name yourself as the beneficiary. If you receive alimony or child support, buying a life insurance policy on the person paying these costs can help you maintain your income and financial stability. Back to List 5. Are you interested in an asset? Permanent life insurance policies grow cash value. The cash value can be used as an asset as long as the policy remains in force. This asset can be useful in some circumstances. However, it should not be your primary reason for buying a life insurance policy, unless you have extra cash lying around. Personal experience Karen Condor, insurance expert for TheTruthAboutInsurance.com, "When my husband and I became engaged in our early twenties, my father-in-law advised us to get life insurance. We didn’t see the point of it given our age, not planning to have children, and not wanting an additional expense. But he kept urging it, so we acquiesced. And he was right, of course: Our life insurance helped 10 years later when we had the opportunity to move from Pennsylvania to California for job promotions. We needed money upfront for moving expenses, with our company reimbursing us after the move. But we were strapped for upfront money since both of us were wrapping up a decade of paying off our student loans, working second jobs to make ends meet. We also didn’t want to dip into what little savings we had, in case of any emergencies. But since whole life insurance builds cash value, we were able to “borrow” the money we needed and repay the account over time at favorable terms. Without having life insurance, I don’t know if we would have been able to accept those better jobs and experience a better life." Back to List 6. Do you want to leave a legacy or pass on wealth? Life insurance policies can be used to build generational wealth because the death benefit is not subject to income tax. If you have extra money and want to use it to buy a life insurance policy to leave your children, it can be a nice way to grow your family's wealth over time. Even if you don't have dependents, you can use a life insurance policy to leave a legacy. Maybe there's a non-profit you care about. You can name this organization as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. If this is your only reason for buying a life insurance policy, then it's not necessarily a need. Life Insurance Policies and Companies If you need life insurance, check out our top life insurance companies and agencies based on customer reviews. View Top Companies
Maybe 2020 was the first year you've ever considered buying life insurance. Life insurance offers valuable financial protection for your dependents. The death benefit can help your family finish paying off the mortgage and replace your income. How life insurance works, its terminology, and its policy variations can be difficult to navigate, especially if you're applying for it for the first time. Here are four things people wished they had known about life insurance: You've got options. You can layer term life insurance policies. You may not have to pay a life insurance premium for the rest of your life. You may find permanent life insurance beneficial. 1. You've got options. "What I wish I had known before purchasing life insurance, are all of the options. I purchased term life insurance because at the time it was most affordable, but with the intention of converting it to a permanent policy later on so that I would always have some coverage available. However now that I know of all the available options, it may have been more beneficial to start with a permanent policy." Nick Baldes, life insurance agent from Savewithcote.com. Exploring and evaluating life insurance policy options will help you find a policy that meets your needs. You'll find a wide variety of life insurance policies on the market. With such variety, you can find policies that fit your budget and meet your needs. "As for those that do not or have not yet purchased life insurance, the biggest "I wish I had known that" moment we always hear is that there is a policy for EVERYBODY. No matter what medical conditions one might have, there are life insurance options out there for people. There are policies where no medical exam is required, there are guaranteed issue policies you can have which will issue regardless of any underlying conditions," Baldes adds. Life insurance policies vary in underwriting, policy length, coverage levels, and features. While some of these aspects are easy to evaluate on your own, others are not. Underwriting is perhaps the most difficult to assess on your own. Insurers use underwriting to assess the risk of insuring someone. Certain policies require full underwriting. Others require minimal underwriting. The level of underwriting can affect your premium rate. Policies with less thorough underwriting (e.g. guaranteed issue policies) usually have higher premiums than those that have more thorough underwriting (e.g. fully underwritten policies). You'll also want to pay attention to how the insurer underwrites certain conditions. With life insurance, some insurers underwrite certain conditions more favorably than competitors. Working with a trusted life insurance agent or agency can help you find a good policy with the most favorable underwriting. For example, Quotacy's agents anonymously shop your policy with multiple insurers to find the best policy fit for your needs, including the most favorable underwriting. Back to List 2. You can layer term life insurance policies. "One thing I wish I had known before buying a life insurance policy is that you can layer fixed term policies, and this helps to keep your premiums low. Luckily, I found this out in good time." William Taylor, Career Development manager for VelvetJobs. Your coverage needs can also change over time. If you bought life insurance to cover your mortgage and provide for dependents, you may need less coverage as time passes. Making payments on your home lowers your debt. As your dependents grow up, they probably won't rely on you as much for financial support. You can also prepay funeral expenses, which again reduces the coverage you need. Although term life insurance is cheaper than permanent life insurance, saving on monthly premiums with layering frees up your monthly budget. Another option to layering term life insurance policies, is to look into insuretech companies that have developed adjustable policies or policies that automatically adjust coverage over the life of the policy. Ladder offers adjustable term life insurance policies. With one of these policies, you can decrease your life insurance coverage at any time, which lowers your monthly premium. If needed, you can also apply to increase your coverage. Increasing your coverage generally also increases your monthly premium. Everyday Life takes a different approach. It offers policies that automatically lower your coverage level over the course of your term policy. Your premium rate also adjusts as your coverage level changes. Back to List 3. You may not have to pay a life insurance premium for the rest of your life. "There are financed policies. They come with a higher cost but you only contribute for a few years." Jacob Naig, real estate agent and investor. Term life insurance policies only require premium payment for the term of the policy. However, permanent life insurance policies can require premiums for your lifetime. Luckily, you can find policies with customizable payment plans or pay for a policy with a single lump sum. Insurers offering these fully paid options for permanent life insurance include New York Life and State Farm. Back to List 4. You may find permanent life insurance beneficial. "I have had Term Life Insurance coverage since I was 27. I am literally 55 years old today…and what I wished I had known was how much 'cash value' I would have been able to accumulate by now had I invested more premium payments up front. I sincerely wish the two different agents who’d sold me the Term Life policies would have shown me the difference. I am grateful to have the coverage and I’ve essentially 'rented' the Term Life where I would have 'owned' a Universal Life or Whole Life Policy and this additional Asset for my family." John Stellar, Everyone's PR and Stellar Universe, Inc. The cash value offered by permanent life insurance policies can be accessed without making a claim. For example, you can borrow from it. Keep in mind that the death benefit will be reduced by the cash value amount you haven't paid back. You'll also want to pay attention to your policy's terms to ensure that you don't overborrow from the cash value and lose your policy. Depending on what your insurer offers, you may be able to add an over loan protection rider. Although permanent life insurance offers nice advantages, it may not be the best fit for every situation. Carefully assess your life insurance needs and budget as you choose between term and permanent life insurance policies. Working with a trusted life insurance agent or financial advisor can help you determine your needs and wants. Be aware that permanent life insurance policies are usually fully underwritten, so the application and approval process can take longer than other policies. However, if you're looking for an online, quick application process, Vantis Life offers online applications and approval for whole life insurance.
Maybe you just bought a house. Maybe you just got married. Maybe you're worried about paying for your parents' funerals. Life insurance is how you can help secure your family's financial stability. The coverage amount and policy type you choose will vary based on your purpose, needs, and goals. As you start to research your options, you'll find this resource list useful. I've gathered some of the best articles on the following life insurance topics: Understanding life insurance Types of life insurance Term life insurance Whole life insurance Universal life insurance Final expense insurance Policy riders Buying life insurance Purchase methods Applications and underwriting Understanding life insurance Once you understand how life insurance works and its terminology, you can make confident decisions about what you need as you explore your options. Life Insurance Lingo: 8 Terms Everyone Should Know — Forbes Life Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know — InfographicJournal Ultimate Guide to Retirement — CNN Money The Millennial's Quick Guide to Life Insurance — The Motley Fool Life Insurance 101: The Best Way to Protect Your Loved Ones — VolumeOne Understanding Types of Life Insurance — Best Company Back to Menu Types of life insurance Life insurance falls into two categories: temporary and permanent life insurance. These policies meet different needs and goals. For example, term life insurance can be a good option if you just want to cover debt. Permanent life insurance is great if you want lifelong coverage. Life insurance policies can also be customized with riders to provide additional coverage or protect your policy. Some insurers include some riders in their policies as features while others offer them a la carte. Learn more about policy types and riders to see what might fit your situation best: Term life insurance Whole life insurance Universal life insurance Final expense insurance Policy riders Term life insurance Buying Term Life Insurance Buys Peace of Mind — Forbes Term Life Insurance 101: An Inexpensive Way to Protect the Ones You Love – The Penny Hoarder What Is Term Life Insurance and Do You Need It? — DollarSprout 10 Things to Consider When Buying Term Life Insurance — Best Company Buyer's Guide: Term Life Insurance [Downloadable] — Best Company Back to Types of life insurance Whole life insurance Debunking the Myths of Whole Life Insurance — The White Coat Investor Whole Life Insurance: How Does It Work? — Military.com Whole Life vs. Term Life Insurance: What's the Difference? — TheStreet Here's Why You Should Avoid Whole Life Insurance Like the Plague — The Motley Fool 9 Things to Consider When Buying Whole Life Insurance — Best Company Back to Types of life insurance Universal life insurance Universal Life Insurance Policies Offer Flexibility… But There’s a Catch — The Penny Hoarder The Golden Rules of Buying Indexed Universal Life Insurance — Forbes What Is Universal Life Insurance and How Does It Work? — TheStreet When Is a Universal Life Insurance Policy a Good Choice? — The Motley Fool Back to Types of life insurance Final expense insurance Is Burial Insurance Your Best Option? — The Motley Fool Final Expense Insurance: What You Need to Know — Funeralwise.com Back to Types of life insurance Policy riders 12 Cheap (And Simple) Ways to Upgrade Your Life Insurance Policy — Forbes 7 Common Life Insurance Policy Riders — Best Company Which Life Insurance Riders Should Consider and Avoid — Leigh Insurance Agency Child Rider Life Insurance — LifeInsuranceBlog 5 Questions to Ask About Living Benefits — Best Company Back to Types of life insurance Back to Menu Buying life insurance When you're ready to buy life insurance, you should understand the application and underwriting processes. Knowing what to expect will help you navigate the process. Some life insurance policies are guaranteed acceptance or do not require full underwriting. These policies can be bought online. If you want more guidance through the application process or a fully underwritten policy, you can work with an independent agent or directly with the insurer. Applications and underwriting How to Apply for a Life Insurance Policy — Best Company Life Insurance 101: Underwriting — Military.com The Definitive Guide to Underwriting Life Insurance over 50 — LifeNetInsurance.com Why Is My Premium So High?: What You Need to Know About Life Insurance Underwriting — Best Company How Life Insurance Companies Get Intel on You — Forbes Purchase methods How to Buy Life Insurance Online the Smart Way — FinancialMentor® The Colossal Risk of Buying Life Insurance Without an Agent — Insurance Forums What Does a Life Insurance Agent Do? — Betterment What's the Best Way to Buy Life Insurance?: What You Need to Know About Buying from an Insurer, Agency, and Online Retailer — Best Company Life Insurance Brokers vs. Quote Comparison Websites — Best Company Top Life Insurance Companies (customer reviews) — Best Company
No one wants their friends and family to inherit financial difficulty. Life insurance can go a long way in alleviating financial stress, from paying for a funeral to replacing a lifetime of income. You want to leave your family financially secure at an affordable price. Premiums and coverage are what you'll look at as you compare policy options from trusted life insurers. First, we'll take a quick look at life insurance rate classes, then move on to cover some of the biggest things that can affect your premium rate, and finish with additional advice from experts. Rate classes Life insurers have 14 to 16 classification levels that determine premium rates. The rate classes with the lowest risk include the following: Preferred Plus or Preferred Best Preferred Standard Plus or Standard Select Standard If you have a higher than standard risk, the rate classes extend into tiered tables that are either numbered or lettered in order. Table 1 is the least amount of additional risk. “Some companies go down to a table 12, while most will decline after table 10. The closer you are to Preferred Best, the lower the premium you will pay. Every table rating increases your premium by 25 percent. For example, a table 1 will be standard + 25 percent, table 2 will be standard + 50 percent, etc.” says Chris Abrams, Abrams Insurance Solutions owner. Your premium rate is determined based on what classification you reach based on underwriting. Through the underwriting process, the insurance company will review your application, health, lifestyle, and a few other factors to determine the risk of insuring you. Once the underwriting is complete, you’ll know whether your application has been approved or declined. If you’ve been approved, you’ll also get the final premium rate. If you think you may have higher than standard risk, don’t worry. You may be able to find an insurer that handles your situation well. “Some companies offer 'table shaving' which means they will reduce the amount of tables if you have other favorable underwriting factors,” says Abrams. Premium rate factors There are many things that affect your premium rate. Before even getting to the underwriting process, the amount of coverage and policy type affect the rates you’ll see and the level of underwriting you can expect. “The death benefit amount you choose and the duration of your policy both materially impact your premium level. The greater your death benefit and the longer your policy period, the higher your premium will be,” says Andrew Chen, Hack Your Wealth founder. Longer policies aren’t just likely to cost more. They’re also likely to have more rigorous underwriting. “Whole or permanent life insurance policies tend to be more expensive and an insurance carrier is going to want to know about more aspects of a person’s life. Short term policies for a lower amount may not require as much information. It really depends upon the carrier and the type of policy,” says Walt Capell, Workers Compensation Shop founder. Another factor that can affect what you spend on premiums that isn’t part of underwriting is the payment schedule. “Most people pay monthly or quarterly premiums for their life insurance. Insurers typically charge a fee for the premium modes. Pay annually and it could reduce your cost by as much as 10 percent,” says Richard Best, Don’tPayFull.com personal finance expert. Some insurers may offer some flexibility on premium payment schedules. If you are a disciplined budgeter, opting for a bi-annual or annual payment schedule can make a lot of sense. Underwriting factors If you’ve done some shopping around, you’ve probably found that you have to provide some information about yourself before you can see a premium quote. “Life insurance rates are initially driven by three factors: age, gender, and tobacco usage,” says Doug Mitchell, CLU, Ogletree Financial Services owner. Once those factors are considered, more health, lifestyle, and criminal record information will be considered. “An applicants age, answers to health and lifestyle questions and their financial well-being are the biggest influencers in the underwriting process and will determine what the premium will be,” says Manny Lirio, Vantis Life Insurance Company, AVP of direct to consumer marketing. Here’s what experts had to say about age gender tobacco and other drugs driving and criminal record health lifestyle For more information on how life insurers find information on you, read Cameron Huddleston's Forbes article "How Life Insurance Companies Get Intel On You." Age Katia Iervasi, Finder.com insurance writer“Younger people almost always pay less for life insurance. The reason isn’t subtle: As you age, your life expectancy goes down, and the likelihood of your insurance company having to pay out your policy goes up.” John Holloway, NoExam.com founder and licensed agent“In 2019, NoExam.com conducted a life insurance pricing study. The study recorded the results of over 100,000 life insurance quotes, and it shows that the price of life insurance increases with age. On average, the price of life insurance is 65 percent more expensive at age 40 than it is at age 30, and it is 96 percent more expensive at age 50 than it is at age 40. The good news is that you usually require a shorter term policy at age 50 than at age 30. The bad news is that you will have a bigger payment to budget for each month.” Life Insurance Premium Price vs. Insured's Age Graph showing results of NoExam.com's study results. Image courtesey of NoExam.com. Back to Underwriting Factors Gender Laraine Sookhoo, OneHourBurialInsurance.com life insurance agent“Life insurance companies underwrite based on gender at birth.” Andrew Chen, Hack Your Wealth Founder“Women generally live longer than men, so they'll have lower premiums on average.” Katia Iervasi“Men are considered to be riskier drivers, so women tend to score lower rates.” Back to Underwriting Factors Tobacco and other drugs Katia Iervasi“To enter the top rate tiers, you’ll typically need to show you have no history of alcohol or drug abuse or treatment within the past 10 years.” Smoking Andrew Chen“If you smoke, you'll pay higher premiums because the risk of death within the policy period increases.” Alex Enabnit, TermLife2Go.com licensed agent and life insurance expert“One of the biggest considerations for your premiums is whether or not you smoke. Insurance companies are typically pretty hard on smokers (and even vaping gets included in this category). It’s not uncommon for a smoker to pay at least double the amount that a nonsmoker in the same health class would pay. The good news is, the longer you go without smoking, the more it can lower your premiums. Most insurance companies consider a person who hasn’t smoked in five years a nonsmoker — even if that person smoked for thirty years before then.” Laraine Sookhoo“Life insurance companies consider a ‘non-smoker’ as someone who has not had tobacco or nicotine products for at least 12 months. This would include nicotine replacement products like patches and gum. Of the ten insurance companies that I represent, none of them are asking specifically about electronic cigarettes, but some phrase the question to cover nicotine products and others do not. A couple of my insurance companies will give cigar smokers the non-tobacco price because they only ask about cigarettes.” Marijuana Emory J. Smith, Principal of EJS Financial Management “Marijuana use is a hot button issue in life insurance. Five years ago, almost no carriers would offer coverage for users of marijuana. Today, many carriers will offer excellent, non smoker rates for admitted marijuana users. In states where medical marijuana is legal, carriers typically underwrite based upon the underlying condition. Why does the proposed insured have the medical marijuana card? Underwriters will ask for copies of the card to prove legitimacy and often extend favorable nonsmoker rates to applicants. Some carriers go so far as to distinguish between smoking, vaporizing and using edibles. The frequency and method of marijuana consumption can change an applicant’s offer. By and large, many life insurance carriers still view marijuana in any form as an illegal drug and decline or highly rate coverage accordingly.” Prescriptions Emory J. Smith“Part of most insurance applications is a prescription drug database search on the proposed insured. Many clients don’t realize such a database exists where all prescriptions, dates and prescribing physician’s information is listed. Whether intentional or unintentional, this search can turn up additional medical information not previously disclosed. I had an applicant disclose back pain issues with ‘occasional’ use pain medication only to find six active prescriptions for the same intense pain medication on the database search. Needless to say, this rose to the level of abuse, and he was justly declined for coverage.” Back to Underwriting Factors Driving and criminal record Katia Iervas“Safe drivers are viewed more favorably by insurers. To score a cheaper rate, your driving record must be free of moving violations, DUIs and reckless driving in the past three to five years.” Richard Best, Don'tPayFull.com personal finance expert“Life insurers take a look at your driving record. Too many tickets or at-fault accidents may get you a higher premium rating.” Jared Weitz, United Capital Source CEO and Founder“If you have a criminal record, especially that of driving under the influence, your insurance policy will be more difficult to qualify for. The level of detail the process covers can be invasive, but is vital to getting adequate life insurance that matches your lifestyle.” Laraine Sookhoo“Lifestyle choices can affect pricing in that they force the buyer into a higher rate classification. Those with substance abuse issues, convicted felons, and those with a DUI in recent years may be denied or else approved at a higher rate. Since insurance fraud is always a concern and because life insurance policies are sometimes used to try to launder money, an insurance company might also deny an applicant if their reports indicate possible character issues that raise flags about these potential problems. They wouldn't affect price, though, just approval.” Back to Underwriting Factors Health Richard Best“The biggest factor in determining how much premium you pay for life insurance is your health condition and history. This factor includes your family's health history. Insurance actuaries determine which health conditions present the biggest risks and apply premium ratings accordingly. Each company applies different standards to assess risk, which is why it’s important to compare rates of different insurers.” Current health Adam Hyers, Hyers and Associates, Inc. owner and insurance agent“The number one factor in determining rates are conditions with higher mortality rates. Any conditions associated with an earlier death will be cause for higher premiums or no offer of insurance at all. Actuaries and underwriters are very careful with chronic conditions that may reduce someone's life expectancy.” Travis Price, licensed income protection agent“Obesity plays a major role in determining your rating class. The higher your BMI, the more likely that you're going to be in a higher rating class or even denied. This is true even if your health is perfect except for your weight.” Laranie Sookhoo“Life insurance companies care about the kinds of illnesses that will lead to an early DEATH. They don't care if you have medical issues that make you uncomfortable or affect your quality of life. So, things like back pain and knee pain are of no concern UNLESS these are issues because you have a disease like Lupus or MS. If your back or knee hurt due to an injury or arthritis, then it won't matter. Rheumatoid arthritis is a concern, however. Diabetes is not usually a problem if it is controlled, but if it is uncontrolled and the applicant has already experienced complications like an amputation or needing kidney dialysis, then that person will need to apply for a guaranteed issue policy.” Personal and family health history Andrew Chen“If you or your family has a history of illness that increases the risk of death during the policy period, you'll pay higher premiums.” Brian So, Brian So Insurance founder“Your medical history plays a huge role in qualifying for life insurance. If you've had major illnesses in the past (e.g. cancer), the underwriter would want to know more about it. He may gather more information from your family physician or specialist. If the underwriter determines that you are at a higher risk for death than the average person in your age range, it will add a rating to your policy or decline your application for coverage.” John Holloway“An applicant's health history is going to have the biggest impact on premiums. Any current or past health conditions can have an effect on the rate. Some things that people are often not aware of that can affect an underwriting decision are: past medications, current medications, driving record, family medical history, and medical history. These factors can cause the applicant to be moved into the next rate class, which will mean a higher rate. In some cases, applicants are declined for a combination of these factors. For example, untreated high blood pressure combined with a family history of heart disease.” Medical Exam Andrew Chen“You'll have to take a health exam as part of the underwriting process. Your health assessment from this exam will impact your premium.” Travis Price“For those cases that are fully underwritten, the medical exam has the most influence over the premiums you pay. In the event that you go to a simplified issues policy, the MIB (Medical Information Bureau) is vitally important. It gives essential information and prescription checks to determine eligibility and rating classes.” Back to Underwriting Factors Lifestyle Jared Weitz“Your health and lifestyle will play a large part of the underwriting process. If you’re an avid bungee jumper or travel to dangerous places often this will place a burden on your rate.” Job Andrew Chen“If your job is a risky or hazardous one (e.g. police, pilot, construction worker vs. office worker), then you'll likely face higher premiums.” Hobbies Brian So“Factors that negatively affect your insurance premium include participating in high-risk avocations like skydiving and heliskiing, use of narcotics, incarceration, and major driving infractions. These will all make the underwriter think twice before offering you insurance coverage.” Andrew Chen“If you have unnecessarily risky hobbies, like freescaling or skydiving, you'll face higher premiums.” Travel Emory J. Smith“Foreign travel to ‘safe’ countries for less than 183 days (six months) per year is generally okay. Foreign travel for longer than 183 days is typically categorized as Foreign Resident status which limits available rates at most carriers. As a rule of thumb, any country where the U.S. State Department has a travel warning is likely not eligible for life insurance through traditional channels. Foreign countries are rated with letters. A-rated countries such as China, Canada, France, United Arab Emirates allow for best possible rates up to 183 days of travel. Lesser rated countries like Iran and Ukraine are still eligible for coverage, just lower rates and shorter durations of travel. It goes without saying, but travel to countries with active conflict generally results in decline of coverage.” Back to Underwriting Factors Life insurance applications Applying for a life insurance policy can be intimidating, but understanding how the process works can make it less daunting to secure financial stability for your loved ones. Before you apply for a policy, make sure that you’ve explored your options and have found the right policy fit. You’ll also want to do your research to know when you’re working with a trustworthy life insurance agent and to choose a reliable insurer. Whether you’re figuring out which kind of policy is best for you or starting the application process, here are some extra tips that experts offered. Choosing the right policy Laraine Sookhoo“A term life policy is a good solution for parents of young children in the home because their goal is income replacement. Buyers of this product certainly hope that the term will expire without them needing to use it. (Just like we buy auto insurance and hope we never need it.) This is very different from someone who buys a final expense policy, who hopes that they still own the policy on the day they die because they want their heirs to have that money to help pay for their funeral and other end-of-life costs. Savvy business people often buy larger whole life policies because they can borrow tax free from the cash value accumulated to help them with their business or real estate goals. Some buy universal life policies in an effort to combine insurance and investing. If you are clear on the life problem you are trying to solve, it will help you determine which policy might work best for you.” Finding the right insurer Chris Abrams“There are hundreds of life insurance companies in the United States. Work with an independent agent who is familiar with how each company underwrites certain health conditions. That agent should be able to match you to the one company that will be most lenient for your particular situation and therefore will offer the best health rating/lowest premium.” Completing underwriting Scott Butler, Klauenberg Retirement Solutions financial planner“People should know that underwriting is usually, at worst, a very mild inconvenience. You may have to do a paramedical exam, but the insurance company will pay for it. Think of it as a free health check-up. The examiners usually have flexible appointment times and will usually come right out to you. When you are being asked questions about your medical history, pay attention to each question, answer truthfully and do not volunteer any extra information that is not asked for. If they want to know if your mother had a medical condition before age 65, there is no obligation or benefit for you to tell them about conditions your mother had after 65 or about conditions of your sibling.” Walt Capell“Each carrier has their own formula for how they determine if they are going to offer coverage and how much to charge for that coverage. For most people, making small changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking or adopting a healthy lifestyle to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol can help lower premium when quoting a life insurance policy.” Earl Rubinoff, The Rubinoff Group president and CEO“A constant annoyance is when an insurance company receives copies of medical records of a person and there are notes in the applicants records that describe a recommendation for the person to go see a specialist or have a specific further medical test performed to rule out any issues and the patient hasn't followed through on this. This is a very simple item that the life insurance applicant can control. People have to realize the more information the insurance company has, the better the rate the person can get.”
Guest Post by Jason Fisher Life is filled with the unexpected. When you buy life insurance, you can rest assured knowing your loved ones are protected no matter what happens. While most people agree they need life insurance, there is an age-old debate about which type of policy is best: term life or whole life. Although the concept of permanent life insurance is appealing, is it worth the cost? And do the benefits of term life insurance make it the best choice for everyone. To decide whether term or whole life insurance is right for you, you need to identify your needs and understand some key differences between the two policies. What is term life insurance? Let’s start by breaking down term life insurance. Term life insurance offers coverage for a certain period, or term, of life. These policies come in terms like 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. If you’ve faithfully made payments and pass away during the term, your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit, or face value, of your policy. Your premiums and the face value are locked in for whatever duration you choose. Once your term is up, though, rates on a new term policy may change based on your age and other risk factors. Key considerations for term life insurance Cost — You can purchase large term policies with considerably lower premiums than whole life policies of the same value, saving tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Flexibility — Term life insurance is designed with life’s changes in mind. It’s made to cover your temporary needs, allowing you to save money and tailor a policy to your current circumstances. Simplicity — Term life insurance policies are uncomplicated. As long as you pay your premiums, the policy will stay in effect for the length of the term. Temporary policy — The only true downside to term life insurance is its lack of permanence. Term life insurance is intended to meet your temporary needs and ensure your loved ones have protection when they rely on it most. Conversion — Keep in mind that if you find you need long-term life insurance later in life, you can sometimes convert your term life insurance into a universal or whole life policy. When to buy term life insurance Here are a few situations when term life insurance is a good fit: College education — If you’re looking to secure your 6-year-old’s future college education, a 15-year term life policy could do the trick. Mortgage — If you and your spouse are knee-deep in a 30-year mortgage, a term life policy could ensure your family’s home is paid for. Debt — If you’ve accrued debt which could be transferred to your loved ones, you could purchase a term life policy for the length of time it will take to pay them off. Income replacement — If you have dependent children or want to see your spouse through to retirement, a term life policy can replace your income. Budget — If your long-term goal is to secure whole life insurance but you’re on a budget, term life insurance provides you with an affordable solution which you can convert to a whole life policy later. Whatever your situation, you can base the terms of temporary life insurance around your family’s ever-changing financial needs. Buyer's Guide: Term Life Insurance Download our free guide to learn more about term life insurance, how to decide if you need it, tips for choosing a life insurance company, and customer reviews. Download Guide What is whole life insurance? Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance is permanent. True to its name, whole life insurance is designed to provide protection for the entirety of your life, rather than a specific period. In addition to the length of coverage, there is another key difference between term and whole life insurance: cash value. Whole life insurance is considerably more expensive than term life insurance, because it offers more than just a death benefit your loved ones will receive in the wake of your passing. Your premiums also go towards the policy’s cash value, which grows tax-deferred over the years. You can also borrow money from the cash value, much like a retirement account. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to repay the loan with interest to keep the full death benefit of your policy intact. You are also entitled to the policy’s cash value if you ever have to surrender your policy. Key considerations for whole life insurance Cost — Whole life policies are expensive. You could get more than double the amount of coverage with significantly lower premiums by opting for term life coverage. It’s crucial to keep the cost of life insurance policies in mind. Guaranteed cash value — The cash value comes with a guaranteed minimum growth rate. Whether or not life insurance is the most rewarding investment is debatable, but the policy does come with certainty. Death benefit — Your death benefit is guaranteed; however, it can be used to repay outstanding loans drawn from the policy’s cash value, decreasing the amount of money your beneficiaries receive. Level premiums — While premiums are considerably high, they’re guaranteed to stay the same for the duration of your life, a comfort to aging policyholders and individuals with declining health. When to buy whole life insurance Term life is a no-brainer for most families, but whole life insurance may be better suited to some people’s needs. Consider whole life insurance for the following: Estate planning — If you’ll be leaving behind an estate of more than $11.4 million, your heirs will be responsible for estate taxes to the IRS. Whole life insurance can cover the cost. Additional investing — If you earn a high income and need life insurance, you might want to invest in a whole life policy, especially if you’ve maxed out your 401(k)s and Roth IRAs. Special needs — If your spouse, child, or other dependent will need lifelong care due to special needs, a whole life insurance policy could secure their well-being after you’re gone. The bottom line As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to life insurance. While the benefits of term life insurance make it the best fit for most people, everyone’s situation, financial needs, and goals are different. Sometimes, people need the permanence of whole life insurance. Whatever type of life insurance you decide on, don’t delay making this all-important purchase. Life insurance is one of the most concrete ways you can protect your family, and there’s no time like the present to get a policy in place. Jason Fisher is the founder and CEO of BestLifeRates.org, and a highly-trained life insurance agent licensed across the country. He has helped thousands of families find affordable life insurance, from basic plans up to comprehensive estate plans, and everything in between.
Life insurance protects your loved ones’ financial stability by paying out a lump sum benefit if you pass away. This cash can be used to pay for funeral expenses, finish paying a mortgage, and cover remaining debt obligations. Life insurance benefits are not considered income. They are only taxed as part of estate taxes, not income taxes, which is another reason that life insurance is a great investment in your family’s financial future. There are lots of options when it comes to life insurance. Many employers offer life insurance as part of their benefits packages for employees. Keep in mind that while these group rates tend to be incredibly cheap, the coverage will stop when your employment ends — whether that’s taking a job elsewhere, retiring, or losing your job. "Employer offered life insurance is great if you have it, but must realize there is no flexibility. If your employment situation changes, you'll have either a temporary or permanent lapse in coverage and getting coverage later in life is usually much more expensive than if you opted to get private term life insurance when you were younger and generally healthier," says Mark Cluett, Director of Content and Digital Assets. Key Takeaway: If you purchase your own life insurance independent of your employer, you’ve got several options. Term Life Insurance Whole Life Insurance Universal Life Insurance (variable or indexed) Final Expense Insurance (Funeral Insurance) “The options for life insurance are vast — from whole life insurance to universal life insurance to many variations and permutations of the above, some with market participation and investment exposure and others with a dizzying array of riders and features that will make your head spin. Be very wary about purchasing something that you don't fully understand,” advises Joel Ohman, MBA, MDiv, CFP ®, and Insurance Providers CEO. Understanding your options is the one of the first steps in finding and buying a life insurance policy. This article focuses on the basics of each kind of life insurance available. For more information on common riders, see “7 Common Life Insurance Policy Riders.” Jump ahead to: What kind of life insurance should I buy? What is Term Life insurance? Key Takeaway: Term life insurance is advantageous if you have a temporary coverage need. These policies typically have the lowest premium rates. Coverage only lasts a set number of years. Simplified underwriting may be available depending on your health and the insurer. If you have dependents to care for, debt that would be passed to a family member, or are taking on a small business loan, a term policy is a good fit. When you sign up for term life insurance, you agree to give your insurer monthly payments for a limited period of time for a fixed coverage amount. Term Life insurance is usually the cheapest form of life insurance because it only lasts a certain length of time. With most term life policies, the monthly premium is set for the length of the term. This is convenient because medical conditions can develop. Some medical conditions, like diabetes, increase monthly premiums. It’s convenient to lock in costs early. However, if you renew your policy, you’ll likely have higher rates. Most insurers that offer term life policies have several term length options. These options tend to start at 5 years and can be up to 30 years. These options allow clients to choose the length that best fits their needs. Some life insurers also offer a term conversion rider with their term life insurance policies. This rider allows policyholders to convert the term life insurance policy into a permanent one during a set period of time. This rider is great because it allows policyholders to purchase a very affordable term life insurance policy with the ability to convert it to a permanent policy later. Another common rider available for term life insurance policies is guaranteed renewability. This feature allows policyholders to renew their policy within a certain time frame. While the premium rates may be different when the policy is renewed, the life insurer will renew the same coverage. Some life insurance carriers offer a return of premium with their term life insurance policies. This means that if the company does not pay out a death benefit, the total of the premiums is returned when the policy expires. What do experts say about term life insurance? Jeff Root from Rootfin Insurance Blog “A simple rule of thumb is if you're in your prime income earning years (30–65), buy enough term life insurance to replace your income until your estimated retirement date. Don't worry about permanent life insurance until you reach a high income level.” Richard Best, personal finance expert at Don’tPayFull “The most practical use of term insurance is for situations where you can be certain that the need for life insurance will not exist after a specific period of time. For example, if you need life insurance coverage to ensure the needs of your children are met through the time they graduate from college and are out on their own, your term coverage might only need to last until they complete college. The problem with term coverage is that, if you determine that your need for coverage will last beyond your intended time frame, you would need to renew the term coverage or purchase a new policy at substantially higher premium costs. And, if you develop any health conditions, you could be denied coverage.” Joel Ohman, MBA, MDiv, CFP ®, InsuranceProviders CEO “It's very rare that you need any type of fancy life insurance policy other than a plain vanilla term life policy. Term life is simple, straightforward, and likely much cheaper than you think.” Buyer's Guide: Term Life Insurance Download our free guide to learn more about term life insurance, how to decide if you need it, tips for choosing a life insurance company, and customer reviews. Download Guide Back to List What is Whole Life insurance? Key Takeaway: Whole life insurance offers stability for those with a permanent coverage need. These policies come with high, but level premiums. Your policy builds cash value at a guaranteed rate. You can use the cash value while living, but it will lower the death benefit payout. A fully underwritten policy can get you the best premium rate. Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance, which makes it more of an investment than term life insurance. Whole life insurance policies have a death benefit and the ability to accrue cash value through investments. The fixed monthly payments that you contribute to go into a tax-deferred account that accumulates interest over time. Whole life insurance policies accrue cash value at specified minimum rates and are not subject to the high level of fluctuation in the market. However, if the life insurance company does well, the cash value can grow more. This stability is a nice feature of a whole life insurance policy. The cash value of the policy contributes to the death benefit as it grows. Whole life cash value acts like a savings account. As the cash value accrues, policyholders can use it as an asset when applying for loans or even borrow from their cash value. If the insured passes away before paying back the borrowed cash value, the death benefit will be reduced by the outstanding balance. Because a whole life insurance policy does not expire and requires more overhead management for the cash value accrual, monthly premiums are much higher than term life insurance premiums. Part of the monthly premium goes toward the death benefit, part of it goes to overhead, and another part goes to the policy’s cash value. When you sign up for whole life insurance, your payments are guaranteed to stay the same throughout maturity. Whole life insurance also guarantees that your beneficiaries will get the face value of the policy at a minimum. Purchasing a permanent life insurance policy early is wise because it allows you to lock in lower rates. What do experts say about whole life insurance? Richard Best, personal finance expert at Don’tPayFull “The oldest and most basic form of permanent life insurance, whole life insurance is a fixed, guaranteed product, meaning the face amount, premium and cash value growth are determined at issue and guaranteed for the life of the contract. Some insurers pay dividends which can be applied towards the premium payment or used to buy paid-up additions which can increase cash value growth and the face amount.” Travis Price, IFixMedicare.com Licensed Insurance Agent “On the downside, Whole Life insurance tends to be the most expensive insurance type out there. If you're buying a policy in whole life, I tend to tell people that it should be enough to get you into the ground. That's a relatively low amount, from $10,000–$15,000, and keeps your premiums lower. Some people simply can't qualify for insurance because of their health issues. In this case, whole life offers a guaranteed issue policy. The upside is that you get coverage, but the first two years you don't get the full face amount. Instead, the insurance company simply refunds the premiums that were paid plus 10 percent.” Kurt Hemry, Ironwood Wealth Consultants President “Whole life insurance may earn guaranteed cash value increase as well as an annual dividend. These are often considered the most conservative of policies regarding cash value growth. An upside to this type of policy is the protection of your cash in that you never lose money because of Wall Street losses.” Back to List What is Universal Life insurance? Key Takeaway: Universal life insurance offers flexibility to people with permanent coverage needs. These policies are typically cheaper than whole life insurance. Monthly premium rates can change over time. Policyholders choose how to invest the cash value and assume more investment risks. The cash value can be used as an asset while still living but using it affects the death benefit payout. Universal life insurance has many of the same features as a whole life insurance policy. It is permanent and has cash value. The monthly premiums go three places: death benefit payment, overhead management, and cash value building. The cash value grows interest from investments tax-deferred and can be borrowed while the policyholder is still living. The premium rates for universal life insurance policies are more expensive than term policies and also tend to be less expensive than whole life policies. Unlike whole life insurance, universal life insurance gives policyholders the flexibility to adjust premiums and coverage levels according to their needs and investment goals. What is Variable Universal Life Insurance? Variable universal life insurance allows policyholders to invest the cash value of their life insurance in separate accounts, sort of like mutual funds, with different stock and bond options. What makes this type of insurance still universal is that the policy owner can make flexible monthly payments. If you are interested in variable universal life insurance, make sure to pay attention to the management fees and any penalties that come with changing your coverage amount. What do experts say about variable universal life insurance? Richard Best, personal finance expert at Don’tPayFull “Variable life insurance allows the policy owner to allocate funds among different investment options, such as various types of stock and bond accounts. Although the separate investment accounts are subject to market fluctuations, the death benefit is guaranteed. Some variable life policies offer minimum return guarantees as options.” Daniel Ray, National Independent Life Insurance Agent and Owner of PinnacleQuote Life Insurance Specialists “PROS: A permanent policy with an investment component that can accelerate cash value. CONS: You are at risk of market fluctuations which can affect your premiums and face amount.” Kurt Hemry, Ironwood Wealth Consultants President “With variable life insurance, you select from a number of mutual funds that you want your money to be invested. This provides you with the opportunity to earn as Wall Street goes up. However, when Wall Street goes down, so does your policy value.” What is Indexed Universal Life Insurance? Indexed Universal life insurance has lower investment risks. The investments can only grow. If there is a year when the investments lose money, the cash value stays the same. Loans from an indexed universal life insurance policy are tax-free. These policies can also be used as retirement income and withdrawals are also tax-free. What do experts say about indexed universal life insurance? Daniel Ray, National Independent Life Insurance Agent and Owner of PinnacleQuote Life Insurance Specialists “PROS: A permanent policy that is tied into an index like the S&P. CONS: If the policy is underperforming in your later years, rates can double or more which can result in seniors losing insurance that they can't afford when they need it the most.” Gordon E. Conwell, III of Americanterm.com “Variable Universal Life and Indexed Universal Life are both investment type of life insurance policies, primarily for people that are looking for both life insurance and/or an investment. Many people over-fund these policies to potentially gain a larger investment from the tax deferred benefits of these policies, so it's not easy to show rates for this type of coverage as most people will purchase the smallest amount of insurance for the amount of the premium they want to pay for this coverage to maximize their investment potential.” Back to List What is Final Expense insurance? Key Takeaway: Final expense insurance is designed to cover funeral and burial costs. Final expense insurance is permanent life insurance. You'll buy a smaller amount of coverage because insurers set limits. Some policies are guaranteed issue, which means they require minimal underwriting. Final expense insurance is ideal for covering seniors. Final expense insurance is a kind of permanent life insurance. It is also called funeral insurance, cremation insurance, or burial insurance. Final expense insurance is especially good for seniors and offers more limited coverage levels designed to cover funeral and final expenses. Because of the lower levels of coverage available, final expense insurance premiums tend to be fairly low. It’s a great option for those who do not have another permanent life insurance policy and are not interested in term life insurance. What do experts say about final expense insurance? Travis Price, IFixMedicare.com Licensed Insurance Agent “For seniors, I suggest they only purchase the fixed amount that they would need to handle their final expenses if they don't have resources to handle it (like savings or 401k).” Jeff Root from Rootfin Insurance Blog “If you're nearing retirement and getting close to living on a fixed income, you no longer need that much term coverage and you should decide if permanent life insurance (whole life, indexed universal, guaranteed universal life, final expense) is needed. Will you need life insurance to cover any final expenses? Will you need life insurance for estate planning purposes? Then go from there.” Daniel Ray, National Independent Life Insurance Agent and Owner of PinnacleQuote Life Insurance Specialists “PROS: Small and affordable whole life policy to cover final expenses. CONS: Usually policies are between $2,000–$40,000, and are geared for seniors. But are limited to the coverage amount.” Back to List What kind of life insurance should I buy? Key Takeaway: Consider these questions to help you buy a policy that meets your needs. Why are you buying life insurance? How much money would your family need to replace the work you do? What can you afford to spend on monthly premiums? In what ways will your life insurance needs change over time? “More important than what kind of life insurance you should get, is how much insurance you should have. I’ve never heard a widow ask me what type of life insurance her husband had; her concern is always how much did he have,” says Hemry. Fortunately, many life insurance needs calculators are available online, which makes determining your coverage needs easy. “If you find yourself getting bogged down with all of the various calculators and different formulas used then take a step back and just ask yourself this question, "What is the absolute minimum amount of money that my loved ones would need if I passed away to not have to worry about money, not have to change their lifestyle or dreams, and not have to get a new job?" Now double it,” says Ohman. Once you’ve gotten a number, think about the pros and cons of each policy type and what your specific needs are. “For every type of insurance product available, it is the right thing for some people and wrong for others. I suggest you think about it this way: Use term insurance for short term needs and more permanent insurance for long term needs. For example, term insurance fits well to cover debt that you do not want to leave to your family such as a mortgage. Purchase term insurance that ends when the mortgage ends. Use more permanent insurance for expenses that will not go away, such as funeral expenses, other final expenses and income needed for the people you leave behind,” says Nancy D. Butler, CFP ® , CDFA ™, CLTC, and owner of Above All Else, Success in Life and Business ®. Remember that while term life insurance policies have an expiration date, some can last as long as 30 years. If the policy includes a guaranteed renewability or term conversion rider, you can extend the coverage longer. “Term life insurance is the best choice for most people, especially those in their younger years looking for a pure protection product. Permanent life insurance and other products with an investment vehicle attached rarely payout the same dividends someone could achieve by opting for term insurance and making some modest investments with the money they save,” says Cluett. Permanent life insurance policies can be advantageous because they accrue cash value that it not subject to income taxes and can be accessed while the insured is still living. “Permanent policies are used when the need for protection or capital will extend into well into the future.It’s often used in wealth transfer strategies, business planning situations, and where the need for income replacement extends beyond the dependency years of the children,” advises Best. However, permanent life insurance policies are more complex and some are affected by the stock market, which can make them harder to understand. “Within each of these sub-categories of permanent life insurance are a multitude of variations of each. The universe of different types of life insurance products is vast, and should be explored with your specific circumstances in mind along with the guidance of a qualified, and preferably, independent life insurance professional,” adds Best. What questions should I ask? Daniel Ray, National Independent Life Insurance Agent and Owner of PinnacleQuote Life Insurance Specialists “The questions you should ask when purchasing life insurance are What do I need to protect and for how long (Term Life)? Is it safer to overfund a permanent life policy rather than be limited with contributions to an IRA/401k? (Whole Life/Variable/IUL) Will my savings cover my funeral? Will my family have a financial burden when I pass? (Burial Policy/Final Expense)” Nancy D. Butler, CFP ® , CDFA ™, CLTC, and owner of Above All Else, Success in Life and Business ® “How much do I need? What type(s) are appropriate? With Universal and Variable Life you need to know what interest rate the agent used when running the illustration to determine what the premium will be. If they use a rate that is too high, you run the risk of losing the policy in later years unless you substantially increase the premiums. I recommend a reasonable rate of return to use in an illustration today is 6 percent or less. High returns going forward are of course, not guaranteed regardless of past performance.” Taking these questions and expert tips into consideration will help you make a smart life insurance decision for yourself and your family and friends. Your decision will offer peace of mind and financial security for your beneficiaries. Looking for more tips? Check out some good advice and bad advice that people have received. Ready to start looking at companies? Check out Best Company’s top-ranked life insurers.
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