How do I find the best life insurance policy/provider?
There are many different providers and plan types, so shopping for life insurance can be complicated. The first step involves understanding the type and amount of life insurance you need. From there, use online tools or contact local insurance agents to get quotes on rates and learn about how to apply.
How much does life insurance usually cost?
The cost of a life insurance policy is determined by two things: the guaranteed benefit amount and the individual risk of the policyholder. The latter is more complicated, and includes many factors, including health, age, and occupation.
As of May 2017, a 30-year-old woman purchasing a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy can expect to pay about $141 per year. For comparison, a 60-year-old woman purchasing the same policy can expect to pay $1,033 per year.
Since women have longer life expectancy on average than men, the latter can expect to pay slightly more. The same 20-year, $250,000 term policy will cost a 30-year-old man $156 per year on average.
Will life insurance cover medical expenses?
Certain specialized policies may provide income replacement in the event of disability, disease, or another situation where it may be impossible to work and medical expenses are high. One common alternative is known as an “accidental death and dismemberment” policy. AD&D policies work similarly to term life plans, but will only pay out death benefits when a fatality is caused by an accident, or if the policyholder loses a limb or the ability to see or hear. Death from a heart attack or cancer, for example, is usually not covered by AD&D, but these policies might offer lower premiums than a standard term plan.
Is it better to save or invest instead of purchasing a life insurance policy?
Many adults with children choose to buy a term life plan that covers them from the birth of a child until they turn 18, which is often the most cost-effective way to insure against the risk of income loss from unexpected death. While it is possible to save enough cash or invest to provide even more funds in case of such an emergency, investing is subject to more risk of loss than a life insurance plan, and accumulating enough savings to provide a sizeable safety net can be difficult.
What is universal life insurance?
Whole life and universal life plans are each considered a type of “permanent life insurance.” Universal life is often similar in concept to whole life, but offers more flexibility in premium payments and cash withdrawals. For example, you might be able to temporarily pause or reduce premium payments at any time under a universal policy. It’s also often possible to borrow from what you’ve already paid into the plan or against a guaranteed death benefit in the form of a loan.