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| July, 17 2020 | Ty Taylor |

What is Term life Insurance?

Term life Insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company that lasts for a specific period of time, such as 10, 15, 20, 30 years or until you reach the age 65. In exchange for your premium payments, the insurer pays a death benefit to your beneficiaries only if you die during the term of the contract.

What is the key difference between permanent life insurance and term?Whole life and other types of permanent life insurance are designed to cover you until death, as long as you continue to pay the premiums. Term life insurance expires when the term ends. If you still need life insurance, you may be able to renew your policy, convert it to whole life insurance at a higher premium or buy another policy.

Term life doesn’t have an investment component or a cash value component that you could someday borrow against. This is one reason term life is cheaper than whole life. With term life, you generally just pay for the potential death benefit; with whole life, higher premiums are needed to grow cash value. Some Insurance companies offer a Return Of Premium Rider that allows you to collect up to 100% of your premiums paid into the policy throughout the duration of the policy.

How much term life insurance do you need?

Figuring out exactly how much life insurance you need can be tricky. It depends on your expenses, your assets, your goals and a host of other factors.

The Financial Needs Analysis in the link will get you started. For more help, get a quote by completing a Financial Needs Analysis.

Who should get term life insurance?

If you don’t have any dependents that you provide for financially and your death would not be a financial burden on your family, you may not need life insurance. But if someone you care about will need money if you die, term life insurance may be right for you.

Term life policies often last for 10, 20 or 30 years, but many insurers have terms available in 1- and 5-year increments. If you’re a breadwinner in your family, you can choose a term that matches the years your family will rely on your income, such as the remaining years you’ll have mortgage payments. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you may want term life insurance to cover services you provide now without payment, such as child care. If you were gone, your family might need to pay someone to handle these tasks.

Your needs might change over time. If you expect that to happen, you can convert your policy into a Permanent Life Insurance Policy or purchase additional coverage, giving you extra coverage at the stages of life when you need it most.

How much does term life insurance cost?

The cost of a term life insurance policy depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Age. Younger people qualify for lower premiums because they are less likely to die in the near-term.
  • Health. Many insurers require you to take a medical exam and answer health questions. Poor health can mean higher premiums.
  • Gender. Men typically die at younger ages than women, so men often pay more for life insurance.

Most term life insurance policies have level benefits and premiums, so the premiums stay the same throughout the term

How to find the best term life insurance policy

Term life insurance isn’t as complicated as whole life, but choosing a policy isn’t always simple. You’ll have several decisions to make, and the best options for you may not be the same as the best choices for someone else. The ideal policy is one that fits your family’s unique needs.

Know the types of term life policies

  • Level-premium term life is one of the most common types of term life insurance and the best choice for many people. Your premiums are the same every year, and your beneficiaries will receive the guaranteed death benefit if you die during the term. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 20-year policies are the most popular. However, a different term may be best for you.
  • Renewable term life is just like the name implies: You can choose to renew after every term, but your premium could increase when you do. Your policy will spell out the possible cost increases. This type of policy is typically best for people who have a very short life insurance need. However, you’ll likely save money by locking in a rate with a level-premium policy.

Consider policy options

While many term life policies are simple and unadorned, some companies offer extra features that might be worth considering. An insurer may include some of these options automatically, or you might need to pay extra to add them as “riders” to your policy. A rider, also known as an endorsement, is a policy amendment that typically lets you add options at additional cost. If these extra features are important to you, make sure to ask about them when you’re shopping for a policy.

RETURN OF PREMIUM

This option may be appealing if you don’t like the idea of outliving your policy and getting nothing in return for paying years’ worth of premiums. With a return-of-premium rider, if you keep your policy until the end of its term, the insurer will refund the premiums you paid.

However, your premiums are likely to be considerably higher if you choose this option. The price can be 30% or more above the cost of a standard term life policy, according to Life Happens, a nonprofit that provides life insurance education.

ACCELERATED DEATH BENEFIT

If you become seriously ill, this option allows you to get part of the money from the death benefit while you’re still alive. According to the American Council of Life Insurers, you might qualify for early payout of 25% to 95% of the death benefit if you:

  • Are terminally ill and expected to die within 24 months.
  • Have a serious illness that may reduce your life span, such as acute heart disease, AIDS or the need for an organ transplant.
  • Are permanently confined to a nursing home or need long-term care because you can’t handle tasks like bathing, dressing or eating on your own.

The details can vary by policy, so before you buy, be sure to ask how you could qualify for accelerated death benefits and how much money you’d be eligible to receive.

Also keep in mind that if you use this option, the amount you withdraw will no longer be paid to your family when you’re gone. If you think you might use an accelerated death benefit, make sure to buy enough coverage that your family’s financial needs will still be met when you die.

DISABILITY WAIVER OF PREMIUM

With this option, you can skip paying premiums if you become disabled for a long time, generally six months or more. Your policy remains in force, even though you’re no longer required to make premium payments.

ACCIDENTAL DEATH BENEFIT

This option typically doubles or triples the payout if you die due to an accident. But be aware that “accident” might not mean what you think.

Insurance companies may strictly define what types of accidental deaths qualify for the extra payout. In addition, there may be time limits. For example, if you’re injured in an accident and die of your injuries seven months later, your beneficiaries won’t get an extra payout if the rider covers only deaths within six months of an accident.

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