A lot of thought goes into shopping for a life insurance policy and it’s bound to prompt many questions. Typical when you buy a life insurance policy, you are making a long-term commitment for 10, 20, or even 30 years, so it is important to do your research. Choosing a life insurance policy is an important decision to make, but by asking a few simple questions you can get a better understanding of what you’re getting.
1. How Much Coverage Do I Need? The amount of life insurance you need depends on two factors: how much your family will need to survive when you’re gone and how much debt you have accumulated. These factors, as well as the length and type of policy you choose, can help get you a better estimate on how much coverage you may need. But remember, the amount of coverage depends on each person’s unique situation that can only be determined by careful examination of current and future financial standings.
2. What Type of Coverage Should I Get? There are two basic types of life insurance types you can choose from: term life insurance or whole life insurance (permanent). Term life is generally more affordable, but will only cover a set term amount. Whole life insurance has fixed premiums and protects you as long as you live. They also typically have an added cash value payment and additional death benefits.
3. Who Should I Choose to Be the Primary Beneficiary? The primary beneficiary is the person (or persons) who will receive the payout for the death benefit specified in your policy. This can be an emotional decision to make, but it’s an important one that can sometimes be overlooked. Your primary beneficiary can be a family member such as a spouse, sibling or child, a person in your life of your choice, or even a separate organization such as a charity.
4. Do I Have to Take a Medical Exam? Taking a medical exam will depend on your insurance policy and the company you choose to go with. In most cases, the lower the cost of policy and rates, the more likely you will be required to have a medical exam. If you are in good health standing, it may be a good idea to take the exam and capitalize on any discounts to your premiums
5. What Happens if I Don’t Pay my Life Insurance Premium? If you have a term life insurance policy and miss a payment, your policy and will lapse and you will not be covered. Typically insurance policies will have some sort of grace period for making our premium payment. This period is usually at most 30 days. If you were to go past your grace period and your policy lapsed, you can apply for a reinstatement. Requirements for filing for a reinstatement will depend on each policy and insurance company.