Those looking for an inexpensive way to protect their family’s finances for a limited period of time.
Life Insurance Policy Options
While “life insurance” is relative, based on the customer’s perspective, we aim to help our customers find a balance between low cost and high quality. In consideration of this, we offer the largest selection of carriers and are committed to selling only policies that we would sell to our own family members.
There’s a huge difference between finding a life insurance policy and finding the right life insurance policy. You can go almost anywhere to get a policy, but is it the best on the market? Does it meet your needs and goals, or are you being sold a policy just for the sake of selling an insurance policy? Who can you trust to give you the lowest rates and be honest about it? Many of these questions go through the minds of thousands of customers every day when shopping for life insurance.
Term Life Insurance
When it comes to life insurance, term life insurance meets that balance of low cost and high quality. Many of these policies come with available riders (additional benefits) and offer living benefits to help you access the benefits of your policy if you become terminally or critically ill and have less than 1 or 2 years to live. For these reasons, term insurance is the best option for those seeking the most affordable policy available.
Term insurance is also one of the simplest forms of insurance. Straightforward and easy to understand, term life insurance gives you the protection you need for a defined period of time (up to 30 years, in some cases) without many of the costs associated with other types of life insurance.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a popular option for many people when it comes to securing their family’s financial future. Since it covers the insured for his or her entire life instead of for a limited period of time, whole life is not the most affordable life insurance option. Although it is more expensive, whole life does offer a way to accumulate cash value. And, in some cases with mutual life insurance companies, dividends are paid out in the form of additional face value.
While term life insurance is similar to “renting” life insurance, whole life insurance is similar to buying an asset, as it can increase in value over time and belongs to you until you die. Whole life insurance should only be considered after you have maxed out your contributions to retirement funds such as 401(k)s and IRAs.
Universal life is a more complicated life insurance product that mimics both term and whole life. When you pay the premium for your policy, part of the premium is used to cover the cost of insurance and the other portion is placed into a cash account. As the cost of insurance increases year over year, the growth in the cash value account helps offset the increase in the cost of the coverage. In most cases, universal life policies offer a guaranteed minimum growth rate of around 3% on the cash account, which helps ensure that the money in the policy can be used to pay on the rising cost.
Many universal life policies (guaranteed universal life) act like a term life insurance policy, with a greater focus on level premiums up to age 121 and less focus on the cash value accumulation. Because of this, we see universal life policies being purchased more by older clients who want coverage for the rest of their life and aren’t concerned about growing their cash value.
Guaranteed issue life insurance is a policy created largely with older consumers in mind, but some companies offer these policies to people of all ages. These policies are more expensive than other forms of life insurance and carry a much lower death benefit (usually up to $25,000). Underwriting for these policies involves no medical exam and no medical questions, and the policies are approved quickly.
People who have medical conditions that make them ineligible for more standard forms of life insurance can often qualify for this type of policy. The downside to a guaranteed issue is that the total amount the policyholder pays in premiums can end up being more than the amount of the death benefit. So, we advise people to consider other insurance options before buying a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
The least expensive life insurance policy you can buy is an accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policy. Similar to a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, these policies require no medical exam or medical questions because they only provide coverage for death by accident (not a health-related death). Accordingly, the price for an accidental death policy is usually the lowest of all insurance policies.
This type of policy is recommended especially for college students and people who are at greater risk of being involved in an accident, such as frequent travelers. Many accidental death insurance policies also offer double the payout if the insured’s accidental death occurs on a commercial carrier, such as a plane, train, or bus.
This is one of the least-talked-about life insurance policies on the market. A return of premium term insurance policy operates just like a normal term life insurance policy — except at the end of the policy, you get all of your money back. More traditional term life insurance policies offer the same coverage at a lower cost, but you don’t get your money back.
Since the insurance company doesn’t keep your money when a return of premium life insurance policy expires, these policies are priced more aggressively to ensure that the insurance company’s costs are covered. Return of premium policies act as a “forced savings account” and provide a lump sum payment of the premiums at the end of the term.
As the technology age advances, the ability to instantly write a life insurance policy becomes more commonplace. With instant issue life insurance, you can request a quote in the morning and have your policy in place by dinner (and in some cases, even sooner). Using consumer reports and databases across the U.S., life insurance companies are able to analyze your risk more quickly and underwrite your policy instantly.
This is often not the most affordable life insurance option. However, as the technology evolves and improves, the cost for this type of life insurance is becoming lower. Instant issue is a great option for those who need a quick life insurance policy for legal reasons or for securing a business loan.
No medical exam life insurance is typically a life insurance policy that provides coverage for less than $300,000 to $500,000 (depends on the insurance company) without a physical. Underwriting for simplified issue policies focuses more on electronic records and a few health questions to make the approval decision.
This type of life insurance policy is slightly more expensive than fully underwritten policies.
Questions About Your Affordable Life Insurance Policy
Can a life insurance policy be cashed in?
If you have a permanent policy, like a whole life or universal life policy, there may be a cash value feature to the policy. For term policies, there is no accumulated cash value. If you have a life insurance policy that has a cash value attached to it, then you may be able to surrender (cancel) the policy or take out loans to access the accumulated cash value amount.
Can a life insurance policy be used as collateral?
In some cases the cash value in a permanent life insurance policy can be used as collateral to secure a loan, depending largely on the requirements of the entity issuing the loan. For businesses loans, it’s common for the lender to request to be made the beneficiary of the policy.
Do life insurance policies expire?
Term life insurance policies do expire at the end of the “term,” or period of time. Permanent policies like whole life or universal life do not expire, but they can be canceled if premiums aren’t paid.
Can you sell your life insurance policy?
Yes. In certain situations, a life insurance settlement company will buy your policy — but these companies typically only buy whole life or universal life policies. Life insurance settlement companies primarily look for people who have permanent policies with some level of cash value attached. Depending on the policy and the life insurance settlement company, it’s not uncommon for people who sell their life insurance policy to receive 50% to 70% of the total death benefit.
Can anyone take out a life insurance policy on you?
At one time, anyone could take out a life insurance policy on another person. But, the laws have changed, and insurance companies are strict about complying with them. Now, for someone to take out a life insurance policy on another person, they must prove that the death of the proposed insured (the person being covered) could have some sort of financial impact on them, and they have to obtain the proposed insured’s authorization for the coverage.
A great example would be if you wanted to take out life insurance on an aging parent. Although your parent’s death may have a financial impact on you (e.g., the family home is being left to you, but it still has a mortgage and your parent’s death would pass this financial responsibility on to you), you would still have to obtain your parent’s authorization for the coverage. Even in this situation, it would be easier to have your parent get his or her own policy and name you as the beneficiary.
Can I have multiple life insurance policies?
Yes. Many people carry multiple life insurance policies for various reasons. Some might carry a whole life policy, a term policy for their business, and an accidental death insurance policy. Others might have a group term life insurance policy through work and own another term life insurance policy on the side.
How does a life insurance policy work?
Life insurance policies are simply legal contracts. The life insurance company (the insurer) offers to cover you (the insured) per the terms in the contract and pay the person(s) listed in the policy (the beneficiaries) the agreed-upon amount in the contract (the death benefit) in exchange for paying an agreed-upon amount (the premium).
Which life insurance policy is best for me?
Regardless of what anyone may tell you, there is no one policy that is “best.” Determining which policy is best for you depends largely on what you need the coverage for and what your financial goals are. For most people, a basic term life insurance policy works best for their needs. For others, permanent policies like universal life or whole life are better. To know which solution is best for you, you have to understand your current and future needs.
What are life insurance policy loans?
Permanent life insurance policies have a cash value account attached to them. With these types of policies, the policy owner can take loans against the policy’s cash value to access the funds. If the insured dies and the loans haven’t been paid back, the outstanding amount is deducted from the total death benefit upon payout.
What is the difference between an annuity and a life insurance policy?
A life insurance policy protects you if you die too soon. An annuity protects you if you live too long. Life insurance companies offer annuities as a way for consumers to protect themselves against running out of income during retirement. They require either a large lump sum payment up front or a period of regular contributions similar to a 403(b), which is a retirement account for government employees and nonprofit organizations. Once the annuity becomes “annuitized,” disbursements begin and can last a few months or throughout the life of the owner’s surviving spouse, depending on the agreed-upon terms at the start of the annuity.