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Life Insurance Lead - Facts:
Being insurance provides compensation to specified individuals or groups—such as to family members or charities—when the policyholder dies. Some policies also provide funds for people to use during periods of their life when they will no longer be able to earn income through work, such as in the final stages of a terminal illness. Term life insurance pays out its face value (the value specified on the policy) if the policyholder dies during the period specified in the policy. People may purchase term life coverage for 1, 5, 10, or 20 years.
It works best for covering defined costs in the case of death, such as to pay off short-term loans. Younger people also buy term life insurance because of its affordability, perhaps its biggest advantage. Young families, in particular, often need more coverage than they could afford through permanent insurance. Term life can provide fairly large amounts of coverage with relatively low premiums. To protect against this problem, a policyholder can consider adding an option to make a policy guaranteed renewable, an agreement in which an insurance company must continue to provide coverage if the policyholder wants it.
The premiums of guaranteed renewable term being policies, or any term policy, commonly increase with each renewal. Often the increasing premiums become so high that policyholders decide to drop their coverage, sometimes before the need for the coverage disappears.
However, some people need longer-term coverage to provide for such expenses as a 30-year home mortgage loan or estate taxes imposed after the insured person’s death. Term insurance can play a part in covering certain long-term expenses, if the insurer can design policy options to match the need.
Using term insurance policies to deal with long-term risks poses two serious problems: (1) An insured person’s health may decline to the point that the insurance company will no longer wish to extend a policy for another term.
Permanent assurance pays its face value whenever policyholders die, as long as they have complied with policy requirements. Most types of permanent life insurance policies also provide a cash surrender value, which returns some money to people who cancel their policies. This practice helps maintain fairness within large groups of policyholders.
If the risk that caused some people to buy their insurance, such as an outstanding debt, should disappear, those people would probably decide to discontinue their coverage, often called "surrendering the policy."But they would also have overpaid for the amount of risk protection delivered by the time they ended coverage. Cash surrender rules allow individuals who surrender their policies to take some or most of their overpayments out of the group without hurting those who retain their policies.
Assurance companies commonly sell three different categories of permanent life insurance: (1) whole life, (2) universal life, and (3) variable life. Although some insurance companies may use different names to market their policies, most fall into one of these three categories.
Whole being assurance spreads the cost of insurance coverage over a person’s entire life through a payment plan of regular, equal installments. People’s early payments into a whole life plan actually exceed what they would have had to pay for similar amounts of term insurance coverage. But these overpayments accumulate in whole life policies to a cash-surrender-value fund. The fund returns money to those who end their coverage and also keeps premiums from going up for people who do not end their coverage.
Whole life policyholders may take out loans using their insurance as collateral, which they can either repay with interest or deduct from their death benefit (face-value benefit at death). Another type of policy, known as endowment life insurance, resembles whole life but runs for less than the full life of the policyholder.
Endowment policies pay out their face value at the contract’s end, even if the insured is still living. Because endowments have short terms, they also have higher premiums than do whole life policies, which in turn force the policyholder to save more. Beware however: Some items that do well in a catalogue dont do well on their own.
Universal life assurance policies are permanent plans that incorporate some features of term life plans. Although more flexible than whole life, universal life policies transfer less of policyholders’ total risk to the insurance company. Typically, a universal life policy has a flexible target premium, which the insurance company calculates will keep the plan in force for life for a particular group of policyholders. Policyholders may pay somewhat more or less than the target premium, depending on their current financial circumstances.
Variable being assurance works much like whole life except that the insurance company invests overpayments from all policyholders in the stock market instead of in accounts that earn a regular rate of interest. The performance of stock investments varies. Therefore, the insurer and policyholders cannot know the exact cash surrender values of policies in advance. Instead, their value depends on the performance of the stocks bought with money from premiums.
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