How to Choose the Right Type of Life Insurance For You

Many times people are convinced by slick insurance sales people to purchase life insurance policies. But these same slick sales people seldom provide all the details of the policies including benefits, exclusions, and other terms and conditions. What most people aren’t aware of is that there are several different types of life insurance policies. Depending on your needs at the time, one type of policy may be more suitable for you than another. Before deciding on a life insurance policy, it is helpful to first understand the types of policies available.

Whole Life

This is the most conservative type of life insurance policy. It offers the most guarantees and is fairly straightforward to understand and manage. A whole life policy will typically have a set premium at a guaranteed interest rate for the period of your life. Once you die, the proceeds from the policy are paid to your beneficiaries as a cash value or death benefit. Because these policies have the most guarantees, they tend to be the most expensive type of insurance policy.

Term Life

Term life insurance is a more affordable form of life insurance that offers a death benefit for a set term. In other words, you take out a policy for 10, 20 or 30 years and for those years you pay a premium. When the term is up, the policy lapses and the death benefit expires. These policies are typically taken by people who are in a stage of their life where they have financial responsibilities and commitments, and they want to ensure that if something happens to them, their family will be financially secure.

Universal Life

This is a type of term life policy but it has an added benefit of a cash value component. This component allows for greater flexibility of the policy. You can increase or decrease the premium payments over time and even take loans from the policy. You can also benefit from better interest rates and earn a greater return on your policy for your beneficiaries.

Variable Life

Variable life insurance is similar to universal life insurance with one major difference. This type of policy allows you to invest the cash value portion of the policy in a variety of investments such as mutual funds. The advantage is that if markets are buoyant and you invest wisely, you can increase the cash value of your policy. The disadvantage is that if the market falls, the value of your investment could slick cash loan   dramatically decrease and put your policy in jeopardy.

Establishing What Your Needs Are

Life insurance is typically taken out by people who have dependents or financial responsibilities. Examples are parents who want to provide financial security for their children, or a person who wants to provide for their elderly parents. A homeowner who has a 20-year mortgage may take a 20-year term life policy so that if he dies before the end of the 20 years, there are still funds available to settle the mortgage. A business owner may take out life insurance to ensure the continuity of their business in the event of his death. Before deciding on a policy, first establish what your family or financial responsibilities are, as this will help you to select a policy that meets your needs.

Matching a Policy to Your Needs

First look at how much money you have available to pay for premiums each month. Also consider if you may have more or less funds available in the future. Would you want to add to the policy in time? Or do you simply want a secure investment that will provide for your dependents in the event of your death? Will you have more responsibilities for a certain period of your life? In other words, will you have a mortgage or kids’ tuition to pay for? You may consider taking a term insurance policy for periods in your life where you have greater financial responsibility. This could be in addition to a whole life policy or a longer term life insurance policy. A large contributing factor will be how financially secure you are. If you have large debts, you are more at risk and will need life insurance more than if you were debt-free. The amount of life insurance you need will also depend on what other financial assets or investments you have. If you have secure and debt-free assets that can provide an income for your family, you are less likely to need life insurance. Unfortunately, most people do not have that luxury and life insurance is therefore the best way to provide for their dependents in the event of their death.

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