You've probably been told time and time again that you should have a life insurance policy, but if you're like many clients, you've been putting it off due to one key factor: money. It's true that life insurance isn't always cheap, but there are steps you can take to make it more affordable. Here are a few to begin with.
1. Get a term policy
You have two primary options for buying life insurance: permanent life insurance and term life insurance. With the former, you're covered forever, and your policy accumulates a cash value that can serve as an income source for you when you need it. With the latter, you're only covered for a specific period of time (hence the name "term"), and once your policy runs out, you get nothing. You also don't accumulate a cash value with a term life policy. That said, term life insurance is generally a lot cheaper than permanent insurance, since you forgo the benefit of cash value and indefinite coverage, so if cost is a concern, it pays to look into term policies.
2. Apply when you're relatively young
The younger you are when you apply for life insurance, the lower a premium rate you'll generally snag. Many people put off life insurance until their 40s or 50s because they don't want to start making premium payments earlier on. But by waiting that long, you risk getting slapped with a prohibitively high premium instead.
3. Get healthier
The healthier you are, the easier it becomes to snag an affordable premium rate on a life insurance policy. Therefore, if you work on improving the picture of your health, you could save a bundle. If you're overweight, aim to shed enough pounds to get into a healthy range. If you're underweight, do the opposite, because you will be penalized any time your weight lands in what's considered an unhealthy range. And of course, if you're a smoker, kick the habit - incidentally, it'll save you money, too.
4. Buy only the coverage you need
You'll pay more for a life insurance policy with a $2 million death benefit than you will for a policy that pays a $500,000 death benefit. If you want to keep your premiums manageable, don't overbuy coverage.
How should you calculate your coverage level? A good way to start is to establish a benefit that's a certain multiple of your income - say, 5 or 10 times that sum. Next, evaluate your outstanding debt, like your mortgage, and aim for enough coverage to pay it off. From there, think about financial goals you have for your family, and include enough money to pay for them (putting kids through college, for example). Finally, make sure there's enough money in your death benefit to cover your funeral costs.
Let's say you earn $60,000 a year and want five times that amount as a basic death benefit for a total of $300,000. Let's also assume you want to include enough money to pay off your $100,000 mortgage, you want another $100,000 to put your child through college, and another $10,000 to ensure that your funeral is taken care of. That means you're looking at a death benefit of $510,000. If that's the case, don't buy a policy with a $1 million payout - you don't need it.
You don't need to be rich to get life insurance; you just need people in your life who stand to suffer financially in the event of your passing. If those people exist, then do some research and aim to find an affordable policy that gives your loved ones - and you - the peace of mind you all deserve.
The team at USA Mutual Insurance is here to help you choose the best Life Insurance coverage. Click here to speak with one of our insurance professionals to start saving on your Life Insurance coverage or to start a new policy.
Summer’s here! Barbecues. Burgers and beer. It's a good time to review your insurance coverage. If an out-of-control cookout cooks your castle, are you prepared?
People commonly see insurance as a once-and-done purchase. Renters buy policies to meet landlord requirements, auto-renew and forget it. Income stretched homeowners often buy bare-bones policies to satisfy the bank while minimizing premiums. But “required” is often inadequate.
Old coverage may not suffice now. Have you updated your policy to cover the increased worth of your possessions?
Renters’ insurance covers either depreciated cash value or replacement cost, which is pricier coverage. Depreciated value means that if you bought your sofa 10 years ago, you would get reimbursed for its current value. Replacement cost means that you would get money for a new sofa.
Natural disasters happen
If you’re outside California, don’t think you’re earthquake safe. Quakes span much of the west. Similarly, flood insurance is an obvious buy for folks along the Gulf Coast, eastern seaboard and major rivers. But according to FEMA, low-risk areas generate over 20% of National Flood Insurance Program claims – and about one-third of flood-related federal disaster assistance.
In 2017, the average paid flood insurance claim was about $92,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute and FEMA.. Could you handle that? Flood risks can change, too, from changed community development.
Even in disaster-free areas, you may be unprepared for the worst. Most policies cover damage from hail, fire, wind and tornadoes. But basic policies exclude most mold. Some insurers offer extra mold riders. But it costs a bit more. So does extending coverage for sewer backups. Many skip these riders. If you're ankle-deep in sewage, the last thing you want to hear is it isn’t covered.
Homeowners insurance includes lawsuit coverage. But it’s usually bare-bones. If someone suffers a catastrophic injury on your property, you can be liable for their lost income, medical bills, personal damages and trumped up trauma.
You're sued and ...
Most critically, make sure you’re protected from personal liability. Homeowners insurance includes lawsuit coverage. But it’s usually bare-bones. If someone suffers a catastrophic injury on your property, you can be liable for their lost income, medical bills, personal damages and trumped up trauma. Costs can mushroom, exhausting your coverage – leaving you stuck for big bucks.
Umbrella policies can protect you, adding a million dollars, even more, in extra liability coverage – protecting you from having to sell your home or other assets.
Homeowners’ policies usually provide liability protection up to $100,000. If an injured guest sues you for $350,000 in medical bills, lost wages and more, you could be in trouble. A middle-class family’s umbrella policies should roughly equal their net worth., Ultimately how much insurance you buy comes down to how much risk you readily endure.
After reading this, do you still think you have enough insurance? Click here to contact us to find out how we can help fill any gaps or help you evaluate if you do or don't have enough insurance.