Time for a Life Insurance Check-up

September 16th, 2007 by Jeannine C

If you purchased a term life insurance policy ten or fifteen years ago, it may be time to revisit that decision.  Just think how many changes there have been in your life during that time – do you think that your family would still have what they would need financially in case you’re not there anymore?

Here are some questions to consider.

Housing – Have you moved or refinanced?  If you have, perhaps the mortgage is now larger and would require a higher pay off amount.  Even if you hadn’t planned on your spouse paying off the house, make sure you have enough set aside to cover at least a few months of mortgage payments during the difficult transition period.

Children – Is there a new member of your family, that wasn’t there when you originally purchased your term life insurance plan?  Then you must plan for that child’s expenses, allowing for everything from braces to college.  In fact, allow enough for tuition increases that many years down the road. 

Health – Has your health improved since you originally bought the life insurance policy?
Perhaps you lowered your weight, quit smoking, or dropped your cholesterol.  It is quite possible that a new term life policy for the remainder of the original period could have a lower premium than the original policy. 

Time – One of the best advantages of the internet is the ease it brings to shopping for term life insurance.  There’s so much competition in the industry that dozens of companies are lined up to give you a free life insurance quote.  The only thing it will cost you is a few minutes of your time to see if the term life insurance quote you originally received is still your best deal.

There’s no time like the present to check your term life insurance rates now!

Listen to Time for a Life Insurance Check-up
Listen to Time for a Life Insurance Check-up

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Alabama Life Insurance

September 5th, 2007 by Jeannine C

If you’re an Alabama resident searching for life insurance, you’re fortunate to have many great choices.  There aren’t too many regulations on life insurance that will affect your buying process, regardless of the state, so it’s important to shop around for the best Alabama life insurance rates.  Life insurance is an extremely competitive industry, so with a little effort, you should be able to find a policy which meets your needs at a price you can afford.

The Alabama Department of Insurance has one of the best websites around, including a great worksheet to calculate your net worth and thus determine how much life insurance coverage you need.  Most experts suggest an amount that’s six to ten times your annual salary to cover the expenses your family will face during the transition to your new life.  There are things you can do to save money on life insurance too.

Fortunately all types of life insurance policies are available in Alabama, including term life insurance, whole life insurance, and specialty policies as well.  Top rated companies, like Prudential and AIG offer coverage within the state, and are happy to provide free Alabama life insurance quotes.

I know it’s difficult to think about buying life insurance.  For most people, just the idea of buying it sends chills up their spine.  That’s the number one reason why most people put it off.  But if you have a family, little ones that count on you for support, it’s one of those necessary evils you have to deal with as a responsible adult. 

So start the process, decide whether term life insurance, whole life insurance, or a different policy is best for you and your family, then find an affordable policy from a licensed Alabama life insurance company, and be done with it.

Listen to Alabama Life Insurance
Listen to Alabama Life Insurance

Posted in Insurance, Insurance Information by State, Life Insurance | 1 Comment »

Saving Money on Life Insurance

August 29th, 2007 by Brad C

Yes, there are ways to save money on life insurance!  Even though the same things that make it easy to save on other types of insurance like higher deductibles don’t work here, there are things you can do to make your life insurance premiums lower.  Then you can keep those dollars in your pocket to enjoy life now.

For starters, buy the right kind of life insurance.  If you need a lot of coverage now, but won’t once the kids are grown or the mortgage is paid off, choose a large term life insurance policy to cover the these short-term needs.  Term life insurance is much less expensive than whole life because the entire premium is used to purchase coverage; no cash value is built up over the years.

Now this isn’t a contradiction, but consider buying a small whole life insurance policy at the same time.  Purchasing it while you are young and healthy will make your rates much lower.  If you wait until you are older, it will be much more expensive and, based on your health or age, may not even be available.  The policy will build a small cash value over the years (do not consider it a savings account!), and ensure that even in your golden years, you have affordable life insurance coverage.

Listen to Saving Money on Life Insurance
Listen to Saving Money on Life Insurance

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Term Life Insurance Beginners Guide

August 18th, 2007 by Jeannine C

Buying life insurance can seem so intimidating.  For starters, the only time it really pays off is when something very sad happens, so it is quite understandable that no one likes to think about it.  But life’s reality is that sad things happen all the time, and the only thing that could make that worse is leaving your family unprepared.  That is why if your life includes wonderful things like children or a home, it is important to make arrangements in advance, just in case.

Term life insurance is the most affordable way to meet short term needs, such as ensuring that there is enough money for the kids to go to college or pay off the mortgage should something happen.  This type of insurance is purchased to cover a specific period of time, anywhere from one to thirty years, with a payout level you select.  One of the best features of term life insurance is the fixed premium, so you will always know exactly what amount to budget.  The cost of the policy is based on your age and health at the time of purchase.

Begin the process of securing term life insurance by determining the resources your family would need.  Consider what your annual income is, how many dependents you have, and what expenses would continue even when you are gone.  What would your spouse need to pay for four or five years of college tuition for each child?  How big is your mortgage?  If you are not there, do you want your spouse to stay home with the children through a difficult time, or would she/he be able to work too?  Are there any other outstanding loans or obligations your family would face?

One important thing to remember when purchasing term life insurance is that there is no savings component to this type of policy. Your premiums only cover the cost of the policy, but it does ensure that your loved ones will be paid the full amount if you should die.  It is possible to choose a “convertible” policy which can be converted to permanent life insurance when the term expires; if this is something you are interested in, ask about it before you buy your term policy.

Once you have identified the amount needed, compare quotes from multiple term life companies.  Based on their claim experience, you may be surprised at the range of rates you receive.  Shopping online can actually make this pretty easy.  After you’ve purchased your policy, other than paying the premiums, you won’t have to worry about taking care of this again, unless there is a change in your responsibilities, like having another child or buying a more expensive home.  If that happens, you will already know what to do, and in no time you’ll secure the resources to protect your family even if you are not there.

Listen to Term Life Insurance Beginners Guide
Listen to Term Life Insurance Beginners Guide

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Bank of America Launches New Mortgage Program Including Insurance Especially Designed for “Local Heroes”

August 10th, 2007 by Jeannine C

Bank of America has launched the Neighborhood Champions Protected Mortgage Program, which is a new type of mortgage exclusively for police, firefighters, teachers and medical workers.  It includes an insurance component which would pay up to $300,000 of their mortgage balance in case of accidental death, paralysis or dismemberment.  The program also permits little or no down payment and has flexible credit guidelines as well.

The program was inspired by an Orange County, FL, sheriff’s deputy, 26-year-old Adam Pierce, who was shot on duty in 2005.  Following his recovery, he was unable to resume his duties as an officer.  “Adam Pierce embodies what this loan program is out to do, and that is to protect these outstanding professionals,” said Bank of America Consumer Real Estate and Insurance Services Group President Floyd Robinson.  “Too many Americans in these professions of honor simply cannot find and afford quality housing, especially in metropolitan areas.  (This program) also provides security and peace of mind should tragedy strike.”

Bank of America has grandfathered over 8,000 existing borrowers into this program.  Home equity loans are also available.  Some portions of this program may have tax consequences, so be sure to check with your accountant before committing to this type of mortgage.  For more information, call 888-870-9459.

What makes this program special is the Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage.  Many people purchase a term life insurance policy when they buy their home simply to ensure their family has a place to live in case something should happen.  However the added cost of this policy sometimes proves too much for the limited salaries of government and medical workers.  Now even if something happens to them on the job, their home is safe.

Kudos to Bank of America for this program which helps individuals who have chosen to serve and protect the rest of us.  It is a great idea, and I hope that other companies follow suit, not only in the mortgage industry, but other industries as well.

Listen to Bank of America Launches New Mortgage Program Including Insurance Especially Designed for “Local Heroes”
Listen to Bank of America Launches New Mortgage Program Including Insurance Especially Designed for “Local Heroes”

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Lessons From The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

August 4th, 2007 by Jeannine C

The Twin Cities are still in shock over this week’s disastrous I-35W bridge collapse, as everyone across the country searches for a way to help.  Sadly, once the initial reaction wears off, the families of the injured and lost will have to deal with a new reality incorporating the human cost of the catastrophe.

Fortunately the insurance industry has promised to handle claims from the incident promptly.  “There will be no exclusions - it will all be coverable,” said Mark Kulda, a vice president for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, according to the Insurance Journal.  Initially the claims will be against auto insurance, worker’s compensation, commercial property damage, and life insurance policies.

It made me think about whether I am prepared should something unexpectedly happen to me.  This is the true purpose of insurance - to be ready for anything.  Though we all hate to think about it, life is a fragile gift which can change at any moment.

In case of an accident, I’m covered by my employer’s health insurance policy, but I know many people that are self-employed and responsible for their own healthcare.  Fortunately, by spending a little time online, it is possible for these individuals to find affordable self-employed medical insurance for themselves and their families.  This week’s events proved just how important it is to be prepared at all times for medical emergencies.

Man or woman, young or old, if others depend on you for financial or emotional support then you should consider some type of life insurance policy in case something should happen.  Thanks to the relatively low cost of term life insurance, there are policies for almost any budget, which will financially help your family through the difficult transition

Listen to Lessons From The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
Listen to Lessons From The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

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No-Medical Life Insurance

July 30th, 2007 by Jeannine C

With so many demands on your time, have you gotten around to getting life insurance yet?  You are not alone.  According to a recent life insurance ownership study, 60% of the population that wants or needs to have life insurance hasn’t done it yet either!  One way to get the life insurance coverage you need could be no-medical life insurance.

It is much easier to apply for a no-medical exam policy; usually you just complete a health-status questionnaire which asks about your health, medical history and conditions.  Frequently it can be approved within just a few weeks, which is much shorter than policies which require time for review by a medical insurance underwriter.

There are a few important things to remember if you choose to pursue this type of policy.

- Generally the amount of coverage is limited to $100,000 maximum, which is a much smaller amount than what is available through policies that require a physical.

- If you have withheld medical information, the life insurance company has the right to cancel your policy or refuse to pay if you try to file a claim too quickly after purchase.

- Folks in special circumstances, such as over 50 or with high risk hobbies may not be offered coverage.

Make sure to fully understand all of the rules governing any policy before buying something as vitally important as life insurance.

Listen to No-Medical Life Insurance
Listen to No-Medical Life Insurance

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