Have you looked at social media fundraising sites lately? Many are asking for help to pay outstanding medical bills or to bury a loved one. This is not an effective life plan. Yes, you need life insurance. You might think you have more time, but consider this: The fundraising sites asking for medical and burial assistance are often from families who thought they had more time. But accidents and illness can occur at any time.
Life insurance isn’t for you. It’s for the people you leave behind. The people you love, those people coping with your death. They may not be equipped to handle the financial burden caused by your loss. And if you’re the sole breadwinner in your family, you have to consider how your loved ones will secure income as they adjust to life without you. Yes, you need life insurance.
Ask yourself these questions:
- If I were to die tomorrow, who would assume my debt?
- Who will take care of my children? Health? School? College expenses? Living arrangements?
- Do I own a business? Who will take care of the operations and payroll until there is a successor or sale?
- Will my home be secure for my spouse/significant other to continue living there without interruption?
- I’m young. Why not buy a policy when the rates are much lower and I can borrow from it in the future, when I need savings?
- How can life insurance assist me with my financial planning?
- I’m covered at work. But what happens if I lose my job?
- In my business operations, do I have life insurance coverage on the key persons who are critical to business operations? Do I have key-person life insurance coverage on business partners to keep business operations and account relationships running during the time it takes to find replacements?
And even if you have a current life insurance policy, you need to review it periodically. What was good coverage for you years ago may no longer be enough. A home purchase, baby, marriage, business, or divorce are all good reasons to reconsider the amount of coverage you need to protect the people and things that are most important.
Life Insurance Terminology
We’ve put together some basic terminology to help you better understand some of the information and options included in life insurance policies.
Beneficiary: The person or party named by the owner of a life insurance policy to receive the policy benefit.
Cash value: The savings element of a permanent life insurance policy, which represents the policy owner’s interest in the policy.
Contingent beneficiary: The party designated to receive proceeds of a life insurance policy following the insured’s death if the primary beneficiary predeceases the insured.
Convertible term insurance policy: A term life insurance policy that gives the policy owner the right to convert the policy to a permanent plan of insurance.
Dividend: A return of part of the premium.
Face amount: The amount of the death benefit payable under a life insurance policy.
Irrevocable beneficiary: A life insurance policy beneficiary who has a vested interest in the policy proceeds even during the insured’s lifetime because the policy owner has the right to change the beneficiary designation only after obtaining the beneficiary’s consent.
Insurable interest: The interest an insurance policy owner has in the risk that is insured. The owner of a life insurance policy has an insurable interest in the insured when the policy owner is likely to benefit if the insured continues to live and is likely to suffer some loss or detriment if the insured dies.
Insured life: The person on whose life the policy is issued.
Original age conversion: A conversion of a term life insurance policy to a permanent plan of insurance at a premium rate, based on the insured’s age when the original term policy was purchased.
Permanent life insurance: Life insurance that provides coverage throughout the insured’s lifetime and also provides a savings element.
Policy anniversary: As a general rule, the date on which coverage under an insurance policy became effective.
Premiums: Amount paid to the insurance company to buy a policy and keep it in force.
Renewable term life insurance: A term life insurance policy that can be renewed at the end of the policy term.
Term life insurance: A life insurance policy that provides a stated benefit upon the holder’s death, provided that the death occurs within a certain specified time period. Policy does not build up a cash value.
Universal life insurance: A type of flexible permanent life insurance offering both term life insurance as well as a savings element, which is invested to provide a cash value buildup. The death benefit, savings element and premiums can be reviewed and altered as a policyholder’s circumstances change.
Whole life insurance: A basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and also builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.
So, yes, you need life insurance because your family, loved ones or business partners need life insurance.