Lets Understand Life Insurance...
Here at SheerQuote we specialize in insurance comparison. From auto, to home, to health to life we have your comparison needs covered. To keep our customers best informed we are here to break down the basics of life insurance in simple terms for the everyday consumer.
Life Insurance Facts
- Some life insurance policies exclude coverage if the insured died while committing a felony. Additionally, if the policyholder was murdered by the beneficiary, the benefits are typically not paid out, which is known as the slayer rule.*
*According to LIMRA’s 2020 Insurance Barometer Study, 54 percent of all people in the United States were covered by some type of life insurance. The total percentage of market penetration for the life insurance industry is relatively stable, though it has been trending downward over the past decade.
Who Needs Life Insurance?
1. Empty nesters
The kids may have grown up and gone to build their own lives, but it doesn’t mean you should cancel your life insurance policy. A policy can create a legacy of money you could pass on to heirs such as your kids, grandkids and so on.
Life insurance can help you provide for your kids and grandchildren. Whole life insurance, in particular, can be a great final gift to grandchildren since it remains in effect as long as you pay your premiums. With college tuition skyrocketing, leaving life insurance as a way for your children or grandchildren to pay for education expenses could be a wise choice.
Besides your descendants, think about your spouse — he or she may need income after you are gone. “If your spouse outlives you for 10 or even 30 years, would your current financial plan provide for them and ensure they can maintain the standard of living they’re accustomed to?” asks Rothschild. You may also want to consider retirement. If you were to pass away, would your spouse have enough money saved to retire comfortably?
2. Singles without children
Without children to consider, singles may be prone to shrug off life insurance. However, you may still have people in your life who depend on you financially. If you care for a parent or a special needs sibling, you may want to ensure their financial needs are taken care of if you were to pass away. Life insurance could also help these loved ones cover your funeral costs and certain debt obligations after you’re gone.
Or, perhaps your heart belongs to a charity or a church – life insurance can help you leave it a legacy.
If you co-own a business, and have employees or a business partner who depend on you financially, you can leave money to help them get along in your absence.
In addition, insuring yourself while you’re younger for such events makes financial sense. If you get life insurance while you’re young, you can lock in a low premium so that your rates don’t skyrocket even if you were to develop a pre-existing condition.
3. Small-business owners
Entrepreneurs tend to think of themselves as rough and rugged — self-made types. But now that you’ve gotten to where you are, there’s a team depending on you. That’s one reason you shouldn’t dismiss the idea of life insurance. Also, if you buy a permanent life insurance policy, you can borrow against the cash value for business expenses, says Komer. “If you had life insurance, you could fund a retirement plan for employees,” she says, adding that providing such perks can help retain good workers.
A life insurance policy can strengthen a business partnership by covering key persons or backing a buy-sell agreement. You could join your business partners in purchasing a life insurance policy that would pay out if one of you (or a key employee) dies. Those funds could then be used to buy out the deceased owner’s share of the business at a prearranged price or cover the expense of losing a valuable employee. “Life insurance for business needs can be complicated, so it is important to work with a qualified insurance professional or adviser who can review your options,” Rothschild says.
Retirement is the time to relax, especially if your house is paid off and both you and your spouse are set with retirement income. But you may still need life insurance as a way to protect your heirs. Consider the following scenarios:
- A policy could provide funds for your family to pay estate taxes and other expenses associated with your death, including funeral costs.
- A life insurance policy can free retirees up to spend and enjoy their savings knowing their kids will receive a death benefit.
- Retirees can use life insurance to help each heir get an equitable distribution of money.
For example, imagine a situation where a small-business owner has two sons and a daughter. The death benefit payout of a life insurance policy can compensate the kids who don’t receive the same amount of the business.
5. Stay-at-home parents
In a world of stagnating incomes, two-earner families have become more the rule than the exception. But there are still cases in which one parent works while the other looks after the children.
Couples in this situation often purchase a life insurance policy based on the working spouse’s income, but forget to account for the stay-at-home parent’s value. Childcare cooking and food costs, transportation and cleaning can add up. For this reason, the family can usually benefit from the stay-at-home parent holding a life insurance policy.