Life Insurance Overview
Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, an insurance company, an insurance carrier or an underwriter.
A suitable insurance coverage is required to help protect our families and assets. One such insurance is Life insurance, which is a vital type of protection. Here’s everything you should know about life insurance.
What is Life Insurance?
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer in which the insurer agrees to pay an amount of money to a selected beneficiary in the event of the insured person’s death. Other occurrences, such as terminal or critical disease, may also trigger payment, depending on the contract.
Who is life insurance for?
Life insurance is a highly recommended purchase for anyone who:
- Has someone relying on their income
- Has someone who depends on them to offer services
- Will have someone rely on their income or services in the future
Someone who provides for a family needs life insurance. If they pass away and their income disappears, without life insurance, their loved ones could struggle to pay the bills. But someone who provides services needs coverage as well. A stay-at-home parent provides valuable services, which someone might need to be paid to do upon their death.
Even those who do not currently have dependents should consider whether they will require coverage in the future. When you are young and healthy, it is easier and less expensive to obtain insurance. Those who wait until they have dependents and need coverage may develop health problems in the interim, making coverage more difficult or expensive to obtain.
What are the basic components of a life insurance policy?
The following are the main components of a life insurance policy.
Premiums: The amount paid for coverage by a policyholder. It could be paid on a monthly or annual basis.
Death benefit: The death benefit is the amount paid to beneficiaries upon the death of a policyholder.
Cash value portion: When policyholders purchase whole life insurance, a portion of the premiums are deposited into a separate account and invested. The policy has a cash value that policyholders can cash in or borrow against.
What are the various kinds of life insurance?
The most common types of life insurance are listed below.
Term life insurance: A policy is valid for a specified number of years, such as 10, 20, or 30. Premiums are reasonable, and the death benefit is paid only if the policyholder dies during the term of coverage. There is no investment or cash value.
Whole life insurance: A policy remains in force as long as premiums are paid, and a death benefit is always paid. The costs are higher than for term life insurance, but the policy accumulates cash value due to the savings component of the policy. Policyholders receive a set rate of return. They can borrow against the policy’s value or cash it out.
Universal life insurance: This is a type of whole life insurance policy that provides more flexibility than traditional whole life policies. It also has a monetary value. Policyholders have the option to change the amount of their death benefit. While a minimum guaranteed rate of return exists, the exact return on investment (ROI) is not guaranteed and is dependent on market conditions.
Variable life insurance: This is a different kind of whole life insurance. The policy is in force indefinitely, and the death benefit is always paid. The cash value, on the other hand, varies and no rate of return is guaranteed.
Guaranteed issue: Some insurers offer low-cost life insurance policies that anyone can qualify for without a medical exam or regardless of health status. Because they can be used to cover funeral expenses, these policies are also known as “final expense insurance.”
What is the average cost of a life insurance policy?
The cost of life insurance can vary depending on policy type, age, health status, and whether or not a person smokes. A term-life policy can cost as little as $30 per month for a healthy young person or as much as $1,000 per month for an older smoker.
For coverage with a comparable death benefit amount, whole life insurance premiums could be five to fifteen times higher than term life insurance premiums.