Life Insurance 101 Explained
While most of us do not like to think of the subject of our own death, the fact of the matter is that death is a part of life and in order to protect our families we need to give some thought to the subject of life insurance. The more you understand about life insurance the better you can prepare not only for your final expenses and protect your family.
First, understand there are different types of life insurance. The type that is best for you will depend on a variety of factors including your current age and health condition. The two major types of life insurance policies that you need to concern yourself with are term life insurance and permanent life insurance.
Term life insurance provides coverage for a specified period of time. This type of coverage will usually be less expensive than permanent life insurance. Policy periods are usually divided up into easy periods such as one, ten or twenty years. In the event you die within that time period, the death benefit will be paid to your beneficiaries. On the other hand, if you should reach the end of the time period and you are still alive your protection will end unless you elect to renew the policy. The option of building up cash value is not available with this type of insurance policy.
Individuals who only need temporary life insurance and those who need a large amount of coverage but who can’t afford to spend a lot benefit from this type of policy the most.
Permanent life insurance is designed to provide coverage for the duration of your life, although in some cases, the policy may be limited up until a specific age. When you reach that age, the cash value of the policy will be paid to you. Because you are building a cash value with permanent life insurance you can also withdraw from the policy in order to pay for important expenses such as education or home improvement costs. Another major advantage to permanent life insurance is that it allows you to build up cash value that is tax-deferred. This generally only applies while the policy is in force; however.
There are two divisions of permanent life insurance; whole life and universal life. A whole life policy will pay dividends under certain circumstances and also has the advantage of premiums that do not fluctuate.
With a universal life insurance the premium payments can be changed by the owner of the policy. This type of flexibility can be advantageous when you have a life changing event.
Permanent life insurance works well for individuals who are interested in long term insurance and who like the idea of building up cash value with their policy they can use to meet future needs. It is important to recognize this type of insurance is more expensive than term insurance. It should also be noted that if you take out a loan against your policy, your death benefit will be reduced.