There are basically two types of life insurance policy available known as ‘whole life’ and ‘term’. Whole life policies are there to provide benefits to the owners throughout their entire lives, whereas ‘term’ policies are taken out to provide coverage for a set period of years.
Life insurance needs should be re-assessed at regular intervals to ensure the policy or policies taken out are still adequate for their purpose. Policies taken out 10 -15 years ago may have outlived their use, lapsed, or premiums may have gone up due to underperformance in a volatile market place. Examples of underperformers include many of the ‘permanent’ life policies available over recent years –‘whole life’, ‘universal’ and ‘variable’ life policies which are linked to interest rates, which can go up as well as down.
No ‘One size fits all’ Life Insurance Policy
There is no ‘one size fits all’ insurance policy out there and it may be a case of combining different types of life coverage in order to ensure future financial needs will be met. Many people decide to re-assess their requirements for life insurance after experiencing a big life change which affects their finances – such as having a baby, or taking out a mortgage. The implication of leaving behind dependents or partners who may be left with big financial commitments motivates many to plan a financial future which includes life cover.
As well as meeting the needs of their beneficiaries in their ongoing lives, another common reason to take out coverage could be simply to cover short term funeral costs (costs which are rising every year).
How to calculate life insurance requirements
An appraisal is needed as to how any current policies are performing, and an honest calculation of their projected value going forward is needed. You may find that there are better products out there in the marketplace to suit you. Restructuring may seem like a hassle, but lower administrative fees and the fact that insurance companies have re-designed their cost structures mean that changing policies is not the financial headache it used to be.
Alternatively – you may discover through the process of re-evaluation that your life coverage is just fine, thank you – but taking stock of finances in an uncertain economic climate has to be a good thing.
Source: Stephen Smith, Delmarvanow.com
photo credit: SMJJP