This is the 3rd in a series of posts that have been inspired by Genworth Financial. In the previous posts I shared a bit about life insurance, how to budget for it, and why it’s so important to us as a family.
Types of Life Insurance
Today I want to share more about the types of life insurance available. Every family is different so the type of insurance you buy may be very different than the ones we own. Our kids are now adults and no longer dependent on us for their care, so our insurance burden has been lifted somewhat. Now we plan our insurance to be sure that the surviving spouse is cared for and comfortable.
There are generally three types of life insurance: Universal Life, Term Life, and Whole Life. We own all three.
Universal Life is a flexible option that allowed us to have a higher death benefit during the years our children were dependent on us and now that that’s no longer the case, we can reduce the death benefit. It also allows us to skip a payment if our police value has enough to cover the premium. We haven’t done that and instead just pay a premium every six months, but it’s nice to know that feature is available should we fall short one month.
Term life insurance:
We have several term life insurance policies on my husband. Because he’s our main wage earner, we’ve stacked our insurance to cover him more than myself. His policies average 10 years in term and they renew at different times. His premium goes up as he gets older, but the premium is locked in during the term of the policy. The problem with term life is that you will likely be subject to a medical exam prior to signing up for a new policy.
You can purchase term life insurance policies from 5 to 30 years and they’re generally the least expensive polices available.
Whole life insurance:
I have a whole life policy. I chose it because it’s good as long as I pay the premiums so I never have to have another medical exam. It provides a guaranteed death benefit plus a guaranteed cash value for a guaranteed premium. My plan allows me to take the dividends it earns as cash, use it to buy additional life insurance, or reduce my future premiums (which has been my choice).
This is just a quick overview but I think it’s important to know your choices and then act on them and get a policy in place. Don’t think you can put it off until you get “old,” accidents happen to people of any age and how you leave your family financially will make a big difference in their life.