No one wants to think about the fact that theyâre going to die someday. Itâs not an exciting topic to bring up with friends when you head out to catch up over coffee.
But itâs not like we can avoid death by not talking about or preparing for it. There are many reasons why itâs important to talk about death, but one important reason is that itâs critical to talk about life insurance.
Life insurance is important to have at almost any life stage. For a monthly premium, you guarantee that your family will get a payout in the event of your death. This is critical for many people to help cover funeral expenses, but it can cover other things as well.
If you donât know much about insurance, this is a good place to start. This guide introduces you to what you need to know about the best life insurance companies and what kind of policies are out there.
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There are countless reasons why you should consider getting life insurance.
Do you have massive student loan debt that you had a cosigner help you with? If you die, your cosigner will be responsible for paying those loans back. But a life insurance policy will help cover your loans in case you die.
Do you have a family that you want to protect and provide for? Life insurance allows you to put money aside to help pay the bills or pay off your home in case you die and your family needs to replace your income. If youâre listed on your mortgage, your loan could become due upon your death, which would leave your family in a difficult situation unless they have some sort of protection.
As you get older, there are other reasons to get life insurance. It could be part of your retirement plan and help cover things like your spouseâs retirement or nursing care after you die. Or you could get whole life insurance, which would allow you to borrow from your insurance in order to fund unexpected expenses â or your retirement â since it builds cash value.
Whatever your reasons are for wanting life insurance, âthere are many companies who offer it. This can make it hard to decide which company and policy to go with, though. Below, we have reviewed 9 of the top life insurance companies available today:
MetLife is one of the top life insurance companies and provides a number of policy options you can get through your employer. When it comes to term life insurance, it offers things like basic term life, supplemental term life, and dependent term life for purchase through your workplace.
They also offer group variable universal life and group universal life policies that build cash value. The former invests your money and guarantees a minimum interest rate and the latter provides you with a fixed rate of return. Depending on your employer, you might get some of these coverages as part of your benefits or have to pay additional money in order to get coverage.
MetLife used to also sell life insurance to customers directly, but it no longer offers these products. It does not list the cost of its policies publicly as the costs depend on a number of different factors â like your age and health.
The benefits of getting insurance from MetLife are that you can get life insurance that might be partly or completely funded by your employer. It also offers supplemental insurance if what your employer offers isnât enough â which could be helpful. The downside of getting a policy through your employer is that youâre less likely to shop around for supplementary insurance if you need it, and you might not get the policy you really need if you donât.
Mutual of Omaha is a life insurance company that sells policies directly to consumers. It offers term life insurance for people who are between the ages of 30 and 74 with benefit amounts between $25,000 and $100,000 â although you can get more if you work with an agent instead of buying online. For its online term policy, no medical exams are required and you only need to answer a few health questions.
Mutual of Omaha also has a whole life insurance policy that you can get online that provides guaranteed coverage of $2,000 to $25,000 for people between the ages of 45 and 85. There is no medical exam, but you do need to answer some health questions. It builds cash value that you can access.
Finally, it also has a universal life insurance policy which offers permanent coverage through the age of 85 or longer. It also builds a cash value but invests money in ways that offer opportunities for higher returns. You can choose between a death benefit that is guaranteed or one that grows over time.
The price of your policy will depend on things like your age, gender, and the death benefit amount that you choose. The benefits of these policies are that you donât need a medical exam to qualify and you can quickly get coverage. The downside is that it doesnât offer a significant amount of coverage and it might not be enough for you.
Prudential is a company that offers both term and permanent life insurance policies. In fact, it offers six different term life insurance policies.
MyTerm offers you a quick way to get life insurance with coverage amounts from $50,000 to $250,000. An in-person medical exam is not required, and you can quickly get coverage online by answering some health-related questions. There is no option to convert this policy into a permanent policy.
Term Essential is an affordable policy that allows you to customize your policy by adding riders that protect you if you become seriously ill, disabled, or want to insure minor children.
Term Elite allows you to get the same benefits as Term Essential but with the option of converting the policy to a permanent policy within the first five years.
PruTerm WorkLife 65 is a policy designed to help you during your working years up until age 65. It provides riders at no extra cost, like one that pays your premiums if you become disabled or unemployed.
PruLife Return of Premium Term is a policy that will return your premiums to you if youâre still alive at the end of your insurance term. Finally, PruTerm One is a policy that provides you with coverage for one year at a time.
The company also offers five different types of universal life insurance policies that allow you to tailor your policy to your needs. It offers a number of different unique riders that cover things like your living needs if you become seriously ill or cover your premiums if you become disabled. It also has two indexed universal life insurance policies and two variable universal life insurance options that allow you to have more choice around how your policyâs cash value is invested.
The amount youâll pay will depend on how much coverage you need, and your age, gender, and health. The benefit of getting insurance from Prudential is that it has so many options and riders that youâll be able to get exactly what you need. It also doesnât limit how much insurance you can get but can provide as much as you need.
AIG is an insurance company that provides a number of different life insurance options. It provides a term life insurance policy that allows you to customize your term length and death benefit amount. It also provides a guaranteed issue whole life policy for people between the ages of 50 and 80. With this policy, you can get up to $250,000 in coverage for as low as $14 per month.
It also offers a universal life insurance policy and a variable life insurance policy. Both products allow you to build cash value with your policies. There are options that will allow you to either earn a set rate of return or have your cash value invested so that there is the potential for a higher rate of return.
How much youâll pay for your insurance from AIG will depend on a number of factors like your personal health, age, and how much coverage youâre looking for.
The benefits of getting a policy from AIG is that it offers a lot of customizable options, and it also allows you to get a guaranteed whole life policy with a significant amount of coverage. The downside is that other life insurance companies have more options.
Banner Life Insurance is part of Legal and General America and offers a number of different life insurance options.
It offers term life insurance policies for terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. You can get $100,000 in coverage for as little as $7 per month. These policies are extremely affordable and no-frills. They allow you to get life insurance without a lot of fuss.
Banner Life also offers guaranteed whole life insurance in amounts starting from as low as $2,000 in coverage up to $15,000. For $2,000 in coverage, you will pay $8.80 per month. Their whole life insurance has a guaranteed acceptance for those between 50 and 80 and does not require a medical exam. The policy builds cash value over time.
The benefits of Banner Life policies are that they offer a number of affordable options and allow you to get a minimum level of coverage for your family. The downside is that the amount of coverage you can get is often not enough for many families.
New York Life Insurance is a company that offers life insurance both directly to consumers and to employees via their employers. When it comes to their consumer offerings, it offers whole life insurance policies that allow you to customize your premiums and payments, giving you extra flexibility. It is an affordable whole life policy with a cash value that builds over time and which you can access.
The company also provides term life insurance policies that will cover you for a specific term and also have a convertible term life insurance policy that you can renew annually without having to provide any additional health information. Many of the policies can be converted to permanent life insurance policies in the first 10 years. The term lengths for the policies are 10 years or 20 years.
How much youâll pay will depend on your personal health, your age, and how much and what kind of policy youâre buying. One of the benefits of New York Life Insurance is that you can customize your payment schedule, which will make it easier for you to pay for it. You could pay more early on, which would mean that you wonât have to pay in the later years of your policy.
New York Life Insurance also provides you with a number of great options to customize your coverage and convert it to permanent coverage, allowing you to get exactly the amount and type of coverage that you need.
Haven Life Insurance Agency offers term life insurance coverage directly to consumers online. It does not currently offer permanent life insurance policies. It offers up to $2 million in coverage, but you do need to complete a medical exam in order to get approved for coverage. The company claims this allows you to save money on your premiums since your coverage is customized to you. Your coverage is renewable on an annual basis even after your original term has expired.
If youâre a 35-year-old male in good health, you will pay $21 per month for a $500,000 20-year term policy. How much you will actually pay will depend on your own health, age, policy amount, and policy type.
One of the benefits of Haven Life Insurance Agency is that it provides good rates for a significant amount of coverage. One of the downsides is that because it does not offer permanent life insurance policies, you cannot get a convertible term policy.
Voya Financial is a financial company that sells life insurance policies directly to consumers. It offers four different life insurance policy types: universal life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, and survivorship life insurance. All types can have a range of death benefits depending on your personal needs.
The universal life insurance policy builds cash value and allows you to adjust the amount and frequency of your premium payments. The indexed universal life insurance policy also provides you premium flexibility and allows you greater growth potential for the cash value portion of your policy.
The variable universal life policy has over 50 investment options for your cash value portion and uses dollar cost averaging and automatic rebalancing to maximize your return while protecting your investment. Finally, the survivorship life insurance policy allows you to insure the life of two people and pay the policy out to the person who dies first. This is generally less expensive than getting two policies.
The costs of Voyaâs policies will depend on a number of factors such as your age, health, policy amount, and policy types. The benefits of its policies are that you have a lot of choice over the investment portion of your policy, and that you can potentially ensure two people with one policy. The downside is that it does not offer term life insurance options.
Transamerica is a financial company that sells life insurance policies directly to the public and to employers. It provides five different types of insurance: whole life insurance, term life insurance, universal life insurance, variable life insurance, and final expenses life insurance.
With the whole life insurance, you can get policies ranging in value from $2,000 to $50,000 to help with final expenses. The term life insurance provides you insurance for terms between 10 and 30 years and allows you to get protection of anywhere between $25,000 to $2 million. The variable life insurance policies allow you to invest part of your premiums in stocks and bonds, offering the potential for a greater return.
The index universal life insurance allows you to also accumulate cash value with a minimum interest rate and the opportunity to earn more through investments. Final expense life insurance is meant to cover the costs of your funeral and is set up to give you your payment quickly â within 10 days of the death of the policyholder.
The cost of Transamericaâs policies vary significantly, depending on things like your age, health, policy type, and policy amount. The upsides to getting insurance from Transamerica is that it has several options and its final expenses insurance guarantees your payout quickly. The downside is that it doesnât offer as much whole life insurance as you can get from other companies.
Most people know that there are different coverage levels when it comes to life insurance, but many people donât realize that there are actually different types of life insurance. The main types are whole life insurance, term life insurance, universal life insurance, and variable life insurance. Weâll break each of the types down so you can understand them better.
Itâs important to note that many people donât just get one type of life insurance, but actually get more than one policy in order to ensure they can meet their familyâs and their own financial needs during different stages of their lives.
What kind of life insurance policy do you typically recommend? Something more flexible like a term life policy, or more permanent like a whole life policy?
The vast majority of younger families who have children or other dependents who rely on their income typically need term life insurance, as they usually only need life insurance coverage for a specific “term” or period of time. Term life insurance was designed for those who might need to pay off a mortgage, provide replacement income for their heirs, or just require coverage for a specific period of time. Term insurance also provides the most bang for your buck, allowing a primary income earner to be covered with a large death benefit/face amount at a very low cost.
If a $1M or $2M death benefit were to be purchased on a permanent life Insurance product such as a whole life/universal life, or variable life policy, the premiums would be rather cost-prohibitive and unaffordable for most families. This is because permanent life insurance typically lasts your entire life, and the death benefit will at some point be paid out whether you pass away at age 75, 84, 92, etc.
When in the market for a life insurance policy, what are some things that need to be considered?
When looking for life insurance, it’s imperative to consider what your loved ones would require in the event of your passing. Would you want your mortgage to be paid off, funding set aside for your children’s college tuition, student or business loan debts to be paid off, five to 10 years of replacement income, etc. The important thing to remember is that one’s life can be forever changed should you not plan accordingly, which is why it’s very important to always work with a competent and independent broker who represents multiple companies and can help you navigate through the entire process.
Working with an independent broker also ensures that you will be getting the best policy available, at the best possible price, as they’re not married to one particular company and should be unbiased in their company recommendations.
Whole life insurance is exactly what it sounds like â life insurance that is meant to cover you for your whole life. That means that as long as you keep paying your premiums it will never expire. You take out a policy and then you donât need to renew it or get another policy. When you die â no matter how old you are when you do Ââ you will get a set amount.
Whole life insurance policies tend to be more expensive than term life insurance policies, but they have some unique benefits. A whole life insurance policy actually combines life insurance coverage with an investment fund. Every time you make a payment, money goes toward building cash value in your life insurance fund and that money is invested by the insurance company to build wealth. This money is able to grow without being taxed.
This can be beneficial for a number of reasons as there are ways to access this money over the life of your insurance policy. For example, you can take out a loan from your life insurance policy, get a bank loan, and use your life insurance cash value as collateral, or cash in parts of your policy to take out your cash value. All of these things can be done for any reason, whether you want to buy a home, send your children to college, or you need money to supplement your retirement.
Many people get a term policy to cover additional risk during their prime earning years or when theyâre raising a family or paying off their home. But they also get a whole life policy in order to cover them throughout their life.