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Life Insurance Basics
Some of the most common types of life insurance policies include term life and permanent life insurance—while term life insurance will cover you for a pre-defined amount of time (usually 10, 20, or 30 years), a permanent life insurance policy will provide coverage that lasts your entire life, along with other possible benefits.
Occasionally, people will combine multiple types of life insurance coverage into a single policy, allowing them to balance competing wants and needs. For example, you might consider simultaneously obtaining term life insurance when your insurance needs are higher (such as when you have children) but also invest in a whole life insurance policy that allows you to accumulate cash value. Nevertheless, whether you hope to purchase a policy that’s large or small, you’ll want to be sure you understand the policies you are considering actually work.
Buying a Policy
The type of life insurance policy you choose will depend on several variables, including current age and health, financial goals, employment situation, and the number of people who are currently financially dependent on you. The life insurance policy that makes the most sense for someone who is married with children in their 30’s will be completely different than for someone who is in their 50’s.
After deciding on which type of policy fits your current situation, the next step is to determine the amount of coverage, there are several easy-to-use free tools available—Better Penny offers great resources for exploring your current life insurance coverage options.
After You've Applied
Most term coverage can be issued instantly without a medical exam, so the coverage starts once payment is received. The insured will be asked several questions about their health and be required to submit information to confirm their identity—this can all be done 100% online and you can usually secure a quote in just a few minutes.
Permanent life insurance policies almost always require a medical exam which is used to determine health and premiums. Before you are issued a permanent life insurance policy, the insured will need to go through a basic process known as underwriting. During this process, the insured will be asked a variety of questions about your health, your lifestyle, your finances, and other factors that might be relevant.
Buying life insurance can be a difficult decision, but it is important to make sure that you have the right policy in place. Make sure you understand what your life insurance policy covers and the limitations it may have. If you want more options in life insurance, consider purchasing an individual life insurance policy from a life insurance company or other financial institution. Determine what kind of life insurance policy you need and choose a term life insurance policy if you want lower monthly premiums.