Term Life Insurance

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Finding Peace of Mind with Term Life Insurance

One of the most popular types of insurance policies sold today is term life insurance. Every type of life insurance policy has the same premise which is that a payment of a pre-agreed amount of money is made to a beneficiary if the insured person dies. The policy premiums must be current at the time of death which is how the policy is kept in force. However, that is where the similarities end because the various types of insurance policies have different stipulations. It is critical to understand the differences to make sure that you choose the type of insurance that best fits your budget and needs.

Term life insurance is the original kind of life insurance and the easiest to understand in terms of premiums and benefits. You purchase a policy that remains in force for a specific time limit. It remains in force as long as the premiums are paid as agreed. The policy expires at the end of the time limit or term and has no value at expiration. In most cases, a policy can be renewed once it expires until you reach 75 years old, at which time it becomes non-renewable. There are now policies available that allow renewal until you are 95 years old.

Meeting Short-Term Needs With a Safety Net

The main purpose of term life insurance is to meet specific short-term financial needs. For example, consumers buy term life insurance to ensure that a family has transition money should the main household wage earner die. It is also used to cover expenses like funeral costs, a house mortgage balance, or college expenses. Term life insurance is designed to provide cash to cover short-term expenses should the covered person die. If you have enough money in the bank or other assets that can be use to cover these expenses, a different type of life insurance like permanent life insurance may better suit your needs.

Typically, a younger person who is still accumulating assets will usually be interested in term life insurance. The insurance is purchased to relieve worries about how certain expenses will be paid when there are young children in the family. The premiums are normally lower than permanent life premiums, and that also makes term life insurance popular. Permanent life insurance is lifetime insurance coverage that has a cash accumulation feature.

However, the 2007-2010 recession has eroded a significant amount of household assets, and so older people are also purchasing term life insurance to ensure a spouse or family members are not burdened with debts should the insured pass away. In this sense, it becomes a safety net for the beneficiary. Term insurance pays the largest amount of death benefits per the amount paid in premiums.

Types of Term Life Insurance Policies

When renewing term life insurance, the premiums will increase simply because you are older. The new premium payment is called the re-entry term rate. Before purchasing a life insurance policy, you need to make sure you are familiar with any conditions attached to renewal. For example, some policies may not allow renewal should your health status change. An insurance agent will explain the policy conditions, but you need to ask any questions about terms you do not understand.

Another question to ask the insurance agent is whether there is a conversion eligibility period during which you can exchange term life insurance for permanent life insurance.

There are four types of term insurance policies.

• Yearly Renewable Term (YRT) or Annual Renewable Term (ART) - This type of term life insurance has a premium that increases annually while the death benefit remains level. It is also called Increasing Premium Term Insurance. It is usually the most inexpensive life insurance available.

• Return of Premium Term – Premiums are level for the insurance term. If you live beyond the insurance term, premiums are paid back to the policy owner as defined by the policy terms. Sometimes interest is paid on the payback amount also.

• Premium Term Life- As the name implies this type of insurance has the same premium for the designated number of years, though the insurance company reserves the right to change the premium when it is time to renew the policy. There are term life insurance policies sold that have terms of up to 30 years, but most policies have 5-year, 10-year or 20-year terms.

• Decreasing Term Insurance – The premiums are level, but the death benefits decline each year. This type of insurance is often tied to your mortgage balance. Typically, the longer you pay on your mortgage, the less you owe. Mortgage Insurance pays off the mortgage should the insured die before the house is paid for in its entirety.

Important Asset

Life insurance is an important asset that offers peace of mind. Term life insurance provides a way to get affordable protection for beneficiaries and especially when you do not have an accumulation of assets. An insurance agent can review the many types of term insurance options available and answer any questions. It is important to understand exactly what you are buying to make sure adequate insurance is purchased to meet the needs of your family should you die prematurely.