Types of Life Insurance Explained | Guardian
term life insurance
A term life policy is exactly what its name implies: coverage for a specific term or period of time, usually between 10 and 30 years. It is sometimes called “pure life insurance” because, unlike whole life insurance, the policy has no cash value. it is designed solely to give your beneficiaries a payment if you die during the term.
Most individual term policies have level premiums, so you pay the same amount every month. when the term expires, there is no more coverage; Either you have to go without it or get a new policy, which will likely cost more: the older you are, the more expensive it will be to get a policy. however, many providers, including Guardian, will allow you to convert a term policy to permanent life insurance for part or all of the coverage period. If you get term life insurance through an employer, rates are generally issued “at age,” meaning rates will increase over time.
Reading: What type of life insurance has no cash value
This calculator can help you determine the cost of term life insurance at the level of coverage you want. How many years will your family need financial protection? For most people, it’s until the kids are grown, the house is paid for, and there is some money that can serve as a safety net for the surviving spouse.
whole life insurance
A whole life policy is the simplest form of permanent life insurance, providing coverage that lasts your entire life. Like other permanent policies, it includes a cash value component: A portion of your premium money is placed in a cash value account, and this sum grows over time on a tax-deferred basis, so you don’t pay taxes on it. the earnings. 3
Compared to other forms of permanent coverage, a whole life policy has three defining characteristics:
- tier bonus remains the same for life
- the death benefit is guaranteed as long as the guaranteed premiums are paid4
- the policy includes guaranteed cash values that grow at a guaranteed rate
- the duration of the policy: A whole life policy lasts your entire life, while a term policy only provides coverage for a limited number of years. once the term expires, your beneficiaries will no longer be entitled to a death benefit.
- cash value: A term policy has no value once it expires. A whole life policy is a lifetime asset that can be accessed to help meet financial goals up to and after retirement.
- the premium: For a certain death benefit, say $100,000, the premiums will be higher throughout life, along with the certainty that your beneficiaries will ultimately receive a death benefit .
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Cash value provides several significant benefits that you can use while you’re still alive. it takes a few years for it to become useful, but once that happens, you can borrow money against it, use it to help pay your premiums, or even trade it for cash to live on in retirement.5
When you get a whole life policy from a mutual company, as a guardian, its cash value can also earn annual dividends6. You get a portion of the insurer’s profits, which can be used to increase the value of your policy and provide other benefits. Although not guaranteed, Guardian has paid dividends to its qualified whole life policyholders every year since 1868.
whole life vs. term life insurance
Key differences between term life insurance and life insurance include:
universal life insurance
A universal life policy is another form of permanent insurance that offers the cash value and lifetime coverage benefits of a lifetime. But there is one fundamental difference compared to whole life insurance: premiums are flexible.
With a universal policy, you can increase or decrease the amount you pay into the policy as you see fit, within the policy limits. paying less could eventually result in the need to pay higher amounts in later years to maintain your coverage. This type of policy can fit your life circumstances while providing the same type of cash value growth as whole life insurance. Having another child, moving to a different job, or taking out a loan to buy a business can all be cases where a combination of security and flexibility becomes important.
final expense insurance
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Final expense insurance is a form of life insurance intended solely to cover end-of-life expenses, such as funeral and burial expenses. The coverage is permanent in the sense that if you continue to pay premiums, the policy will remain in force, but there is no cash value or investment component to these policies. Seniors often purchase final expense coverage without dependent children because it helps protect loved ones who would otherwise have to cover these costs out of pocket. Although the premiums for these plans tend to be modest, the death benefit is also very limited: it is not intended to provide years of financial support to its beneficiaries. Younger, healthier individuals who want to build cash value or a significant death benefit for their families will likely find greater value in a whole life, universal life, or term life policy.
simplified issue and guaranteed issue insurance
Most life insurance policies are underwritten: they require a medical exam as part of the application process so the provider can assess your risk to insure. Simplified Issue and Guaranteed Issue policies do not require a medical exam. These plans are designed primarily for older applicants or those with serious health problems who may not qualify for policies that require a medical exam.
Some term policies and most final expense policies are either simplified issue or guaranteed issue. When applying for a simplified issue policy, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire instead of an exam. With a guaranteed issue policy, you won’t be required to take an exam or fill out a questionnaire; no medical information is needed to qualify for approval. these policies typically offer lower levels of coverage compared to other types, and premiums tend to be higher because the insurance company has to assume there is a high risk in providing coverage.
group life insurance
This is life insurance that you buy as part of a group, usually through work as part of your employee benefits package or through a member organization. Most group life insurance is term, but some companies also offer permanent coverage as a voluntary (employee-paid) benefit.
Until recently, individual policies (purchased through agents or directly from insurance companies) were the most common way to obtain life insurance. Now, more Americans are covered by employment-based group policies. These plans offer relatively affordable premiums because the business or organization is effectively “buying in bulk.” Some employers even provide workers with temporary coverage equal to 1x their salary at no cost to the employee. Group policies can also be simplified issue, at least for lower coverage amounts, which helps employees with health problems obtain coverage. on the other hand, coverage amounts may be limited.
Group life insurance may not give you the comprehensive coverage you want, but it can be an easy and affordable way to start or supplement your life insurance protection. if available, find out if the policy is portable: that means if you leave your job, you can take your coverage with you.