How Does Life Insurance Work and How to Get the Right Plan

January 28, 2020 by Susan Paige

Before delving into how life insurance works, you need to know what it means. Simply put, life insurance is a contractual agreement between you and an insurance provider that requires you to pay premiums in exchange for a certain amount of money known as the policy benefits upon your death, to whoever you choose as your beneficiary. 

Choosing the Right Type of Life Insurance

One of the most important parts of life insurance is choosing the right policy for yourselfEveryone has different needs, so what might work for another person might not necessarily work for you. That’s why it’s very important to shop around for a rate comparison.

You need to understand the features of each type of life insurance to determine which one will work best for you. 

For a life insurance policy to stay in force, you need to pay premiums, which could be made monthly or annually. While term life and permanent life insurance are the most common types of insurance, universal life insurance is also another sought after type of life insurance. Each of the three life insurance types work differently, with unique pros and cons. 

How Term Life Insurance Works

Term life insurance allows you to choose a period of time that you will need coverage from the policy. So, it is a temporary form of life insurance with term periods between 5 to 30 years. When compared to other types of life insurance, term life is affordable, although the rates increase with age, meaning that you will pay lower premiums when younger than when compared to when you are older. 

How Permanent Life Insurance Works

Unlike term life which provides protection for a specified period of time, permanent life insurance offers a lifetime of protection. As such, permanent life insurance policies tend to be very expensive. One of the advantages of permanent life insurance is that the premiums remain constant and don’t change as the policy grows. Alternatively, permanent life insurance policies can be flexible, but only if you want to adjust your policy later as time goes by. 

Permanent life insurance policies are made up of two components, a savings component and the death benefit. The savings component is part of the premium payments made that is accumulated and is also known as the cash value component. This cash value component is not part of the death benefits, it is a separate amount that can be borrowed against after the policy grows. It is one of the advantages that permanent life insurance has over term life insurance.  

How Universal Life Insurance Works

Universal life insurance provides lifetime coverage, but it is more complex when compared to other types of life insurance. It also offers a tax-deferred savings component with constant premium payments. There are also other policies where the premiums are not constant, but instead increase over time. 

How to Choose the Right Life Insurance Plan

The process usually starts with comparing life insurance quotes online. You want to start the process by shopping with multiple companies or hiring an agent that can do that for you. 

In most cases, life insurance is used to pay money to loved ones after the policyholder dies. The death benefit does not necessarily have to go to a loved one, it could be anyone else who depends on your income to support their lifestyle, or you might also decide to choose to donate the benefits to a charity. The choice is up to you!

So, before choosing an insurance plan, you need to determine the reasons why you want life insurance. You don’t want to overbuy or end up paying unnecessarily high premiums when you only need a lower amount of coverage. Also, you don’t want to buy too little coverage unable to cover all your future needs. 

What is your current financial situation? Premium payments are different, so you will want to choose a plan that you will be able to afford to pay for. You might need a lot of coverage, but if you can’t afford it now choose what you can comfortably pay for, then upgrade or add another plan later when you can afford to pay more. 

You also need to determine your future financial needs, for instance, you might be single at the time of purchasing the life insurance policy but might want to start a family later. As such, you need to consider coverage big enough to cover for both your needs and those of your family. 

Keep it Simple 

When it comes to life insurance its best not to overcomplicate the process. Keep things simple and focus on what you will need to protect your family, and nothing more. 

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