This is a guest post.
Term life insurance is arguably the simplest form of life insurance offered by companies today. It is a dramatically different policy than universal or whole life plans. The latter tend to charge policyholders much higher premiums over the lifetime of their policies. However, whole life plans remain in effect for the lifetime of the insured, until death occurs or the policy is cancelled. On the other hand, term life insurance policies last for a fixed length of time, and the periods usually range from five, 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. With a term plan, the premiums you will pay are much lower, and if you pass away during the term of your policy, your beneficiaries will receive a full death benefit from your plan.
Term life insurance generally falls into one of five different categories. Level, decreasing, renewable, return of premium, and convertible are the five kinds of term life insurance policies that companies typically offer their customers. The best method for selecting term life insurance is to consider your amount available to spend along with your age in order to decide which variety is the best fit for you and your family.
If you choose level term insurance, you will get a predetermined dollar amount of coverage for a set length of time. You will enjoy low overhead and you will have peace of mind knowing that your premiums will never fluctuate with the vicissitudes of the market. The predictability of a level term plan is perhaps the greatest feature of this type. Another type of term life insurance is decreasing term life insurance. It is strikingly similar to a level plan, and the only real variation is the amount of money your beneficiaries will receive if you die. With a decreasing term plan, the amount of your death benefit decreases over time. A good reason for choosing decreasing term life insurance is having small children. You know that you need the money more now while they are young, so paying less for life insurance in the short term is a good idea.
A convertible term plan is a hybrid. It lets a policyholder change their existing term life policy into a whole life plan without facing hefty penalties for doing so. Another option, a return of premium term life insurance plan, is very similar to level term plans. The major dividing factor between the two is that a return of premium plan actually gives back all the money paid in premiums to the beneficiaries if the insured dies during the term of the policy. It’s best to pick this plan if you want coverage for your family but you death is highly unlikely to occur during the term of your policy.
How to Qualify?
The uniting thread between most term life plans is that you are required to fill out a formal application first, and then you must pass a physical exam so that you may qualify for life insurance coverage. Additionally, most life insurance plans force you to repeat the exam each time you choose to renew your policy. However, if you choose a type of term life insurance called renewable term life insurance, you are allowed to bypass this stipulation entirely, so you can score some massive savings on premiums you will pay in the future. It’s best to choose this type of term life insurance if you are already older, or if you have health conditions that you expect to get dramatically worse during the term of your plan.
During the medical exam, your physician will take a full and extensive medical history from you. This is so that the insurance company can get a complete and accurate picture of your health in order to assign you the right amount of premium for your plan. Next, the insurance company will consider your motor vehicle record. This is so the insurance company can get a feel for whether you pose a big enough risk on the road to have a high likelihood of an accident that may cause your death and end your policy.
Then, your doctor may ask you other health and lifestyle questions if the life insurance company requires him or her to do so. You will need Attending Physician Statements (APS) that certify your answers and the results of your medical tests were true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. You will also need Medical Information Bureau (MIB) reports for your application as well as corporate documents if you are applying for business coverage. After you have submitted all of these materials, your insurance company should be able to render a decision about whether they will award you a term life insurance policy, as well as how much your annual premiums will cost you.