Looking for life insurance? The average life insurance premium in the US is around $631 per year. Life insurance premiums are generally affordable, and offer financial protection to those whose friends, family, or business rely on them.
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To drive a car, you must have auto insurance. To rent an apartment, you must have renter's insurance. And, to own a home, homeowner's insurance is a must. But life insurance is NOT a requirement for living. Because of this, life insurance is lower on the list of priorities when considering expenses.
Since many employers provide a basic life policy for their workers, many people may not need additional life insurance. But if you have dependents, then life insurance becomes a high priority. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to choose the best life insurance.
What is Life Insurance?
Life insurance is a policy agreement between yourself and the insurer. The insurer will pay your designated beneficiary a sum of money (known as the death benefit) upon your death. Your survivors can use the death benefit to cover your funeral, pay the mortgage or rent, or fund your children's education.
You pay for this policy via a premium at regular intervals. The amount of your premium is dependent on your age, health status, type of policy, and the amount of coverage you choose. If you have a non-working spouse or partner, children, outstanding debt, or a disabled person depending on you, then you need life insurance and should read on.
How much does life insurance cost?
The national average for life insurance is around $631 per year. The premium is determined by factors such as your age, gender, life styles, and medical history, etc., Below is a report of the average life insurance price in the US. You can click any state to learn more details.
|State||Average Annual Premium|
|District of Columbia||$636|
💡Note: Click the state to view more details.
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What Kind of Life Insurance Do I Need?
Once you decide that you need life insurance, you must consider what type of policy to buy. Let's take a more detailed look at each type.
Term Life Insurance
The more affordable type of policy is a term life insurance policy, where you pay premiums for a "term" that can range from 10 to 30 years. The object of a term policy is to offer coverage only while you need it. For example, a 30-year term policy will give you coverage while your kids become adults, and your savings or investments grow. When the policy ends after 30 years, you may not have any need, as your dependents have left, and circumstances have changed. When the policy expires, you may have the option to extend the policy or convert the policy to a whole or permanent type of policy.
Permanent (Whole) Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance, also known as whole life insurance, extends through your natural life. This type of policy is more expensive, due to its length, but also because it will actually build cash value. Thus, your premiums go to funding your policy, but also to building a cash reserve for future expenses, even premiums. Some whole life policies offer investments along with the coverage, but some experts argue that insurance and investments shouldn't mix, due to volatility in the stock market, and the higher premiums of such policies.
No matter whether you go term or permanent, it is cheaper in the long run to avoid no-exam required policies. Since the insurer will have to take an educated guess about your health in these cases, the premiums tend to run higher than a visit from a doctor for a qualifying exam. Most people under 50 can get enough coverage with term life insurance. The next question is: how much insurance do you need?
What are the steps for purchasing a life insurance policy?
Calculate Your Coverage
So how much insurance do you need to buy? The answers range from 8 - 12% of your income. To narrow that range down, consider the age of your kids, the working status of your spouse, and the amount of major debt you carry. If you are 50 or older, 5- 10% of your income can be spent on life insurance, and you will want to purchase a permanent policy, rather than a term. Plug this information into one of the many life insurance calculators you can find online to determine the exact and correct amount of coverage you need.
Get Insurance Quotes Online
Once you know the type and amount of insurance you need, shop around online for quotes. Look for a free quoting service that can, with just a bit of your personal information, compare premium prices from major and minor insurance providers in a few seconds. Don't always jump on the cheapest quote you see. Instead compare several quotes, looking not only at price but at company reputation and customer service. You want to insure with a reputable company that has a proven track record of positive, unbiased reviews and an easy claiming process.
Apply For Your Policy
Once you have chosen the policy you'd like to buy, you will have to go through an application process with that insurer. You may need to submit your application over the phone, or online where you will answer questions about your medical history and general lifestyle. The insurer will want to determine if your hobbies, employment, or other factors contribute to the amount of risk they must cover if they accept you for their policy. Be honest when answering application questions, as they will be verified by the insurer.
Get a Medical Exam
A life insurance medical exam is like a yearly physical, except you can have the medical examiner come to your own home for the free exam.
Your physical will include measurements like your height and weight, blood pressure, and pulse, and you’ll have to give blood and a urine sample.
The good news is that you can use these same results on other life insurance applications for up to six months. Online life insurance providers typically have a streamlined application process that does not require a medical exam, especially if the applicant is younger and in good health.
Underwriting Period and Offer
After your application and exam are done, you wait for the insurer's underwriters to make a decision on your eligibility for their policy. This can take up to six weeks.
If the underwriter accepts your application, they will send you a policy offer, which you should examine thoroughly. If you agree to the terms, sign the policy, and start paying your premiums via whatever system you set up with the insurer. Now you are covered, and as long as you've done your research, you’re all set.
Insurance For Life
Insurance that is meant to work only when you die may not be an expense you want to incur. But the peace of mind that you get from knowing that your loved ones are cared for financially is priceless. If you want to get started, contact us online today to make use of our free price comparison service. We are user-friendly and will help you find the best life insurance plans out there!
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Our articles are intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Our articles are not written or reviewed by insurance agents. Consult your policies with your agent or a professional for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services, and programs.
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