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What Kind of Life Insurance is Right for You?

What are the odds of you dying tomorrow? This may not be a thought that many people like to contemplate, but death is as much a part of life as having children or making a living. If you are a young person, then the thought of buying life insurance probably hasn't even crossed your mind, but as time goes on and people age, life insurance makes more sense according to the specific life situations that arise over time.

For example, if you are a person with no dependants who can cover all of the debts you have incurred during your lifetime, as well as the expenses of dying (funeral, legal fees etc.) or if you have dependents and are able to provide for them through investments or other means after your death, then you probably don't really need life insurance.

On the other hand, perhaps you have a family and you are the main provider, or your assets can't cover your debts. In this case, life insurance starts to seem much more appealing and even essential in order to ensure that your family or estate would be provided for and your debts paid off in the event that something unfortunate happens to you.

In general, insurance companies offer two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent or "cash value" life insurance. Term insurance is simply a life insurance policy that will pay out a specific amount if you die within a certain period of time or "term", such as 10, 20 or 30 years. With this type of insurance, as long as you're alive, there is no cash build-up. Term insurance is designed to provide your dependents with financial protection until your mortgage is paid off and you become self-insured through investments and assets, and so it is suitable for most people.

Permanent or "cash value" policies have much higher premiums than term policies, and the extra premium goes into an investment account that builds up a cash value as it accrues both savings and interest. Permanent policies are the most highly-promoted life insurance policies by insurance agents, perhaps because of the high commissions agents receive for selling them; however, permanent policies have considerable disadvantages relative to term policies. For example, in addition to the much higher premium, you don't have any control over your investment account, and if you cancel the policy and ask for your savings back, there is usually a significant penalty.

While most people will do better by buying term insurance, if you absolutely must have insurance when you die (either because your family needs insurance to pay estate taxes or you will have a dependent at the time of your death and you do not have enough assets to provide for them), then Permanent insurance might make sense for you.

Furthermore, term insurance can be renewable, where an insurer will allow you to renew the policy for a set rate without having a new medical exam, or convertible, where an insurer will allow you to convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent policy during the term of your insurance agreement for a higher premium. This might make sense if you reach the retirement age of 65, but you are not yet financially able to self insure.

Each life insurance scenario is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. So, it is important to weigh how the pros and cons of each type of life insurance will impact your particular situation. Doing so will help you make an informed decision on what type of life insurance to buy, and you will be much better prepared to begin shopping for the best deal from the best insurance company that best meets your needs.


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Must Know

Life Insurance Premium Costs

Once you have decided to purchase life insurance, if you are like most people, you will want to find out how to minimize your costs in doing so. Being aware of the factors that affect your life insurance premiums allows you to make appropriate changes in your lifestyle to reduce your premiums as well as making you a smarter shopper when entering the life insurance marketplace.

Life insurance premiums are based upon the risk of you dying which will trigger a large payout to your beneficiaries. Therefore, your age will be one of the most important factors contributing to the cost of your premiums.

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Choosing Life Insurance Provider

In today's busy, high-stress world it should come as no surprise that life insurance as a means of providing financial protection to your loved ones is becoming more and more popular. Still the question remains: how do you choose a life insurance company that will meet your needs?

Since as many as 1,000 life insurance companies offer policies in the United States alone, it is important to keep some general principles in mind regarding their qualifications when shopping for a policy.

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