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The Different Types of Life Insurance

There are numerous companies existing today that offer life insurance policies. Though the crux of the policy (to ensure a safe and sound life of an individual’s survivors as well as to the individual) does not alter yet companies try to differ with each other by making different classifications or bifurcations.

Broadly the life insurance is classified into two.

1. Term Life Insurance Policy- Anyone can opt for a term life insurance. This type of policy is basically meant to cover a person’s short term requirements. For instance if the policyholder unfortunately meets with a grave accident, he can claim for the insurance amount. But it also compensates the bereaved in the case of death of a family member. All in all it is a policy that helps in covering potential need for life insurance in the short run.

Term life insurance is usually a renewable and convertible program. It ranges from one to hundred years. If it is a one year program then the cost of its coverage increases after every one year till the time it expires. Generally the expiry is at the age of 75. While if the policy is term to the age of 100 along with cash value it subsequently becomes a part of the insurance for ‘whole life’. Quite often it is noticed that it is cheaper to buy a whole life insurance policy than a non-cash one in value Term 100 policy.

2. Permanent Life Insurance– this is life insurance for the entire life of the individual. The value of this policy increases throughout the time one participates in the program. Terms such as Par and Non-Par are widely used in this context. Par whole life coverage generates dividends that are a partial return of the premium paid for coverage and investment growth. The amount of dividends keeps on changing from annually. On the other hand the non-par whole life insurance policies offer no dividends. The future cash values in these cases are not projected but assured or guaranteed.

• Besides this whole life-quick pay premium policies are also available. In these there is a fixed premium that one has to pay for quit a short interval of time till the time it is entirely paid up. The death benefit in this policy is leveled and paid up at the time the premium ceases.

• Whole life insurance policy can also be fractured in terms of premium payable for 15 years, 20 years and 65 years of age. The terms and conditions in these cases remain more or less the same.

Universal life insurance policy is meant for people who require a life insurance, have a big marginal tax bracket, big RRSP and pension contributions, paying a good tax on investment income, want to have an additional future income and have an investment prospect for at least 10 years. These policies are considered to be most difficult of all the insurance contracts.

How Universal Life Insurance Works

Universal life insurance is just one of several types of life insurance policy available through life companies today. Unlike term life insurance or mortgage (reducing) life insurance, universal life insurance gives your insurance policy a cash-in value, allowing you to withdraw funds accumulated on your universal policy as and when needed.

This flexible approach to life insurance is very popular in the US and offers a real alternative to standard term & mortgage life policies where the policyholder does not normally get to benefit directly from the life insurance funds, unless they are diagnosed as being terminally ill. Universal life insurance also provides policyholders with the ability to accrue interest on their life insurance premiums – something that a standard life insurance policy does not offer.

How universal life insurance works
Universal life insurance works in a similar way to a high interest long-notice deposit account. When an insurance premium payment is sent to the life company the company deposit the funds into an interest account after deducting a nominal expenses charge per deposit. The funds then gain interest, with interest accrued being credited to the account on a monthly basis. Each premium payment made of course increases the fund, while compound interest is earned on the account month upon month. The cost of maintaining the insurance product or products purchased through the universal insurance scheme are also deducted from the universal account on a monthly basis.

Should the insurance policyholder wish to withdraw funds from their universal life policy then they can do so from the cash surrender value of the life policy. Withdrawals are normally controlled / limited to a set number per year. Depending upon the policy provider there may also be caps on the amount of money that the universal life policyholder can withdraw and a stipulation on a minimum amount of funds that should remain in the universal life account.

It should go without saying that withdrawals from a universal life insurance policy will reduce the overall amount of funds available when a lump sum claim is made upon death or terminal illness diagnosis. It is therefore important to manage the universal life account to ensure that there is sufficient coverage for your family and dependants in the event of your death. If you don’t have the time to carefully manage a universal life product then you may end up with little to show for your life insurance premiums if and when lump sums pay out are triggered.

How To Use Life Insurance Wisely

 

Every family should have a life insurance policy on at least one of the financial providers. A policy should always be in place in case one of the primary breadwinners passes away so that the family will be able to support itself if no other source of income is available after the breadwinner dies.

Estate or “Death” taxes can be as high as 55% when the insurance policyholder dies. Many families cannot afford to pay these steep taxes and still maintain the lifestyle that they are accustomed to. Therefore, we have compiled a few tips to help ensure that your family can maximize the benefits they receive from your life insurance policy – and avoid giving so much of it to the government.

First of all, you should know that a portion of your estate will be given to your beneficiaries with tax exclusion. The number of dollars covered by the exclusion each year varies, but here’s a brief overview: in 2004 and 2005, the exclusion was $1.5 million per person. From 2006 through 2008, the exclusion is $2 million, and, in 2009, the exclusion is $3.5 million. The estate tax is repealed for the year 2010, but the tax returns with an exclusion of $1 million in the year 2011. Now, that can get confusing!

Because the government can take so much of your estate for taxes, it’s important to shield as much as possible with the use of a variety of Trusts. One such Trust is the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, otherwise known as the ILIT.
When you establish an ILIT, you will name a trustee to manage that trust. Your trustee can be your financial advisor or a beneficiary. Your trustee will purchase a life insurance contract on your life. Upon your death, the policy’s death benefit will provide liquidity of the assets in your Trust.

With your ILIT, you can control how the estate is divided and spent. Having the ability to control your own estate, post-mortem, may prove to be especially helpful if you have young adults who are going to receive a sizeable sum of money. You can, for example, enumerate which funds will be spent for education, which for costs of living, and which for other activities. Thus, you can allocate portions of your estate for any activities you wish.
You can also transfer ownership of the life insurance policy you already own. However, there are complications that may arise from the transfer. You will want to consult a qualified attorney to ensure that you fully understand how the system works. For example, if you die within three (3) years of transferring ownership of your existing policy, the life insurance policy will be taxed as part of your estate.

With the right help, figuring out how to handle life insurance (and your estate in general) doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Consult a qualified attorney for more information on how to set up your ILIT or other Trusts so that your beneficiaries can receive the most benefit from your assets.

Health and Life Insurance Options

If you’ve found your way here, you’ve no doubt decided that you need to purchase a new insurance policy or add to your existing level of insurance. It can be a little confusing deciding just what you need. So let’s cover some of the most popular types of insurance.
Critical Illness Insurance
Heart disease, stroke and cancer are just a few of the critical illness that bring a chill to your spine when you are diagnosed. The good news is that with the advances with modern medicine many illness that even recently were almost always fatal can now be treated and life goes on as normal. However in a worst-case scenario, critical illness insurance helps you cope with the expense of your illness while you are treated and helps your loved ones to go on unencumbered by the financial burden left by a long illness should you lose the battle.

Disability Insurance – One of the most popular forms of supplemental insurance, Disability Insurance pays you a percentage of your income as a benefit should you become disabled. You use these benefits to help with out of pocket expenses not covered by your major medical policy and to pay your household bills while you recover from a temporary disability or a lump sum payment or a lifelong benefit in the case of a permanent disability.

When shopping for a Life Insurance quote, Term Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance are the two most popular choices. Let’s explain each of these:

Whole Life Insurance – When shopping for a Whole Life Insurance quote you will find that, the policy remains in force during your entire lifetime as long as the premiums are paid. The type of life insurance also builds what is commonly called a cash value that you borrow under certain circumstance after a period of time.

Term Life Insurance – When shopping for a Term Life Insurance quote keep in mind that this insurance will cover you for a specified time only such as five years. Your premiums do not increase during the term of your policy but will likely increase once it is time to renew the term. Term Life Insurance does not build cash value.

Term life is generally cheaper if you are younger in age and a good starting point for a safety net for a young family until you’re ready to invest in long-term whole life insurance.
Now you’re fully informed to make the right choices as to just what new or additional insurance to choose for yourself and your family.

Different Types Of Life Insurance Policy

If you are consider purchasing life insurance, an overview of the available types should prove helpful. This article will briefly discuss the difference between whole and term life insurance, as well as some variations on whole life insurance.

The easiest way to understand the difference between whole life insurance and term life insurance is to look at what is meant by their names. When you purchase whole life insurance, you are covering your “whole” life – as long as you own the policy, it will pay a benefit when you die. What that benefit is depends on the value of the policy at the time of your death, but you own the policy even if you are no longer making payments on it. Whole life also accumulates a cash value on a tax-deferred basis. In addition, whole life can pay dividends throughout the life of the policy.

Term life insurance, on the other hand, is purchased for a certain term or period. As long as you die within that period, term life insurance will pay an agreed upon amount to your beneficiaries. It will not pay if you cease to make payments or if you die after the term has expired. In addition, term life insurance has no cash value.

Two other aspects of whole versus term life insurance should be pointed out. The first aspect is that premiums for whole life insurance are higher to begin with, but remain steady over time. On the other hand, premiums for term life insurance are lower near the beginning of the policy, but increase over time. Another aspect is that you can borrow against the cash value of a whole life insurance policy. This is not possible with term life insurance, since it does not have a cash value. There are two variations of whole life insurance that need to be mentioned. The first is a more flexible form of whole life called universal life insurance. With universal life insurance, you can adjust (within certain limits) the premiums as well as the benefit amount over time to suit your financial situation. This is made possible by placing the premiums in a fund that accumulates based on the interest rate. As with normal whole life insurance, this type of policy has a cash value that can be borrowed against.

The second variation on whole life insurance is called variable life insurance. This type is similar to universal life insurance, except that the premiums in the fund are tied to the financial markets rather than to interest rates. While the potential for growth is greater with this type of insurance, the potential for loss is greater as well.

As you can see, there are some choices to be made when considering the purchase of a life insurance policy. Now would be a good time to use some of the other resources at this site to help you decide on the life insurance policy that is right for you and your family.