Talk to a local car insurance agent now:
(904) 425-1240
Press play below to listen to our audio commercial:

Life Insurance – One More Step On The Insurance Ladder

LifeInsuranceThe recently over 60’s are the post-war baby boomers. Their life insurance needs are very different from that of a young family or someone just starting out in their first job.

A typical 60 something couple will have raised their family, finished paying off their mortgage and are into or nearing retirement. More and more of this age group of people spend part of their year abroad or maybe are planning to move to the sunshine on a permanent basis.

Maybe it would be a good idea to assess their insurance needs at this stage in their lives. Something that is almost certain to crop up is the worrying matter of inheritance tax. House prices have risen considerably over the past years and the family home that suited their lifestyle some years ago will probably be worth an amount approaching or over the inheritance tax limit. Even if they downsize their property, they may invest in something like a holiday home and the actual capital is still there.

Inheritance tax is charged on taxable estates with a value of more than £300,000 in the 2007/8 tax year. This amount rises annually – 2006/7 was £285,000 for instance.

To work out the value of their estate, they will need to take the value of their home, savings, investments, life insurance policies, any business interests and any other assets which they have accumulated. When the total of this has been reached, any liabilities will need to be deducted. Typically, this will be any mortgage outstanding, loans and other debts. The remaining figure, less the amount exempt from Inheritance Tax is the one that Inheritance tax will be calculated from.

Inheritance tax would be charge on the death of the second partner. There is no inheritance tax between spouses.

To put it simply, if their assets minus their liabilities worth around £400,000, then using the 2007/8 allowance of £300,000 there would be £100,000 which would attract a tax of 40%. That’s £60,000 to their beneficiaries and £40,000 to the taxman.

You may think this is a fairly large estate but do consider what your home could be worth at today’s values. Now this couple may be quite happy to potentially give £40,000 of their hard earned money away but we think probably not.

The couple would be advised to take some specialist advice at this stage but a solution could well be to take out some whole-of-life insurance cover. An amount that would cover the estimated inheritance tax bill would relieve their beneficiaries of any worries when the inevitable time comes. The policy must be written “in trust” and the result will be that the payout will not be counted as part of the estate. By using these important provisions, there should be no delay in the payment of the policy to beneficiaries.

Most policies designed to help with inheritance tax dues are investment linked and offered on a reviewable basis. The plan will be reviewed at five or maybe ten yearly intervals. If the investment part of the plan has not performed as hoped, then the cost of the premium could rise and our couple needs to be aware of this.

For an easy way to get some advice on this important subject, an on-line broker will be able to steer our couple towards the right product for them, at the right price.

Ways To Save On Your Budget While Availing For Life Insurance

LowCostLifeInsuranceMore and more people are buying life insurance online and the numbers seem to be doubling every two years. The reasons are clear. Prices are lower on the Internet and life insurance is fundamentally a simple insurance product.

Despite the underlying simplicity of life insurance, most web sites channel their online clients through a telephone based help and advice service manned by experienced personnel. They represent your safety net so if a little technical knowledge is called for, help is at hand.

But it’s always a good idea to have a few Top Tips in your back pocket when you’re shopping online for life insurance. They’ll help you ask the right questions and find the best policy.

1. Always have your Life Insurance policy “Written in Trust”.

This means that in the event of a claim, the money goes directly and immediately to the person(s) you nominate when you first take the policy out. It also avoids all possibility of your estate having to pay Inheritance Tax on the proceeds of your policy and that could represent a 40% tax saving!

All you have to do is tell the online brokerage organizing your policy that you want your policy “Written in Trust” and the names of the people who the life insurance company pays in the event of a claim. They will then sort it all out for you. The extra good news is that this service is invariably free of charge. So it’s a win-win situation and there aren’t many of those around these days!

2. In the early years a Reviewable Life Insurance Policy will be cheaper but a Guaranteed Policy will work out a better buy in the longer term.

With a “Guaranteed Policy” the insurance company guarantees never to increase your policy’s premium.

With a “Reviewable Policy” you agree that your insurance company can review the cost of your policy at regular intervals. But don’t be folled – in our experience a “review” is just another word for a price increase. After all, who’s ever heard of an insurance company passing up a chance to charge you more! The review intervals are usually between 2 to 5 years but this does vary between insurance companies. You will find the details of the review intervals on the documents sent to you before you accept the insurance – these are called The Key Features Documents.

So, comparing otherwise like for like policies, in the early years the premiums for a “Reviewable Policy” will undoubtedly be lower than the premiums for a “Guaranteed Policy”. Thereafter, the premiums for a Reviewable Policy increase eventually catching up with and overtaking, the premium for a “Guaranteed Policy”.

In our experience, you can expect the monthly premiums for a Reviewable Policy to exceed those of a guaranteed policy in about 7 to 10 years and then within the following 10 years more than double again. If your budget is currently tight then by all means choose a Reviewable Policy – after all, your salary may increase in coming years and ease the strain. On the other hand, if the premiums for a Guaranteed Policy are affordable, we think they represent your best buy.

Many life insurance companies have stopped offering “Guaranteed” rates for standalone critical illness insurance policies. This is because they have experienced much higher claim rates than they initially expected. However, you may still find a guaranteed life insurance policy that also provides critical illness cover. As we have explained, “Guaranteed” rates are especially good value and if you can get a quote for a guaranteed life policy that includes critical illness cover, you may have a real bargain.

3. Thinking about a Joint Life Insurance Policy?

A Joint Life Insurance policy is usually written on a first death basis. This means that the policy will pay out on the death of the first policyholder, subject to the policy being in force at the time. This leaves the second person uninsured and older. Older people can struggle to get life insurance at an affordable premium rather than a Joint Policy consider taking out separate policies now. Overall it will work out a little dearer – but you get twice the cover and double the peace of mind.

4. Taking out a Life Insurance Policy? Now would be an ideal time to include Critical Illness cover.

Are you likely to need Critical Illness Insurance in the future? Yes? Then consider adding it now to the life insurance policy you’re arranging. Why? There are three reasons.

First, a Life Insurance policy combined with Critical Illness cover will work out significantly cheaper than buying two separate policies. Second, as we have already explained in the footnote to Tip 2, you may be able to buy a combined Life and Critical Illness policy with a guaranteed premium. That could be a real bargain. Finally, premiums for critical illness cover increase rapidly as you get older – so the sooner you take it out, the cheaper it will be.

5. Don’t confuse Terminal Illness cover with Critical Illness cover.

There’s world of difference between Terminal Illness and Critical Illness cover so it’s important to understand the difference.

Terminal Illness cover pays out the insured lump sum if a Medical Doctor diagnoses you with an illness from which the Doctor expects you to die within 12 months. Most good life policies automatically include Terminal Illness cover at no extra cost. It’s basically an early and welcome policy payout.

A Critical Illness policy pays out the insured lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of a wide range chronic illness and there are no life expectancy criteria. Indeed, with many of the insured illnesses you could expect to survive for many years. For example: certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, loss of speech, sight or hearing, onset of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, third degree burns etc. Say you were an engineer aged 40 and you lost your sight. A Critical Illness policy would pay out immediately and that money could well be vital in helping you and your family through many difficult financial years ahead. If you just had Terminal Illness cover there’d be no chance of a payout.

So as you can see, Critical Illness cover is far more comprehensive than simple Terminal Illness cover and for that reason critical illness cover always costs you extra.

See To It That Your Family Is Secured In Case Of Accidents With Life Insurance

No matter who you are or what you do for a living, you should make sure that you have some sort of life insurance policy.  However, this is even more the case if you are one of the only sources of income for your family.  In this case, you should keep in mind that your family will lose your income should you die prematurely – but with life insurance, they will still be taken care of afterward.  These are not situations that anybody likes to think about, of course.  However, it is always best to be prepared for the future.

There are two types of life insurance that can apply to most people.  The two policies are term life insurance and permanent life insurance.  While ideally, everybody would be able to get permanent life insurance that might not be the best choice for you due to the price of insurance.  Term life insurance is usually cheaper than permanent life insurance.  This is both due to the fact that the term is shorter than the permanent plan and because you will have to pay for this insurance for a shorter period of time.

Term life insurance is a good idea if you are only worried about your family for a short period of time.  This type of life insurance can be purchased for a different period of time depending on how long you need it.  Most people who are going to start a family usually go for the 20 year long life insurance policy, that way you’ll be protected as long as your children live in the house. One thing to watch out for is that if you are going with term life insurance and decide that you’ll need to extend it with another policy later, you may end up spending more money on your monthly premiums.

The reason for this is that most life insurance policies are priced based on how likely it is that you’ll need the coverage (this is just like any other type of insurance as well).  As a result, generally the premium cost will increase as you get older.  If you have somebody in your family that you expect to care for during the rest of your life, then you should open a permanent life insurance policy now in order to save yourself money in the future.

Either way, even if your occupation is not particularly dangerous, it is still a good idea to have a life insurance policy.

Life Insurance: Is It Right For You?

Though Life Insurance is neither an investment plan nor a savings scheme, it still plays a significant role in the financial portfolio of most individuals. The main purpose of Life Insurance is to protect the dependents of a person from financial loss in the event of his death.

Financial obligations arise out of many situations in life like when getting married or divorced, having a baby, buying a house, sending your child to college, starting a business, taking care of a parent who is aged or sick or on retirement. If a person is shouldering these responsibilities, he must ensure that these obligations continue to be fulfilled even after his death. If he has a family who depends upon his earning capacity, he is a perfect candidate for life insurance. A person should consider the long term as well as the short-term financial obligations to decide whether he needs life insurance. The questions to ask are:

1.            Do you have people including family and business partners who are financially dependent upon you over a long period of time?

2.            In the event of your death, do your dependents have enough assets and resources including liquid cash to take care of all their needs and to pay off your financial debts?

The second question requires a further assessment of the short-term financial needs of the family of the deceased. These include working out the following factors:

Inheritance procedures can be time consuming and the family will need funds till they get access to the property of the deceased. The availability of other liquid assets like bank accounts or stocks can reduce dependency on life insurance.

The existence of a large amount of non-liquid assets as against liquid assets makes it necessary to have insurance. The amount of debts and taxes the person stands to owe after his death. Businessmen must ensure there is enough cash flow in the business for his inheritors to maintain his business.

Considering the above questions, one would find most people do need life insurance though one can do without it if one has no dependents or young kids to support. Still, other obligations like a home mortgage or a sole proprietary business or planning for a comfortable retirement for yourself or your spouse are some of the reasons why a life insurance is still a good financial program to pick up.

Life Insurance: Getting Better Rates By Refinancing

Your life insurance needs naturally change over time. Children grow up and move on, financial situations change and families grow. If your lifestyle has changed, it’s probably time to “refinance” your term life insurance policies. By periodically examining your life insurance needs, you can explore more cost-efficient options that will save you in the long run.

The cost of life insurance has dropped 60% in the last ten years. This is mostly due to the fact that we are living longer. Competition has also caused companies to offer better rates. By changing your policy, you could have a much lower rate than was set years ago.

Take the time to consider how your life has changed. If your children have grown up and gone out on their own, you may want less expensive coverage. If you’ve changed your lifestyle such as losing weight or quitting smoking, you could be eligible for cheaper life insurance premiums due to a raise in your health status.

You may be happy with your policy but if you’ve had it for a while, it could be worth it to simply look into your options. There are more features offered, longer premium guarantees and better conversion options available today than there were five years ago. You can buy a cheaper policy with more features.

You have nothing to lose from simply looking into your coverage. Start with calling your current life insurance agent and ask them about what they can do to fit your existing coverage to your needs.

Many insurance web sites will give you a basic idea of the variety of coverage’s available. Remember that quotes are usually based on the healthiest level of being which you may not qualify for. Always assume that you are receiving a low figure. Make sure that you double check with an insurance agent before committing to the coverage off of the internet sight. You can often do this by phone or they will come to your home.

Independent agents represent many different companies and can offer you more choices. They are knowledgeable of many different policies and can find one that will best fit your individual situation. Even if you decide to stay with your current life insurance company, you may find that you need to rethink the amount of coverage. You may have too much or too little. Do the math, you could save money. Don’t terminate your old policy until the new policy is in force. You don’t want any gaps in coverage to occur.

If your health has gone downhill since your initial policy was created, you may not want to change policies – your rates will increase. Most insurance companies write in a two-year contestability period on new policies. That means they have the right to challenge a death claim.

Do the research and honestly evaluate your coverage needs. Refinancing you life insurance could be very beneficial to your finances.

Life Insurance: Hesitant About Your Insurance Coverage?

Life insurance is a very important issue that you should address sooner than later. As we all know, all good things come to end and in some sad unfortunate cases, it is where we may have lost a loved one (suddenly) therefore, leaving you unprepared for all the expense involved to give your dearly beloved a decent burial/funeral. So, life insurance is the best plan B any one could have at times like this to help with funeral costs and any debts left behind by the deceased.

Just how important is Life insurance and what will you gain from coverage? Well for one, it offers peace of mind for those at troubled times where there may have been bereavement or an accident and it also provides instant cash payouts if a death has occurred. With insurance proceeds, you will find are a reliable source that you can depend upon when times are hard and the going gets tough.

Claim peace of mind by going along to an insurance broker to talk on Life insurance. Insurance companies have well trained staff at hand that can give you good advice and support on what best suits you and your family`s needs and better still your budget. By doing this, you will have secured your own and anyone close to you a little sense of security.

Insurance means assurance where you can rest assured that you have done the right thing. After talking to experts in the field of Life insurance, you will find that they also can help with all types of life insurance policies like home content and accidental breakage. Payouts can help with hospital treatment and expenses that may incur from dental surgery even pet coverage options.

If you have a young family dependant then this is more reason to finalize some financial backing in your time of need should you be unfortunate to lose a partner or family member through a tragic accident or a sudden premature death.

Information on insurance policies can be found online. If you still feel a little apprehensive, don`t be,  speak to others who have insurance and is familiar with the whole procedure – this may help you a great deal in understanding the importance of it all. Remember the decision is yours but if you decide to go forward with taking out some security like Life Insurance then you will find that you have made the best decision you are ever to make.

Life Insurance – A Beginner’s Guide

When it comes to life insurance, we have two primary types of policy to choose from – term life insurance or whole of life insurance. Many people find it hard to come to a decision about which type of policy to take out but the decision you have to make really isn’t that complex and both will offer good levels of cover for the majority of people. Let’s take a closer look at your options.

The most popular type of life insurance is without a doubt, term life insurance. This kind of policy will be set out to last for a specified ‘term’ – i.e. it will last for a set time period. So, you can take out a life insurance term policy for 25 years. During this 25 year period, you will make your policy payments and you’ll have the protection of the policy if you die. So, your next of kin can claim against the policy in the event of your death. But at the end of the 25 years, your policy will be finished and you’ll get no further protection from it.

Many people opt to take out a term life insurance policy because they know that they will no longer have a great need for insurance at the end of the specific term. For many people, this kind of policy will end at around the time that they retire so their mortgage will probably be repaid, their families will be grown and they won’t need to make provision for their family to have such a large lump sum or income if they die. So, a term policy can suit them very well indeed, giving them cover during the years when they really need it and finishing when they don’t.

A whole of life policy on the other hand, will suit those of us who want protection for the rest of our days. This kind of life insurance is designed to last until you die – so you’ll be covered in the short, medium and long term. A lot of people who opt for this kind of life insurance do so because it can be set up to help with issues such as inheritance planning although many people simply prefer to get cover that is guaranteed to make a payment at some point so that they feel that they are getting some return on their policy payments. There is a guarantee of payment with a whole of life policy that isn’t there with a term policy. Once your term policy is finished that really is it, you are only guaranteed a payment if you do die while the policy is in force.

Many people make their choice here based on their budget. The fact that a term life insurance policy may not ever make a payment (i.e. the fact that you will probably survive your policy) means that insurers can offer lower costs. A whole of life policy with its guaranteed payment at some point is consequently more expensive. The choice you make here will be a personal one and can depend on your financial circumstances. The vital thing to remember is that some form of life insurance cover is vital for most of us especially if we have a family to consider and we can consequently get great protection from either kind of policy at the end of the day.

Life Insurance & Why It’s Important For Your Family

It’s sad to think about but life insurance is something that everyone needs to consider. In the event of an unfortunate loss, an individual often wants to have the peace of mind in knowing that his/her family will be financially secure.

Life insurance can be obtained in a number of ways including from a national insurance provider, various credit cards and/or certain employers. Depending on the amount of coverage which is usually available in varying amounts, monthly payments will range from being affordable to very expensive. The amount of coverage that is selected will determine how much a family will receive if their loved one should pass away.

It is important for many individuals to purchase life insurance so that their loved ones will not have to worry about money in addition to being upset over their loss. When bills begin to come in and utilities are due, this can be a very difficult time for anyone who is also dealing with the loss of a family member. This is especially true if the loss was that of the family’s provider which often means that little or no income will be coming into the household. A life insurance policy will help to ease some of that stress by providing financial help to the family that is left behind. In order to make sure the proper beneficiary is noted on any life insurance policy, the holder must make sure to provide all of the requested information to the insurance provider.

If life insurance is obtained when the policy holder is young, it will be very affordable. The more time that passes and the older an individual grows, the more expensive the policy will be. In addition, anyone with known health problems will likely pay a much higher life insurance premium if they are fortunate enough to find a carrier to provide them with a policy. As unfortunate as it is, many life insurance companies will not provide coverage to anyone known to be in poor health. The wellness or lack thereof relating to a patient will likely be determined by a mandatory physical. While not all carriers require this procedure, some will before confirming coverage. This is their way of making sure that the policy holder is in good health before issuing any type of coverage.

On a final thought to life insurance coverage, it is not a pleasant thing to discuss or even consider. It is, however a necessary part of every family’s life.

Life Insurance – Why Does The UK Have A £2.3 Trillion Protection Gap?

According to Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest re-insurance companies, less than half of the UK population has any form of life insurance protection. They then go on to put a figure on the value of this protection gap. Using an average income of £20,000 and assuming that the value of protection needed ranges between 5 and 10 times income, they put a value on the protection gap at £2.3 trillion.

But in all probability, whilst the gap is huge, £2.3 trillion is likely to be somewhat over stated. After all, there are people who are disqualified from having life cover due to their age – just over 1 in 5 are under 18 years old, the minimum for life cover and 1 in 6 are effectively uninsurable as they’re over 65. Then there’s a raft of persons for whom life insurance is just not necessary. These are people aged between 18 and 65 who do not have dependents. Having said that, without doubt, there are still many families in the Swiss Re survey that has been correctly identified as desperately needing life insurance.

So if they need life insurance, why do they hold back?

Undeniably, there are still many people who have no understanding what life insurance provides and because they don’t think about it, they don’t care and nothing ever gets done. After all, life insurance isn’t a fun buy – there’s no enjoyable window-shopping or pleasure in owning it. The chances are that unless financial advisers sit down and talks to these, they’ll remain totally uninterested and uninsured.

Newspaper reporting given to the insurance industry also tends not to help. The Sunday papers in particular are regularly full of stories about one family or another that has had a claim turned down. These stories make the headlines as behind them there’s invariably a poignant tale of personal tragedy and distress. It all gives the life industry a tarnished image and creates a feeling that they can’t be trusted. In practice, when you read the stories, the reason for the claim being refused often comes down to the fact that the policy holder missed off some relevant information from their application form. Nevertheless, some refusals are clearly wrong and this undoubtedly damaging.

Then there are those people who fully appreciate that they need life insurance but just can’t be bothered or say they can’t afford the life insurance premiums. More realistically, for many “can’t afford” actually means, “I choose not to afford”. They might be happy to spend £100 at the pub each month but are unwilling to cut back a little to pay the premium that protects their family’s future.

For sure, there is no disputing the fact that some life insurance applicants have found the final quote to be genuinely unaffordable. Whilst for the majority, cover at standard premiums is affordable over the last seven years we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of people who have seen the proposed premium substantially increase once the insurer has looked at their application form. It’s a result of the life companies making it harder for people to meet the company’s definition of “healthy”. Seven years ago, half as many applicants were seeing the price increased as a result of the insurance companies classifying them as an above average health risk.

Even a few years ago, it was usually obvious who’d have difficulty getting insured at standard rates – people with heart or circulatory problems, former cancer suffers and diabetics for example. How the picture has now changed. Application forms are much more detailed and medical problems that were previously acceptable are now only acceptable with a higher premium. Take weight for example – these days insurers clamp down when they judge an applicant’s weight to be a risk to their longer-term health. And it’s not just the obviously obese that attract the insurer’s notice. Companies are now using the Body Mass Index to identify weight problems. This is your weight divided by the square of your height. Most life companies now want a BMI of no more than 29 whereas previously up to 40 were acceptable. This means that a woman weighing 83 kilos and 1.66 meter tall will now face a higher premium.

The application process can also be put some people off. Whilst about 30% of people will receive an immediate decision, for others the process can become one delay after another. As if a 14-page application were not enough, some people are being asked to complete more forms in addition to medical examinations. The whole process can take up to 9 weeks sometimes even more before the applicant finds out precisely how much their premium will be. If that premium works out more that they can afford, the applicant is often too tired of the whole process to start applying again to a new insurance company. The result is yet another family without life insurance.

Despite these problems, the life companies say that thanks to more sophisticated underwriting procedures, prices are lower today that they were a few years ago. The arrival of the Internet has also had a profound effect on prices. Around 10% of life insurance is bought online and discounting has become the norm. This too has helped more families to become insured.

However, in the author’s view, it will take more than a decade to get people covered by life insurance quotes above the 50% level.

Life Insurance – What Is It And How Can It Benefit You?

If something were to happen to you, you would want to know that your family is taken care of. With today’s economy, more and more people have been trying to “cut corners” to help save on their budgets. A penny saved is a penny earned as they say. This goes towards saving money and trying to find low cost life insurance coverage that will take care of your family’s needs.

Life insurance is pretty simple these days. If you are protected and you were to pass away, your beneficiaries will be left with a cash benefit. These benefits can be used towards anything that they need to use them for. They may be used to replace lost income, medical expenses as well as funeral expenses. There is no certain set term’s that these benefits must be used for.

Life insurance cash benefits are paid out by your terms in your written Life Insurance Policy and can protect a lot of things. If your spouse is dependent on your income for retirement, it can also help to keep those plans intact. If you have a mortgage, it can help to pay off that debit so that your family will not lose their home. Perhaps you would like for your children to go to college or you would like to leave money behind for them. With any decisions you make, you can do exactly what you have planned ahead for.

One great thing about Life Insurance benefits is that it is usually paid out tax-free. So when you look at the amount of coverage that you want to buy, what you actually see is what you will actually get. It’s nice to know beforehand that there is no guess work about how much will be taken out of your spouses or loved one’s death benefits. As you can now see, Life Insurance is very flexible. It makes a lot of sense for people nowadays even if they have different goals in mind.

There are two types of Life Insurances. One is Term Life Insurance and the other is called Permanent Life Insurance. Let’s first explore Term Life Insurance.

Term Life Insurance is a Life Insurance that last during a certain term. These terms can be from 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years. During this time, your premiums are guaranteed not to increase. If you were to pass away during this time period then your beneficiaries get the cash death settlement benefits. If you were to live longer than the given term period, you then have the option to continue your coverage for an annual renewable premium which is generally much higher. You can usually convert a term Life Insurance policy to a permanent one without getting a medical exam.

There are two big ways that Permanent Life Insurance differs. First off, the policy is meant to last the rest of your life and as long as you continue to make the required premium payments. Secondly, part of the money that you pay in with is set-aside in an account where it can grow to cash maturity. These funds can be tapped into later on during your life. There are also several different types of Permanent Life Insurances each with different advantages as well.

Be sure to find a Life Insurance Company and Agent that best suit your family’s needs. Take the time to get at least three different estimates before selecting your company. These estimates are free and most agents are more than happy to even come to your home.