WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 – First of all I want to give a big thanks my editors for taking the time and effort to get me set up here with my own column, Rest Insured, where in the days and months ahead I’ll be covering all aspects of life insurance.
Just some quick facts about me to help introduce myself: I am the owner and founder of ChooseTerm.com where I work as an independent insurance broker. This means I work with most major life insurance carriers and tailor fit the coverage to my clients. I’ve been involved professionally with life insurance for over a decade now, and before that I worked as a financial advisor. Before that (I won’t go into years because I don’t want to date myself) I studied business and finance in college.
I’ve started this column to raise awareness and provide information on the complex topic of life insurance. Many Americans are either under insured or have no coverage at all, and this leaves their families in risk of not being able to keep their standard of living should the worst occur. I hope through this column to help start an honest conversation concerning life insurance through education and increased awareness. Here are some facts taken from the LIMRA Life Insurance Awareness Month study:
One-third of wives own no life insurance at all – despite the fact that 7 in 10 households are dual-income and nearly 30 percent of wives earn more than their husbands.
The top two reasons people don’t buy life insurance are: competing financial priorities or because they think they cannot afford it.
30% of consumers studied stated that they refrained from buying life insurance for one of three reasons: they could not decide what type or how much to buy, they were afraid to make the wrong decision, or they did not know enough about life insurance.
I hope that I myself, and other brokers like me, can help lift the veil of misinformation that surrounds our industry. We aren’t shady used car dealers and as independent brokers we do not have our hands tied or feel the need to pair clients with policies that are standardized or the wrong fit.
So that’s where my experience and expertise lie—now let’s get down into the focus of my first piece: A discussion of the real benefits of life insurance.
While the person who takes out a life insurance policy rarely sees the direct benefits, their benefactors definitely do. Proceeds from term life insurance purchased earlier in life help keep your family living the quality of life they’ve grown accustomed to should you unexpectedly pass away. If you’re the breadwinner of the household, your absence will be felt financially (not to mention emotionally) and life insurance can provide a parachute to help your family land on their feet. When dealing with such a tragedy, the last burden a family should be dealing with is financial strain.
A Final Gift
Many of my clients—or potential clients who are interested in life insurance—do not have the income to leave a large inheritance to their loved ones after they pass, but still want to give something or at least make their passing easier on their families. As a result a cheap, smaller coverage policy is often sought later in life. The kids are grown up and have money of their own, so a large policy that will support them isn’t needed, but a small policy can cover funeral expenses at the least.
Make sure your beneficiaries get the life insurance money! While companies have agreed to check their databases against the Social Security Administration’s “death master file” (what a morbid term), it doesn’t mean that the company will come racing to your children’s door with a check in hand. Write out in your will (at least) instructions as to where the policy information can be found and which provider has underwritten the policy. Simply stating that you “have a life insurance policy” can send your loved ones on a wild goose chase.
Peace of Mind
This is a notion that’s as old hat as the term “old hat” by this point, but it’s true: life insurance truly offers a peace of mind. That being said, most people who purchase coverage consider it to be worth it. One of the most common things I hear is how worried my potential clients are about what would happen to their families if something were to happen to them. On that same note, only a very small percentage of these clients ever regret purchasing life insurance once they find a policy that works for them. Often times I get unsolicited thank you notes from clients who feel a greater sense of security knowing they did the right thing for their family.
While insurance benefits are measured in monetary value, the real benefits are the security they provide whether or not a policy ever pays out. Some people may regard life insurance as a gamble. But the fact is that policies are usually much cheaper than most people think, and the benefits far outweigh the alternatives.
Please respond with questions or comments about what kind of articles and topics you’d like me to address in future posts regarding life insurance and finance. My goal is to dispel the myths and rumors that surround this industry in order to make life insurance more understandable to the public so that it can be better utilized.
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