8 Factors That Can Impact Your Life Insurance Coverage

When you are looking to protect yourself and your family, you need to consider life insurance. Life insurance is the financial security net that helps your family get through a rough time. But, when shopping for life insurance coverage there are several factors that can impact your premiums. These factors can include your age and gender. A carrier will also take into consideration not only your health history but your family’s. The carrier may also look at what you do for your career and your hobbies. Your choice in your insurance coverage also affects your premium.

Age

Life insurance coverage relies heavily on the age of the applicant. If you apply for life insurance when you are younger, the cost of the premium is lower. The older you get, the more costly the life insurance becomes because the possibility of health risks increases. Many investors suggest purchasing life insurance for your children when they are small. The lowest cost for life insurance is shortly after birth.

Gender

Another factor is your gender. If you are a female, you have an advantage. A life insurance policy will cost less for a female because studies show that females have a longer life expectancy. With a longer life, females can pay the insurance premiums for a longer period of time. So if a female pays less for life insurance that means that a man will pay higher life insurance premiums. Since a man has a shorter life expectancy, a man will not pay the premiums for as long a period of time as a woman.

Your Health History

When completing the life insurance application, you will need to answer several questions about your health. The insurance carriers are looking for health conditions that could affect your life. These health conditions may include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Cholesterol
  • Body metrics and body mass index

When applying for life insurance, the carrier may also require you to have a medical exam. This exam may include blood work and other lab work to make sure everything is in the normal ranges. The medical exam may also provide insight into possible health problems that may occur later on. Your health history does affect your life insurance premiums. The fewer the serious health conditions you have the lower your premiums are likely to be.

Family Health History

Even if you currently do not have any medical conditions, your family health history can provide information on possible health problems that are hereditary. If your family has a history of high blood pressure, you have a higher risk for heart disease. This family health blueprint helps the insurance companies understand the possible health issues that can arise later in life and charge the life insurance premiums accordingly.

Smoking

Insurance carriers will charge a smoker a higher premium because of the additional health risks. If you smoke, you put yourself at risk for lung disease and cancer. These are serious health conditions that may not occur if you did not smoke.

If you were a former smoker, your premiums may still remain high depending upon when you quit. If you recently quit, the carrier may not accept your status as a non-smoker. You may not start seeing a decrease in the premiums until you hit several years of being tobacco free.

Hobbies

Another aspect that insurance companies look at is the hobbies you have. You can have a potentially higher premium if you have hobbies like rock or mountain climbing, skydiving, deep sea diving, flying a plane or racing a car. The higher the risk in the hobby causes the higher premium. The definition of high risk activities may vary by carrier, so you may want to get multiple quotes.

Career Choice

It is not uncommon for your career choice to play a role in the insurance premiums. If you have a career that is high risk, your premiums are higher. These high risk careers may include:

  • Racecar driver
  • Pilot
  • Iron worker
  • Police officer
  • Firefighter
  • Highway construction worker
  • Drivers
  • Stunt person

These careers have a higher possibility of injury so the premiums on the insured are going to be high.

Insurance Coverage

The coverage you choose will also impact the cost of the coverage. If you choose a policy with a higher value, the effect is an increase in the premium. The direct relationship between the policy value and premium occurs because the more coverage you want the higher the premium. So if you need to control the insurance costs, you should look for a smaller value to reduce the premiums.

No matter what life insurance policy you choose, make sure you get multiple quotes to ensure you are getting the most for your money. Contact our team at Bieritz Insurance for a free quote. We work with many companies in order to find you the right coverage to meet your needs at the right cost.

Read More

How much life insurance is enough?

How much life insurance is enough?

Life insurance might be unpleasant to think about, but it can be devastating to ignore. If there are people who depend on you economically, you owe it to them to prepare for their financial futures in case you die before you’re able to take care of them yourself. Most people already know that they need some life insurance, how much is the appropriate amount? Though there’s no exact number we can give you, considering the proper amount is different for everyone depending on their financial situations, however, here are some general rules you should consider when choosing the policy that’s right for you.

What are Your Expenses?

Before buying life insurance, first, you need to figure out what your policy is going to need to cover should you pass away untimely. Keep these costs in mind when researching life insurance.

Debt

How much debt do you owe? The last thing you want is for your dependents to be left with your financial burden after they’ve already lost the income you produce. Therefore, make sure that your policy can satisfy any debt still pending.

Mortgage

Calculate how much money it would take to pay off the mortgage on your house and add that amount to your financial obligations.  

Education

Do you have children whom you would like to send to college? Make sure you still can even if you’re no longer alive to personally see it through by adding roughly 100,000 dollars per child to your policy, covering all educational expenses.

Daily Expenses

Aside from the significant expenses listed above, you cannot forget about the day-to-day cost of living. Food, car insurance, doctor visits, utilities, taxes, etc. Though they may not seem like a mountainous burden and do not need to be paid off all at once, the daily expenses of your loved ones must not go ignored.    

Miscellaneous

Nobody knows your financial situation as well as you do, so think carefully about any other expenses your family may be left with in the case of your passing. For example, if you are a stay-at-home parent, then add to your policy the cost of child care services. What about funeral expenses? Does one of your dependents have a serious medical condition that may lead to costly hospital bills? Whatever variables exist in your life, you need to discern the price and make sure your policy can account for it.  

Finding the Best Policy

What are the Costs?

Though there is no way to find the perfect amount of life insurance you need down to the penny, this guide should get you as close as possible. First, add of your annual salary and multiply it by ten. Then add any mortgage, debt, or educational expenses. This should be enough for whatever your loved ones require to live in comfort without any extreme financial burdens.

What Assets do You Already Have?

After you’ve calculated how much your dependents need, subtract from that amount any liquid assets such as existing life insurance plans, savings, amount already invested in college funds, etc., so you are not paying more than necessary.

Term Policies Versus Whole Policies

Term Policies

Since our lives are changing continually—you could move to another state, get another job, have a new baby, etc.—it may be a good idea to get multiple, smaller ‘term’ life policies rather than a single ‘whole’ policy, that way you could save money while getting the same amount of coverage. For example, instead of buying one plan for all of your dependents that lasts forever, you can buy one 30-year terms policy to protect your spouse until your retirement, and a 20-year term policy for your children until they are ready to graduate from college. Term policies are useful, especially for younger people, recently married, with small children, because they are meant to cover your dependents in case you die before their financial needs are met, meaning you can spend less while still getting the security you need.

Whole Policies

Then, once you outlive your term policies, you can turn them into whole policies which grow in value with time and are tax-deferred. Whole policies are single, general needs policies usually meant to cover funeral expenses and estate taxes. You may even be able to earn annual dividends on your whole life insurance policy; money that can be reinvested or taken as a tax surplus. Therefore, whole life insurance policies can almost be thought of as an investment.

Knowing the differences between term policies and whole policies can be the difference between you paying much more than you should, and you spending precisely what you need to protect your family and invest in the future.            

Life insurance is not only painful to think about, but it can be somewhat confusing as well. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it seems, and hopefully, this article was able to provide you with some insight into this critically important topic.    If you would like any additional information, please contact our team at Bieritz Insurance Agency at (607) 547-2951.

Read More

Life Insurance: Term vs. Whole

Life Insurance: Term vs. WholeLife insurance isn’t a sexy topic, but at some point, it is one that most people have to think about.  The question of what happens to your family in the event of your death is an important one to consider.  This comes about sometimes after significant life status events – perhaps a marriage, the birth of a child or purchasing a home.  Life insurance helps protect your loved ones in the event of your death. It can cover your funeral expenses, pay off your mortgage or provide resources to replace your income for a period of time.  Two of the more prevalent types of life insurance are term life and whole life.  Knowing a bit about the differences between these two types of insurance can help you to decide which might be the best product for your needs.

Term life insurance covers you in the event of premature death within the specific term of your policy which is usually set up with a term of 10, 20 or 30 years.   Term life policies are typically straight forward – if you die within the term, the policy pays your beneficiaries the amount of your policy coverage.  The premium amount and the payout remain at fixed amounts throughout the term of the policy.  Because there is no cash value to the product and most people live through the end of their term, the premiums on this type of policy remains affordable (about 1/4 of the costs for whole life insurance).  In some cases, term life can be converted to whole life coverage at the end of the term.

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance and includes an investment component.  Your premiums are typically tax-deferred and the cash value of your policy grows with time.  You can borrow against your account or cash out/surrender the policy in the future if you need to.  The policy premium remains the same for life and the death benefit is guaranteed.  Whole life insurance premiums are higher than term life, primarily because the benefit is guaranteed.  It can provide for funeral costs, estate taxes, and more, depending on the amount of your policy coverage. Some policies can also earn annual dividends that can be re-invested back into the policy or taken as surplus income.

To learn more about which kind of policy might best suit your needs, schedule an appointment with our team at Bieritz Insurance.  We are happy to look into options and provide you with the information to make a decision that makes the most sense for you and your family.  You can contact us in Cooperstown at 209 Main Street, (607) 547-2951 or in Morris at 128 Main Street, (607) 263-5170.

 

Read More

Life Insurance – It’s About Love

Today is Valentine’s Day, the second most popular gift and card-giving day of the year (Christmas is the first).  It is a designated day to recognize the people we love and let them know how much they mean to us, often through tokens of affection, dinner, candy, flowers, etc.  It is also the perfect time to think about Life Insurance.

It might not be the most romantic of thoughts, but making sure you are adequately insured provides financial protections for those you love.  The emotional burden of losing a loved one is difficult enough – life insurance helps to make sure that financial concerns don’t add to that burden.

LifeInsExpenseStat2

Life Insurance can be beneficial to everyone: single or married people; those with or without children; younger or older.  It can be a means to cover funeral costs, medical expenses, to pay off existing debt or to provide income replacement.  Everyone has different life insurance needs depending their individual situation and goals.

We can help answer your questions – Do you need it?  If so, how much do you need? What are the different types of Life Insurance?  How much does it cost?  While you probably want to stick with the candy and flowers for today, tomorrow is a good time to take action if you are not currently insured.

Do it for Love.

Did you know…

Did you know your Life insurance policy can also help you pursue your savings goals? Video courtesy of Security Mutual:

209mainstBieritz Insurance Agency is an independent agency working with over 20 companies to offer our customers a variety of options, and find the right product and company to fit your needs. We operate in the beautiful Leatherstocking Region of Central New York and are proud to call the Cooperstown Area our home. We are an Award Winning Allstate Independent Agency, having received recognition for being among the top 30 Independent agents in the United States. Contact us at (607) 547-2951, 209 Main Street, Cooperstown or (607) 263-5170, 128 Main Street, Morris.

 

Read More