31 Oct 2011 10:30 Africa/Lagos
The Top 5 Scariest Things About Life Insurance
From renewal problems involving term life to the potential for losing your shirt with a bad variable universal life insurance investment, Life Quotes, Inc. emphasizes the importance of understanding your life insurance policy.
DARIEN, Ill., Oct. 31, 2011
DARIEN, Ill., Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Quotes, Inc. has compiled a list of the top 5 scariest things about life insurance, calling attention to the importance of going over your life insurance policy with a trusted insurance agent no less than once a year to make sure that the policy you own is keeping up with the changes in your life. If you should die, the only way to truly protect your loved ones from financial peril is with life insurance. But before you sign the dotted line, or pay another renewal bill, make sure you have a thorough understanding of how your policy works.
The following is a short list of some of the most frightening and often overlooked features of a life insurance policy:
TERM LIFE (TL)
Term life insurance doesn't age gracefully
Term life may be the least expensive life insurance policy you can purchase, but it is only in-force for a designated term, typically 10, 15, 20 or 25 years. And if you have to renew a term life policy under the guaranteed renewal clause—look out! The cost of built-in, no-exam renewal feature can often be five or ten times the cost of the premium you have been paying. And then, most renew on an annual basis in which the premiums rapidly escalate even further into the stratosphere each year thereafter. To avoid this problem, consider buying a longer initial rate guarantee at the outset. Many companies now offer 30-year term, level term to age 65 and even level term for life, in which you'd never be subject to a price increase.
WHOLE LIFE (WL)
Creeping death of your cash value
"If you are only looking at immediate, short-term goals, you don't want to invest in a whole life insurance policy because the surrender charges in the early years would dramatically reduce the cash value and you may find that you paid far more for the policy in premiums than what it's worth," said Michelle Matlock, editor of Life Quotes, Inc.
Consider buying whole life only if you want coverage for the very long haul and have no intentions of canceling in the early years.
VARIABLE (VL), UNIVERSAL (UL), and VARIABLE UNIVERSAL LIFE (VUL)
These policies assume investment risks that can murder your overall value
If you are being pitched on a variable or universal life insurance policy that is being sold as "self-sustaining," watch out because long-term, non-guaranteed projections with life insurance can be very misleading. Not only might it take 10 or more years to build up enough cash value to cover future premiums, but also inherent in those projections is an assumed interest rate that can be wildly off over a long period of time. When interest rates are projected to be high, the cash value grows at an alluring, faster rate, but when interest rates are low, cash values grow very slowly. To avoid trouble, always ask the selling agent to show you and explain the "guaranteed" values columns in the illustration, as they will show a true, worst-case scenario.
A variable universal life insurance policy is far more risky. The policy is dependent on how well the investments tied to the cash value perform in the stock market. If the stock market goes south along with your investments, this will greatly impact your cash value and the security of your death benefit. There are several upfront charges on a VUL that make it very pricey coming out of the gate. In addition to this, these policies can have astronomically high surrender charges if you decide to partially or fully surrender the policy in the first 10 years.
For a full list of "Top 5 Scariest Things About Life Insurance" go to http://www.lifequotes.com/articles/lifeinsurance/the-top-5-scariest-things-about-life-insurance/
About Life Quotes, Inc.
Originally founded in 1984, Life Quotes, Inc. owns and operates a comprehensive consumer information service and companion insurance brokerage service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers. Visitors to the Company's website, www.lifequotes.com, are able to obtain instant car, life, health, home and business insurance quotes, and have the freedom to buy online or by phone from any company shown. Life Quotes, Inc. generates revenues from receipt of industry-standard commissions, including back-end bonus commissions and volume-based contingent bonus commissions that are paid by participating insurance companies. We also generate revenues from the sale of website traffic and insurance leads to various third parties.
SOURCE Life Quotes, Inc.
CONTACT: Michelle Matlock, Editor, +1-630-515-0170, ext. 335, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www.lifequotes.com
Consumer Reports Poll: Fewer Consumers Expect A Jolly 2011 Holiday Shopping Season