Life Insurance Troubleshooting: Your Policy Problems Answered

While many of us understand the basic functions of our life insurance policies, it’s not uncommon for questions to arise long after you purchased the policy.

To help address your policy problems, we’ll answer four of the most common life insurance questions to help you gain understanding and control of your life insurance policy.

Questions Answered

How do I file a life insurance claim?

To begin the claim process, you’ll need to obtain a couple copies of the policyholder’s death certificate. If you have trouble obtaining copies of the death certificate from the hospital or coroner’s office, your funeral director should be able to get you a copy.

Next, you’ll need to contact your life insurance agent. Your agent will help you complete the necessary paperwork to file the claim. If you’re not sure who the insured’s agent was, you can contact the insurance company directly and someone will help you file the claim. Remember to bring a copy of the death certificate for your agent as it will be needed to ensure quick claim submittal.

How will I receive the death benefit?

Once the life insurance claim is submitted, you’ll need to choose how the life insurance proceeds will be allocated.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), there are generally four ways to distribute the death benefit:

Lump Sum. You receive the entire death benefit in one payment.

Specific interest provision. The insurance company pays you both principle and interest on a prearranged schedule.

Life income. You receive a guaranteed income for life. However, the amount you receive depends on the benefit amount, your gender and age at the insured’s time of death.

Interest income. The life insurance company holds the proceeds but pays you interest on the policy. Thus, the death benefit remains in tact and goes to a second beneficiary after you die.

No matter which option you choose, you should receive the proceeds from the policy within days of filing the claim. Life insurance companies are required by law to pay claims in this fashion. To learn about the guidelines under which your insurer must pay a claim, contact your state’s division of insurance.

What should I do if I can’t find the policy?

Unfortunately, there’s no database for purchased life insurance policies. That’s why it’s very important to know where the insured’s life insurance policy is at all times. Nonetheless, there are some things you can try to locate a lost policy.

You can start by trying to determine:

  • Which company might have issued the policy
  • Which agent may have issued the policy
  • Whether the policyholder had life insurance through an employer, union or other group

The I.I.I. recommends trying to locate that information by:

Searching records, storage areas and safe deposit boxes. There you may find insurance-related documents, old checks, premium payment receipts or policy notices.

Contacting the policyholder’s legal and financial consultants. Previous and current consultants may have some information regarding the deceased’s life insurance.

Contacting the insured’s employer(s). Previous and/or current employers will be able to tell you if the policyholder had a group life insurance policy.

Checking tax returns. By checking past tax returns, you may find interest income from or paid to a life insurance company.

Checking the mail. Even if the policy was paid up, the insurance company will send an annual premium or dividend notice in regard to the policy.

Checking north of the border. If there’s a possibility that the policy was purchased in Canada, you can contact the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association at (800) 268-8009, or visit them on the Web.

Probing the MIB database. While there’s no database for life insurance policyholders, there is a database for life insurance applicants. For $75, you can search the MIB database, and while it rarely pays off (MIB finds about one in five policies), it might be worth a shot.

If these tips still don’t result in the location of a lost policy, contact your own agent, lawyer or financial consultant as they may have additional recommendations.

What if I can’t pay my life insurance premiums?

Financial hardship can fall on anyone. If this happens to you and you can’t pay your life insurance premium, you should know what to expect.

Generally speaking, if you have a term life insurance policy, not paying your premiums will result in a lapsed policy, which means that the policy will automatically be cancelled and you probably won’t see any proceeds from the policy.

If you have a permanent life insurance policy, the I.I.I. says you’ll have some of the following options:

Cash out the policy. When you cash out, you’ll stop paying the premium and collect any available cash value. However, if the sum of the cash value is more than what you’ve paid in premiums, that cash may be taxed.

Non-forfeiture. A “reduced paid-up” option might be available to you, allowing you to stop paying premiums completely for a reduced death benefit and no cash savings. You may also be able to convert a permanent policy into an extended term policy.

Lapsed policy. If you choose to let your policy lapse, you may be able to get it reinstated. Some insurance companies allow you to do this if you do so within five years of lapsing. Reinstatement, however, may be contingent on your ability to pass a medical exam and pay back the premiums owed plus interest.

If you fall on hard times, be sure to contact your life insurance agent right away to work out an arrangement. Depending on your circumstances, it’s generally better not to let a permanent policy completely lapse as you may forfeit the cheap life insurance you had when you bought the policy.

Don’t Let Your Questions Go Unanswered!

If you have questions about your life insurance policy, it’s always a good idea to discuss them with an insurance agent. They can give you new, up-to-date and state-specific information about your life insurance policy so you won’t have any surprises down the line!

Cheap Life Insurance Quote Options

Nobody enjoys thinking about their own death, but then death is a definite eventuality for everyone.

Irrespective of how secure your family’s financial situation is today, it makes sense not to underestimate the importance of having sufficient insurance for the lives of the earning members of your family.

Death of a loved one is a very traumatic experience and it is really very unfair and thoughtless to add the anxieties of huge financial problems to that pain.

Make sure that your family is well protected from a financial meltdown in the event of the death of an earning member by having sufficient life insurance cover.

When it comes to life insurance, it is best to get it early. Don’t wait till the worry about mortgages and other financial burdens pile up. It is best to start the life insurance cover before the pressure of family life begins. If you have missed the bus, it is never too late to get the required insurance cover.

Life is not cheap, but fortunately cheap life insurance is available. Picking the right insurance is however not so easy.

There are many companies out there, each with many types of policies and options. Most people have a portfolio of different types of policies to obtain the right cover for their needs.

The best way to get information that will help you decide about the insurance options that you have is to get cheap life insurance quotes online.

You can then experiment with the type of policies and durations available and arrive at a blend that will give you sufficient cover while keeping the premiums manageable. Let us take a quick look at some of the more popular policies available.

Term life insurance:

This type of insurance covers the person for a fixed number of years. Many people prefer this kind of policy to obtain a large insurance cover during their working years. This makes sense because that is the time when a person’s death will have the maximum financial impact on their family.

The insurance cover ends when the term ends or the person dies, whichever comes first. The following types of term insurance policies are available:

1. Annual renewable term insurance:

The policy is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be renewed at your option till a particular age is attained. The premium usually increases with increasing age due to the increased risk of death.

2. Renewable term insurance:

The policy is initially for a certain number of years. At the end of the term, you have the option of renewing it for another term irrespective of your health situations at that time. Since this kind of policy has an increased element of risk for the company, their premiums are usually higher than the annual version.

3. Level premium term insurance:

In this type of policy the premium is constant for the duration of the policy.

4. Decreasing term insurance:

This kind of policy is designed to provide cover to pay for a specific liability like a mortgage or a long term loan in the event of the death of the insured person. The death benefits under the policy decrease each year as the liability decreases.

5. Increasing term life insurance:

This can either be a part of the policy conditions or could be a rider added to a policy. Basically it means that in the event of the death of the person during the policy term, in addition to the policy value, the premiums paid for the policy will also be returned.

Whole life insurance:

Whole life policies cover the insured person till the end of their lives. There is no fixed end date. Unlike term insurance policies, whole life policies have an investment component or cash value which accumulates over time. Premiums are constant and distributed over a number of years. Such policies usually have provisions for loans.

Universal life insurance:

This policy is a special type of whole life insurance, which gives some flexibility regarding the insurance cover and cash value components.

As you can see there are a number of life insurance cover options, and with different companies having different type of products aimed at different needs, the choices can be astounding.

It makes great sense to get cheap life insurance quotes online which will give you a better idea about the life insurance options available to you.

Whole, Universal, And Term Life Insurance: What’s The Difference? What Do I Need?

Term life insurance is extremely popular. If looking for insurance, do you understand the top features of term life insurance or the way it is different from other kinds of insurance? Continue reading for info.

What’s Term Life Insurance Used For?
People usually delay buying life insurance simply because they believe it is more than their budget can handle, plus they often overestimate just how much it’ll cost you. However, term life insurance is definitely an inexpensive method of getting the policy that you’ll require.

You might have heard term insurance known as short-term insurance coverage. It is because term life insurance policy offers coverage for a certain time period, or a specified “term” of years. If you were to die in the period specified by your policy, then a death benefit will likely be paid out.

But what can term life be utilized for?
Term life insurance can be used as a variety of objectives. A few common ways to use term life insurance may include:

  • To replace your earnings if you were to die suddenly
  • Help your loved ones cover one last expenses as well as hospital bills
  • Leave your family with sufficient money to pay off financial obligations like a mortgage
  • Ensure your kids are left along with money to help pay for school
  • Provide needed coverage for a small child according to the divorce settlement
  • Can be utilized by businesses for key person insurance policy or buy/sell contracts

Whole vs. Universal: Creating a Permanent Choice
Whole life as well as universal insurance are both regarded as permanent policies. Which means they are created to last your whole life and does not expire after a certain time period so long as required premiums are paid. Both of them have the possibility to build up cash value with time that you might have the ability to borrow against tax-free, unconditionally. Due to this feature, premiums might be greater than term insurance.

Universal Insurance Benefits
Universal Insurance can give you many different payment choices, such as a flexibility of changing your death advantages, along with the potential to build up cash value with time. Here is how:

• Since there’s a cash value element, you might be able to skip premium payments so long as the cash value is sufficient to cover your needed expenses for your month

• Some policies might permit you to decrease or increase the death advantage of match your particular circumstances**

• In most cases you might borrow against the cash value that could have accumulated in the policy

• The interest you will probably have gained with time accumulates tax-deferred

Whole Insurance Benefits
Whole life policies provide you with a fixed level premium that will not increase, the potential to accumulate cash value with time, along with a fixed death advantage for the life of the insurance policy. Additionally:

• Any cash benefit growth is tax-deferred

• Whole life may permit you to make withdrawals as well as loans against the policy

• Whole life provides the ease of budgeting for any regular as well as consistent premium payment each month

Understanding Important Differences
The flexibleness that the universal life policy offers is a key differentiator over whole life. Because of this, universal life insurance premiums are usually lower during periods of high rates of interest than whole insurance premiums, often for the similar amount of coverage.

An additional key difference would be how the interest rates are paid. As the interest paid on universal life insurance is usually modified monthly, curiosity on a whole life insurance policy is usually adjusted yearly. This might mean that during periods of rising interest rates, universal insurance policy cases could see their cash values increase at a rapid rate than others in whole insurance policies.

Many people may prefer the set death advantage, level premiums, and also the potential for development of a whole life policy. However, for individuals who would rather have more flexibility as well as choices with regards to their permanent insurance, then universal life may be the better option.

Choosing The Best Policy for You
Despite the fact that whole and universal life policies have their own special features as well as benefits, both of them focus on supplying your family along with the money they will need whenever you die. By working with a professional insurance agent or company consultant, you’ll the policy which best meets your individual requirements, budget, as well as financial targets.