Life Insurance

Term Life insurance covers you for a specific period of time — as short as one year, or as many as 30 years — or until you reach a certain age. Term Life can help protect your loved ones from debts, such as a home mortgage and/or can fund college and living expenses if you die before your children are fully grown.

Before issuing a policy, the insurance company will probably require a basic medical exam covering your height, weight, medical history, and blood and urine testing.

Smokers will pay more for Term Life insurance, although cigar smokers might pay lower premiums than those using cigarettes. Many Term life insurance policies let you renew coverage at the end of the term without another medical exam. You also can lock in low premiums by asking for a “level premium” policy for a specific term.

As you age, the likelihood that you'll die sooner increases — so older individuals pay more for Term Life Insurance.

If you have trouble finding Life insurance because of illness or medical problems, you can turn to Guaranteed Issue Life coverage (also called “quick issue” or “simplified issue” insurance) that waives the medical exam, in return for your paying a higher premium. Guaranteed issue policies can require waiting periods before coverage kicks in, and often require yearly fees.

Figuring out how long a term to buy — 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, or some other number — requires a review of your debts and financial needs and those of your dependents. Ask yourself when your dependents will reach financial independence and determine how much they or your spouse would need to pay off major debts if you die.

It's a good idea to review your Term Life Insurance needs carefully on a regular basis and to “shop around” for coverages and services.
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Quotes

"Youth condemns; maturity condones." - Amy Lowell

"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel

"Age does not protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age." -Jeanne Moreau

Resources

American Council of Life Insurers
InsuranceConsumers.com
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

FAQ

Q: Can I buy a Life insurance policy on someone else?
A:
In most cases yes, but only if you have an “insurable interest” in that person. This usually means a relative, a domestic partner or live-in companion, or a business partner. There are products such as first-to-die and second-to-die that allow you to insure the life of another.

Q: Do I need life insurance if I'm less than 30 years of age and unmarried?
A:
It’s something to consider. A big benefit to buying Life insurance when you are young is that your premiums will be much lower than if you wait. If you have dependents in the future, you will have locked in the lowest rates, and you will have guaranteed your “insurability” because you won't have to take a medical test for Life insurance in the future.

Q: What do insurance companies look for in medical exams?
A:
For Individual Life purchases, you probably will be classified based on height, weight, nicotine use, and other health factors. This information is used to determine what rate class category you fit in, so even if you have some health problems, you could be covered. Ask your agent or insurance company to explain what criteria determines the class into which you fall.