Life Insurance

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What is Life Insurance

Life insurance helps alleviate the financial risk of dying prematurely. It provides money to allow your loved ones to continue their standard of living, pay off debt, fund education, and achieve any other financial goals you hold. There are several different types of life insurance with a wide variance in cost, features, and how long they last. In any case, you’ll pay an insurance company a premium, which will vary based on your age, health condition, and other factors. You can learn more about different types of life insurance from the Insurance Information Institute.

How to Shop for Life Insurance

Life insurance - A woman tossing her toddler gently into the air

Determine an Amount of Coverage

The first step is figuring out how much coverage you need. Some things to consider are:

  • How much of my annual income would my family need to maintain their lifestyle?
  • Would I like to provide for college funding?
  • Do I have any debts that would need to be paid off immediately?
  • Do I want a low cost option or more of an investment?
  • Have I talked to my spouse to see what level of coverage they are comfortable with?

Figure Out the Type of Coverage

There low cost options that last for a specified period of time and more permanent options. Learn more about the different term and permanent options below. Then, decide on a policy or mix of policies that works for your goals.

Get Multiple Insurance Quotes

The best way to find great insurance rates is to get quotes from a multitude of insurance companies. Each company may offer different rates, depending on a host of factors. Compare the rates and coverage options of these quotes in order to choose the company that offers the best mix for your needs.

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Life Insurance Policies Available

Lasts for a specified period of time, like 10, 20, or 30 years. Because it is temporary, term is generally lower cost.

Whole Life
Usually lasts until death or policy maturity at age 100. Either way, the death benefit is paid out, as long as the policy premium payments are made. Includes cash value that earns interest.

Universal Life
Flexible policy that can last for life or a certain term. May include cash value, if needed.

Return of Premium Term
Term coverage that returns to the policy owner the sum of premiums paid, if the policy expires without being exercised.

Instant Issue Term
Term coverage that can be issued quickly, with no medical exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does life insurance get taxed?

Money received by a life insurance beneficiary is typically not taxable (so you shouldn’t need to adjust your coverage for tax implications). There are potential caveats, so it’s always best to consult a tax professional.

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