An increasing number of American households are getting life insurance. This financial product protects families if the main breadwinner passes away or is no longer able to provide for them. It is particularly important for people who have young children, those who would like to cover their children’s education fees, or couples who couldn’t pay for the mortgage or other regular expenses without both people’s income.
While insurance is a great way of protecting your family, you have to carefully read the fine print of your policy to make sure you’re covered. For example, your insurance company might not pay if you pass away several weeks or months after you take out the policy. In this post, we’ll have a closer look at how long it takes for your protection to kick in and how you can make sure your family is protected, no matter what happens.
How Long Do You Have to Have Life Insurance Before It Will Pay?
When you take out insurance and pay your premiums every month, you expect to be protected. But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case right away. Some insurance companies have a waiting period of two to four years. During this time, you will pay for the insurance, but the company won’t compensate your loved ones if you pass away.
The reason why some insurance providers do this is to prevent fraud. In the past, people misrepresented information, and companies lost a lot of money. Now, insurers have implemented policies that protect them from immediate claims. If you’re worried about the waiting period, you should speak to a qualified insurance agent. They can show you various products and help you find a good policy that doesn’t have a long waiting period.
If you get a fixed-term insurance policy, you’re usually protected as soon as you sign the documents, so you don’t have to worry about waiting periods. This kind of insurance protects you for a fixed amount of time, for example 20 or 30 years. The premiums are set in advance, and you will pay the same amount every month. This is a great choice for anyone who would like to bridge the gap between the present and retirement.
It is also frequently taken out by parents who would like to protect their children until they are grown up and able to provide for themselves. If the policyholder passes away during the term of the insurance, the specified amount will be paid out. If not, the insurance ends once the term is up, and any money paid into it is kept by the insurer.
Permanent insurance is designed almost like a savings account. You pay your premiums until the day you die, and then your beneficiaries receive a lump sum from the insurance company. Often, there is a 2-4-year waiting period associated with this kind of policy. During this time, your beneficiaries will only receive what you paid in or a small amount of the death benefit. Despite this, permanent insurance, is a better choice for those with long-term dependents.
Some people also select this option because the money paid in isn’t lost. Instead, your loved ones will receive a guaranteed payment once you pass away. Before selecting permanent insurance, you should think about various scenarios. Will the policy be worth it if you live to 80, 90, and beyond? Will you still be able to pay the premiums, which are likely to go up over time?
Factors to Consider
If you’re looking to take out life insurance, speaking to an expert is essential. Insurance products can be extremely complicated, and the choices you make now can affect your life and the lives of your descendants for many decades. A good insurance agent can go through your situation and show you your options. They can talk to you about term and permanent insurance, so you understand the difference and can select the one that’s right for you.
Additionally, the agent will provide you with quotes from local providers, and they will help you analyze the fine print. That way, you won’t have to worry about buying a product you don’t fully understand. No matter what happens, you and your family’s financial future will be protected.
The Price of Insurance
Anything that reduces the insurance company’s risk lowers your premiums. Term insurance is almost always cheaper than permanent insurance because it only covers the policyholder for a specified amount of time, so there is a chance that no payout will be necessary. Similarly, a policy with a waiting period is usually cheaper than one that starts right away, since the risk of an immediate payout is eliminated.
Together with your agent, you should go through your budget to see which kinds of insurance are within your budget. Then, you can select a policy that doesn’t break the bank but still provides you with the cover you desire.
Your Current Situation
There are countless insurance products out there, but not every solution is right for every person. Someone who has young children and a lot of savings might benefit from 20-year term insurance. That way, their children are covered until they have completed university. Once the children are self-sufficient, the insurance ends, and the policyholder will no longer have to pay for it.
In contrast, someone with few savings who would like to provide for their loved ones once they pass away should get permanent insurance. This policy will help them to save money every month and allow them to leave behind a significant inheritance. Permanent insurance is great for people who have trouble saving money on their own, but it isn’t usually necessary for those who already have significant retirement savings.
A person who is in good health is unlikely to pass away unexpectedly. Despite this, families with one main breadwinner and young children, a large mortgage, or a lot of debt should consider getting term insurance. This eliminates the potential for disaster. Someone who has a family history of disease or has been diagnosed with a chronic illness should consider permanent insurance.
However, you should remember that insurance companies analyze your health history and set your premiums accordingly. If you are very ill, you’re likely to pay much more than someone who is in good health. Lying on your application is unwise because the company might not pay the full amount if they discover that you weren’t truthful.
Can I Change My Current Policy?
Even if you already have a policy, you should speak to an expert. They can have a look at your insurance to see whether it still fits your needs and, if not, they can help you figure out how to change your policy.
Some companies are more flexible than others, so they will let you make changes to your insurance if your circumstances change. If you’d like to surrender a permanent insurance policy, there is usually a fee or deduction to pay. You might not receive all your money back.
How to Make a Claim
Your beneficiaries won’t automatically receive a payment when you pass away. Instead, they have to file a claim with your insurance company. Some of the documents required might include the death certificate, proof of ID, and a claims form. Once the claim has been filed, it will be reviewed and, if everything is in order, the money will be paid. In some cases, the claim has to be filed on paper, but more and more companies are now switching to an online system.
What to Do if there Is a Delay
Sometimes, insurance companies refuse to pay the money straight away. This could be the case if the insured person dies within 12-24 months of setting up the policy, since the insurers will have to investigate to rule out fraud. As long as the policyholder was honest and provided all the necessary information in their application, the money should eventually be paid to the beneficiaries.
Another reason for a delay might be if homicide was committed. In such a case, the beneficiary has to be ruled out as a suspect before the money can be paid out, so the insurers might need to speak to the detective. Finally, the payout could be delayed if the policyholder died as a result of illegal activity, such as drunk driving or suicide.
When setting up your policy, you should think about how you would like the money to be paid out. You can opt for a lump sum payment, so your beneficiaries receive everything at once. Alternatively, you could choose to break up the payments into several installments. This could be a good idea if you would like to provide your loved ones with a guaranteed income for the next 5-40 years.
Life insurance is a great way of protecting family members who are dependent on your income. However, your policy might not pay immediately after you take it out. If you pass away within two to four years, some policies don’t provide any compensation, even though you’ve been paying your premiums every month. Call ISU Armac now to speak to an insurance agent about your policy. They can help you figure out how to best protect your dependents.