Although the benefit of protection may seem obvious, many people don't fully realize why they should have life insurance and the protection it can provide until they're presented with the facts. While each person's situation is different, below are some answers to common questions that you may have as you're considering life insurance.
Why Do I Need Life Insurance?
Life insurance should be an essential part of every person's life plan. When you die, it provides a death benefit to your beneficiaries — and, this death benefit is generally not subject to federal income tax. It may provide the needed funds to pay off your personal debt so that your loved ones aren't burdened with additional financial obligations. Finally, it's beneficial for your family in case you die unexpectedly.
How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
You should base the amount of life insurance you might need on you and your family's current financial needs. How much current financial obligation do you have? How much do you want to protect them in case of your death?
To start, consider:
- Immediate financial obligations once you die: final medical expenses, funeral costs, and estate taxes.
- Funds to cover life adjustments for survivors: previous debt, cost and time of job search and/or possible relocation.
- Ongoing expenses: monthly bills, rent, mortgage, school tuition, daycare, medication, day-to-day basics and retirement needs for your loved ones.
Evaluating these items should help you gauge the amount of coverage you need. An often-used general guideline is that your life insurance should cover five to seven times your annual income. It's a good idea to review your needs on a regular basis so if you need to make adjustments, your policy can be reviewed accordingly.
When Should I Buy Life Insurance?
The "best time" to buy life insurance is different for everyone. Once you think you have people you want to protect, or significant debt that you want to avoid burdening them with, you should consider some type of life insurance. Although, it's never too early to plan for the unexpected!
Depending on the type of policy you choose, it may be a good way to contribute toward a policy you can borrow from later1. When you do consider life insurance, your current needs will likely help you decide what type of plan you should choose.
Can I Get Life Insurance If I Have Cancer, Diabetes or a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
It depends on what the illness or medical condition is. Today, it's often likely that illnesses and conditions may be controlled with treatment, prescriptions and diet. A Columbus Life representative can talk with you about your situation to determine what type of life insurance may be right for you.
Is It Too Late to Buy Life Insurance? Am I Too Old to Buy Life Insurance?
We offer a variety of products that all have their own separate maximum ages to purchase. Typically, with Columbus Life insurance policies, you can purchase life insurance up until your 79th birthday for universal life insurance and up to your 75th birthday for term life insurance. Please consult with your Columbus Life representative for details.
What Is the Difference Between a Policy Owner, the Insured & the Beneficiary?
The policy owner is the person who owns the insurance policy. The insured is the person whose life is insured. In some cases, the policy owner and the insured may be the same person, or different people (for example, the policy owner could be a parent, while the insured could be a child.)
The beneficiary is the person or other party designated to receive the money from the life insurance policy when the insured dies.
What is a Rider on a Life Insurance Policy?
A rider is an additional benefit to an insurance policy that becomes part of the insurance contract and either expands or limits the benefits. These options help make your policy more specific to your insurance needs.
During Underwriting, Do I Need a Medical Exam?
Not all life insurance requires a medical exam to qualify for coverage. Your need for a medical exam will vary based on the type of insurance you've applied for, your age, and the face amount of the policy. If a medical exam is required, the insurance company will cover all expenses incurred in the exam and will provide all necessary documentation.