LIFE INSURANCE: QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN MONONA, WI

LIFE INSURANCE: QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN MONONA, WI

At Cliff Insurance Agency we go to work every day to keep up to speed on the very best insurance companies, policies and coverages so that you don’t have to. As you are shopping for life insurance quotes in the Monona, Wisconsin and the surrounding area, you’ll likely have questions both about what you’re buying, and also about what happens after you purchase your policy.

Life insurance isn’t like buying a car or a TV. Unless you make withdrawals from a permanent life insurance policy late in life, chances are you won’t personally benefit from a life insurance policy. A life insurance policy provides you with the peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are protected if something were to ever happen to you. If there’s anything that you’re uncertain of or that is confusing to you in regard to purchasing life insurance, it doesn’t have to be that way. The agents at Cliff Insurance Agency stay prepared to answer all of your questions.

How much life insurance do I need?

Although we will provide a general answer to this question, it really is best to work with a knowledgeable life insurance agent in Monona, WI in person to determine what is right for your situation and life goals. We can do a thorough life insurance needs analysis with you which takes a look at your current and ongoing expenses, plus any future expenses like college or a funeral.

It may seem like simple math to determine the amount of life insurance coverage you need, but simply adding all of your current, ongoing and future expenses might amount to a bigger policy than you need. Assets such as savings and investments can also be subtracted from your overall expenses to come up with a more accurate total for how much life insurance is needed.

The amount of insurance you need is available in policy sizes from many of the most trusted insurance companies out there. Term life insurance policies are commonly worth $100,000, $200,000 and well over $1 million. In fact, you can find term life policies worth as much as $25 million. Bottom line is that we can help you come up with the right policy for you instead of using an online calculator that doesn’t always ask all of the right questions to determine the best fit for your life.

What is a life insurance premium? If I don’t pay it, what happens?

Your life insurance premium is the amount you are required to pay over a scheduled time period to remain eligible to receive the benefits of the policy. If something happens in your life where you are unable to pay your premium on time, typically you will have a thirty- or thirty-one-day grace period to catch up on your payment. If you are able to pay within this grace period, your policy will continue in force.

If you don’t pay within the grace period, your policy may lapse, depending on the type of policy you purchased. If you have a permanent life insurance policy, however, the insurer may use your cash value, if available, to cover premium payments. If you chose to add a waiver of premium provision, or rider, on your policy, and you’re unable to pay because you have become disabled, you will not have to make premium payments for the duration of your disability. Universal life insurance policies generally offer policyholders more flexibility to cover premium payments that are important when your cash flow situation changes.

What if my insurance policy lapses?

A policy (other than universal life insurance) will lapse when you fail to pay your life insurance premium by the end of the grace period. If you have a permanent life insurance policy, you may be able to avoid this lapse. If the policy has enough cash value in it, you can borrow from the policy to pay the premium. If you have a term life policy and don’t pay your premium within the grace period, your policy will simply end. It is important to stay on top of payments on a term life policy to ensure you are covered and months, or years, of payments don’t go to waste.

When should I buy life insurance in Monona, WI?

The younger you are, typically the better it is to buy your life insurance. One of the key advantages to buying life insurance when you’re young and healthy is that you’ll be able to lock in a good rate for the duration of the policy. When you get a little older and start adding children of your own to your life, you will have secured a low rate and guaranteed your “insurability,” meaning you won’t have to worry about higher rates as you age and possibly experience declining health.

It just makes sense that the older and less healthy you are when you buy a policy, the higher the premium will be. Speaking in general on this, a 30-year-old woman seeking a 30-year term life policy would pay less than a third of what a 50-year-old woman would pay for the same policy. Because the cost of premiums varies so much, this is one reason why it makes sense to get a life policy while you’re still young and healthy.

Is it possible to have multiple life insurance policies?

In short, yes, it is. Not only can you have multiple policies from the different life insurance companies, you can even get multiple policies from the same company. For example, you could have a permanent life insurance policy like whole life, and also a shorter term life policy to cover other needs. Often people will set up policies that will cover different financial obligations such as paying a mortgage or for your children’s college. If you apply for more insurance coverage than your situation indicates you will ever need, the insurance companies will become curious about why you are asking for the additional coverage.

How do life insurance policies work? Can they cancel each other out?

If you have paid all the necessary premiums for your policies and you have more than one policy when you die, both policies will pay out to the beneficiaries named. It is possible for people to have multiple policies. However, life insurers will become suspicious if you are buying several policies without showing the real need for them. Remember, life insurance policies are the ones you remain hopeful you or your beneficiaries don’t receive the benefit from any time soon!

Can I get life insurance without a health exam?

This is a great question because the answer is different depending on the type of policy and your specific situation. Group policies generally don’t require medical exams for life insurance, unless you have to prove your “insurability” in order to buy a large group life amount. Most group life insurance enrollments are held annually through your employer.

Simplified issue policies are slightly different in that they require you answer some medical history questions but don’t require an exam. Guaranteed issue policies require no medical exam or medical questions, but you will pay significantly more in premiums than you would with an underwritten policy, even if you’ve had some health issues. These are all options for policies where a medical exam isn’t required. To find out what is best for you simply contact an agent at Cliff Insurance Agency and we can help you figure it out.

What do insurance companies look for in health exams?

Medical exams can vary slightly depending on the incurance company. In general, the medical exam collects your height, weight, blood pressure, a urine sample, and a blood sample. The results of these tests, along with your age, gender, family health history, and answers to health questions, will determine what rate class you fit in. We are here to answer any questions you have, and can help determine what class you fall in.

If you don’t qualify for the rate you prefer today, you might be able to improve your rate category by working on improving certain health factors. For example, a 35-year old woman buys a life insurance policy and at that time she is 50 pounds overweight, has high blood pressure, and is trying to quit smoking. Two years later, her policy is still in force and she has lost 50 pounds, her blood pressure is normal, and she has been nicotine-free for a year. This person is the perfect example of someone who should talk to her agent about possibly getting a re-evaluation of her rates. Can this backfire on the person? If the medical evaluation showed a new health condition for which she would be classified into an even higher rate category, she would remain at her current rate. The insurance company will not reclassify you into a higher rate bracket during a re-evaluation.

Who can be a beneficiary of life insurance?

A great thing about life insurance is that if you own the policy then you are in control of naming whoever you want as the beneficiary. While many people choose only their spouse, it is possible to name more than one person as a beneficiary. For example, if you have a $200,000 individual life insurance policy, you could name your spouse and four children to share in the policy equally at $40,000 each.

Is my life insurance beneficiary automatically my spouse?

This is a common belief, but it’s not true. Life insurance companies typically write a check to whoever is named on the policy as a beneficiary. It is important to keep your beneficiary information current on your life insurance policies. We have had situations where an ex-spouse was lined up to receive the benefit because the policy owner didn’t change beneficiaries after getting divorced. We try to catch things for our customers if the opportunity presents itself. A spouse has no automatic right to life insurance money except in states with community-property laws. In those states, a spouse might be entitled to a portion of the benefit. For what the laws are in Wisconsin give us a call any time.

We’re here to answer ALL of your life insurance questions.

When you have questions about life insurance in Monona, WI and surrounding areas, or any other type of insurance coverage, we stand ready. We’re in the insurance business to ensure our customers have the best insurance companies, policies and coverages always at their fingertips.

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