How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy
A life insurance policy is an important part of financial preparation in adulthood. Choosing a life insurance policy can be an overwhelming task, as there are so many types of policies and different companies from which to choose. Tips on choosing a life insurance policy include researching potential companies, determining a company’s reputation and comparing life insurance policy prices. If you are a veteran, you may qualify to receive your life insurance policy from the government after having served or been honorably discharged from the military. Veterans can also learn more about memorial services and how to plan them, in advance.
Understanding Life Insurance Policy Basics
Before you learn how to choose a life insurance policy that will fit your family needs, age and health, you have to understand how insurance operates. Having a life insurance policy means that you will pay an insurance company a premium for a set amount of time. In return, the life insurance company will provide a lump sum or a series of payments to the beneficiary or beneficiaries named on your policy after your death. Life insurance coverage can help your family pay bills, funeral expenses, or simply continue to live as they had been before your passing. This can include paying education expenses, mortgages, rent or even simply buying groceries.
How to Pick the Right Life Insurance Policy
There are many life insurance policies for you to choose from, so how to you choose the right one? Once you have gained information about end-of-life preparations such as having a life insurance policy, you must choose a company to supply you with a policy. Ultimately, you will need to do a lot of your own research. Understanding life insurance policy options that will help your family maintain their standard of living after your passing requires comparing a list of companies. Start by listing four or five different insurance companies. You must make sure that they are financially sound and can provide you with good service. One way to determine if a life insurance provider you are looking at has a history of stability is to see if they are licensed by your state’s guaranty fund. If they are, this means that the fund will continue to honor your life insurance policy, should the company go out of business for any reason. You should also check their financial history. You can do this by checking a company’s credit rating with a credit rating agency.
An important part of choosing the right life insurance policy is reviewing the company’s reputation. One of the most helpful tips on choosing a life insurance policy is to see what other customers who have used their services have to say about them. You can do this by reading reviews online, asking friends and family who use the same insurance company, or by searching records of the company through the Better Business Bureau, which gathers complaints on many companies to help consumers avoid fraud.
In order to pick the right life insurance company, you should make sure that, no matter which company you choose, you will receive a written policy from them within 60 days. The best way to check this is to either look on their website, ask someone who also uses the company or call the company directly to find out what their policy is. If a life insurance policy company cannot or does not guarantee this, it may mean that your information is being miss-used.
To pick the right life insurance policy, the second step you will need to take is to compare prices. Once you have done your research on the companies themselves and have narrowed down your list of potentials, you should go back and see how much your desired policy from each would cost. To find help understanding life insurance policy costs and terms, you can either call the company or check their website for this information, but it may be better to call to get your answers immediately. When you call, you can also ask about discounts you may receive. Considering your budget for monthly life insurance coverage premiums, and what the loss of your income will be to your family, is important. Handling the specifics of estate and burial planning can be costly. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to manage end-of-life arrangements
When choosing a life insurance policy, assess your qualifications for discounts. Different aspects of your home and life, such as having an alarm system or smoke detectors, may qualify you for discounts with a company. Also, to pick the right life insurance policy for you, consider how much you want your deductible to be. A higher deductible will cost you more in the end, but it might also give you the best coverage. You will need to decide if the benefits of a higher cost are worth the price. In additional to a life insurance policy, writing a will provides a written statement of your wishes after death, helping to protect your family from legal action and limit confusion in distributing assets.
The third and final step in picking the right life insurance policy is to take everything you have learned and narrow it to your top two or three picks. From there, compare the remaining life insurance policies again using the above criteria to decide which is the best choice.
For more information on how to pick the right life insurance company and policy, download our comprehensive guide.
Information About a Life Insurance Policy for Veterans
If you are a U.S. military veteran, you may be eligible for a number of life insurance policies provided by the United States government. Your options are as follows:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (SDVI)
- Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI)
There are various versions of the group life insurance policy, including Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) and Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Disability Extension (SGLI-DE). Your available options will depend on your personal situation and the documentation you or your family can provide.
Depending on your needs, the life insurance policy provided by the government might not be enough to cover all of your costs. This is particularly true of veterans or active members of the military that have additional family members that also need insurance. If you need multiple veteran life insurance policies, or additional life insurance coverage, you may want to consider additional life insurance policies in addition to what the government gives you.
For more information on the life insurance options available to veterans and active military members, download our guide here.