Protect your family with a life insurance policy that offers an ideal coverage amount and a monthly premium. We reviewed and compared the top life insurance companies based on pricing, available options, ease of application processing, customer support, and financial strength.
Save time and money by comparing the best life insurance plans below.
Why should you buy life insurance?
According to the US Federal Reserve Board (USFRB), a report released in 2020 revealed that 37% of adults could barely afford a $400 emergency bill. Life insurance can give you some peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will receive money if you were to pass away. Here are some of the reasons life insurance can help:
- Students: Most student loans are co-signed by their parents. In case the student passes on, the parents could have a rough time repaying the loan. A life insurance will settle the student loan.
- Homeowners: A mortgage is one of the longest-standing debts that lasts up to 30 years. Your family risks losing their home if they are unable to pay off the loan after your demise. A life insurance plan can help to secure a home for your loved ones even after you are gone.
- Spouses: Couples incur several daily or monthly expenses that could be difficult to handle if left to one person. A policy with a sufficient death benefit would help maintain the living standards of your spouse when you pass on.
- Business owners: For business owners, you may need your family or business partners to keep the business running after your death. Your beneficiaries can use the death benefit to boost the business or pay off the creditors to ensure business stability and growth.
- Parents: One of the things that gives parents some peace of mind is knowing their kids will still maintain their living standards after their death. You do not want to leave your kids struggling to pay your outstanding debts, which is why a life insurance policy can help protect your children.
How does life insurance work?
Life insurance is a contract that binds you and the policy provider. In order to secure a death benefit, you are required to make your monthly premiums on time to the insurance agency. This benefit is paid to your beneficiaries after you pass away.
To purchase life insurance, consider the following steps below as they can guide you through the process.
- Get a life insurance quote: There are many insurance providers online who can help you with the insurance quote. You may need to compare the quotes and get one that suits your financial needs.
- Choose a policy: There are several life insurance policies to choose from. Compare and contrast the policies offered and find the most suitable plan for you.
- Fill out the application forms: Most insurance agencies will allow you to fill out the application form online. Contact the insurance provider if you want clarification on a specific clause in the policy.
- Take a medical exam: Insurance providers require you to undergo a medical examination so they can determine your insurability based on your current health condition. Most insurance agencies offer the medical examination for free, while others may charge a fee.
Once you have submitted all the information above, the underwriter reviews your application and uses the information to determine the premium rate and death benefit. The process may take 6-8 weeks, depending on your insurance policy provider. The coverage begins after signing the policy and making the first premium payment.
Types of life insurance
There two main types of life insurance: whole and term life insurance.
Whole life insurance
This insurance policy is interchangeably referred to as permanent life insurance policy as well. This policy does not expire as it lasts the entire life of the insured and offers a cash value component that allows you to borrow against or withdraw when you are living. Whole life insurance also offers death benefit coverage for the life of the policy buyer. To build the cash value component, the insured makes paid-up additions on top of the normal premiums or re-invest policy dividends. Cash values accrue interests based on the fixed rates pre-determined in the policy.
Term Life Insurance
This policy has a set period of time and expires when the period elapses. Most people prefer to purchase a term life insurance policy because it is relatively cheaper compared to whole life. The coverage ranges between 10 and 30 years. For example, you could select a 15 year policy period under the term life insurance policy as it falls within the range. Some insurance providers also allow the client to convert their term life policy into whole life coverage.
What does life insurance cover?
Before you purchase a life insurance plan, you will most likely want to go through your policy and understand the coverages and exclusions. Although these items vary depending on the insurance provider, your beneficiaries may receive a payout if your death has resulted from one of the following:
- Natural causes: this may include a heart attack or cancer, depending on your contract clause
- An accident, ie. car crash, drowning, choking
- Suicide: only paid when the exclusion period ends
- Homicide: exclusions apply if a beneficiary was involved
The following is more likely excluded from the insurance policy:
- Dangerous hobbies, ie. bungee jumping or skydiving
- Criminal activity
Insurance providers do not limit beneficiaries on how they can spend the death benefit. They can utilize the financial support for any of the following:
- Daily expenses: including groceries, monthly bills, and household essentials
- Outstanding debts: like car loans, credit card debt, student loans, or a mortgage
- End-of-life expenses: may include outstanding hospital bills, burial, and funeral costs
- College payments: funding for continuing education
How much coverage do you need?
Financial experts recommend that one should get a life policy plan that equates to 10-15 times of their income. Ensure you select a policy that you can comfortably afford to pay to avoid termination. It has also been advised that the term length should end based on your anticipated retirement age.
However, you should also consider your family’s financial situation and lifestyle. You can also determine how much coverage you need by calculating your financial obligations and subtracting your liquid assets.
How are insurance premium rates determined?
When you have an insurance policy, the agency will require you to pay a premium for the coverage you have requested. Policy premiums can vary depending on the following:
- Policy Details: This may include coverage amount and policy term length. A policy with a shorter term length is relatively cheaper compared to a whole life policy. Additionally, the cost of premiums is high if the coverage amount is larger.
- Age: Insurance companies often reflect on your age because they can determine the chances of your policy being utilized.
- Personal Factors: The insurer may look at specific details such as your family medical history, hobbies, credit history, and job to determine which insurance policy and premium are appropriate for you. In some states, smokers may be charged up to 50% more in premiums compared to a non-smoker.
- Gender: Policy costs for men are usually higher compared to women.
Choosing the best life insurance plan
A good life insurance plan is one that meets your financial and death benefit needs. It is not guaranteed that a cheaper plan will meet all your needs. Therefore, find a plan that works for you and consider the following guidelines:
- Age: Some providers may increase your premiums yearly based on your age, while others have a specific age limit for enrollment.
- Health: The medical report determines your premiums and death benefits.
- Customer reviews: Reviews can help you identify an insurance provider with reasonable rates. It would be best if you choose a provider that offers value for your money in terms of feedback and quality services.
- Type of life insurance: Insurance providers should offer several plans that can be suitable for individual needs. If you are looking for coverage for a specific period, you may consider term life insurance. However, if you want coverage and cash value for as long as you live, a whole life insurance plan may be more suitable.
- Flexibility: Some plans can be customized depending on the provider. Some providers may also allow you to convert your term life plan into a whole life plan.
- Company strength: An insurance agency that has a reputable background in the industry earns more trust among customers and may potentially be operational in the next 20 or 30 years. However, this does not leave out new trustworthy agencies that may offer decent plans at competitive rates.