Paying bills and passing away are two unpopular subjects with most Americans. Many are leaving life insurance on the shelf as a result – but it pays to know how time and age factor into coverage
Thinking about any form of insurance always means thinking seriously about the future. LIMRA market research shows that two-thirds of Americans know they need life insurance but aren’t covering themselves adequately. And many may feel that entering our senior years means it’s too late to get coverage. Some may even feel pessimistic about their chances of living beyond 65.
The good news is that the American lifespan is longer than ever. Therefore, it’s still important to factor this type of insurance into your plans. First, let’s look at what’s stopping people from putting life coverage in place.
Turn-off factors affecting life insurance
Almost half of Americans don’t like the idea of the medical exam that’s often required when taking out a policy. If that could be avoided, they’d be happy to take out coverage. This does make the process faster and easier and many insurers do offer coverage of this kind. It’s not a failsafe solution, however.
No-exam policies will have age limits as well as physical requirements such as an acceptable height/weight ratio. Existing health conditions must be openly admitted to, and if you haven’t been visiting a doctor regularly this could also disqualify you.
The perceived cost of life coverage is also a big factor in people giving it a pass. As many as 63 percent feel it’s too expensive and 61 percent simply have other financial priorities. This reference chart provides an at-a-glance at prices across age and lifestyle metrics, so you can decide for yourself if the average policy costs too much.
In addition, some people enjoy the single life or are divorced/widowed. They don’t see any reason for life insurance if there’s no partner to support and certainly if there are no children. The fact is, however, that few people are without family or dependents of some kind. And single people leave their family to cover all of their final expenses and any outstanding debts if they pass away without life insurance.
How stage of life impacts your coverage
Waiting until later in life can make a huge difference in monthly premiums. You’ll notice that life insurance cost data tends to end at age 65. Does this mark the cut-off point for acceptance by life insurers, or are there options beyond this?
Most life insurers do place an age cap on applicants; typically, at ages 60-65. There are options after this age and term life insurance is a good example. This allows policy holders to take out coverage for a specific term ranging from as little as a year (known as an annual renewable term) up to five years, or a decade or more (a level premium term).
Level premium terms get their name from an attractive aspect of the policy – the cost of the premium stays level over the life of the agreement and doesn’t go up. This fact can be particularly helpful to older people who may already be paying more because of their age. Some providers offer coverage up to 80 years old and others up to 90.
Burial insurance is an alternative to traditional life insurance which will cover your final expenses, though not outstanding debt in other areas. This option also allows an individual to cover either themselves or both themselves and others. It may surprise you to know that Guaranteed Universal Life coverage (also known as No-Lapse Universal Life) can cover a policy holder up until age 121!
There are several attractive aspects here. The premiums stay level for the lifetime of the policy and aren’t affected by interest rates. Medical exams are usually not required, but there is usually the proviso that natural death within the first couple of years of the policy will render it ineffective. Accidental death is covered regardless of how much time has passed.
The sign-up age is typically between 40 and 85 years old and the rule of “sooner rather than later” applies again.
It’s always a good time to speak to a life insurance expert
The array of different life policies out there are as varied as the people who need them. Many factors can affect your premiums for better or worse over time. At NICRIS, we specialize in not wasting your time. We’ll talk you through all your options and help you find the life coverage that’s best suited for you and your family’s needs.
NICRIS Insurance focuses on providing clients with the appropriate suite of products to protect them, their interests and their loved ones. If you need some umbrella insurance advice or would like a free, personalized insurance review just drop us a line!