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A. That’s our most frequently asked question! Here are some things to ask yourself:
How much of the family income do I provide? If I were to die early, how would my survivors, especially my children, get by? Does anyone else depend upon me financially, such as a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister?
Do I have children for whom I’d like to set aside money to finish their education in the event of my death?
How will my family pay final expenses and repay debts after my death? Do I have family members or organizations to whom I would like to leave money? Will there be estate taxes to pay after my death?
How will inflation affect future needs?
As you figure out what you have to meet these needs, count the life insurance you have now, including any group insurance where you work or veteran’s insurance. Don’t forget Social Security and pension plan survivor’s benefits. Add other assets you have: savings, investments, real estate, and personal property. Which assets would your family sell or cash in to pay expenses after your death?
Here are two ways you might determine how much coverage you may need.
A. There are two basic types of life insurance: term insurance and permanent (cash value) insurance. Term insurance generally has lower premiums in the early years, but does not build up cash values you can use in the future.
Term insurance covers you for a term of one or more years. Premiums will not increase during the guaranteed premium term you select. Term Insurance pays a death benefit only if you die during that term. Term insurance generally provides the largest insurance protection for your premium dollar.
You can renew most term insurance policies for one or more terms even if your health has changed. Each time you renew the policy for a new term, premiums may be higher. The policy remains in force for as long as premiums are current, provided there are no misrepresentations on the application or other defenses to coverage. Coverage terminates if you discontinue premium payments.
Universal life insurance provides permanent life insurance coverage and any cash value accumulates on a tax-deferred basis. The death benefit and cash value depend on the interest rate declared by the insurance company. Universal Life policies provide insurance to protect what you have today and to help you provide for what you want tomorrow.
A. Whole life insurance gives death protection for as long as you live. The most common type is called “straight life” or “ordinary life” insurance, for which you pay the same premiums for as long as you live. These premiums can be several times higher than you would pay initially for the same amount of term insurance. But they are smaller than the premiums you would eventually pay if you were to keep renewing a term policy until your later years.
Some whole life policies let you pay premiums for a shorter period such as 20 years, or until age 65. Premiums for these policies are higher than for ordinary life insurance since the premium payments are squeezed into a shorter period.
Although you pay higher premiums to begin with, for whole life insurance than for term insurance, whole life insurance policies develop “cash values” which you may have if you stop paying premiums. You can generally either take the cash, or use to buy some continuing insurance protection. Technically speaking, these values are called “nonforfeiture benefits.” This refers to benefits you do not lose (or “forfeit’) when you stop paying premiums. The amount of these benefits depends on the kind of policy you have, its size, and how long you have owned it.
A policy with cash values may also be used as collateral for a loan. If you borrow from the life insurance company, the rate of interest is shown in your policy. Any money which you owe on a policy loan would be deducted from the benefits if you were to die, or from the cash value if you were to stop paying premiums.
A. All policies have a “free look” period. This period may vary by state. During the “free look” period, you may cancel your policy without obligation. See the policy for details.
A. As you go through the site, you will be asked to provide information to obtain an instant Term Life Insurance Quote, as well as provide us with enough information to determine the best carrier for you to apply for life insurance. It is important that you double check the information you entered into the Quote Request and add or correct any information.
An application from the carrier we recommend based upon the information you provided will be mailed or faxed to you. This application will need to be completed, signed and returned to us. The sooner you complete this, the sooner the application process can begin.
Once completed and signed application is received, a telephone interview will be scheduled. The questions asked during the interview will begin the carriers underwriting process. At the end of the interview an appointment will be scheduled at your convenience for an authorized paramedical professional to visit you to take a blood and urine sample, and to gather any other necessary medical information, including your signature on the application and any required forms. This paramedical visit usually takes less than 25 minutes.
Your application will be underwritten by one of our quality carriers. Upon underwriting approval, we will mail you your policy. The underwriting process could be completed in as little as 3 weeks, depending upon your circumstances.
Included with your policy will be a bill for the initial premium. Payment of the premium, as well as any other required documents, upon policy delivery while the proposed insured is living and the representations in the application are still accurate, activates your coverage. Payment can be made by personal check or by credit card – VISA or MasterCard.
A. If you currently are covered by another life insurance policy, DO NOT modify or cancel it until your new policy has been issued and the premium received by the insurer. You will be notified when that happens and your new coverage is in effect.