One of the hardest markets for life insurance companies to penetrate lately has been millennials. But with Covid deaths over the past year and other causes of death like accidents, there has been some interest, especially with those starting families.
If you are a millennial or GenX'er you may wonder what kind of life insurance you should purchase. There are a few different types of coverage available. Term, universal, indexed universal and whole life. Term policies could be considered "temporary" as they only cover you during a specific amount of time, like 10, 20 or 30 years. There are even some companies out there offering 40 and 45-year terms for younger people. Term policies are much less expensive because they only offer a death benefit and there are no other features like loans or cash value. (Some term policies now offer "living benefits" which can help you if chronic or critical illnesses arise.)
Although term life insurance does not accrue cash value, it's affordable for working families during their working years. For instance, a healthy non-smoker in their mid-20's could expect to pay less than $25 each month for $500,000. (Rates are subject to underwriting and are not guaranteed)
On the other hand there are permanent policies, like universal life (UL), indexed universal life (IUL) and whole life (WL). These policies are more expensive but they also cover for the rest of your life as long as you continue to pay the premiums.
Permanent policies also have various ways to build cash value internally. For example, the UL uses interest rates, but since rates are at historic lows (for now), it's not a great option. We have many younger clients who use IUL's in lieu of investing and are very happy.
For those who are single with no dependents but own a home, a policy will allow you to keep that home in the family. Having parents or nieces or nephews who could use that home if you should pass can be beneficial and life insurance can pay off the balance of the mortgage.
So how can you get a policy? You can usually get a policy through work if they offer one, however we always recommend you have additional coverage outside of work, in case you leave your job. Also, that coverage through work is rarely enough to cover all of your debt and replace lost income. If you have a family, you will definitely need much more.
A great way is to use a quoting tool (we have one on our website) which lets you enter your information and will give you several choices of coverages. If you like what you see, you can even begin the application.
A simple method to find out how much life insurance you need is to add up your expenses and liabilities, like the mortgage, car payments and other debts. That should be a minimum for your needs. You may also want to consider lost income if you are the sole breadwinner of the home, and future education costs if you have children. On our website, our life insurance quoting tool offers a calculator to help determine your needs.
You may or may not be required to have an exam. It really depends on several factors, like the carrier and the amount you are applying for. Many companies have decreased their usage of exams during the pandemic, but they still reserve the right to have your medical records transmitted to them. And if there is no exam, you could have to answer a lot of medical questions during the application process. The secret here is to be as truthful and honest as possible, especially when it comes to questions about smoking (tobacco or cannabis) and your family's medical history.
If you have questions about what type of insurance you need or how to apply, let us know. In the meantime, please stay healthy!
Want to know how much disability insurance you need? Drop us a note and we'll send you our free PDF!
Chris Castanes is the president of Surf Financial Brokers, helping people find affordable life, disability, long term care, cancer, accident and other insurance coverages in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. He's also is a professional speaker helping sales people be more productive and efficient, and has spoken to professional and civic organizations throughout the Southeast. And please subscribe to this blog!