Final Expense Life Insurance

Final Expense Life Insurance

Life insurance serves many options throughout our lives, but providing the money needed for a dignified funeral service, burial and other final expenses is one of the most important. When you consider the fact that the average funeral now costs thousands of dollars, it is easy to see why this type of life insurance coverage is so important.

The importance of final expense life insurance becomes even more apparent when you consider that Federal programs like Social Security pay only a couple of hundred dollars toward the cost of a funeral and burial. It will be up the family members of the deceased to make up the difference, and that can lead to significant financial strain on those left behind.

There are many different options available for those seeking final expense life insurance, and it is always a good idea to shop around as carefully as possible. The premium costs for the same type of coverage can vary quite significantly from company to company, and shopping around is the best way to get the highest possible coverage amount for the least amount of money.

In addition to price, it is important to review each proposed policy carefully in order to determine exactly what it does – and does not – cover. Some final expense life insurance policies will include limitations or exclusions, and it is important to review all policy documents carefully before making a final decision. Simply going with the lowest premium is not enough – it is important to choose a policy that will truly cover your needs and the needs of your family in their time of need.

Another option life insurance shoppers have is to combine a quality final expense life insurance policy with a prepaid funeral, burial or cremation service. As the population ages and more people take an active role in planning for the future the popularity of these services has been on the rise. Prepaid funeral and cremation services allow individuals to take care of all the details of their funeral, including the choice of casket, the location of the burial plot, the choice of urn and so on. What’s more, these arrangements can be made at today’s prices, providing significant savings and helping the proceeds of that final expense life insurance policy go even further.

With so much at stake it is easy to see why so many people have been investing in final expense life insurance policies. These specialized life insurance policies can be a cost effective and easy way to pay for your final expenses and spare your loved ones a significant cost in their time of greatest need. Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough, but dealing with an unforeseen expense at the same time can be even more overwhelming. Why not spare your loved ones from this terrible scenario by using final expense life insurance to pay those costs?

How to Choose Your Beneficiary

How to Choose Your Beneficiary

There are many important decisions that life insurance shoppers must make, but none is more important than choosing the right beneficiaries. It is after all those beneficiaries who will receive the proceeds from any life insurance policy you select, and protecting them is the whole purpose of life insurance coverage.

Choosing the right beneficiary or beneficiaries is not always as easy as it sounds, and it is important to give this decision the care and consideration it deserves. In many cases a husband and wife will name one another as beneficiary, but what happens if both spouses were to die in an automobile accident? Who would get the money then, and who would take care of any children the couple may have? These are important decisions – too important to be left to chance.

For that reason it is important for couples with children to have a solid will as well as a significant amount of life insurance coverage. The will should spell out in great detail the couple’s wishes for their minor children, as well as how the proceeds of the life insurance policy are to be distributed should both partners die at the same time.

Of course those contingent beneficiaries should be spelled out in the life insurance policy as well. A contingent beneficiary will receive the proceeds from the life insurance policy in the event the main beneficiary dies before the insured. Naming a contingent beneficiary is the best way to protect your family members and make the most of your life insurance coverage.

Of course choosing a contingent beneficiary can be just as much of a challenge as choosing a primary beneficiary. There are a number of factors to consider when making this decision, including your relationship with the potential beneficiaries and of course their ability to handle the money wisely. Some people may have a close relationship with a certain family member, all the while being unsure of that person’s ability to handle the proceeds of the policy. If that is a concern it may be a good idea to name another, more fiscally prudent, person as beneficiary, or to name each individual as partial beneficiaries. There are many possible arrangements, but it is critical that the insured be comfortable with the final decision.

It is also important for the insured person to communicate with the beneficiaries who are named in the life insurance policy. It is important that each person who is named as a beneficiary on the policy know where the original policy is located, or at least how to get hold of a copy of that policy. . Neglecting this important step could leave those who stand to benefit from the policy unable to collect their money. Tracking down a life insurance policy following the death of a loved one can be a difficult and time consuming process. It is much better for all involved to know where the paperwork is located and how it can be accessed.

Providing a trusted friend with the logon ids and passwords of any online accounts is also an important consideration. These days a great deal of insurance work is done online, and letting your beneficiaries know how to access this online information can really streamline the process. Some people do this by printing out a master list of account numbers, user ids and passwords, and keeping that information in a safe deposit box or other secure location. This can make it easier for your beneficiaries to get the money they have coming to them in a timely manner.

What To Do if Your Life Insurance Lapses

What To Do if Your Life Insurance Lapses

A life insurance policy provides important protection for your family members and those who rely on you, but that protection is only available when the policy is in force. A lapsed life insurance policy will have no value, and provide no protection to your family in their time of need. It is important to renew those policies on a regular basis, making adjustments as needed and ensuring that you always have adequate life insurance coverage and a strong death benefit in place.

Even the best of intentions, however, can sometimes go awry. Perhaps you forgot to make a monthly, quarterly or annual premium payment for your policy. Maybe you misplaced your original term life insurance policy and forgot that it was coming up for renewal. No matter what the reason you now find yourself with a lapsed policy. What do you do now?

The first thing you should do is contact the life insurance company holding your policy immediately. The sooner you call the better your chances of getting that lapsed policy reinstated. If it has been only a short time since the policy was in force, the company may be able to reinstate the policy with no break in coverage. The individual policies life insurance companies use to determine when to reinstate a lapsed policy and when to deny such reinstatement will vary, but it never hurts to ask. If the problem was something as simple as a missed premium payment or a recently expired term life policy you may be able to reinstate your coverage with little trouble. . This is especially true if you have been a long time customer with the insurer, with no history of late payments, missed payments or other problems.

If it has a long time since the life insurance policy expired things can be a bit more complicated. For one thing the life insurance provider will be under no obligation to reinstate a policy that expired some time back, and they may be willing to do so. In addition prices may have changed since the policy was last in force, so even if the policy is reinstated the premium payments may be higher.

If the policy has been lapsed for some time it may be more beneficial to simply write a new policy and go through the application and approval process all over again. One upside of this strategy is that there may be new life insurance policies on the market that can save you money, get you additional coverage or both. Many people do not shop around once they have a life insurance policy in place, and many of those consumers are quite surprised at how much money they can save by changing policies or going with a different company.

Finally, if you feel that your policy should be reinstated but the company refuses to cooperate you may be able to get some satisfaction by contacting your state’s insurance commissioner. This governmental body has been set up to help consumers deal with insurance issues, so they may be able to convince a reluctant life insurance policy to reinstate your coverage and restore your policy to full force.

Universal Life vs. Whole Life Insurance

Universal Life vs. Whole Life Insurance

There are many types of life insurance coverage on the market today, and many different products designed for consumers of all ages and health statuses. From inexpensive term life insurance to insurance policies for those with serious medical conditions, there is coverage available for virtually every type of consumer. The key to getting the most bang for your life insurance buck, and the most coverage for your dollar, is to shop around and compare policies carefully.

Knowing what you hope to achieve with a life insurance policy is an indispensable first step when it comes to insurance shopping. Until you know what you want from your policy you will have a hard time knowing whether or not you have found good coverage at a good price.

For instance, some consumers will want to purchase only a death benefit. Those consumers may not be concerned about building up a cash value, or investing their premiums for the future. Their only goal is to provide a cash benefit to their loved ones when they die. If that is the goal an inexpensive term life policy may be the best fit. These policies are simple to understand, easy to buy and best of all affordable.

The life insurance game gets a little bit more complicated when it comes to combining investment elements and cash value with the standard death benefit. . In this arena life insurance shoppers have a number of choices at their disposal, including such popular options as universal life and whole life insurance.

These two products have a lot of similarities, but they also have some significant differences. It is important for anyone in search of a new or replacement life insurance policy to understand both the similarities and the differences in these two types of coverage.

For instance, a whole life insurance policy provides a guaranteed cash value, as well as a guaranteed death benefit. Many life insurance shoppers like the guaranteed nature of this type of coverage, and owning a whole life policy can provide excellent peace of mind. Those who own such policies know that they will be able to cash their policies out for a set value if need be. They also know that their surviving family members or other beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed death benefit that can help them to avoid financial hardship in their time of need.

Universal life is somewhat different in its approach to cash value. While this type of coverage does provide a guaranteed death benefit just like whole life, the cash value is not guaranteed. The cash value will fluctuate along with the return of the investments in the account, and the account may be worth more or less than a similar whole life policy.

It is not always easy to determine which type of coverage is the best, since each individual will have different life insurance needs. It is up to each person to carefully evaluate his or her needs when it comes to life insurance. This careful analysis is the best way to get the highest possible benefits for the lowest possible price.

Joint Life Insurance

Joint Life Insurance

Once upon a time most families relied on the income from a single breadwinner, and it was important for that breadwinner to have sufficient life insurance coverage in place to protect the rest of the family. These days, however, it is much more common for both the husband the wife to work full time, and that can complicate life insurance needs somewhat.

After all in most two income households both incomes are needed, and the sudden absence of one of those paychecks could have a devastating impact on the family budget. Without that additional income the remaining family members may find it impossible to pay the mortgage, the utility bills and the other expenses that come with running a household. Since both incomes are vital to the lifestyle of the family, it is important to protect both of those incomes with a properly structured life insurance policy.

That is where joint life insurance comes in. Joint life insurance is designed to protect the lives of two people instead of just one, making these policies a great choice for couples. The proceeds of the life insurance policy are payable upon the death of the first person, allowing the surviving spouse to go on in following the death of his or her partner.

Joint life insurance policies have a number of important advantages compared to purchasing two individual life insurance policies. Once of the most significant advantages has to do with the cost of the policy. Purchasing a joint life insurance policy can be quite a bit less costly than purchasing individual life insurance policies for both spouses. The premium savings can be used to build up savings, create a rainy day fund or start a retirement portfolio. The money saved in this manner can be used to augment the benefits of the life insurance policy, providing an additional layer of protection for both spouses and for their dependent children.

Purchasing a joint life insurance policy can also make things a great deal simpler. Instead of trying to determine how much life insurance each spouse will need, based on factors such as current income, family expenditures and the like, the couple can simply purchase a joint life insurance policy that covers both of them.

When purchasing a joint life insurance policy it is typically a good idea to purchase a death benefit equal to between 20 and 30 times the combined annual income of the couple if both are employed. This is the amount of money financial planners recommend, since it allows the surviving spouse to take only a small percentage of the lump sum each year to meet living expenses. With this small draw down schedule the proceeds of the policy should last for decades, providing plenty of protection for the family if one spouse were to die prematurely.

And as with any life insurance decision, it is important to shop around as widely as possible. There are many different life insurance companies out there, all competing for business. By shopping around and comparing policies carefully those couples should be able to purchase adequate life insurance coverage for an affordable monthly premium.

How to Keep Track of Your Life Insurance Policy

How to Keep Track of Your Life Insurance Policy

Your life insurance policy is a very important document, and it should be treated with the respect it deserves. Simply filing the original policy in the bottom of a desk drawer or a box under the bed is not enough. It is important to set up a special place for those important documents, including all your insurance policies, deeds to the family home, wills and the like. Creating a central repository of vital documents does more than make your life simpler. It also provides your surviving family members with a single place to go in the event of your untimely death. A shocking number of people fail to take these simple steps, and that can leave their family members out in the cold when the worst happens.

In fact some family members only find out years later that their loved one had a life insurance policy at all. It can take years of research and thousands of dollars to track down and recover those lost life insurance proceeds, time and money that could certainly have been better spent. By placing all your important documents, including your life insurance policy, in one location you will relieve your family of this type of burden. Of course it is important that you share that location with your family as soon as everything is in place.

There are many places that can serve as this central repository. Some people will feel more comfortable keeping these important documents in a safe deposit box at their local bank. This can provide important protection from fire, flood and other damage that could befall the family home.

Others may want to invest a few hundred dollars in a fireproof safe that can be kept in the home. A side benefit of this approach is that the safe can be used to store not only important documents but expensive jewelry and other valuable possessions as well.

No matter which approach you choose it is important to make copies of all your important documents, including your original life insurance policy. Having copies available will make it easier to replace a lost policy or track down information about it. These copies should be updated each time any changes are made to the original life insurance policy, and the originals in the safe deposit box or home safe should be replaced as well.

By keeping those important documents in a safe and secure place you can relieve your family members of a significant burden at their time of loss. Tracking down a lost life insurance policy is never a fun (or a fast) process, so it is important to keep those vital documents safe and sound. . Whether you choose to accomplish that important goal with a fireproof safe at home or a safe deposit box at the bank, you will rest easy knowing that your family and its future are both well protected.

The Exclusive Internet Lead

The Exclusive Internet Lead

Working internet leads is a bit different than old fashion prospecting. Internet leads are an affordable and efficient way to market life insurance products. When I first started selling insurance we had a source that would open a phone book and dial numbers just to see if they had interest in a comparison. The prospect was written down on a piece of paper and I believe we paid $5 each. We’d contact the prospect and try to get them a comparison rate. More times than most, the person’s policy was months if not years away from lapsing and we were more expensive than others. This was not efficient marketing and these were considered warm leads.

Today with the internet, prospects and research, shop and quote different life insurance companies. The website is a good example of a quoting engine. Our goal is to get visitors to the site to perform a quote where we can present different companies with different products and rates. We let the visitor take control. If the visitor requests a quote or application we know this is a hot lead. Most likely, this person’s situation requires immediate or time sensitive action which makes this an easier sale. So internet leads are great, there are a ton of qualifiers one can place, there are filters and rules Agent’s can put in place so that your only getting leads specific to a niche, age group or even zip code.

If your an Agent and purchasing internet leads then likely you’ve come across a variety of flavors. There is shared leads, these are leads that are generated via a website and sold to multiple Agents. There are hot transfers, this is a prospect that has phoned in via some sort of marketing effort and is pre-qualified by an Operator and is then transferred to your phone line. Finally, there are exclusive internet leads. An exclusive lead is an internet lead that is only sold one time.

Pros of Exclusive Internet Leads
Only sold to you – An exclusive lead is only sold to one Agent. You are not competing with other Agents, the timeliness of your phone call is less important compared to a shared lead.

Higher Conversion – Because you are not competing with other Agents exclusive leads tend to have a higher conversion rate. We’ve seen search leads that we generate in-house convert as high as 30%.

Cons of Exclusive Internet Leads
Price – The cost of exclusive leads is much higher than shared leads. This is due to the quality and efficiencies it can add to your bottom line. Some exclusive leads can cost as much as $85.

The pros outweigh the cons but it comes down to an investment strategy. Yes they are more expensive and you will spend more however, your efficiencies will go up, you’ll close more business and you’ll make more money in a shorter amount of time.

So what should you consider when shopping for exclusive internet leads? There are two things you should consider when pricing exclusive leads. First, what questions are asked that qualify the lead and what is the cost per lead. An exclusive lead with a simple quote request such as a persons name and phone number is is much less valuable than exclusive lead with contact information, health history or even a request for an application. An application request should close more often than not. These are leads where a visitor has viewed a product and seen a premium associated with it and would like to start the application process.

The cost per lead is another factor and it should go hand-in-hand with the lead fields. A standard term life insurance request with a persons contact information, coverage amount and duration should cost around $25. This figure is assuming all age groups. Pricing exclusive leads is also based on any filters you require. 40+ ages are often more expensive due to the higher premiums. Expect to pay north of $30 for a basic exclusive lead of a 40+ person.

There are many options for those looking to work exclusive life insurance leads. Lead aggregators are aggressively running promotions and deals for those that buy in volume. Always negotiate the rates, pricing for leads are not set in stone and there are plenty of companies to choose from.

Life Insurance Ratings Explained

Life Insurance Ratings Explained

Life insurance is an important purchase, and hopefully a long term one. When you buy a life insurance policy you are buying an investment in the future, and counting on the fact that the company behind the policy will be there when they are needed most. In order to reassure consumers and help them make the right choice, sellers of insurance are rated by independent rating agencies. It is the job of these independent agencies to examine the financial condition of the companies they rate and issue unbiased assessments of their ability to pay claims.

There are many organizations that provide these kinds of ratings, but the most widely known – and widely used – are AM Best, Standard and Poors, Moodys and Fitch. It is important for life insurance shoppers to understand how these companies work and how to use those ratings to evaluate the companies under consideration.

When it comes to life insurance company ratings AM Best is perhaps the best known name. Unlike the other ratings companies mentioned above, AM Best has chosen to focus only on the insurance industry. Many feel that this focus makes AM Best better suited to evaluate the health of insurers than the other ratings agencies. As part of the rating process AM Best examines the financial health of the company and then uses that information to rate the company’s ability to pay its claims.

Standard and Poors is another well known rating company, but unlike AM Best Standard and Poors does not operate solely in the insurance arena. In addition to its insurance rating services, Standard and Poors also provides equity research, mutual fund ratings and more.

Another popular ratings company is Moodys, and this firm provides a number of financial research services for both corporations and the government. Like the other ratings agencies Moodys also issues its assessment of the creditworthiness and financial health of various life insurance companies.

The fourth member of this rating agency group is Fitch, and like Moodys and Standard and Poors this company provides a number of diversified financial services. The insurance company rankings provided by Fitch are only a part of the total company, but many people respect the accuracy of the ratings they provide.

When it comes time to evaluate the quality and stability of a particular life insurance company it is often a good idea to look at each rating agency’s ranking of the company and take them together as a group. Even though each of the four major rating agencies typically does a great job, a single rating alone may not tell the whole story. Looking at the ratings as a whole can provide a more complete – and more accurate – picture of the true financial health of the company.

For instance, if you see a glowing assessment from one rating agency but a more cautious report from the other three, it may warrant further investigation. Likewise if one rating agency gives a particular insurer a bad report but the others provide only positive reports, it may be a good idea to investigate the health of the company on your own. Ratings are certainly important, but it is often necessary to go beyond those mere numbers and do some of your own research. After all you want to make sure that life insurance company is there when you and your family need it most.

How to Find Lost Life Insurance

How to Find Lost Life Insurance

Life insurance provides important protections, and much needed cash, but what do you do if you cannot find a loved one’s life insurance policy after they die? Tracking down a lost life insurance policy can be a difficult and time consuming process, but those who persevere may find themselves rewarded with the funds their lost loved one so carefully set aside for them.

There are a number of places to start the search for a lost life insurance policy but the most obvious place to start is with the insurance company itself. If you know which insurance company provided the coverage you may be able to simply call and speak to a customer service representative and claims specialist. Before you call it is important to gather as much information as you can about the deceased. The insurance company will likely require some identifying information, including the person’s Social Security number, date of birth and the like. The more information you can provide the easier your search will be.

If that initial search turns up nothing you may want to turn to the life insurance agent your family deals with. If you have an independent agent he or she should have records about what type of policy your lost loved one had in place. Again it is important to provide as much identifying information as you can to make the search easier.

If this search still turns up nothing it is a good idea to start contacting all of the large life insurance companies operating in your part of the country. It may take some legwork to gather this list, but it is an important step. Once you have the list of area insurers in hand you can start calling and asking about any policies that may have been in force. When you call be sure to identify yourself and provide all the information you can so that the agent you speak to can locate any existing policies.

If all of these efforts still come up empty it may be time to get your state government involved. Chances are your state has a state insurance commissioner whose job it is to help consumers with insurance related matters. Their staff has access to proprietary databases not available to the general public, so they may be able to locate that lost policy for you. Again it is important to provide as much information as possible in order to expedite this process.

If your efforts are still unsuccessful it may be time to do some additional detective work. . Going back through the checkbook and bank statements may reveal where the premium payments were sent, and this can give you a good starting point and the name of a company to contact. These canceled checks and bank statements can also be important should a dispute about the payment of premiums arise. After you have gathered all the information you need you can approach the insurance company representatives and start the claim process rolling.

How to File a Life Insurance Claim

How to File a Life Insurance Claim

Life insurance provides vital protection for workers and their families, and valuable benefits in their time of need. It is important for everyone with a family to support to have adequate life insurance protection in place to replace his or her income and protect the family from financial crisis.

Of course we all buy life insurance coverage with the hope that it will not be needed, making it unique among all purchases. We all hope to have our loved ones with us forever, rendering those life insurance policies moot. Even so, we all know that eventually someone in the family will need to rely on the proceeds of a life insurance policy, and it is important to understand how to file a life insurance claim when that happens.

If you have a life insurance policy in place to protect your family, there is a lot you can do to ease their burden in the event of your death. One of the best things people can do for their families is to let everyone know where the original policy is kept. Many people keep their life insurance policies and other important documents in a safe deposit box at the bank.

If you do this it is important to provide your spouse with all the information he or she will need to open that safe deposit box and find that life insurance policy. Having the life insurance policy in hand will make it much easier for your family to file the claim and collect the funds you have so thoughtfully set aside for them. Keep in mind that if your family members have to hunt down your life insurance policy they could face significant delays getting the money they need to pay day to day living expenses, keep the mortgage current and keep a roof over their heads. Keeping your life insurance policy in order, and letting your family members know where they can find it, is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for those you love.

After the life insurance policy has been located, the first step is to contact the life insurance company and let them know that the insured person has died. This will get the ball rolling and help to expedite the claim. If you originally purchased your policy from an agent, be sure to contact the agent to report the death. The life insurance agent should be able to guide you through the rest of the claim process. The agent should also be able to tell you exactly which documents you will need to complete the claim.

The life insurance company will certainly need a certified copy of the death certificate, so be sure to request additional copies from the funeral home when making the burial arrangements. Some additional documentation may be needed as well, so be sure to ask the life insurance agent or customer service representative what you need. Always be sure to make copies of all correspondence and documentation for your records. This will make it easier to proceed if the original documents are lost in the mail.

After the initial claim has been filed, it is important to follow up on a regular basis to check its progress. The speed of claim processing will vary from company to company, but checking in on a regular basis will help assure you that the process is moving along. If there are any problems along the way be sure to provide the required information as quickly as possible. Providing the information needed will help to make processing faster and help you get the money you need going forward.