Friday, May 11, 2012

Life Insurance Tips for Seniors

Having a life insurance policy in place is important. Everyone needs to be covered, if for no other reason than to pay your final expenses. Even if you don’t have any loved ones to provide for, you don’t want to leave anyone with the burden of paying for a funeral or any other bills you may have. It used to be extremely hard for older people to buy a life insurance policy. They cost an arm and a leg--if you could find coverage at all. Nowadays it’s a bit easier. Following are a few life insurance tips for seniors.

Reevaluate Your Policy

If you already have a life insurance policy in place, you may want to take another look at it to make sure it still fits your needs. If you took out a term life insurance policy when you were just starting out in the workforce, you more than likely made sure the policy would supply adequate coverage for your growing family. They are probably out on their own now, and no longer need your help, so it would be a good idea to restructure your life insurance policy to meet your needs as they are today.

Things to Consider

Your old insurance policy probably contained adequate financial protection for your family to help them pay off a mortgage or put the kids through college. Now that you’re a bit older, the mortgage is most likely taken care of and your kids are probably through with college. You no longer need the same coverage you used to. You may also have adequate savings built up so your spouse won’t need to have the financial protection afforded by a life insurance policy. You should also be sure to update your beneficiaries. If your spouse or children have predeceased you, their names should be removed as a beneficiary. If you remarried, the policy should be updated to reflect your new circumstances. If you have a whole life policy, and have put away sufficient savings, it may be a good idea to move some of that money to a long-term care policy.

New Policies

If you had a term life insurance policy that has expired, it would be a good idea to either renew the term policy or opt for a whole life policy. For seniors, the choices may be limited, but you can still get adequate coverage.

Deferred Life

You can choose a deferred payment policy, which means the insurance company would only pay your beneficiaries the amount you’ve paid in premiums, or a portion of the policy, if you pass away within a stipulated time period--usually during the first two or three years of the policy. After that period of time has passed, your beneficiaries would be entitled to the full amount of the policy.

Guaranteed Life

Another policy aimed at seniors is called guaranteed life insurance. With a guaranteed life policy, you can get coverage that will pay your beneficiaries the entire amount from the moment you sign the papers. These policies are usually limited to somewhere between 20 to 30 years. That means that if you take out the policy when you turn 55, it will remain in effect until you reach the agreed upon age limit, at which time you’ll have to take out another policy. Once you are issued a policy, it won’t matter if you become ill, but you will have to answer questions about your overall health and possibly have to take a physical before you can receive coverage.

Talk to Your Insurance Agent

Before you make any decisions regarding exchanging your existing life insurance policy for a new one, or taking out any new policy, it would be a good idea to talk to your insurance agent about your options. There are many factors to consider and they will be able to guide you. Life insurance is a good thing to have, but you want to make sure that you’re not going to be either over or under insured.

Shop Around

As with buying any insurance policy, it would be to your advantage to shop around for the best deal before you sign up for coverage. Go on the Internet and get some quotes from online agencies. After that you should call your local insurance companies and get more quotes for comparison. If you have an insurance agent that you trust, then by all means give them the opportunity to meet or beat your best quote.

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