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Life Insurance FAQ

Terminology, Questions, and Answers. All in one place.

Terminology

Beneficiary

The beneficiary receives the policy payout if you die. Name one person (or more) up to 100% of your policy value. If you name your four kids, for example, each would receive 25% of the death benefit as your beneficiary.

Death benefit

payout, face amount, policy value, proceeds

The amount of money paid by the insurance company to your beneficiaries if you die.

Insurable interest

Key people who would be financially impacted by your death have an insurable interest. With their insurable interest, your family can buy life insurance on you and be named as your beneficiary. People with no insurable interest, may not qualify to buy you life insurance.

Life insurance company / Carrier

The term, life insurance carrier is synonymous with life insurance company. This is the company that offers policies and also oversees the underwriting process for applicants. Insurance companies are regulated by each state’s insurance department.

Rider

Optional features or benefits that may be added to your life insurance policy. A child rider, for example, helps families obtain affordable life insurance for their children under age 18. Or a long term care rider, will allow the death benefit to be used for long term care facilities, when qualified.

Risk class

rate, health, or underwriter classification
Your height and weight, tobacco use, personal health, and family medical history indicate how likely you are to die. The more likely you are to die, the higher your risk class. You will pay more for life insurance if your risk class is higher.

Premium

payment, cost, price, rate

Amount of money you pay the insurance company for your policy. Most people pay their premium monthly.

Table Rate

Your health and medical exam results determine your risk class and how much you will pay for life insurance. If you receive a table rating, you will pay more than initially quoted due to the underwriter’s determination that you are more likely to die.
Questions & Answers
What is term life insurance?
Life insurance that pays a benefit in the event of the death of the insured during a specified term (i.e. 10 years, 20 years).
What is a good age to buy life insurance?
Most people would benefit from getting a life insurance policy if they depend on another person’s income or if they were to experience financial hardship if that person were to pass away.

Young couples may apply for life insurance policies to cover their major debt, should the breadwinner pass away.

A senior person may apply for life insurance to cover their burial expenses.

What is life insurance underwriting?
Underwriting is a term used by life insurers to describe the process of assessing risk, ensuring that the cost of the coverage is proportionate to the risks faced by the individual concerned.

The underwriter’s job is to determine if you are insurable, and if so, at what risk class.

The underwriter may review doctor notes, blood and urine analysis, etc, to determine your risk class.

How should you choose your beneficiary?
Determine who it is you want to receive all or part of the money from your death benefit. Is it your spouse or children?

1. Determine who you want to help.
2. Review your beneficiaries often.

Term or Whole Life insurance? Which is best?
The answer to this will largely depend on your current circumstances. Typically, term life is more suitable for young adults and young families. While who life may be more suitable for business owners or persons with more complex estates. Speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine your needs.
Can I get a life insurance policy if I have a medical condition?
Don’t let a medical condition stop you from getting quotes. Life insurance is widely available to people with medical conditions. Working with the right agent is important. It is important to work with an independent agent who knows the in’s and outs of which life insurance carriers allows certain underwriting criteria.
If you are covered under a group life insurance policy through your employer, do you still need a personal policy?
The life insurance policy through your employer is likely not enough coverage and typically ends if you leave the job. Read more about group life insurance.
Medical Questions & Answers
Can I get life insurance if I have cancer?
If you are currently going through cancer treatments, life insurance coverage will be hard to find. Typically, the only type of life insurance you could be approved for would be guaranteed issue life insurance. Because these policies don’t require any medical exams and you’re instantly approved, the premiums are very high and the death benefit is low.
Can I get life insurance if I have diabetes?
It is possible to obtain life insurance coverage whether you have Type 1, Type 2, or Gestational Diabetes. Most applicants with diabetes will be Table Rated. Being table rated means you’ll pay a higher premium because the insurance companies carry more risk by insuring you.
Can I get life insurance if I have high blood pressure?
Yes, having high blood pressure does not exclude you from getting life insurance. High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is one of the most powerful predictors of mortality, which is why life insurance underwriters will always take a hard look at this diagnosis.
Can I get life insurance if I have sleep apnea?
Yes, if your sleep apnea is well-managed, you can be approved for life insurance.
Can I get life insurance if I have ADHD?
Yes, because Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects individuals differently, it is not uncommon for individuals with ADHD to be approved with a preferred risk class.

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