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What is life insurance, and who needs it?


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Title: What is life insurance, and who needs it?

What is life insurance, and who needs it?
  • Life insurance is a
    contract between an individual (policy owner) and
    an insurance company (insurer). The policy owner
    agrees to pay a periodic premium or lump sum in
    exchange for the insurers promise to pay a
    particular sum of money (death benefit) to
    certain individuals (beneficiaries) upon the
    death of a specified person for whom the policy
    is purchased. The person covered by the life
    insurance policy (insured) may or may not be the
    policy owner. But, for purposes of this book, we
    will assume the policy owner and insured are the

  • Who needs life insurance?
  • Life insurance is generally needed
    any time there is a situation where an income
    earner is responsible for the financial needs of
    another. If you or your spouse provides a
    significant portion of the familys income, you
    will need some sort of life insurance for your
    family to maintain their standard of living. If
    this individual passes away, life insurance can
    replace his or her income, pay to raise children,
    and cover their college education.
  • If you do not have any dependents,
    or are not significantly contributing to your
    familys household income, you likely do not need
    life insurance however, you may wish to buy a
    life insurance policy to cover the cost of your
    funeral services as well as leave an inheritance
    to family members.

  • There are two main types of life insurance that
    well address in this guide term life insurance
    and permanent, or whole, life insurance.
    Everything else is a variation of these two
    types. The type of insurance you need may depend
    on a variety of factors, including your financial
    situation and your lifestyle.
  • Term insurance provides coverage for a specific
    period of time, typically from one to 30 years.
    The death benefit is only paid out if you pass
    away within the term of the policy. If the term
    ends before you die, you receive no return on the
    money that you paid for the insurance.
  • Permanent life insurance provides coverage for
    your entire life as long as you continue to pay
    your premiums. Along with providing for death
    benefits, permanent life insurance also has a
    cash value component. You have the option of
    cancelling your policy and cashing out the policy
    and the premiums that you have paid into the
    policy at any time. Alternatively, if you
    continue to pay the premiums, you can opt to
    redeem or borrow part of the cash value, yet keep
    the policy in effect. Permanent life insurance
    generally has higher premiums than term

  • You should consider purchasing life insurance if
    you fall into one of the following categories
  • Parent -Parents are generally financially
    responsible for their children. In the case one
    or both parents pass away, the death benefit can
    help to cover housing, living, childcare, and
    educational expenses of dependent children.
  • Couple - Even if they do not have children,
    couples typically need coverage. For example, the
    primary earning partner needs insurance to ensure
    the financial well-being of the other partner in
    the case of death. Both partners may need
    insurance if they have significant outstanding
    loans and debts and to avoid depletion of the
    couples savings if one partner dies.
  • Single adult - Coverage is essential if an adult
    is either a single parent or the primary
    supporter of another individual such as an
    elderly parent.
  • Child - Children may need life insurance. The
    death benefit will pay for medical and burial
  • Do my children need life insurance?
  • Securing a life insurance policy for your
    children may seem like a morbid proposition, but
    in actuality it can be a rather smart investment.
    No one wants to think about their children
    passing away, but on the rare occurrence that
    this does happen, you do not want to face
    financial ruin.

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