Often lawsuit and divorce settlements contain a stipulation for the mandatory coverage with life insurance until some final event has occurred. In the case of a lawsuit it could be until the full amount awarded is paid and with divorces it could be until a requirement for alimony or child support has ended.
Whatever the reason, the court order is not only intended to ensure the placement of the life insurance, but timely placement and keeping the policy in force. These would seem to be simple and assumed outcomes of being told to get life insurance by a guy in a black robe, but if the task is just kind of thrown to the breeze it can end up either with the cost too high to sustain or the job dragging out until you are held in contempt and fined.
1. Take the task seriously and contact an independent agent right away with marching orders to get the insurance meeting the court criteria at the lowest cost possible.
2. Don’t call up your auto and homeowners insurance agent and just ask them to put it together for you. Most property/casualty agents are not well versed at life insurance so it’s possible to make a simple process drag out and without question they will not have access to the best rates
3. If you have health issues make sure the independent agent is well versed in impaired risk life insurance. Make sure they shop the case so they know you’re going to have the absolute best chance of a quick approval at a rate that has already been quoted.
4. I’ve found it helpful to allow updates to the court or opposing attorney so they know things are moving. It’s up to you but my experience is that this reassurance can keep them off your back and keep the issue from becoming contentious.
5. Keeping the policy in force is critical unless you just like going to court which is why getting it within your budget is critical. I have negotiated with attorneys in the past to allow a court ordered policy for a shorter term than will eventually be needed with just that logic, “You do want to make sure it’s affordable and kept in force”.
6. Especially with celebrities and professional athletes life insurance policies of this kind of are often in the tens of millions if not more. Getting it done quickly and affordably is critical.
Bottom line. If you have been court ordered to provide life insurance don’t run off to one of the big on line agencies. Get personal attention from someone who’s been through the process. If you are in this situation or are paying too much for your court ordered policy right now, email or call me directly and let’s get it right.