I’ve often wished my blogs would be read by everyone. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen, but for this one I am lowering my wish expectations. I am only hoping that everyone who has life insurance or is considering buying a life insurance policy will listen up.
If you have a term insurance policy, or for that matter, universal life or whole life, pull it out (if you can find it), dust it off, and read it. The following stats aren’t based on any kind of scientific survey. I wouldn’t even know how to do one, but based on what I hear from my new customers, most don’t remember what they have for life insurance. That is to say that only about half even remember the amount of insurance and substantially more than that can’t remember how long the life insurance policy is guaranteed to have level premiums. And, while not a large percentage, many can’t remember where their policy is. That makes it kind of unlikely that their family will know where the policy is, or even if one existed, should they pass away unexpectedly.
The number one reason that these problems exist, is the lack of a good, preferably independent life insurance agent that worked with you from the time you got your life insurance quote to now. A good agent is going to educate their client on what they have at the time of sale. A good agent will make sure the client understands all of the guarantees in a policy from the level premium, the conversion options and the accelerated death benefit provision. A good agent is going to instruct a client on what to do with the policy and who to inform about the life insurance, so that in the event of a death, the family knows what you have and who to call. A good agent is going to stay in touch and keep reminding their client about the benefits they purchased and keep them informed of any changes that might be prudent.
Test yourself. Without looking, write down the amounts and term lengths of any insurance policies you have. Write down your best guess as to how many years are left before the life insurance rates go up. Write down the beneficiary designations just as you remember them. Ask your spouse, family, or business partner if they know what you have and who to call if you were to die. Now check it against reality, provided you can find the policies.
When you read your policies, if there is anything you don’t understand, call the agent who sold it to you (if they are still in business) and insist on education and clarification. If they happen to not be in business anymore, go online or look through your phone book and find an independent agent who can help you understand what you have. Whoever said “ignorance is bliss” obviously wasn’t dependent on life insurance benefits.
Test yourself today. Waiting is an option that could severely damage your family’s future.
This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.