The discussion went smoothly. A family from Georgia, the wife looking for insurance to replace a term policy on her husband that was coming to the end of the guarantee. Good health. A little family history hiccup, but not a big deal. Then I asked about foreign travel and she said, well, yes he does travel. After a little beating around the bush it seems that her husband had become a little bored with retirement and had decided to do contract work….. kind of where ever he might be needed. He was currently in Iraq for 12 months. Wrong time to review his insurance portfolio!!
To all of you husbands/wives who have a husband or wife who is considering changing careers or taking up hobbies, review life insurance while it is still in the considering stage. Once plans are in place and commitments have been made, whatever is coming down the road will impact your life insurance.
A few examples might help clarify this. Let’s say I’ve always thought it would be kind of fun to take up skydiving, but I’ve always kept that in my someday file. If I buy life insurance and they ask me about skydiving, it’s not an issue. I have no set plans on when I might do it so it doesn’t impact my life insurance. If, on the other hand, I am scheduled to start skydiving lessons June 23, 2007, the answer is yes to the dangerous hobby question and it will impact my life insurance rates. Now, a good independent agent can minimize the impact, but it isn’t going to go away.
Like our example above, if I have always thought it would be fun, or exciting, or profitable to go for an extended stay to travel Africa, it doesn’t impact my life insurance if I have not actually started planning and scheduling or making commitments. If, on the other hand, I have started negotiating with a company to help sell water purification systems in Zimbabwe, I have to be honest about my future plans, and yes, it will likely impact my life insurance rates.
I discussed in another blog the fact that some states no longer allow life insurance companies to ask about foreign travel. Personally, I don’t see that stance lasting long. I really don’t see it growing past the 5 or so states that currently have that rule.
That’s not the point though. Review your life insurance with your agent annually. Share your “want tos” with your agent so they can advise you at the right time. Whether it is foreign travel, skydiving, motorcycle racing or mountain climbing, after you have headed down that road is the wrong time to ask about the impact on your life insurance.
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.