Frequently Asked Questions
Life insurance can be a complicated topic. We’re happy to get you the answers you’re looking for as you make this decision.
Term Life, Simplified
How much life insurance to buy depends on your overall needs and financial situation. A good guideline is to purchase a policy that’s 10x your annual income. For instance, if $60,000 is your annual income, you might consider a policy for $600,000 worth of coverage. Use our Insurance Calculator.
For more than 30 years, we’ve built our agency around term life insurance for several prudent reasons:
- Term life insurance is designed to help protect your family during your prime earning years (aka “your working career”). Plans generally range from 10-30 years. The eventual goal is to self-insure your need for life insurance by investing in your retirement plan.
- You don’t have to be in perfect shape or health. While being in the best possible health gives you more options to choose from and lower premiums, people with riskier professions or habits (like smoking) can generally obtain policies. The final cost of a policy depends on completion of the underwriting process, including a medical exam.
- It’s a simple, understandable form of life insurance. Your policy can be used to keep your family in your home, educate your children, pay off outstanding debts, and cover unexpected funeral costs.
- For business owners or partners, term life insurance policies can help fund buy-sell agreements, cover key employees, and settle corporate debt.
- Many insurance products serve the interest of the agent selling it, not your family. We believe term life insurance objectively provides the most value and benefit to your family at the most efficient cost.
Whole life insurance, like term life insurance, provides many important protections and benefits.
We prefer term life insurance because it is a simple product with one purpose: to provide income for your family should you pass away. A term life policy allows you to buy the amount of insurance you actually need and use any money left over to invest or use as you see fit. Get a free term life quote.
On the other hand, whole life insurance is a little more complicated — and premiums are more expensive than term life insurance. That’s because whole life insurance combines an insurance policy and an investment. A whole life insurance policy can pay you dividends like some stocks can, or you can borrow against the policy. Should you pass away before you pay the loan back, this will lower the amount your family receives.
We believe our recommended model — purchasing a term life plan and investing the difference you would pay for a whole life policy — can give you a higher probability of having a successful retirement than purchasing a whole life policy.
First, figure out approximately how long you’ll need coverage. You should consider the age of your youngest child; when all your debt, including your mortgage, will be paid; and your projected retirement age. A good guideline is to have coverage until age 70. Then, we recommend you buy the term policy which provides the least expensive guaranteed level premium for that period of time.
This means that the premium you’ll pay on the policy will remain exactly the same for the duration of the term you’ve selected. It’ll be clearly stated in the contract with your insurance carrier, and it will not go up or down or adjust for inflation during the initial term.
A level term policy means it will pay the same death benefit over time, as long as the policy remains in force.
This is a type of policy that pays you back part or all of your premium should your term policy end without you making a claim against it. These policies tend to cost significantly more than simpler forms of term life insurance, as they may add an extra premium on top of the regular premium. Such policies may require you to keep your original policy for the entirety of its term in order for you to get the ROP benefit. Generally, ROP policies can make sense for people age 30 or younger. We generally don’t recommend them for people above that age.
No, there can be differences. When evaluating policies, keep these things in mind:
- Your carrier should be a reputable insurance company with solid financial ratings from at least two independent ratings services like A.M. Best, Moody’s, Weiss, or Standard & Poor’s.
- It should score at least 80 from Comdex, a composite ranking of the major insurance ratings services.
- The policy should have a guaranteed level premium over the period of time you have selected — not all policies have one.
- The amount of life insurance coverage you need varies from person to person and depends on factors such as your age, income, and number of dependents you have.
Working with LCLI
Life insurance is an important purchase. It’s also a complex and often confusing one. There are a lot of options; policies vary from insurer to insurer. The one with the lowest premium may not be your best choice. LCLI will help you select the policy which meets your needs.
If you’re spending your hard-earned money to protect your family, you deserve the best possible policy for your circumstances. That’s why we work with many insurance carriers, so we are not beholden to one. That’s why we offer hundreds of options — because everyone’s circumstances are different.
It’s not in your best interests, or ours, if you don’t get the coverage you need. We’re here to guide you through the process and your options and to give you our objective advice, earned over 30 years of experience.
Keep in mind that the quote is a starting point. It will give you a ballpark idea of how much your premiums could cost, but is not final until the underwriting process is complete. Depending on the carrier and the policy, you may have to provide a medical history and undergo a medical exam.
The underwriting process usually takes anywhere from 30 to 45 days, depending on your health status, medical exam results, and how quickly your doctor’s office submits your medical records. We’ll keep you apprised of where things are in the process as we hear about them. Get started. See your free term life quotes.
In most cases, yes, you will need a medical exam along with a medical questionnaire. The medical exam will be conducted by a paramedical professional that the insurance company will send to your home for your convenience and privacy. The exam is like a physical, recording your blood pressure, height, and weight, and often requires providing a blood and urine sample.
The questionnaire will ask you about your general health, your family health history, occupation, financial net worth, and your habits, including exercise and smoking. It’s important to be as honest as possible. Lying can be cause for your carrier to deny paying a claim to your beneficiaries after your passing.
We work with many carriers and can usually find coverage for people in less-than-ideal health, who smoke, or who work in jobs that carry more risk than normal.
If you’re an existing LCLI client, just call us (we include our contact information in every correspondence to make it easy). We’ll collect the necessary information, conduct another needs assessment if appropriate, and keep the process moving.
After you purchase your initial policy, we’ll check in with you annually to review your coverage. Life happens and things change, and we want you to maintain the policy that best covers both your current and future needs.
Get your free quote
Low Cost Life Insurance Agency is not licensed in Alaska, New York, or Hawaii, and is unable to provide quotes for residents of these states.