Choosing the Right Life Insurance Policy

Many people understand the importance of life insurance for the dependents they leave behind. However, when it comes to choosing the specific life insurance policy that is right, many of us get confused by all the options available. The basic concept of life insurance is the same, but there are differences that make each policy unique.

Understanding what you stand to gain from each type of life insurance policy makes it easier for you to choose a policy that is suitable. We look at the various life insurance plans and the main differences between them.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance guarantees payouts throughout your life as long as you honor all your premiums. It is the only type of life insurance plan that is not capped at a given number of years. The payouts can be made at intervals or after your passing, depending on the terms of the policy.

In addition to guaranteeing you payouts, whole life insurance also attracts a cash value, against which you can borrow.

The biggest disadvantage with whole life insurance is that it has much higher premiums.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance promises a specific amount in payout to your beneficiaries if you die within a stipulated time. If you do not die within this period, the policy expires and you don’t receive any benefits.

Most term life policies range between 5 and 30 years. It has lower premiums than whole life insurance.

This type of life insurance cover may be an ideal choice for people who plan to engage in high risk undertakings with a low survival rate.

The simple principle it’s based on, that of payout after death, gives you assurance that if you die during your adventure, your beneficiaries will receive the outlined benefits. You only have to ensure that your premiums are up to date at all times. Failure to submit even a single premium can void the policy, disqualifying your beneficiaries from getting any payout.

Term life insurance is usually only available for younger people.

Convertible Life Insurance

A convertible life insurance starts off as a term life insurance policy, but is later converted to a whole life policy. With this option, you retain the policy even when existing term life insurance expires.

The biggest advantage a convertible life insurance policy has is that it does not require you to have a medical exam to qualify for theconversion to whole life.

However, there may be a limit beyond which the policy can no longer be converted. This is its greatest shortcoming.

Variable Life Insurance

Under variable life insurance, you decide where your premium is to be invested. You can choose to invest in money market funds, stocks or bonds. The cash payouts and death benefits are determined by the performance of the linked portfolios.

If you’re very knowledgeable about a given portfolio and believe your beneficiaries can get good returns from it in future, you may want to consider this option.

The biggest disadvantage with this type of life insurance is that you don’t know the amount of payout your beneficiaries will receive following your death.

The fluctuating nature of the investment market also makes it sort of a gamble.

Some insurance companies allow you to pay extra for your beneficiaries to get a guaranteed amount in payout.

Universal Life Insurance

A universal life insurance policy is permanent. Its main advantage is that it allows you to adjust the premiums and the insurance payout following death.

They attract lower premiums and these are also flexible.

The policy accumulates cash value, against which one can take out a tax-exempt loan. You may also withdraw the cash, but this option is not tax exempt. The insurer retains any cash value remaining in your account after your death, and only pays out the death benefits.

However, the specific terms applicable to each insurance plan may differ. Some universal life plans require a one-time premium payment while others require scheduled fixed premiums.

All these differences will influence the amount you pay in premiums.

Which Factors Determine your Life Insurance Cost?

The amount any single individual pays in life insurance premiums can be significantly different from what someone else pays under the same policy. This is influenced by different factors, the most common of which are:

  • Duration of the policy
  • Death benefits guaranteed
  • Your age
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your health

These are the factors an insurance company considers when issuing a life insurance policy. An individual who is relatively young may end up paying more premium than an older person if they lead a high-risk lifestyle. The older personwith a low-risk lifestyle and in good health is viewed as a safe bet, hence the lower premiums.

What should you consider when choosing A Life Insurance Policy?

Analyze your individual life situation to find out how much cash in death benefitsyour beneficiaries would need to maintain their current lifestyle following your demise. This gives you a clear idea of the total figure to work with.

Factors that influence the amount of insurance to take include:

  • The number of dependents
  • Age of dependents
  • Any serious illnesses among dependents
  • Expected amount in death benefits
  • Whether your beneficiaries will be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits.

The more the number of dependents, the more insurance you need to buy. If most of your dependents are young, you’ll need more insurance for the benefits to caterfor their upbringing, college fund, and related expenses.

If your dependents have to manage a serious illness, the payout should be able to cater for this extra expense too. This means buying a higher amount of insurance.

If your beneficiaries will receive Social Security survivor benefits, you can buy a lower amount of insurance. The SS benefits coupled with the death benefits of your policy will add up to a significant amount.

Conclusion

Calculating how much life insurance you ought to buy is not so hard when you understand the concept behind each plan. Should you still have questions about any plan you’re considering, talk to an insurance expert for further clarification.

Easy Ways to Teaching Your Child How to Save

It is never too early to start saving. This applies to everyone; not just working adults. Raising children means that one day they will grow up and become adults with more needs than they have now. The world today revolves around money.  When kids grow, they will start to fend for themselves, and you as a parent will not want to see your kids suffer or make poor financial decisions. This is why it is important to cultivate a savings culture in your children. This article will help you teach your kids the importance of saving.

  • Have A Piggy Bank: This is the most common way kids save the money they make. Have each of your kids own individual piggy banks at home. Encourage them to always drop a few coins or notes at least every day. If it is not possible for them to drop coins on a daily basis, encourage them to make weekly deposits to their piggy banks. Dropping coins on a daily will lead them to saving a lot of money by the end of the year. Don’t allow them to open the piggy bank no matter the circumstance. Children may see the piggy bank almost full and think that they have saved enough. There is nothing like saving enough for children. Encourage them to keep depositing, and if the piggy bank gets full, get them a new one. Kids can be heedless and open the piggy banks at home. Ensure that your kids are disciplined enough to not think of opening the piggy banks in your absence. Train them to be true to their course of saving.
  • Lead by Example: You want your kid to save every coin they earn but you are a spendthrift; nope, it doesn’t work that way. Be a role model to your children. Don’t just talk about the importance of saving, lead by example and save in your own kitty. Children often copy what their parents do. If you talk about saving but don’t do it yourself, then be sure that your kid will not taking the whole saving thing seriously. Have a home bank where you deposit your change and balances or open a savings account at your bank. This will go a long way in ensuring that your children save as they should.
  • Set Targets: Set achievable targets and follow through them to the end. So your child was to save two bucks by the end of the week? Check up on them and ask how much they saved. If they saved less than the set goal, then talk with them on what should be improved. Setting goals is a good way of keeping the cycle going. There is no point of saving for a week, then forgetting about it until a month later. Good saving habits require that we save as often as we can. Setting weekly goals for your children will help them achieve the monthly goals, which will boost their annual savings. When setting goals, don’t ever reduce the amount. Keep increasing the monthly targets for your child especially when they make more money than usual.
  • Only Give Allowances After Some Work is Done: Giving kids money only after they have done some work is a great way of teaching them to be responsible with finances. Adults get paid only after working. Infuse this sense of responsibility in your children as early as you can. Always remind them that there is nothing given for free in this world. That people have to work to earn their pay. With this information, your child will always be responsible with the money you give them as they know it takes some work to earn it. Your children don’t have to do tedious work to earn money from you. Basic house chores like vacuuming, washing the family car or pets are enough to make them earn a little allowance. Refrain from giving those allowances even when they have not done any work. When given free money, kids often think that it is easy for one to make easy money. Having them work will make them spend wisely.
  • Keep Communicating: Continuous communication with your children will encourage them to save more, and see you as their financial counselor. Talk to them on a daily basis and assure them that they are doing the correct thing. When you see them deviating from the main course, keep them on track. Constant communication with your children will also make them open up on any difficulties they face.
  • Talk to Them about Needs and Wants: A lot of times, kids can’t differentiate between needs and wants. It is your duty as a parent to explain such things to them. Make your child understand that not everything they want is necessary. Teach them to always prioritize basic requirements over luxury items. Make your children learn that not everything advertised in the media is a basic need. Some are just extras packaged well to mislead consumers. Once your children understand this, they will always try to save the extra buck for a rainy day.
  • Open Real Bank Accounts: Piggy banks are good for children’s saving, but you know what is better? Real bank accounts for children’s savings. Piggy banks work well with children under 14.Your fifteen year old is too grown for just a home piggy bank. Not only is the money at the bank safer, they also able to view their progress from day one. Every record at the bank is digitized and your child can view their growth any time they want. Savings accounts for children will also make them feel a little grown, and this will have a positive impact on their attitude toward the saving culture.

By helping your child start saving early, you are not only instilling good financial habits, but also helping them in their future life. There’s nothing as good a growing up while understanding good financial habits, A child who started saving while in kindergarten will most definitely know how to plan well financially in their adult life compared to one who was never introduced to the saving culture when young. Remember, help your kid to start small, and don’t allow them to be distracted along the way. Keep asking how their saving experience is, as you will know where their heart lies from the answers they give.

How to Compare Car Insurance Rates

The choice of which car insurance cover to choose from, appears easy at first until you need to make an  actual choice and then you realize how confusing it can get.

You want to have sufficient coverage on your car to ensure that any third-party person that was injured by your car is  compensated. It’s also important to have comprehensive coverage to ensure your car is covered at all times.

Nonetheless, there are many other factors to look at when choosing one insurance cover over the other. But just as important is choosing your insurance provider. There are lots of car insurance companies offering different levels of insurance.

Even in cases where you’ve identified the insurance cover you’d like to take for your vehicle, you may notice huge price differences among insurers. The only way to ensure that you get a fair quote on car insurance is by comparing car insurance rates.

We break down this process for you so you will know how to go about it.

What should you look for when comparing car insurance policies?

Most states have a minimum car insurance without which you cannot drive your car. Usually, this is the uninsured or underinsured motorist auto coverage. This cover ensures that if your car causes injury to someone else, they are covered. If you’re the victim and have been hit by another driver, then that driver’s uninsured coverage is used to compensate you.

This is the least amount of insurance cover in the auto insurance segment. It won’t protect your car in the event of a crash, collision, or other accident. It’s always important to choose the highest amount of coverage you can afford for your car so that you’re covered from all angles.

Here is how the various auto insurance coverage differs:

Personal Injury Protection

PIP covers your medical expenses following an accident and those of any passengers you may have in the car. PIP applies regardless of whether you’re at fault or not. In some states, every driver is required to purchase PIP coverage so that in case of an accident, they’re fully covered.

Uninsured Auto Coverage

As mentioned above, this caters to your medical expenses following an accident and those of any passengers you may have in the car.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage caters for any damage you cause during an accident. Damage can be to another driver, passengers or property.

Collision/Comprehensive Coverage.

Collision coverage offers protection against collisions and rollover damages regardless of who is at fault. Comprehensive coverage offers protection from all kinds of incidents, including vandalism, theft, fire, flooding or hail damage. If a tree falls on your car, comprehensive coverage is what ensures you get compensation. As you can see, comprehension protects against both natural disasters and ordinary theft.

The two covers are often sold together. You cannot buy collision coverage if you do not have comprehensive. If you used motor vehicle financing to buy your car, your lender will require you to have comprehensive insurance.

Now that you’ve seen the different types of cover available, let’s look at how to compare the rates of your chosen cover.

How Do Car Insurance Companies Prepare Rates?

Car insurance companies use a broad range of personal information to determine your auto insurance rate. You’ll need to provide the insurer with personal details like your gender, marital status, date of birth and zip code. If you have an existing insurance policy, they’ll need the name of your current insurer.

You also provide car details like the make and model, year of manufacture and VIN. Your driving history, including driving record, a record of any claims you made in the last five years. They also request for your credit score.

The insurer then analyzes all these details to determine your insurance risk. If you are considered a high-risk individual, your quote is likely to be higher.

Factors that may increase your insurance risk include a long record of insurance claims and a poor driving record. The type of car you drive also influences the kind of rate you get.

There is no standard way to interpret these personal details in relation to the insurance rate you get. Some insurance companies may calculate their rate in such a way that even though you may be considered a high-risk individual, you receive a considerably low quote.

This just goes to show that there is a lot that goes into determining the quote. The only way to find out if your rate is high or low is by comparing rates from different insurers.

How to Compare Car Insurance Rates

There are many factors that can lead to variance in car insurance rates. Below are some of the important things to compare among insurers:

  1. Coverage

The coverage is the first thing you look at. Check whether the insurers are all offering the same level of coverage. If one quote seems to be too low, check again. It could be that the insurer is giving a lower amount of coverage.

  1. Cost

Consider the total cost of the insurance cover. Again, you’re comparing the price of a similar coverage but from two different insurers.

  1. Deductible

The deductible is the amount of money you pay in order for the insurance cover to become valid. The higher the deductible you pay, the lower your premiums are going to be. 

  1. Coverage limit

The coverage limit refers to the amount that the insurer pays out in case of an accident. A higher limit means more financial compensation in case of an accident. However, a high coverage limit also attracts a high insurance rate.

You’ll need to decide whether the extra protection a higher limit gives is worth the additional cost. Or whether you want to pay a lower insurance cost and subsequently enjoy lower financial compensation in case of an accident.

  1. Extras

Does the insurance company offer any extra? Some insurers may offer extras at an additional price. Use your best judgment to decide whether they are worth buying or not.

  1. Company

How good is the insurance company’s service? Do they offer 24/7customer support? Check also whether they process claims 24/7, including weekends. These are all things that can impact how good an insurance company’s service is.

Analyze each of these factors well to determine which car insurance rate has the best deal.