Personal Finance

8 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Life Insurance

Are you contemplating getting life insurance but aren’t sure which cover is best for you? Or perhaps you already have life insurance but think there may be more appropriate cover out there. You’ve read through a set of life insurance guidelines and think you’re ready to begin contacting insurance providers. But wait! There’s are things you need to know about life insurance before you commit to giving a company your hard-earned cash.

After all, life insurance can be complex, and cover needs to be completely tailored to your needs. With the right information, you can navigate the minefield of life insurance cover and find yourself the perfect policy for you and your family. Here are the eight things you absolutely need to know about life insurance:

The younger you buy life insurance, the better.

If you’re considering purchasing life insurance, then you should do it sooner rather than later. That’s because life insurance premiums can change depending on your age and how healthy you are. A lot of health conditions can be worsened with age, so it’s worthwhile trying to get your life insurance sorted before your health starts declining. To get your insurance premiums as cheap as you can, get your policy sorted while you’re young and healthy.

Life insurance companies will investigate your claims, so there’s no point lying.

There are certain questions that you will need to answer in order to get your life insurance policy. They are asked by every company. The questions will cover everything from your financial stability to your personal health. Depending on the answers you provide, you may be entitled to a different form of life insurance, and to different premiums. If you’ve had a history of bad health or have recently been made redundant, it’s important to be honest about these details. That’s because any life insurance company worth its salt will research the answers you provide to these questions. Therefore, you’re only wasting time by providing incorrect information.

You need cover if you have ANY financial obligations. Even if you aren’t earning.

While some people think they don’t need life insurance because they don’t have any dependents, it may still be a wise idea to take out a policy if you have large financial obligations, like a loan. If you’re older, it’s also an excellent way to make sure your loved ones can pay for your funeral arrangements. Most mortgage advisors will insist that you have life insurance before they’re willing to sign-off on your mortgage. That’s because they want to be assured that they will get their money back, should anything happen to you.

You don’t need to purchase cover through an advisor.

It’s a good idea to speak to a financial advisor if you’re unsure where to begin when you’re considering life insurance. However, you may actually be speaking to someone who is on commission with a certain company. Also, there may be certain discounts or limited time offers that are applicable to your personal circumstances, which the advisor may not be aware of. Therefore, it’s a great idea to have a browse online before committing to a policy.

Premiums can be fixed.

Some people purchase the cheapest life insurance policy, without giving much thought to whether the policy will still be the most affordable option in a couple of years. In fact, it’s pretty common for life insurance premiums to increase after the first couple of years, after the insurer has assessed your situation. A life insurance company hopes to make money, so it’s in their best interest to increase your premiums if they’re able to. Therefore, when you’re choosing which life insurance policy is best for your circumstances, make sure to consider whether a fixed premium policy would be more appropriate.

You should asses whether you need to amend your policy every time your situation changes.

Every time you celebrate a major life event, you should review the level of insurance you have. For example, if you and your partner have a child, you may want to increase the pay out (otherwise known as the sum insured) of the insurance policy so your family is taken care of if anything happens to you. In contrast, you may pay off your mortgage and decide that you no longer need such a large sum assured, so can reduce the monthly payments into your policy. Other factors that may change the amount of money you’d like to tie into your life insurance policy include marriage, divorce, the age (and therefore financial dependency) of your children, grandchildren, and your retirement.

You can have more than one policy.

If your situation changes, you can either amend your existing life insurance or take out a second policy to supplement your cover. If you have taken out a policy that you can’t amend then a second top-up policy is the only option for you. But a second policy may also be the best option even if you are able to change your life insurance cover. This will be especially true if you took out your original policy a long time ago. Amending or getting brand new cover to account for your change in situation may be more expensive than simply taking out a small second policy to fill in the financial gap.

It can be difficult to cancel a life insurance policy.

There are multiple reasons why you might consider cancelling your life insurance policy. Maybe it’s no longer appropriate for your circumstances. Or maybe you just don’t need it anymore. Whatever the reason, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your life insurance policy to see if you can salvage any of your payments. It may end up more financially suitable to amend the policy as best you can, rather than cancelling it completely. To decide, you can request a cost basis report from your insurance provider, which will provide you with all the information you need to make a decision. If you do end up cancelling your life insurance policy and are looking to take out replacement cover, make sure to have the second policy in place before cancelling the first.