Some Basic Question About Life Insurance

If you don’t know anything at all about life insurance and how it works, then this introductory primer will answer all your most basic questions.

I will explain the basic differences in the types of policies and how to buy the right policy for your needs.

You will also learn how to decide on how much you need and how to apply for life insurance.

Let’s begin.

What is Life Insurance?

A life insurance policy is a contract between you and the life insurance company.  The terms of the contract are spelled out in the life insurance policy which you will receive when your application is approved.

Basically, the contract consists of an agreement where the life insurance company will pay an amount of money (known as the death benefits) which you (called the insured) specified or selected should you die while the policy or contract is in force.

The amount of money or death benefits, which can be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000,00 or more, and any amount in between, is the amount of money which is payable by the life insurance company.

These death benefits are payable to a named beneficiary(s) that you select, and will be the person(s) who receive these death benefits.  A beneficiary can be one or several individuals and are generally family members such as your spouse, your children or other siblings.  When naming a beneficiary, you should always use the full name of a person you designate.

The death benefits will be paid as a lump sum which is non-taxable to the beneficiary.

Your Responsibility as the Insured

The second part of the contract involves your role or obligation.  To keep the policy in force, you will be obliged to pay the insurance company a specified amount of money which is called the premium.  You must always pay this premium as specified in the policy.

The premium can be paid as a lump sum, as an annual or semi-annual payment, or on a monthly basis.

Reasons to Buy Life Insurance

The main purpose most people life insurance is to be able to provide financially for their families should they unexpectedly die.  Some specific reasons to buy life insurance include:

  • Income replacement especially if you are the main breadwinner in the family
  • Be able to pay for your mortgage if you just bought a home
  • Debts such as personal or business loans, credit cards
  • Funeral and death expenses
  • College or university tuition of your children
  • Medical expenses if you develop a life threatening or long term illness
  • Retirement
  • You have an estate or trust
  • Use as charitable donations

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

Life insurance is cheapest to buy and most affordable when you are younger and becomes increasingly more expensive as you age.  You will be required to either take a medical exam or at the very least answer a medical questionnaire when you apply for a policy.

The cost of life insurance depends on a number of variables such as your age, gender, current state of your health, your lifestyle, whether you are a smoker or non-smoker, your family medical history, your professions and hobbies plus a number of other variables.continue page 2……

Veterans Life Insurance: What One Should Know.

If you’re a veteran and are looking for some affordable life insurance then you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re healthy or have been seriously injured, we can help you find the life insurance policy you need.

We’ll look at some of the most pressing issues facing our heroic veterans and give you the answers to your most pressing life insurance questions.

There is a policy out there that will suit everybody.

Let’s start right off and say that healthy veterans who have no lasting physical or emotional injuries will simply be eligible for the same types of life insurance policies available to everybody else, and at the same rates.

Life Insurance Policies for Injured Veterans

Let me say right off that I specialize in helping people with serious health disabilities. As an independent agent I know which companies are more lenient than others when it comes to underwriting anyone who has health issues.

So, if you’ve been turned down by a company or have become discouraged, then I urge you to give me a call so we discuss your particular situation.

Here are some of the most war related and health issues faced by our returning veterans.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome)

The emotional scars inflicted by the tragedy and horror of war, and any other form of traumatic incidents can leave you with lasting emotional problems that can dog you for life.

Some vets are able to cope better with PTSD than others and can function as well as anyone else.  Others have a much deeper psychological trauma that impacts their daily lives.

The bottom line when it comes to how life insurance companies rate someone with PTSD is simply dependent on the degree of the disability.

If you have relatively mild PTSD, and by that I mean you can cope quite well and only need one type of medication, then you will likely qualify for ‘Standard’ rates in most instances.These aren’t the best rates available but they are from being excessively more expensive.

If your PTSD is much more severe and you are taking a variety of medications, and receiving regular psychological or psychiatric treatment while being off on disability then you are likely to receive a lesser rating than standard. It will all depend on the medical evaluation received by the insurance company, the medications you are on and you’re overall health situation.

It means basically that we would have to look at your individual situation on a case by case basis as each situation is going to be different.

The point is that regardless of the degree of disability you have from PTSD there is some form of affordable life insurance available for you, and it’s just a matter of finding the right company with the right policy to match your particular individual needs.

Life Insurance and Physical Injured Veterans

Asides from the emotional impact that can affect a veteran there are also the many forms of physical injuries that can affect the daily lives of our veterans.

The range of injuries is so varied that I can mostly generalize about how the insurance companies will rate you as each situation will be unique.

In many instances, the physical injury you incurred will also be rated in different ways by different life insurance companies.

How you are rated will more or less depend on how well you able to function, what sort of treatment you are receiving, and in some instances the state of your future prognosis.

The more you can function in being able to look after yourself such as being able to drive, bathe yourself and prepare meals and whatnot, the better your rates.

Loss of limbs or amputations can be viewed differently by different companies. A loss of a portion of a finger can be viewed differently than the loss of both legs for example.  But, even a double amputee can be quite functional these days given the advancements in prostheses available.

Another common injury with many veterans is Tinnitus.  There are plenty of avid weekend game hunters and firearm users who are in the same boat.  Most of these individuals will get the same rates as everyone else so long as their brain scan is clean.

Head injuries and severe burns could be a bit more problematic but it may depend on the degree and extent of the disability, treatment and how well you can function.

Bottom Line for Veterans

The main thing to remember is just because one or two life insurance companies turned you down or wanted to charge a premium that was too costly, don’t be discouraged. There are hundreds of life insurance companies and they are not all the same.

There are also many different types of policies and regardless of your service related injury, there is something available for you.

How to Find Affordable Life Insurance for Veterans

You always want to talk to an independent agent like myself.  We can access and research dozens of companies so you are assured we will find the best policy at the most affordable rates.  If you have health concerns, don’t let that dissuade you because we can give you valuable advice and help you to find a policy that suits you.

Whatever your needs or questions then please call me direct at 877 – 966 – 9383.

What Pilots Should Know About Life Insurance

Are you a pilot and having trouble finding affordable life insurance?

Most life insurance companies will charge you higher rates simply because you like to fly recreationally or even because you do so as a profession.

But, pilots shouldn’t all be lumped into the same category because every pilot knows that it’s likely more of a hazard just driving to and from the runway than piloting a plane or jet.

There are more life insurance carriers who have come to realize that flying is statistically safer than operating an automobile and have become more lenient when looking at pilots. There are even companies which specialize in providing life insurance to pilots.

Although things have begun to change in how some of the more lenient life insurance companies have come to view issuing policies to pilots, it all depends on how you use your flying craft.

What Pilots Should Know

Pilot Life Insurance Rating Considerations – Realistically, an occasional pilot who uses their craft on weekends is going to be viewed differently than a stunt flyer. And, a commercial pilot will also be viewed differently than a recreational pilot. It also depends on where you fly as well and the type of plane you pilot.

Another very important consideration is how many hours you have logged or your level of experience, and what sort of training you have received. Those companies which insure pilots have some specific questionnaires that relate specifically to your piloting activities.

Always be up front about your piloting activities, because life insurance companies take a dim view of deceitful responses and could cancel a policy or contest the payment of a claim if they discover you were deceitful in your questionnaire. Most policies have a 2 year ‘contestability’ clause where they can thoroughly investigate your background.

Other Life Insurance Rating Factors – It’s a simple fact that life insurance is less expensive when you purchase at a younger age than when you are older. Life insurance becomes progressively more expensive as you age regardless of whether you are pilot or not. Your lifestyle such as smoking, the state of your health and family history can also come into play when the insurance companies rate you.

Pilots tend to be on average healthier than those who don’t fly because of the more stringent medical requirements to hold a pilot’s license.

Flat Fees – Many insurers consider piloting as being a hazardous occupation or hobby and will charge a flat fee surcharge if you fly more than a specific number of hours per year such as say 200 hours.  This flat fee is added onto the premium at a cost of a specific number of dollars per thousand dollars of coverage.  So, make sure you ask about this flat fee as it can vary from carrier to carrier.

Always State That You Are a Pilot Right Away – When speaking with an agent, the best approach is to mention that you are a pilot right away.  Make sure the agent is savvy about life insurance for pilots and knows that they should be selecting an insurer and a policy that can be more tailor-made for your hobby or occupation as a pilot.

Always Use An Independent Life Insurance Agent – Independent life insurance agents such as myself are the best way to go because we work for you and not the insurance companies.  We have access to numerous companies so we can research those companies which offer life insurance for pilots.continue page 2……

Getting Life Insurance with High Cholesterol

Buying life insurance and are concerned because of your cholesterol levels?

If you have high cholesterol, or even if you are taking medication for high cholesterol, the first thing you should know is that not all life insurance companies are the same.

The underwriting requirements used by different life insurance companies vary considerably.

So, don’t be discouraged if you’ve had problems when applying for life insurance.  I’ll give you the scoop on how life insurance companies treat people who have cholesterol issues.

What do the Cholesterol Numbers Mean?

Many people are confused in how their cholesterol numbers are interpreted.  Life insurance companies are concerned about your cholesterol scores and especially if you happen to taking medication to control the levels.

Since cholesterol is usually expressed as LDL, HDL and Triglycerides, I’ll explain what they mean first since many people aren’t really sure.

LDL Cholesterol – LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is often known as ‘bad cholesterol’.  With LDL, if you score less than, or between 100 -129, this is considered optimal.  Anything more is considered too high and ideally you want to score less than 70.

Most Doctors prefer your numbers come in at less than at least 100

HDL Cholesterol – HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and is considered the ‘good cholesterol’.  A score of 60 or more is considered optimal.  For males, a score of less than 40 is considered a high risk, and a score of less than 50 for females is considered a high risk for heart disease.

Triglycerides – These are the fats which are transported in the blood after we consume food which then become triglycerides and are stored in the fat cells.  Less than a 150 score is considered normal.  Anything more puts you into the higher risk category.

The majority of doctors prefer that your total score for all 3 levels be no more than 200.  For those people who have cholesterol numbers which put them at risk, there are a variety of specialized medications that doctors can prescribe to control and lower these numbers.

It is also vital that people look at their nutrition intake and help the process of lowering their cholesterol numbers through dieting, exercise and eating healthier foods.

Many, if not most life insurance companies are most concerned with both the LDL and HDL levels, but a few life insurance companies focus just on HDL levels.

What if Are Taking Cholesterol Medications when Applying for Life Insurance?

You might be wondering how life insurance companies react if you have already been prescribed medication to control your cholesterol.  The first thing I have to tell is never to lie to the insurance company and say you are not taking medication.  Life insurance companies routinely research Rx (prescription) data bases so they will know about your medication.

How the life insurance will view you if you are taking medication will depend on the type of medication you have been prescribed, the length of time you’ve been taking it, and the dosage.

I’ll be quite frank and say that some companies will shy away from you completely when reviewing a life insurance application, while other companies will rate you higher which means a higher premium.  However, the good news is that there are plenty of companies that have more tolerant underwriting approaches when it comes to cholesterol.….(continued on page 2)

3 Essential Tips for Buying Life Insurance on Your Parents

In most cases, you can purchase life insurance policies for your parents with their knowledge and approval.

But how do you go about doing this, and what is the appropriate amount and type of coverage?

We will cover these questions and more in this article.

The most popular types of policies for parents are term life insurance, whole life insurance, and second-to-die policies.  See below to determine the best type of coverage for your parents.

Essentials for Buying Life Insurance on Your Parents

1.  Is Buying Life Insurance on My Parents a Good Deal?

Prior to age 85, it seems life insurance can still be purchased for a relatively affordable premium.  As you can see, the older your parents get, the higher the cost for the same coverage.

Here are a few quotes for $100,000 of coverage:

60 years old $72 per month
65 years old $132 per month
70 years old $229 per month
75 years old $395 per month
80 years old $767 per month

Please note the quotes above are for a 10 year term policy for a healthy male, who can qualify for non tobacco rates, and are accurate as of 6/10/2013.  Actual rates will depend on your parents’ health.

…Ok, back to question #1 – “Is it a good deal?”

Obviously, life insurance can still be quite affordable if your parents are in their 60′s or 70′s, and they’re only getting $100,000 of coverage, as in the example above.

But let’s say you need more coverage than that, and they are over age 80…  Is it still worth the cost?

For example, you would pay $14,560 per year for an 83 year old mother in good health for a $250,000 policy guaranteed for life with North American Co for Life and Health.

If we assume our 83 year old has a life expectancy of 10 years, you will have paid $145,600 into the policy after 10 years.  If she were to pass away at any point before that, it seems to be a great rate of return on your premium.  You certainly wouldn’t be able to match that kind of return in any alternative investment.

If your parents are younger than 80 and in good health, life insurance is an incredible leveraging tool, and makes even more sense than in the example above.

Honestly, life insurance loses leveraging power after age 85 and is pretty expensive.  See the quote form on the right for an instant quote.

Quick ”Life Insurance for My Parents” Video Tips


Ownership of Policy: One of the first things I ask the child when he/she calls me is who would be the owner and payor of the policy.  In some cases, children are simply calling on behalf of their parents who are not internet savvy, and are doing nothing more than helping their parents, who don’t know how to buy life insurance, with the quoting and application process, but that the parents will be paying for the policy.

In other cases, you have children who will be the owner of the policy, pay the premiums, and also be the beneficiary of the death proceeds.  Usually this is okay as long as the child can prove an insurable interest. This is 100% legal, but will require approval by the insurance company.

An insurable interest means that the child would be somehow financially affected by the death of his or her parents.  So if your parents have a big mortgage on their home, and you don’t want to inherit their debt, life insurance may be in order.  Or if you are responsible for your parents funeral and burial arrangements, life insurance may be used for this…(continue to part 2)

Yes, You Can Still Qualify up to Age 85. Sample Quotes Below.

Life Insurance for 81 to 85 Years OldYes, you can still purchase life insurance between the ages of 81 to 85, and in some cases, even to age 90.  Before reading too much below, let’s look at some sample cost of insurance rates.

I always feel it’s best to discuss life insurance pricing right out of the gate when dealing with my clients over age 80, since sometimes the premiums are prohibitive.

The quotes below are for a male age 81, 82, 83, etc in good health, who can qualify for the best health classification, and purchasing a 10 year term policy.

Age                        $100,000              $250,000
Male Age 81       $395                       $903 per month
Male Age 82       $453                       $1049 per month
Male Age 83       $531                       $1245 per month
Male Age 84       $620                       $1468 per month
Male Age 85       $718                       $1719 per month

Note: Life insurance for people over 80 listed above are valid as of 12/2/2011 and subject to change.  Not available in all states, and based on Preferred Non Tobacco User.

Psst! As an added bonus, you can find out what my picks are for the best life insurance companies – click here to read more! 

Please keep in mind you can also get quotes for $25,000 or $50,000.  You don’t have to buy $100,000 if the premiums are out of your budget.  Use our quote form on the right for a quick quote.

You should also be aware that if the cost of life insurance as a senior is prohibitive, you can potentially save thousands per year by purchasing a second-to-die policy, which only pays a death benefit upon the second death.  This could be the perfect solution for a estate planning need or to leave an inheritance to your children.

How to Purchase Life Insurance at Ages 81 to 85

The key purchasing life insurance at age 82 or 84 years old, or any age for that matter, is your health.  If you’re healthy and have had no history of serious medical impairments, such diabetes, COPD, or heart disease, you will pay a lower premium than the policyholder who has had medical problems.

Having said that, be sure to speak to an experienced independent agent such as myself, Chris Huntley, about your health history.  A good agent will know which company will give the best health classification, and therefore lowest premium….(continued on page 2)