Why Consider “10 Year Term” Life Insurance?

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The most affordable type of life insurance is 10 year term.

This insurance is perfect for a young family, who needs some protection, but can’t afford to pay much.  It’s also great for short term needs.

It’s amazing how much life insurance someone in their 30’s or 40’s can purchase for less than $20 bucks per month if they’re in good health, and applying for 10 year term.

10 Year Term Explanation

Most term policies actually guarantee coverage up to age 95 or longer.  However, the premiums are only guaranteed to stay level for the first ten years.  That means your premiums will stay fixed during the initial 10 years, and in most policies, will rise annually thereafter.

There are various term lengths, such as 20 or 30 year term, which means the premium stays fixed for a longer duration, and remember, the lower the term duration, the lower the premiums.  For more information on alternatives to the ten year term, see our post on Types of Life Insurance.

10 Year Term Life Insurance Quotes

Age $500,000 $1,000,000
30 Year Old Male *$14 $21
40 Year Old Male $17 $28
50 Year Old Male $43 $78
60 Year Old Male $117 $217
70 Year Old Male $339 $625

*Note: All prices are MONTHLY as of 2/17/12, based on healthy, preferred plus, non smoker, and are subject to change.

Using Term for Buy/Sell Agreement or Key Man Insurance

Many business partnership arrangements require term life insurance on each partner, in the event that if he or she dies, the remaining partner/s will have liquid cash from the life insurance benefit to buy out the decedent’s family and or heirs of his or her share in the company.

10 year term life insurance is a popular choice for buy/sell contracts, since it’s the most affordable, and most businesses figure they either won’t be working together that long, or will probably restructure the ownership agreement by the end of 10 years anyway.

Estate Planning using Term Life Insurance

With the current “Band-aid” on estate taxes and the exclusion amount, some people aren’t sure what their long term estate tax implications could be.  A 10 year term policy with a conversion to permanent insurance may be a good solution for high net worth individuals whose estate value is approaching the current taxable threshold, but now quite there.

For example, a married couple with an 8 million dollar estate, with a properly structured AB Trust or bypass trust, may not owe any estate taxes if they were to both die in 2012.  However, if the current estate tax exemption (currently 5 million per individual) were to drop to, say, 3 Million per individual, then this couple would have an estate tax problem.

Since we don’t know what the future holds for estate tax legislation, some affluent families are purchasing 10 year term as a “wait and see” type strategy.  If the exclusion amount gets permanently set at 5 million per individual, or if estate taxes are done away with completely, then these wealthy individuals may decide to drop their coverage.

On the other hand, if the exclusion amount is permanently decreased, at least the policyholder will already have a policy in place (the 10 year policy), and could decide to convert it to a permanent policy such as guaranteed universal life or whole life.

You may also want to see this article for more information on using life insurance to avoid estate taxes and life insurance trusts.

Companies Who Sell 10 Year Term

Just about every company offers a guaranteed level 10 year term policy.  In my opinion, the 3 companies who are most consistently among the list of “low price leaders” for term insurance are Banner Life Insurance, ING-Reliastar Life Insurance, and Genworth Life Insurance.

Keep in mind, however, that some companies commonly show up in the top 3 in price quotes, but aren’t quite as lenient in underwriting, so it’s harder to actually qualify for their best ratings.  Two companies that come to mind here are Savings Bank Life (SBLI) and Ohio National.  On the contrary, you have a company life Prudential, who is usually not in the top 10, but maybe top 15 or 20, but are very fair on underwriting .

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