Life insurance is one of the most essential policies to have, but it’s also a major purchase that needs a lot of thought and requires going through a process.
When you’re about to purchase a policy, you will have to think about uncomfortable topics such as death, which can be quite challenging and off-putting. A comforting thought, on the other hand, is that life insurance will protect your loved ones from the financial impact of your unexpected loss.
If you’re buying life insurance for the first time, here are four tips to help you make the right decisions as you go through the process of acquiring a policy.
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1. Determine what type of life insurance is right for you.
Basically, life insurance has two types—whole and term. Whole life insurance is designed to cover you throughout your lifetime, while term life insurance will only provide coverage for a specified number of years. The best choice between the two is dependent on your needs.
If you have people who will likely rely on you even as you grow older, whole life insurance can be the right choice for you. However, if your dependents will no longer need your support at some point, term insurance can be the better option.
2. Decide on how much coverage you need.
It’s hard to determine how much coverage you exactly need, because nobody can predict what’s going to happen in the future. There are calculators that could help you estimate how much coverage to buy, but you need to understand that each person’s needs are unique. More than anything else, these should be the main basis as you decide on the value of the death benefit you will purchase.
Talk to your family or dependents and discuss your needs with a financial advisor. Professionals can help you better estimate the right amount coverage that matches your needs and budget.
3. Buy from a good company.
Your insurance policy is only as good as the company where you purchased it from. You may have the most comprehensive coverage on print, but it will all amount to nothing if your insurer is not strong enough to provide your benefits when you eventually need them.
Remember that you will pay into your policy for 30, 40, 50, or even 60 years, and you need a company who will remain stable even as time passes. Go for an insurer who has a good track record and solid financial strength.
Do your research before you make a deal with an insurance company. See their performance based on their ratings. Independent firms that rate insurance companies are AM Best, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. It’s also advisable to check if there are any complaints filed against a company and how they acted on these issues, if any.
4. Figure out if you actually need life insurance.
Life insurance is advisable, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should buy it. Yes, it serves a very good purpose but before you make your first premium payment, make sure that you actually need this policy.
Those who need life insurance are individuals who have someone who is financially dependent on them. If you are the main provider in the family, then this is a must for you. However, if you’re not financially accountable to anyone, whether a relative or not, you might want to pass on this policy and consider other options.