9 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT LIFE INSURANCE
Before you start shopping for an insurance policy, take a look at this list of common questions about Life Insurance.
Can I have more than one life insurance policy?
Yes, you can have multiple life insurance policies from the same or different companies. You could have a permanent life insurance policy and add a supplemental term life policy for a short-term need, for example. If you apply for more insurance coverage than your situation indicates you need, the insurance company may ask why.
What happens if I don’t pay the required premiums?
Typically, you will have a 30- or 31-day grace period. If you pay within this time period, your policy will continue in force. If you don’t pay within the grace period, your policy may lapse, depending on the type of policy you purchased. With a permanent policy or Whole of Life, however, your life insurer may use your cash value, if available, to cover premium payments.
If you are unable to pay because you have become disabled, and you elected a “waiver of premium” provision or rider on your policy, you do not have to pay premiums for the duration of your disability.
What if my policy lapses?
A policy lapses when you fail to pay your life insurance premium by the end of the grace period. If you have a Whole of Life insurance policy and enough cash value in it, you may borrow from the policy to pay the premium. If you have a term life policy and don’t pay your premium within the grace period, your policy will lapse and simply end.
Do I need life insurance if I’m a young, single person?
An advantage to buying life insurance now is your premiums will be low. If you have dependents in the future, you may have the choice to lock in the lowest rates and you will have guaranteed your “insurability,” meaning you won’t have to worry about higher rates in the future as you age and possibly have declining health.
Are there cases in which I don’t have to take a medical exam to buy life insurance?
Group policies don’t require medical exams. If you have no medical problem or are not asking for a higher amount than the standard coverage level for the policy, you may not have to undergo a medical exam. Most group life insurance enrolments are held annually through your employer.
“Guaranteed issue” policies require no medical exam or medical questions, but you will pay significantly more in premiums than you would with an underwritten policy, even if you’ve had some health issues.
What do insurance companies look for in the medical exams?
You will be underwritten based on age, height, weight, nicotine use and other health factors, such as any history of high blood pressure or depression. Even if you have some health problems, you could be covered, sometimes with an increased premium or on exclusion on certain ailments or situations.
If you don’t qualify for the normal premium rate today, you might be able to improve your rate category if certain health factors improve. For example, say a 35-year old woman buys a life insurance policy. She is 15 kg overweight, has high blood pressure and is trying to quit smoking. Two years later, her policy is still in force and she has lost 15kg, her blood pressure is normal and she has been nicotine-free for a year. She could talk with her agent about possibly reducing her premium rates.
Can I buy a policy on someone else?
Yes, but only if you have an “insurable interest” in that person. This usually means a relative, spouse, a domestic partner or live-in companion, or a business partner. The insured person would need to complete and sign the proposal.
Can I name anyone I want as my beneficiary?
Yes, you own the policy and you can name whoever you want as the beneficiary. While many people choose only their spouse, it is possible to name more than one person as a beneficiary. For example, if you have a 0,000 individual life insurance policy, you could name your spouse and four children to share in the policy equally at ,000 each. It is important to name the owner of your Life Insurance policy in your Will.
Do life insurance policies ever cancel each other out? If I have a mortgage cover life policy and another life policy, will one not pay out?
No. Upon your death (assuming you have paid all the necessary premiums), the mortgage cover life policy will pay out according to the terms of the policy (paying off the specific debt) and the other life policy will pay out its full death benefit to the beneficiaries named.