December 17, 2018
If you’re dipping your toe in the pool of life insurance for the first time, you’re bound to have a lot of questions.
At the top of your list is probably how much setting up a policy is going to cost you.
There are several things that can determine how much you’ll pay for life insurance, including the type of policy you select. But before we dive in and look at cost, let’s check out the types of life insurance available.
Major types of life insurance
Life insurance is customizable and can suit many different needs, but for the most part, life insurance comes in three main varieties.
Term life insurance: A term life policy is active for a preselected length of time. It could be 15, 20, or 30 years. If something happens to you during that term, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit of the policy.
Permanent life insurance: Permanent life insurance is a policy that stays active as long as you’re alive. When you pass away, the policy pays out to your named beneficiary. The value of the policy increases over time, and you can borrow against this “cash value” in some circumstances.
Universal life insurance: Universal life insurance works like a permanent life policy in that it pays out to your beneficiary, but it also accrues interest over the policy term (which may be affected by market performance).
How your cost is calculated
The insurance company estimates the cost of a life insurance policy based on your risk factors. Risk factor data is gathered and evaluated based on the information in your application. Then the insurance company uses historical data, trends, and actuarial processes to come up with a premium for you.
The cost of some life insurance policies can change over time, while others remain the same.
What risk factors does the company use?
When the insurance company is calculating your rate, they look at several factors, including:
Your demographics: Your demographics include your age, weight, gender, and health. The company will also want to know if you smoke, and other health-related issues you may have.
The amount of the death benefit: The death benefit is the amount the policy will pay to your beneficiaries when you pass away. The larger the death benefit you select, the more expensive the policy.
Your lifestyle: Lifestyle habits and hobbies can affect the cost of your policy. The insurance company will want to know if you ride a motorcycle regularly, or how often you drink alcohol, for example.
Your risk and life insurance cost
The risk of when your death will occur ultimately determines your life insurance costs. That’s why the younger you are the less the policy should cost. If you wait to purchase your life insurance policy when you’re older, the policy will most likely cost more.
But there are things you can do that may help lessen the cost of the policy. Anything that will increase your health status may help with your life insurance costs. Quitting smoking and starting a regular exercise program can promote your health and in turn this may also have a positive effect on your health insurance premium.
A life insurance agent can help
If you’re looking for a life insurance policy and wondering about the cost, a qualified life insurance agent can be a great help. A life insurance agent has access to many different insurance companies and can work to get you matched with the right policy at the right price for you.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to promote any certain products, plans, or strategies for saving and/or investing that may be available to you. Market performance is based on many factors and cannot be predicted. Before investing or enacting a savings or retirement strategy, seek the advice of a financial professional, accountant, and/or tax expert to discuss your options.