How To Get The Best Life Insurance Rates For Seniors?

The insurance market over the last two decades has opened up appreciably to offer attractive rates on life insurance policies for seniors. This was not the case before when insurers charged very high premiums for people in this niche age group. With a comprehensive life policy, seniors can now receive substantial coverage. The funds from … Continue reading “How To Get The Best Life Insurance Rates For Seniors?”

The insurance market over the last two decades has opened up appreciably to offer attractive rates on life insurance policies for seniors. This was not the case before when insurers charged very high premiums for people in this niche age group. With a comprehensive life policy, seniors can now receive substantial coverage. The funds from the death benefits will help cover for funeral expenses, estate planning and will also enable the policyholder to leave behind a sizeable share of money for the beneficiaries to cover for mortgage, loans, grandkids college fund and other expenses.

Life insurance rates for seniors

The rates of any life policy increase, as you grow older. In many ways it is better to arrange for a comprehensive life insurance policy as soon as possible. As a result 65 year healthy senior will have to pay considerably higher rates than a 45-year-old healthy person. Yet there are still many attractive life packages available for seniors to choose from. For instance for a healthy non smoking male of 65 years with a height of 5’11 weighing 175 pounds, would have to probably pay anywhere between $180 to $340 on a monthly basis for a 15 year life package with $300,000 as death benefits. Similarly for a life package with $100,000 as death benefits, the premium rates for the senior may be anywhere between $60 to $125 on a monthly basis. Though these life insurance rates for seniors are on the higher side, they are worth it when you consider the number of benefits that come with it.

Guaranteed life insurance for seniors

If for some reason you have been denied a traditional life policy, you can then apply for a guaranteed life insurance. Quite often, insurance companies tend to deny individuals conventional insurance policies, if they find out the person is suffering from a life threatening medical condition. As a senior you can go in for a guaranteed life insurance and get accepted, as the policy does not require the applicant to go through any medical tests. Although it should be noted that the premium rates for this type of policy is generally higher than traditional life policies. Coverage benefits offered in this insurance can range anywhere between $5,000 to $50,000.

Tips to help get the best life insurance rates for seniors

Look for multiple quotes on the Internet for companies that offer attractive life insurance policies for seniors. All you need to do is fill out some background information and zip code details on one of the insurance sites and you can instantaneously generate multiple quotes on life policies being sold in your locality. The quotes nowadays are also presented in a tabular form, which makes it easier for visitors to compare competing products with one another. Create a shortlist of policies that you feel are a perfect match for your profile and budget.

Now study in detail the terms and conditions of the policies that are a part of your short list. Go to the individual company sites of all these life products and generate more accurate quotes this time around. This way you would have developed a better understanding of the life insurance policies that are on offer to you and the rates that you would have to pay to buy them.

It is also a good idea to get in touch with an independent agent who can guide you towards the right life policy in the senior’s category. Armed with a thorough knowledge of the insurance industry they would even be able to recommend suitable alternatives by looking at your medical history. For instance, an insurance company would offer lower rates on life insurance for seniors who have their BP levels within a certain count. The agent would be aware of this clause and can make a suitable recommendation for you.

Before signing on the dotted line, make it a point to be thorough with all the clauses that come with you life insurance package. If you have any doubts do not refrain from asking your agent for any clarification.

Underwriting Life Insurance For Diabetics and Diabetic Life Insurance Information

Life Insurance Companies differ in their “underwriting philosophy” when it comes to diabetes. Offering life insurance for diabetics can be risky if the underwriters are not fully trained. Underwriters at the insurance companies that are fluent in underwriting diabetes have the ability to look at all of these factors and determine if the company will accept them as a risk. Moderately controlled diabetes cases would usually merit a “rating” or an increase in the premium, but not necessarily a declination for coverage. If the client with diabetes that is looking for life insurance is not controlled, then there are options – it will just cost them more for coverage!

Diabetic Life Insurance can be obtained no matter how severe the diabetes condition is. If the proposed insured has well controlled diabetes and a history of compliance with what the Doctor reccomends, then the rate for insurance will naturally reflect that. The better the control, the better the rate. Clients with well controlled diabetes have a great chance at getting a lower rate from a regular insurance carrier and would qualify for a policy that is fully underwritten. If, at the other extreme, the client has very poor control over the diabetes, the rate will be higher and the client will have to go with a life insurance plan that guarantees acceptance. This type of life insurance is called “guaranteed issue life insurance”.

Guaranteed issue life insurance for diabetics is more expensive than regular (fully underwritten) life insurance and is only sold as “whole life insurance”. This type of insurance can be advantageous, though, because it builds cash value and is intended to cover the client for their “whole life” as opposed to a “term” period of time. Another provision of guaranteed issue is that the premiums paid into the policy would be paid to the beneficiary PLUS 10% interest if the insured dies within the first 3 years of the policy’s inception. After that 3 year period of time, the guaranteed issue policy would pay the full death benefit to the beneficiary.

Fully Underwritten policies take the client’s full medical records into account. The doctor’s records are ordered, blood is drawn, a urine sample is taken, and a full screening is done to evaluate the client. If the insurance company decides to insure this applicant, it is after the company’s underwriters look at the case. If the client is fully underwritten and passes through underwriting, then they would have more options than just whole life insurance (in the case of those who are in need of guaranteed issue whole life insurance). Term insurance, Universal Life Insurance, Survivorship Universal Life Insurance, and regular Whole Life Insurance would be available to these applicants that are fully underwritten.

When evaluating a client with diabetes, the underwriters at the insurance company take into account whether the client is a type one diabetic (type I diabetic, type 1 diabetic, type 1 diabetes, type I diabetes) or a type two diabetic (type II diabetic, type 2 diabetic, type 2 diabetes, type II diabetes). Another thing that the underwriters look at is whether the client is a juvenile onset diabetic or an adult onset diabetic. And yet Another determining factor is the Hemoglobin A1C level (this is a more comprehensive test, showing the blood sugar levels over about a 3 month period of time as opposed to a quick “snapshot” blood level test).

If the client’s A1C level is below 8, then fully underwritten life insurance may be available subject to the client’s full medical file. If the client’s A1C level is above 8, then guaranteed issue life insurance is a more realistic goal.

One of the things that applicants fear in the case of insulin dependent type 1 diabetics is whether or not their insulin pump will prevent them from getting a life insurance policy. An insulin pump is actually a positive factor where life insurance underwriting is concerned because the client’s insulin level is kept at a constant level.

How often the client monitors their sugar or glucose levels in their blood is another factor. If the client habitually monitors their glucose level, then this is seen as evidence of compliance on the part of the client. If, on the other hand, the client does not monitor these sugar levels, then this could be seen as a negative in the eyes of the insurers and underwriters.

Have there been any low sugar episodes? Have there been any high sugar episodes? Is the client taking glucovance, glucophage, insulin injection, or other type of medicinal treatment? Is the client controlling the diabetes with “diet and exercise”? These are all questions that will be asked during the underwriting process (unless you opt for guaranteed issue).

By the way…ANYONE can get guaranteed issue; you don’t have to be “uninsurable”. Guaranteed issue is available for clients between the ages of 46 and 80 and up to $35,000 in coverage. Again, this is the more expensive type of life insurance and it is advisable that if you CAN make it through an underwriting evaluation, you should try unless you just want to pay more and be done with it!

So what kind of companies will accept clients with diabetes? Personally, I broker only with “A” rated companies that have the right combination of price, customer service, product variety, and recognition in the market. I deal with companies that take clients on a case by case basis as opposed to categorizing them “by the book”. I have fully researched the market, I am in touch with the underwriters personally, and I assure you that these companies have the proper credentials to back up their policies. My clients are provided with full company backgrounds and financial profiles. I deal with several companies that are in the market to insure diabetics. The reason why I am witholding exactly what companies I deal with is because I want to earn your business and represent you as your life insurance agent. Contact Me for a free consultation!

The Facts About Cash Value Life Insurance – What Suzie Orman Won’t Tell You About Buying Insurance

For years now, made for TV experts and infomercial wizards have been dispensing financial advice to millions of eager Americans. Celebrity advisors such as Suzie Orman and Dave Ramsey for example, utilize the television media, to provide consumers advice on everything from credit issues and home mortgages to stock market investing and life insurance. As a result, many of these advisors have amassed thousands of devoted followers of their brand of financial wisdom while making income from the sale of books, CD’s, newsletters, etc. There is nothing wrong with utilizing the media to build your “brand” and increase your visibility. In fact, this is an accepted and highly successful technique for building a financial services business. However, the information provided by many of these “experts” often reflects a certain philosophical bias that can be short sighted, self serving and not reflective of individual financial circumstances. The hallmark of good financial advice is that recommendations are always based on conducting a thorough investigation to determine an individual’s current financial situation and future plans. Only with the knowledge of a client’s current assets and resources, investment risk tolerance and priorities for the future can a financial advisor be sure that their recommendations are right for any individual. Without this knowledge, all financial advice is generic and thus may not be right for everyone.

No where is this type of one size fits all advice more prevalent then in the belief that when it comes to buying life insurance, term coverage is always best. Suzie Orman, Dave Ramsey and others, have expressed the opinion that consumers, in all cases would be better off buying low cost term life insurance versus the more expensive cash value permanent life policies. They routinely advice listeners to purchase less expensive term insurance and utilize the money saved on costlier permanent life insurance to invest in the stock market mutual funds, IRA’s or other market driven products. In the insurance industry, this is referred to as (BTID) “Buy Term and Invest the Difference”. Proponents of the “BTID” philosophy argue that cash value policies are not sound long term investments because life insurance companies invest too conservatively in order to generate the returns guaranteed to cash value policy holders. The “Buy Term and Invest the Difference” crowd advocate a more aggressive investment approach for premium dollars beyond what life insurance companies can expect from the conservative markets. They also argue that you will only need life insurance for a short period of time anyway, just until you have accumulated enough through debt consolidation, savings and investments to live comfortably. Orman on her website explains, “If you are smart with the money you have today and you get rid of your mortgages, car loans and credit card debt and put money into retirement plans you don’t need insurance 30 years from now to protect your family when you die”.

Clearly eliminating personal debt and investing wisely are worthwhile and important financial goals for everyone and should be given the highest priority in any financial recommendations. On the other hand, if you are unable to achieve a debt free lifestyle or realize substantial market returns, you run the risk of losing your insurance protection due to premium increases or becoming ineligible to qualify for coverage when it is needed most.

Real World Experience
The “Buy Tem and Invest the Difference” concept makes sense until you examine it’s it closely and compare it with the real world experiences of life insurance buyers. Looking at the experiences, of many policy holders who buy term life protection with the intent to invest their premium savings, we see why this strategy may not be practical for the average consumer. Most consumers are neither experienced nor consistent market investors nor do they have the time and discipline necessary to become successful market players. The results are that most consumers eventually buy term insurance and never invest the difference. Or in other words “Buy Term and Spend the Difference”.
A 2003 Harris Interactive study found that 77% of more than 1,000 Americans surveyed had bought term insurance as a way to save for long-term financial goals. But only a third of them could identify those goals, and just 14% invested all the money they saved by buying the term policy. By contrast, 17% spent it all.
According to 2007 Dalbar Report’, investor results over a twenty-year period (1987-2006), showed that the average investor only earned 4.3% during a period where the S&P 500 yielded 11.8%, And, this was during one of the best bull markets on record. And, it doesn’t include the 2008 stock market downturn nor does it consider investor fees or expenses paid. Clearly many people are being misled when it comes to actual returns experienced by the average investor. The average investor never realizes higher interest gains on their premium savings and as a result of ” BTID” generally find themselves without life insurance coverage because they can no longer afford the higher term premiums or no longer qualify for coverage.
IRS Taxes:
Another reason to question the “BTID” philosophy is that even where consumers are successful in achieving higher investment returns from mutual funds earning, all such returns are subject to capital gains taxes.
Insurance buyers must factor in taxes when comparing the guaranteed returns from cash value life insurance versus mutual funds shares. The interest returns on mutual funds gains are subject to as much as, 25-38% in taxes, depending on one’s income tax bracket. In addition, mutual fund gains must also be adjusted to account for the investment fees these fund providers charge share holders for the opportunity to invest. These fees will further erode any positive market gains achieved. The question is what is the true rate of return on mutual fund shares compared to guaranteed returns found in most cash value policies?

Market Volatility:

The BTID concept presupposes you will have no further use for life insurance because you will have generated sufficient market returns through this more aggressive investment strategy which will out pace any potential cash values generated through conservative returns on whole life. However, we know the stock market can be a tricky thing to predict especially for investors who depend on market returns to provide retirement income, and create legacy assets. The stock market in 2008-2009 provides a recent example of how difficult it is to create returns when they are needed the most. “In the 12 months following the stock market’s peak in October 2007, more than $1 trillion worth of stock value held in 401(k)s and other “defined-contribution” plans was wiped out, according to the Boston College research center. Whether it is 401K shares or individual mutual funds, all investors are subject to market risk and timing near the end of their working careers which can still blow their savings and future retirement plans.

Will you need Life Insurance?
What Suzie Orman, Dave Ramsey and others are missing is that the arguments about the rate of return you can get from cash value insurance are completely secondary. The main reason to own cash-value life insurance is the permanent nature of the coverage. We face greater financial risks during our retirement years than at any other point in our lifetime. Even if you can afford to self insure, many of these financial risks can be managed most effectively through owning life insurance and by shifting the risk to an insurance carrier rather than assuming all the risk yourself. The disadvantages of not having life insurance at retirement are far greater than any potential benefit gained by self insuring. Since life insurance is cheaper and easier to purchase when you are young and healthy it makes more sense to lock in fixed insurance premium rates and provide lifelong financial protection for your loved ones. In addition, life insurance can not only protect one from the risks of premature death, but can also provide protection from the risks of outliving your retirement savings, help pay estate taxes, and replace lost pension income. With more and more people living into their 80s, 90s and beyond, the real fact is that lifetime insurance coverage cannot practically or affordably be maintained with term insurance.

Price versus Value

Many people are familiar with the concepts of homeownership. In general, most Americans accept the financial principal of homeownership without question. The principal that owning is always better than renting is part of the American cultural legacy. Why because it is about value and not the price. Well this same principal can be applied relatively easily to owning a cash value policy. The example below shows you how closely buying and owning cash value life insurance resembles buying and owning a home:

o You pay more up front to purchase a house and to buy Cash Value Life Insurance.
o They both build equity over time and free of income taxes.
o After a number of years owners usually can get all their money back with a reasonable interest return.
o You can access your home equity and policy equity only buy selling or by taking out a loan against them
o If you take a loan against them, you can use that money tax-free.
o You don’t pay income taxes on the value of the house or the CV Life Insurance until you sell them.
o Both a home and cash value life insurance are considered financial assets.

Advantages of Cash Value Life Insurance versus Term Insurance

Benefits of Ownership Cash Value Life Term Life
Premiums that never increase over time Yes No
Your cash values accumulate tax deferred. Yes No
The cash accumulated in your policy can provide you with a
tax-free income in retirement. Yes No
Creates a liquid ‘Emergency Fund’ Yes No
Considered asset when applying for bank loans Yes No
Guarantees – Only Life Insurance and Annuities guarantee your
investment principle Yes No
Cash values can be accessed income tax-free and penalty free prior

to age 59½. Yes No
Cash value life insurance is not attachable by creditors. Yes No
Cash value life insurance doesn’t count as an asset when you apply
for college financial aide. Yes No

Conclusion

The success of people like Dave Ramsey and others in shaping the debate over term versus permanent insurance is largely based on unrealistic assumptions and misconceptions about the benefits of cash value life insurance. Their advice while otherwise sound, when it comes to buying life insurance does not reflect the realities of the experiences and habits of the American consumer. A larger question is why are so many people touting the benefits of “BTID”, including insurance carriers like, Primerica, Inc., (Division of Citigroup), which bases it’s entire marketing strategy on the BTID philosophy. In my opinion, the answer is two fold. One, the insurance industry has done a poor job of educating the public regarding their options. Two, term insurance is a highly profitable and less risky product for all life insurance carriers. Think about it! They are only on the hook for a short period of time-minimum of one year and a maximum of 30 years. There are no additional cash values obligations or potential dividend payouts to be accounted for.

Additionally, according to industry statistics, only 1-2% of all term policies actually pay out a death claim to the policyholder. This suggests that the majority of policy holders either lapse their term contracts before the end of the policy period and thus receive nothing for the years of premium payments made nor retain any of the insurance protection from the policy. In addition, companies like Primerica, also earn additional fees and commissions from the sale of their mutual funds to policy holders. This makes “BTID” a good marketing strategy for the certain insurance companies but not necessarily good for consumers. Consumers should consider the total amount of insurance coverage they will need to protect their families, and for how long they will realistically need the coverage, before purchasing any life insurance. The most important life insurance buying strategy is to make sure your family has the right amount of coverage, whether that becomes term, permanent or a combination of both. However, in my opinion, owning a cash value life insurance policy is a better value than buying term insurance as long as you can afford it. If you need life insurance and can get comparable returns to the market without the risks, more guarantees, tax free income, plus other benefits, then why not buy cash value life insurance? Consumers should not be fooled into accepting simplistic advice such as “buy term and invest the difference” just because it comes from someone with a TV show.