5 Reasons to Consider Converting Your Term Life Insurance to a Permanent Policy
The two most common types of life insurance are term and whole life. But, how do you choose which type is best for you?
While each of these policy types can be customized to help fit your specific needs, it is important to understand the basic differences between them. Let's look at each in more depth to learn more about term vs. whole life insurance.
Term life insurance is life insurance that provides protection for a specific period of time. It insures against the unthinkable - a premature death. This type of policy only pays your beneficiaries if your death occurs within the period of time you're covered. Otherwise, it expires with no value.
Typically, these periods of time, or "terms", are offered in increments of 10, 20 or 30 years. Many experts will recommend that you choose a length of time that meets the financial needs of your family. You'll want to consider several factors like the number of years left on your mortgage and how many years before your children become independent.
With term insurance, once you finalize your policy, your premiums are locked in until it expires. For this reason, term life insurance is often appealing to people who are seeking to cover themselves during specific phases of life, or to meet a specific need. For example: some people want to provide financial protection to their loved ones during their prime earning years. Term policies can be beneficial for those with growing families or ongoing debts. You can choose a term length based on your needs, and ideally have the policy end when your financial responsibilities lighten.
Because it doesn't carry any value after its expiration, term life insurance can usually be offered at an affordable rate, making it an attractive option for families on a budget. With term insurance, once you finalize your policy, your premiums are locked in until it expires.
Some term life policies, known as "convertible" policies, can be converted it to a permanent life insurance policy in the future. This can be appealing for those who know they need to purchase insurance, but are uncertain about long-term financial plans. It is important to note that convertible policies can only be converted during a window of time specified in your contract with your insurer.
Like its name indicates, whole life insurance can provide lifelong coverage. This type of policy, similar to term insurance, will pay your beneficiaries if something should happen to you, but it may also include an investment component that can be utilized by the owner throughout the policy's lifetime. That investment component is known as cash value accumulation.
The cash value of your policy is tax deferred and grows at a guaranteed rate so long as your premiums are paid as they're due.
If your policy has cash value, you may have the option to borrow money against your policy or surrender it all together, which means that you may be able to cash in your policy for what it is currently worth. This can be help helpful to policyholders who incur financial hardship or unexpected bills such as medical expenses. It should be noted, though, that if you borrow against your policy, it must be repaid in order for your death benefit to remain unaffected. And if you choose to surrender, you will no longer have coverage.
Because it offers lifelong coverage, as well as the potential for cash value benefits, whole life insurance is understandably a more expensive option in most instances. A whole life policy may be a good fit if you have expendable income you'd like to invest by utilizing cash value accumulation, but still want to help ensure your family is protected.
While it's always a good idea to consult a licensed agent as you make your choice, there are some helpful hints if you're having a hard time deciding between term and whole life insurance.
Consider choosing term life insurance if:
Consider choosing whole life insurance if:
Now that you've learned the basics: get started by requesting a quote on our website or call 800-294-4544 to speak with a licensed agent to discuss what's best for your family and begin the application process.