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Life Insurance

Discussing life insurance isn’t really a fun or exciting conversation to have, but it is important. It’s always good to plan ahead and be prepared for what lies ahead in your future. Life insurance is ideal for people who support their spouse, are parents of young children, or care for a disabled child or adult, etc. Additionally, it helps provide immediate cash at death, meaning those debts, funeral expenses and income or estate taxes you leave behind, won’t be a burden to your family and loved ones.

Life Insurance and 5 Reasons Why You Need It
Still not sure? Here are some reasons why most people buy life insurance:

1. Funeral Costs
This can get really expensive! Some cases can cost up to about $7,000 to $10,000. This isn’t your extravagant type either; this is an average cost. This is a very emotional and difficult time for your loved ones – by putting the funeral costs on them can really add an additional weight on their already heavy shoulders.

2. Don’t Leave Them with Debt
With having life insurance, it’s extremely helpful for your loved ones to deal with any kind of debt you leave behind. Your family would typically get left with your financial responsibilities, but if you have life insurance, the immediate cash would take care of that issue.

3. Accidents or Illnesses
Unfortunately, we can never truly know what will happen to us tomorrow or the next day. Dying suddenly can happen at any given time… It helps bring peace of mind knowing that your loved ones won’t have to deal with any of your financial problems or any funeral expenses once you’re gone.

4. Inheritance
By buying a life insurance policy, you are able to name your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries can be anyone you choose. So, if you have any children, this would be a great way to set them up for a solid financial future.

5. The Earlier the Better
It’s easy to put it off, but the longer you wait, the more you’ll end up spending in the long run. The older you get, the higher the premium and more expensive it tends to get with some carriers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only get it while you’re young or that you shouldn’t even bother getting it now that you’re older! Life insurance is about getting it when you really need it the most.

Life insurance really isn’t as complicated or as expensive as you think it is. An agent at 1st Option Insurance can discuss this with you and help you find the coverage perfectly suited to meet your needs. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

By on | Posted in: Buying a Policy, Health Tips

diabetes picture

November is diabetes awareness month and as it is a growing epidemic in the world we live in currently, it’s important to understand what it is. An estimated 23.6 million Americans are currently diagnosed with diabetes. Some 5.7 million Americans are currently living with this disease and do not realize it. 57 million have prediabetes, meaning they are at risk of developing the disease. An estimated 65% of those with diabetes will die of a heart attack or a stroke.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that occur when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells of the body don’t respond properly to the insulin being produced. This results in high blood sugar. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational.

Type 1 juvenile onset diabetes

is where the pancreas is not capable of producing insulin. The body’s immune system destroys the pancreas’ beta cells – which are needed to create insulin. Insulin must be injected into the body of an affected individual by a pump or manual injection.

Type 2 adult onset diabetes

is caused by a resistance to insulin in which the body’s cells fail to use insulin properly. As a result of this, the pancreas will slowly lose its ability to create insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes as 90 to 95% of all adult diabetes cases are all type 2.

Gestational diabetes

(glucose intolerance during pregnancy) is usually temporary and is resolved after a woman’s pregnancy ends. The high glucose levels during pregnancy may cause the development of permanent type 2 diabetes.

Living with Diabetes and Getting Life Insurance?

Are you looking to buy life insurance but are unsure of what you’re facing with diabetes as a factor? There is good news! If you’re living with diabetes and are taking proper precautions to keep it under control and going to your physician regularly to check up on your condition, you’re good to go ahead and apply! The life insurance company you apply with is going to look at things such as: when you were diagnosed and what your diagnosis was, the age of diagnosis, the course of your disease, what type of treatment your response to that treatment, if there are any other medical conditions present and so forth.

When you’re applying for a life insurance policy, it’s very important to have all your doctor’s names, addresses and phone numbers. It’s good to make sure that those doctors have copies of all your records regarding treatment, follow ups, etc. Also good to have a list of all medication and the information of the prescriptions you’re taking. Tip: Don’t skip any follow ups with your doctor! Life insurance companies are looking at those as well.

Life insurance premiums are typically lower for people who diet and exercise and/or keep their diabetes under control with medication. Premiums typically are higher for those who are not visiting their doctor regularly or if your A1C is not under control.

So, you are definitely able to qualify for coverage living with diabetes! The approval and rating class you are placed with is different for each life insurance company. Your life insurance agent at 1st Option Insurance can help you out with figuring out which company is the best for your situation.

You can find more information about Diabetes by clicking here

Ena Kalkan is a staff writer at 1st Option Insurance for Insurance News, a personal finance website.

1stOptionInsuance.com. The source for life insurance

 

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Woman thinking about life insurance picture

When buying a life insurance policy, it’s important to recognize that they are very serious commitments. There are two main types of life insurance policies, term and whole life. Does having a single policy mean that it will fulfill your needs for the rest of your life? No. You can buy term and later think that having whole life is a better option. Or, you could decide to buy a brand new policy to stack on top of the policy you already have.

 

 

The Differences: Term and Whole Policies

Whole life and term life insurance policies work very different from each other. Whole life is what many will refer to it as a permanent life insurance, where they will pay a guaranteed death benefit no matter when you pass away, so long as your premiums are paid on time. Whole life is great for covering long-lasting financial responsibilities, such as estate taxes, that are left behind for your heirs.

Looking at term policies, they however only pay a death benefit if you die during your term – however many years you wanted your policy covered for which is usually 30 years or less. Term is usually good for helping your spouse and/or children if you’re no longer around to help provide an income. They are pretty inexpensive though, as most times, people are expected to live longer than the term of the policy. On the flip side, whole life can cost up to almost ten times the amount of the term policy for the same exact coverage.

 

When To Buy Both?

  • When you want more coverage over time: If you upgrade to a bigger house or have another child, you should most likely start considering adding additional life insurance. If you already have a whole life policy, maybe adding a term policy on top would be better and less expensive then adding another whole life policy.
  • When you can’t afford to get as much coverage as you want: Many people will put together both whole and term policies to save money without compromising coverage. Say you want a $500k whole life policy but are only able to afford half of it at $250k currently. You could add another $250k worth of term on top of the whole life to maintain the benefit level at a lower premium.
  • When you’re able to afford more coverage: Most families will start off with term life insurance because it was cheaper at the time but would have preferred whole life. If you and your family are still interested in buying a permanent policy, you can always do so by stacking on top of the term policy you currently have.
  • When you want to make sure you’re covered: This doesn’t happen very often, but life insurance companies can go broke and if it does happen, your coverage might be at risk.  Most states insure up to 300k in life insurance if an insurance becomes insolvent. It’s very important to make sure you research financial ratings before you buy. However, at 1stOptionInsurance.com, we shop the market of A (Excellent) or higher rated companies to ensure this could never happen to our clients. We want to make sure you and your family stays protected! They will shop over 50 companies when you are considering both whole and term life insurance.

 

Problems Possibly Encountered With Buying Two Policies

There is no strict limit on the number of life insurance policies you can have, it’s completely legal to get both term and whole life. If you want two term policies and one whole life policy, you can apply for them! When applying and going through the underwriting process for your policy, keep in mind that the insurer will ask about the coverage you currently have. They could decide to not issue the policy to you if they don’t see fit that you are able to pay for it, or that you do not have enough income/assets to justify the additional policy. Be ready to explain why you need more!

At 1stOptionInsurance.com, your agent will help you with any of your life insurance needs! What your agent will do is shop the market for A (Excellent) or higher rated companies to ensure that you and your family are covered and help you see the comparisons of the companies that are best fit for you as the best rate!

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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month picture

As we welcome the month of October in, we are also reminded that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well. Thanks to technological improvements with treatments and screening, if you are a breast cancer survivor (woohoo!), you have a very good chance at qualifying for coverage. You might even have a great chance of qualifying for coverage immediately after your treatment as opposed to the wait of a few years or so.

Changes Have Been Made

So what exactly has changed within the life insurance industry? The improvement of technology in the screening process and earlier detection of breast cancer has better ways of predicting where the cancer was found and how their treatment will go – if it is more likely to be successful or not. These advances in the medical field have given life insurance companies a way to measure risk in a broad way for different types of scenarios. This has ultimately given them a way to show more rating categories, shorter waiting periods and lower premiums in numerous cases.

What Do The Guidelines For Breast Cancer Look Like?

The guidelines for when a life insurance company encounters a breast cancer survivor is:
(1) What type of breast cancer was it?
(2) What was the stage and the grade of the cancer?
(3) When was the cancer diagnosed and when did the treatment end?
(4) How was the cancer treated?
(5) Was there any metastasis or any lymph node involvement?
(6) What was the size of the tumor?

The lower the stage, grade and the longer the amount of time since the treatment has ended will definitely give you a better chance at qualifying for coverage at lower rates! Preferred rates are harder to come by, but with appropriate treatment and successful completion of treatment, you could definitely be looking at standard rates.

SHOP THE MARKET!

If you have been attempting to get coverage through one company and have been turned down before, don’t give up! The underwriting guidelines differ with each life insurance company. You always want to shop the market before you decide to pick one. This is why it’s extremely important to go with a company who you can trust will shop the market for you. At 1st Option Insurance, your agent will be diligent and will find the best rate for you and we shop over 50 life insurance companies. You don’t have to do this alone. You have nothing to worry about with us by your side. CLICK HERE to start shopping

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Things That Could Affect Your Life Insurance Rate tight rope picture

Most people would know that your overall health and how old you are play a massive role in life insurance. It determines how much you pay or if you even qualify for the coverage you want. There are many reasons why you don’t get approved for your life insurance policy. Many of them sound pretty unusual but these are things to take into consideration when applying for life insurance.

  1. Your Occupation

If you have a desk job, you don’t need to fret yourself over this one! But, if you have what’s considered a “risky” job, you’ll be looking at a higher premium with life insurance. If you’re a pilot, commercial underwater diver, or prison guard you are placed among those who, depending on which carrier you go with, could end up paying more for coverage than a bank teller or administrative assistant would. Police Officers, Firefighters, Military personal (not deployed) most life insurance companies will give you the best rate available based on your health.

  1. A Recent Bankruptcy

Credit history generally stays out of life insurance premiums, unlike with home and auto insurance. But having a recent chapter 7 bankruptcy in your credit report could make it tougher to qualify. According to several different life insurance companies underwriting guidelines, take AIG for example, they will not even consider offering term life coverage until your bankruptcy has been discharged for a minimum of two years. Now, if you have filed for bankruptcy more than once before, you will not be considered for any coverage until the most recent bankruptcy has been discharged for five years minimum. If you filed chapter 13 recently you will be ok with some companies as long as you are in a court approved payment plan.

  1. Driving Record

If you have a not so clean driving record, you might be looking at higher premiums. You might not even qualify if you have a recent conviction for a serious violation, like a DUI for instance. But this all really depends on the insurance company and the amount of coverage you get through them. Mutual of Omaha, for example, checks motor vehicle records for people ages 18 to 45 who apply for $100k+ of life insurance, and for people who are 46 to 70 who have applied for more than $1 million. But, again, this is just one insurance company from many others who all have very different guidelines.

  1. “Dangerous” Hobbies

Do you like to scuba dive, hang glide, skydive, or rock climb? These are all hobbies that life insurance companies have deemed as pretty risky activities. Shouldn’t come as a surprised when the life insurance company you decide to go with will want to know specifics about your hobby! They is why it is smart to find an agency that shops every company and finds you the lowest rate!

  1. Your Gender

Statistics show that many consumers don’t know that gender affects life insurance rates! For example, a 30 year old male who does not smoke would pay $250/year or more for a $500k, 20 year term life policy whereas a 20 year old female who doesn’t smoke could end up paying as little as $215/year for the same policy. But don’t get upset! Women live longer than men and it’s just the way life works!

Above are just a few things that could affect your life insurance rate but don’t worry.

We have you covered at 1st Option Insurance. We have the best agents readily available to help guide you through any of these problems and many more! Having the right agent really makes buying life insurance so much easier. We shop each and every life insurance company that is A Excellent, A+ or A++ rated by AM Best to find the best rate on the market! CLICK HERE to shop now

By on | Posted in: Buying a Policy

Term Insurance pic woman holding baby

Term life insurance pays a death benefit to your loved ones if you die during the policy. What is term life insurance? It’s easy to understand: Pick a policy amount and time period for coverage, and then you’re ready to shop around.
Buyers usually pick policy terms that cover the years in which their families most need financial support — often while their kids are growing up and they’re paying off a mortgage and other debts or until retirement. You can choose terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.
Term life insurance has no investment component or cash value, unlike permanent life insurance, which covers you for your entire life. You can’t borrow money from a term life policy or cancel it and receive cash value. If you stop paying your premiums before the term ends, your policy lapses and you’ll no longer have coverage. Your insurance also expires when the term ends. If you still need term life insurance, you’ll need to buy another policy.
There are a few varieties of term life:
Level-premium term life is the most common type of term life insurance. If you have it, you’ll pay the same premium every year and your beneficiaries will receive the guaranteed death benefit if you pass away. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 20-year policies are the most popular length.
Annual renewable term life is just like the name implies: You can choose to renew every year, but your premium could increase. Your policy will spell out the possible increases. It’s for people who have a very short life insurance need. Typically, you’ll save money by locking in a rate with a level-term policy.
Decreasing term life policies have a death benefit that decreases over time, with level premiums. People may choose this type of policy if they want to cover a specific debt, like a mortgage.
Return of premium term life provides a refund of premiums for people who don’t die within the term. It’s for customers who don’t like the idea of paying for life insurance that could expire without a payout. Because of the refund feature it costs more than a comparable amount of standard term life insurance.

Why term life insurance could be right for you

If other people, such as a spouse or young children, depend on your income, and you don’t have plenty of money socked away, you probably need life insurance.
Term life insurance is intended to cover your risk of dying during those years when your dependents still need your support. Your family could use the death benefit to pay off debts, fund day-to-day expenses and save for your kids’ college educations.
Term life is probably a better fit for you than permanent life insurance if:
⦁ You don’t have any dependents who will need financial support for the rest of your life and beyond, such as a special needs child.
⦁ You don’t plan to use life insurance to leave a legacy for family members or charity.
⦁ You don’t expect to die with an estate that would leave your heirs with an estate tax burden. (In 2015, federal estate taxes apply only to estates worth $5.43 million per person and $10.86 million per married couple. The values change each year depending on the inflation rate.)
For most life insurance shoppers, term life is the best option, says Todd Juliano of 1st Option Insurance in Jacksonville, FL.
“For the overwhelming majority of situations, a 10- to 30-year level-premium term policy is sufficient,” he says. “Term policies give the maximum coverage for the least amount of money.”

The cost of term life insurance

Cost is the biggest advantage of term life over permanent life insurance.
If you’re young and healthy, you should get really low rates. Letting yourself be talked into an expensive whole life policy when what you really need is term life is a big mistake. Because of whole life’s high costs, some customers afford their premiums by buying too little coverage, leaving their families vulnerable.
The cost of term life depends largely on the amount of coverage you buy, your age, your health and whether you smoke.
Looking at rates for a $500,000, 20-year term life policy and found that a healthy 30-year-old man can buy one for less than $250 a year; a healthy 30-year-old woman could buy the same coverage for less than $220 a year. Shopping around pays off. The male could also pay $400, and the female $350, for the same coverage. By contrast, a $500,000 whole life policy can be about $5,000 a year for a man and $4,400 for a woman. Because new policies become more expensive as you age, it’s a good idea to buy life insurance as soon as you need it.

Waiting also increases the risk that you’ll develop a health condition, which would drive rates even higher or make qualifying for coverage difficult. If you lock in rates now, your premiums won’t go up, even if your health suffers later.
Why put off securing financial protection and leave your family at risk? 1st Option Insurance tool can help you find the best rates.

Ena Kalkan is a staff writer at 1st Option Insurance a personal finance website.