5 Life Insurance Myths

When people talk about life insurance, it seems to cause a great deal of apprehension and confusion. Unfortunately, the common myths surrounding coverage result in too many people waiting too long to buy or not buying at all. Clearing up these myths may help you get the right coverage at the right price and at the right time in your life.

Myth #1: There’s no reason to buy life insurance when you’re young.

Many people believe they should wait until they have large debts to cover or dependents to provide for before purchasing a life insurance policy. The truth is there are many reasons to acquire life insurance at a young age. If you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings, you may want to consider it. It may also be appropriate if you have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely. Other types of insurance are a must, even for single people. If you borrow money to buy your car, the lender will require you to purchase at least some insurance to protect your investment, and if you buy life insurance when you are young, it will mean lower premiums.

Myth #2: No-medical exam life insurance is the best choice.

While it may be a good choice for some, those who are in good health would do well to consider a traditional policy. The health exam might take a little more time, but taking that time can mean qualifying for much lower rates. Traditionally underwritten policies also offer more options in terms of policy length and coverage amounts, letting the buyer choose what they really need.

Myth #3: Buyers need to choose between term and permanent insurance.

These are the two main types of life insurance, and choosing between them can be difficult. Term life insurance, the most affordable type of insurance when initially purchased, is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the “term”) and generally pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.

Permanent life insurance, by contrast, provides lifelong protection. As long as you pay the premiums, and no loans, withdrawals or surrenders are taken, the full face amount will be paid at your death. Because it is designed to last a lifetime, permanent life insurance accumulates cash value and is priced for you to keep over a long period of time.

It’s impossible to say which type of life insurance is better because the kind of coverage that’s right for you depends on your unique circumstances and financial goals. Often, a combination of term and permanent insurance is the right solution.

Myth #4: Life insurance is expensive.

There are so many options for life insurance today that it can be affordable for just about anyone. The key is to shop around and to obtain life insurance as soon as possible—the older you are, the higher the premium is likely to be. Term life insurance policies are surprisingly affordable, and provide the coverage when it is most needed.

Myth #5. Life insurance isn’t available to senior citizens.

Many companies provide life insurance to seniors. Seniors who lose work-related coverage as they retire may be at a loss to provide for final expenses, but they can get coverage at affordable rates, and those who are continuing to work may still need life insurance to cover lost earnings when they die.

There are 95 million Americans that have no life insurance, many because they don’t understand the need or are confused about their ability to qualify. The truth behind the life insurance myths is that most people do need life insurance, and it is easier and more affordable to obtain than most people think. Don’t procrastinate. Do the research and make the decision to buy your life insurance today.

by Marvin H. Feldman

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, is president of the Feldman Financial Group in Palm Harbor, Fla., and president and CEO of Life Happens. He is a 41-year Million Dollar Round Table member and was the 2002 president. He is a 33-year member of the MDRT Top of the Table and a past Top of the Table chairman. He also is the recipient of the 2011 John Newton Russell award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the insurance industry.

  1. With the new Index Universal Life insurance one major answer for #1 is buy the policy when you or the insured is still young to lower the premium while maximize the long term growth. Death benefit is only one component of the total benefits. Living benefit should be a major attractions for single people.

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