Life insurance can help create financial security for you and your family. It pays out a tax-free death benefit to your beneficiaries should you die prematurely while the policy is in force. The death benefit from a life insurance policy can be used to:
- Pay final expenses and any debts such as a mortgage
- Provide an income for your family
- Create an estate for your heirs
- Leave a legacy to your favourite charity
- Fund buy-sell agreements in a partnership business
The two main types of life insurance are term and permanent. Term insurance is suitable for temporary or short-term needs, such as when debt loads are high. Permanent insurance is more of a long-term product which you can own for your whole life as long as you continue paying premiums. Some permanent policies behave like a hybrid of investment and insurance, allowing you to grow your savings in a tax-sheltered environment.
There are many differences between policy types, but they all have similarities:
- They pay a death benefit
- Naming a beneficiary will allow the proceeds to bypass the estate which offers creditor protection
- Maximum two year contestability period for material misrepresentation and suicide clause
- Minimum 30 day grace period for missed premiums
- Minimum two year reinstatement period
You may wonder how much life insurance you should buy. This varies from person to person and depends on your need. If you feel like you need to provide an income for your family while paying off all the debts, you will need more coverage than someone who doesn’t have the same obligations.
Policies can be customized with riders such as children’s term rider, accidental death benefit, disability waiver of premium and more to suit your individual needs. As with all other types of insurance, life insurance is best purchased while you are young and healthy, to benefit from the lower premiums associated with it. With a life insurance policy, you can be sure your family is adequately protected in case anything should happen to you.
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