Choosing Your Life Insurance Policy Beneficiaries: Making Sure All Your Loved Ones Are Covered
Choosing the beneficiaries for your life insurance policy is one of the most important decisions you will make. Life insurance is, after all, meant to protect your family and loved ones. While your immediate family may seem to be the obvious choice as your life insurance beneficiary, there may be other people and organizations which rely on you that you do not want to forget. Here are some of the most common—and commonly forgotten—life insurance beneficiaries you need to consider, and tips on how to decide how much you should allocate to each.
Children And Spouse—For most of us these are the beneficiaries to whom most of our funds will go. It is important to ensure that you choose a policy that will not only cover their daily expenses, such as any outstanding debts and mortgage payments, but also future expenses such as tuition fees for your children and a retirement fund for your spouse.
Parents—If your parents rely on you for help with expenses such as medical fees, prescriptions, or other living expenses, it is important that you leave a portion of the coverage to them. This will give you—and them—the peace of mind of knowing they will be covered.
Other Family And Friends —Whether it be siblings, nieces or nephews, or other close friends who rely on you for various expenses, ensuring that they are covered is important.
Business Partners Or Employees—If you own a business or are involved in any business ventures with other individuals, making sure that their interests are protected is important. It is also important that you have the necessary protections in place for any employees you may have to ensure they are not put in a difficult financial situation.
Charities And Organizations—If you offer financial support to any charities, organizations, or groups that rely on your support, making sure that it continues after you are gone is an important part of taking care of your responsibility in estate planning. An easy plan is to allocate an amount similar to that you currently provide over several years.
Factors Affecting Life Insurance Premiums And Qualification
You might never have really thought about what it takes to qualify for a life insurance policy or what affects the premiums you pay. By the time you get around to figuring it out it could be too late. Here are the most important factors that go into determining what you will pay for your life insurance coverage as well as whether or not you will even qualify.
The older you are, the more you will pay for life insurance. When you take out a policy at a younger age, the company expects that you will be paying the premiums for a much longer time period, and therefore your monthly payments will be smaller. The older you get, the shorter the time period during which they can expect to receive payments from you. This means they will increase the premiums accordingly. Your age also has an impact on your health. The older you are the more likely it becomes that you will develop a serious health condition that could make it even more likely the company will pay out on the policy.
Everything about your health will be taken into consideration when you apply for a policy. Most companies will require at least a questionnaire filled out, if not a visit from a doctor or nurse to check up on your overall health. This includes things like your weight to height ratio to determine if you are overweight, blood tests to check cholesterol and look for serious illness, and sometimes more. They will ask about your lifestyle as well as smoking, drug, and alcohol use. Even what seems like a minor health issue can result in a higher premium amount, because it could develop into something more serious later on.
Your Occupation And Hobbies
If you have a dangerous occupation such as a firefighter, or engage in potentially dangerous activities like certain sports, this can affect your eligibility for life insurance as well as your premiums. When you put your life in danger either at work or at play, the insurance company sees a higher risk of paying out on the policy. In some cases they may deny you altogether simply based on the activities you engage in regularly.
These are some of the major factors leading to insurance company decisions regarding life insurance premiums and whether or not you qualify. Some of them can't be changed, while others can—and you should take them all into consideration if you want to get the best rate on your policy.