LIFE INSURANCE FAQ
What is the application process like for a whole life insurance plan?
Usually, there is a simple application that needs to be completed and a follow-up phone interview. Coverage may be guaranteed regardless of the health issues. The application helps determine which plan is appropriate.
Do I have to take a medical exam?
No medical exam is needed for coverage.
Can I name someone other than a relative as the beneficiary of my life insurance policy?
Although it is typical for an individual to name his or her spouse, child, parent, or other relative as the life insurance beneficiary, non-relatives can also be named. For instance, you can designate your estate, trust, business partner, lender, or domestic partner as beneficiary of your life insurance policy.
Check the laws in your state for specific requirements, though. A few states specify that under certain circumstances an unrelated beneficiary have an insurable interest. An insurable interest exists when one party has a financial interest in another party’s life. The beneficiary of a life insurance policy must expect to suffer a financial loss if the insured dies.
I don’t smoke cigarettes, but I smoke cigars occasionally. Will I have to pay smokers rates for life insurance?
Because of the increased mortality risk associated with smoking, smokers almost always pay more for life insurance than their nonsmoking counterparts. Some life insurance companies distinguish between moderate smokers (20 or fewer cigarettes per day) and heavy smokers (more than 20 cigarettes per day) and offer somewhat lower rates for those who smoke less. Rising cigar popularity raised numerous questions about how to classify cigar smokers. Unfortunately, there is not yet an industry-wide consensus on this issue.
Insurance companies will typically re-evaluate your rates if you quit smoking for at least a year.
What does insurable interest mean on a life insurance policy?
If you want to buy a life insurance policy on someone else’s life, you must have an interest in that person remaining alive, or expect emotional or financial loss from that person’s death. This is called an insurable interest.
When you buy insurance on your own life, you are assumed to have an insurable interest. If you are buying a policy on someone else’s life, an insurable interest can typically be established if you have a sufficiently strong relationship with that person based on blood, marriage, or monetary interest.
I am single. Do I need life insurance?
Single people often think they don’t need life insurance, and in many cases, they are right. However, there are many factors that determine your need for life insurance; marital status is just one.
What you need to consider is if you died tomorrow, would you leave enough to cover your funeral expenses? If not, who would be responsible for paying? For many families, even a relatively simple funeral can create a major financial burden. For this reason alone, you might consider purchasing a small life insurance policy, or even a simple burial policy. As an alternative, you could invest the premiums you would spend on such a policy, and make sure your family knows this investment is earmarked for your final expenses, should the need arise.
Do life insurance companies really check to see if I’m a smoker?
Because smoking is a health hazard, life insurance companies may charge you a higher premium if you smoke. Worse yet, smoking may even prevent you from obtaining life insurance coverage at all. How does an insurance company find out if you smoke and how much? In most cases, they start by simply asking you. Almost every application for life insurance contains questions about health issues, including smoking. Your responses to any smoking-related questions will play a part in a company’s decision about whether to sell you life insurance and at what price.