Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Level Term Life Insurance

Level Term Life Insurance is a cost effective way of arranging life assurance in the UK and is a relatively straightforward form of life cover.

Level Term Life Insurance is often used for family protection purposes by providing life insurance cover in the event of the death of the life or lives assured for the benefit of the surviving spouse and, if there are any, the dependant children to make their lives more comfortable financially.

The amount of life cover provided is often agreed upon after receiving advice from a financial adviser who will assess a family's requirements taking into account a number of factors such as the level of income required and the term the life cover is required for i.e. whilst the children are dependant on their parents.

The amount of Level Term Life Insurance remains level for a specific period of time i.e 25 years and is arranged normally on a sole life or joint life first death basis with the premium often remaining constant throughout the term.

If the life or lives assured outlive the term of the policy then the Level Term Life Insurance policy normally finishes and the life policy does not pay out anything. This is one of the reasons why Level Term Life Insurance is normally cheaper than say a Whole of Life policy as a whole of life policy will always pay out whenever the life assured dies as long as the life assured has maintained paying the premiums.

Level Term Life Insurance is also used to cover personal and business liabilities such as overdrafts and some types of mortgages and loans so that in the event of the death of the life assured the liability is liquidated resulting in the survivor not being burdened with the repayments on the loan or mortgage.

Critical illness cover can sometimes be included in the Level Term Life Insurance policy to pay out upon one of the assured being diagnosed with a specific critical illness.If such cover were included this would result in the premium being greater than if cover was just for life insurance.

How To Save Money On Your Life Insurance

There are many different life insurance policies and as such there are many ways that you can make savings when it comes to getting a life insurance policy. The best advice when it comes to purchasing your policy is to shop around for the best deal; there is no better way than to use the internet if you want to make savings on your life insurance.

Shopping online for life insurance will allow you to gain access to a huge amount of insurers, as there are many; all insurers are competing against the other for your custom, which goes a long way towards helping you save money.

All insurers will allow you to get an online quote and compare quotes, which mean that at a glance you can see which seems to be the best deal. However always make sure you look into what the policy offers because sometimes a great deal isn’t so great after reading the exclusions and small print.

A great way to make savings on life insurance is to be as healthy as possible to start with when taking out the insurance. Here a little common sense needs to be applied, for instance if you are a smoker or drinker then you can expect to pay more for your life insurance than you would if you didn’t smoke or drink, this is the ideal opportunity to give up those nasty habits.

Being severely over weight can also add to your premium than if you were the average build for your height. Again making adjustments to your lifestyle and diet and losing weight can not only improve your health but also leave you with a little extra cash in your pocket due to lower premiums.

Any pre existing medical conditions can also raise the premiums on your life insurance although these always have to be declared at the time you take out your insurance.

However by doing all you can to help your condition such as taking regular medication and attending regular check ups at the Doctors or clinics will help when you do declare your condition.

Finally don’t take out more life insurance than you need to, by taking out more insurance you will be paying a higher premium.

Convert Term Policy Before It Expires

Keeping an inexpensive term life insurance policy for too long can cost unprepared families lots of money in the long run.

While term insurance is a great way to protect your family from financial disaster, sitting on the same policy until it is too late to replace it with a permanent options can be a financial disaster.

Term life is temporary insurance. It pays a fixed death benefit if the policy holder passes away during a set period of time. For example, if you have a 20-year term policy and you die before the 20 years end, your beneficiaries will receive the face value of your policy.

Once the 20 years is up, the contract expires. The company keeps your premiums and you have to find new insurance, usually at a higher premium. Term insurance helps you to prepare for the unexpected.

Term insurance is the cheapest form of life insurance because it is temporary and not intended to pay out. Young families benefit from term insurance. In many cases, it is taken out to help support young children and a spouse in case the primary breadwinner passes away. That takes a large policy to accomplish.

Many young adults do not have substantial savings and investments yet. They have a lot of their money tied up in new mortgages and student loans. Term policies offer a cost-efficient solution.

But as families mature, the breadwinners grow older and the policies get closer to expiration. Situations change and families need to consider changing their term insurance into a more permanent option.

Many term insurance contracts have a clause that allows the policy holder to do just that.

You could think of it as leasing insurance with an option to buy. You can use the convertibility clause to convert without having to obtain a new insurance policy. For a price, families can transform their temporary insurance into permanent insurance without having to re-apply for coverage or have medical examinations.

Not all policies have conversion clauses. If you are buying term insurance, look for policies that include the clause. They are often more expensive, but well worth it.

For example, you have a 20-year term policy with a 10-year conversion clause. After nine years, you develop a major health problem. You are still within the 10-year conversion period, so you can convert the policy to a permanent policy. By doing so, you will not need a new physical exam and you will receive your coverage at a much lower rate than if your health problems were taken into account.

If the policy didn’t have the conversion clause, you would be facing an expiring policy and very expensive renewal premiums – if you could renew at all. You should always convert before it is too late.

You should review your policy with your agent on a regular basis. This will help to prevent that your conversion expiration doesn’t sneak up on you. When you are within a year of convertibility, you should take the time to look at your plan. Consider your health, finances, responsibilities and goals.

Don’t just look at your health in considering whether or not to convert a policy. The older you are, the more expensive you are to insure. By locking in a fixed rate and paying toward a permanent policy in your 20s, your monthly premiums will be much cheaper than if you had waited until your 50s.

Your financial needs transform over time. Your family matures and changes. When you are young, you often need a policy to replace your income and provide for your children. When you are older and your children are grown and your mortgage is paid off, you may find that you don’t need such a large policy.

The roughest rule of thumb is to take a multiple of your income. If you only need enough insurance to take care of your family for a few years after you die and set them up until they can get on their feet, buy 4-6 times your annual salary. If you want to take care of them for the rest of their lives, you can look at something quite larger, like 20 times your salary. That gives enough to establish a trust that they can life off of indefinitely.

One strategy involves buying the largest term policy you can afford when you are young. When you can afford more, supplement your term policy with a small permanent policy.

When your term insurance is set to expire, your children will be grown and your mortgage paid off. Then you can look at what coverage you will need.

Monday, 23 May 2011

A Better View On Car Insurance

Rates of the Car Insurance gets higher and higher. Not all families can afford this easily, so ca insurance became an issue that should be faced in our lives. If you do not investigate and take some time to research and understand the different types of insurances offered in today’s market, car insurance will surely be a minefield.

Policies vary from company to company. Basically, comprehensive cover is full coverage of your insurance while a third party protects you for damages to someone else’s car.

After deciding what type of insurance you want, ask yourself if you want to insure the car on the agreed value or current market value of the car. You might consider the agreed value option of your car is a special model because it allows you to include added extras. While in the market value option, the insurance company pays out the amount the car is worth at the time of the accident, so the amount could be different to the market value originally spelled out in the policy when you signed up because of depreciation.

You can get down to the smaller and more tedious option once you have worked out what type of cover you want. You may consider some thing like the amount of the excess, if you want to choose the repairer, if you want to loan vehicles if your car is stolen, if you want the policy to cover the car for business use, if your car is repaired using only genuine spare parts and many more.

The Australian Insurance Council’s Group General Manger for Western Australia and the Northern Territory Daryl Cameron said in 85% of cases, policies are bought on price alone. This can be dangerous for people who do not read their policies carefully. He also said that your insurer might refuse to pay out if you are not honest in your insurance quotes.

“It is vital that all known information regarding the vehicle or any intended driver is fully disclosed to the insurer when taking out a policy or when one is up for renewal. If anything changes that may affect your policy, you must tell the insurer; it is extremely important to remember that you have a duty of disclosure,” Mr. Cameron said.
Watch out for the traps that catch many unsuspecting motorists. Ask as many questions as you can to understand what you are getting into. After all, there is no harm in asking.

There are points to remember when considering car insurance. First, research, investigate and take your time when looking for car insurance. Second get a coverage that suits your needs. Third, decide if you want a market value or agreed value cover. Make sure that you fully understand what you are covered for. Know the factors that are excluded in the policy. You should also know the excess when making a claim. Tell you insurer about anything that happens to you that may affect your policy. Know the payment method that suits you. Know if in the case of “At Fault” claim, you can protect your no claim bonus. And lastly, remember that cheapest is not always the best.

Make sure that you are familiar with the cover provided by the policy and not just compared policies on price. Cheaper does not always mean better.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Lower you Life Insurance Premiums

Worried about the spiraling life insurance premium? We have enlisted 5 quickest ways to lower your life insurance premium. Well, keep these points in mind but do tread with caution and act prudently.

Shop around and Bargain
Shop, Compare and Bargain! Well, the oldest principle, old as dirt, but still going strong. Once decided on your coverage, don’t just sign up for the first plan that crosses your eye. Ensure that you shop around (internet is a great place to start) and get a feel of the market. This would help you to bargain hard and get the greatest coverage at the lowest possible price.

Opt for Term Life Insurance – The quickest way to lower your life insurance premium is to opt for Term Life Insurance policy instead of a whole-life policy. The idea is to keep insurance as what it is and not turn it into an investment product. Thus, you can get yourself insured under term life policy at the fraction of the cost of a whole-life scheme with typically the same coverage amount. However, do not forget that Term Life Insurance covers you only for a pre-defined period of time.

Keep yourself Fit – Be a low risk proposition for your insurance provider by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping yourself away from addictions such as smoking, drugs and alcohol. A good health record will result in considerable reduction in your life insurance premiums.

Consult an Insurance Advisor - To reduce your life insurance premium, the easiest thing you can do is to consult a good Insurance Advisor. Since the advisor will be pro in the insurance marketplace, he/she would be able to get you to the most affordable deal in line with your coverage requirements. Essentially a good insurance advisor would compare different market rates for you and would also negotiate the best rates on your behalf. Well, internet is a great place to identify an agent.

Start at a young age!
Insure yourself at a young age. Life insurance premium at a young age is only a fraction of what it could be when you are well into your middle-age. The premise is young and healthy people are the lowest risk segment. The low mortality risk is a great incentive for insurance companies to insure you at lower premiums.

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1. Consider an income policy instead of a lump sum

Most people know that life cover pays out a lump sum if you die. But far less know that you can buy cover that pays a regular tax free income instead of a lump sum. It’s official name is Family Income Benefit and is often cheaper than the more common Level Term lump sum payout option. So why would an income be better than a lump sum?

Many people who take out a life insurance policy simply want to provide an income for their family to replace the earnings lost if they died prematurely. But many policies are bought with a lump sum benefit requiring the surviving family to find a suitable savings or investment vehicle to generate an ongoing income. In addition, the interest generated from a lump sum is taxable whereas the income from a family income benefit policy is paid tax free.

For many people not used to managing large amounts of money, suddenly having to find the right savings account or investment can prove an additional burden at an already distressing time. This is where Family Income Benefit can offer the best of both worlds.

2. Consider a reducing policy for mortgage life cover

One of the most common reasons for needing life insurance is to protect a mortgage loan. The type of mortgage you have will largely dictate what form of life insurance you need but this is often one of two types of term life insurance.

If you have an interest only mortgage then you will need level cover as the mortgage debt will remain constant unless you increase or reduce the mortgage loan. However, those with a capital and interest mortgage can opt for a decreasing term policy where the cover reduces in line with the reducing mortgage loan. As the cover reduces over time so does the risk to the insurance company making this type of life insurance cheaper than the level term option.

So if you have a capital and interest mortgage with a level term life insurance policy and only need to cover the mortgage amount, you could save money by switching to a reducing policy. The downside to this is that you will lose any surplus cover provided by a level policy as the mortgage loan reduces but the level insurance benefit stays the same.

3. Stop smoking

All insurance is based on risk and so to cut the cost you have to cut the risk. With life insurance, the risk is based upon your chances of dieing whilst the policy is in force. Insurers measure the risk by assessing your health and medical history.

Anything that increases your risk of dieing prematurely will increase your premiums. These risk factors can include your current state of health, family history, hazardous occupation or hobbies but most commonly being a smoker has the greatest impact.

Now, I know you’re not going to stop smoking to save money on your life insurance but its one more reason in a long list to quit. Not only will you save money on the cigarettes but you can also add a saving of around 40% on your life cover premiums too.

4. Shop around

Life insurance is a very competitive market and prices can vary widely depending upon where you look. The easiest way to compare lots of insurers and policies at once is to use one of the many free online comparison websites. The only caveat to this is to be aware that these sites only compare premiums and not cover, so have a firm idea of what type of cover you need first. This will help you to compare like with like and discover the true bargains.

Alternatively, you can use an insurance broker to do the shopping for you and this route can yield some substantial savings if you use a particular type of insurance broker.

5. Use a discount life insurance broker

If you know which type of cover you need and don’t require any advice, a discount online insurance broker can save you hundreds of pounds in lower premiums.

Due to the low costs and large audiences available via the internet, many life insurance brokers have launched websites offering life insurance quotes with major insurers at discounted premium rates. These brokers are able to discount cover from major insurers by rebating much of the commission they receive from these insurers to reduce your premiums.

Savings vary but can mean genuine reductions of between 10% and as much as 40% over the insurance company’s standard premiums. Many sites provide instant online quotes comparing multiple policies from leading insurance companies.

A simple Google search for discount life insurance will provide a list of most brokers or use an insurance directory like UK Insurance Index which also features customer reviews.

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