According to the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) along with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) have agreed to introduce a Senate Resolution in support of Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) and are likely to do so next week. You can read the resolution here.
This would officially make September 2011 the first National Life Insurance Awareness Month. Why should there be a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of life insurance? Because, the majority of families either have no life insurance or not enough, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones.
So, why do you need life insurance?
What often comes to mind when thinking about life insurance is that you can use it to pay final expenses. You’ve seen the commercials: Funeral expenses, burial costs and medical bills can add up to a hefty amount. The last thing you want is for your loved ones to shoulder this extra burden. Life insurance can be used to plan for these final expenses. Permanent life insurance is available in various amounts, so you can pick a death benefit that meets your needs.
But there are other considerations to keep in mind. You can use life insurance …
As mortgage protection. Whether you live by yourself, with a spouse or significant other, you may want to buy life insurance as mortgage protection. Think about it: You don’t want the person you live with to be homeless if you die unexpectedly, do you? Term life insurance can be used to pay off an outstanding mortgage balance. Just select a term that matches the length of your mortgage payment period. Some companies even offer decreasing term insurance, which means the death benefit decreases along with your mortgage balance.
For income replacement. You and your significant other may have planned for a future based on two incomes, but what if one of you passes away unexpectedly? Life insurance can be used to replace the lost income so the survivor can maintain the same standard of living.
For college funding. Yeah, I know. You don’t have kids, so this one only applies if you do or if you have grandchildren you want to help. Have you seen the tuition rates lately? Life insurance can help fund a college education. If you die, the death benefit may be invested and potentially grow to the needed amount by the time your children or grandchildren reach college age. If you have permanent policies, the cash value may be used to help fund tuition costs. Feel better knowing that you helped prepare for their future—even if you are not there to see it.
There are also a few provisions—additional benefits, if you will—that you may not be aware of.
Probate protection. If the beneficiary of a life insurance policy is a named person and not your estate, the death benefit is free from probate costs.
Incontestability. After the policy has been in force for two years, it becomes incontestable, meaning that the policy cannot be revoked, unless it was fraudulently obtained.
Free from the claims of creditors. In many states, the cash values of the life insurance policy are free from the claims of creditors if the policy is personally owned.