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What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance is among the most affordable and simplest ways to cover your family financially. These policies are purchased for a specified period of time that can range from a few years to a few decades. The younger you purchase life insurance, the more affordable it tends to be, as rates can increase as you age. The application process will take into account risks such as your past medical history, if you’re a smoker, your credit, and more. And while term life insurance policies have an end to them, you’re often able to renew your policy or find a new term policy before your previous is up to ensure your life insurance coverage adjusts to the needs and changes in your life. 

While term policies are more affordable, there are often additional benefits to a whole life insurance policy. Whole life policies have a cash value that increases over time which you can borrow against. Most term policy premiums are fixed for the term of the policy, unlike whole life policies.

Term policies are a good idea for people who are looking for coverage for specific expenses. For instance, a person who is the sole provider for a family and has purchased a home might choose a term policy to ensure that the mortgage and taxes can be paid if something happened to them.

Death benefit payouts from term life insurance policies are non-taxable unless the premiums were paid with pre-tax income.

Can I buy term life insurance for a family member?

Yes, you can purchase a policy for a family member in addition to yourself. In fact, purchasing a life insurance policy to cover your own death and the death of a family member is a great way to protect your family from absorbing debts that could have long-term consequences, including losing the family home. You may want to consider how a term life insurance policy can be part of a trust that makes sure your family is getting even better protection. A term life insurance policy helps to make sure that your family is secure no matter what happens during the time the policy covers.

What are the different types of term life insurance?

While each term life insurance policy can look different based on your unique needs, there are two different types to consider when heading into the application process: traditional term life insurance and instant decision term life insurance. 

The overarching benefits of traditional and instant decision term life insurance are similar, but the primary difference being that instant decision does not require a medical exam. This makes instant life insurance extremely convenient and easy when you want coverage right away. 

No medical exam life insurance policies can be an affordable option for healthy customers who want immediate coverage. The benefits of no medical exam life insurance often include:

  • Quick approval process.
  • Easy online application process.
  • Affordable coverage with up to $2 million in benefits.
  • Fully underwritten insurance with no medical exam necessary.

When it comes to traditional term life insurance, you can choose between two basic term life insurance policies. Most people choose a level policy type, while others may opt for a type of policy called a decreasing policy.

A level policy means that your policy’s death benefit remains the same throughout the period of the policy. This makes sense for many buyers because it remains a predictable expense and provides a reliable benefit to your family. And while level policies may not offer the option to renew the policy once it expires, you are able to re-shop your coverage at any time during your term to find more coverage for your needs.

A decreasing term policy offers a payout that decreases over time. This can be a good choice for covering expenses like a business loan or a mortgage, which are typically paid down over time. These policies can have lower premiums and are often renewable.

Within a level policy, there are several options that can impact how your policy pays out. Policies are often sold in five-year increments, have a set premium, and pay out a specific amount. For example, if you are concerned about covering college expenses and your children are set to graduate in four years, a five-year policy may make the most sense. Larger expenses like business loans and mortgages are more appropriately handled through longer term policies.

SelectQuote, a partner of Rocket Lawyer, makes it possible for you to compare different policy options and see how benefits may differ based on your needs. Comparing your options for coverage is a great first step in finding the right life insurance policy for you.

How much life insurance coverage is right for me?

Choosing the right options for your family depends on a number of factors. When determining the amount of coverage that is right for you, take into consideration the debts you have, what your family's financial security may look like without you, and how much you intend to spend. It’s always beneficial to compare your options and SelectQuote can help you do that in just minutes. They work with some of the nation’s most trusted insurance companies to find the right life insurance coverage for you that works with your budget.

Term life insurance policies can be significantly less expensive when you are younger and in good health. Most companies require you to submit a medical examination and are likely to check your criminal history, medications, and other lifestyle records that can indicate how much of a risk you present to the company. For example, activities like skydiving and scuba diving are high-risk factors that can increase the costs of your premiums.

If you have questions about how life insurance fits into your estate plan, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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