What Is Whole Life Insurance And Is It Right For You?

By: Dean Shainin

Before you can decide if whole life insurance is suitable for you, you will need to be well informed on the key aspects of whole insurance.

So, what is whole life insurance? Whole life insurance is so named because it's designed to stay in force throughout your life. In the first few years, when you're young, its cost will be low, so the bulk of the money goes to pay the agent and into an investment account. However, as you get older, the cost of insuring you increases, so less of your premium goes into the investment account. The money that goes into the account in the early years of your policy therefore grows. The cash value of your whole life policy is the amount you'd get if you decide to surrender it.

Whole life insurance policy's premiums are guaranteed throughout the life of the policy and so is your death benefit. However, the cash value of the policy will vary with the insurance company's investment performance. Normally, insurance companies invest the money that's building you cash value fairly conservatively. This enables them to try to keep up with the numbers you saw in a policy illustration. However, this also means that returns under perform other investments, such as stocks or equity mutual funds.

It can take some time to accrue any real cash value with whole life insurance. To get some notable cash value, you will need to keep going with it for about ten to twenty years. It can actually take closer to twenty years before the gain begins to look impressive. For this reason, you will need to be cautious with any insurance agent who tries to convince you to swap one whole life insurance policy for another so called "better" policy just a few years after you made your original purchase. You wouldn't have earned any cash value to speak of, and worse still, you may face high surrender charges for dropping the first whole life insurance policy. Some agents do this to keep their large commission checks coming in.

Here Are 4 Important Aspects To Consider With Whole Life Insurance Policies?

1. Commissions and expenses.

2. Cash value.

3. Dividends and interest.

4. The ability to adjust the death benefit.

4 Important Questions To Ask The Life Insurance Company

Before you commit to sign up for a whole life insurance policy, here are several questions you should ask an agent. These are just a few common questions to ask and some you may want to research yourself.

1. How much coverage do I need?

2. What type of insurance is best for me, whole life or term?

3. How can I get a discount on my life insurance policy?

4. What is your Standard & Poor's ratings?

Fast online Internet access and the many web sites available enable you to easily compare and get quotes from several whole life insurance companies in a single day. Be sure to be honest with the health questions that you answer to get an accurate quote. Take time to decide what is best for you and your family.

Life Insurance
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