It has often been said that in life, the only constant is change – and because people’s lives are always evolving, it is important to review life insurance coverage regularly in order to ensure that those you care about have the financial protection that they need in case of the unexpected.
This can be the case even when children are no longer dependent on the income of their parents. In fact, given today’s financial landscape, life insurance for parents may always be a necessity.
Why It is Essential for Parents to Have Life Insurance
Regardless of how young or old a child is, there are numerous reasons to have life insurance on a parent or parents – starting with the need to help in paying for burial, funeral costs, and other final expenses.
Today, the average cost of a funeral can be $10,000 or more. This is inclusive of a headstone, burial plot, the funeral procession and service, flowers, and other miscellaneous costs. In addition, a parent may also have had uninsured medical or hospice costs that also add to the financial burden.
Not unlike most anyone else, there could also be other expenses to pay at a parent’s death as well. These could include estate taxes, credit card debt, or the balance of a home mortgage. The costs can truly add up. This is especially the case if a surviving parent will need continuing income in order to pay ongoing living expenses going forward. The good news is that the proceeds from a life insurance policy can remove the financial burden and help the family to move on.
What is the Best Type of Life Insurance?
There are two primary types of life insurance coverage that can be purchased. The best type for parents to own will be based upon their specific needs. One form of life insurance – term – is considered to be the most basic form of life insurance coverage.
With term life, if the insured passes away while the policy is in force, a named beneficiary will receive the policy’s death benefit. There is no cash value or investment component involved with term life insurance. For this reason, term life is typically very affordable – especially for those who are in good health.
Term life insurance policies last for a set number of years. Policies are typically for 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. In some cases, coverage may also extend for 30 years. At the end of a term life insurance policy’s duration, the insured will be required to re-qualify for coverage, based on their then-current age and health condition. At that time, the premium will typically increase.
The other primary form of life insurance is permanent life. This type of coverage provides death benefit protection along with a cash value, or savings, component. The cash value is allowed to grow on a tax deferred basis, meaning that no taxes are due until the time that the cash is withdrawn. Because of this, cash can grow substantially over time.
Because a portion of the premium goes towards the death benefit and another portion goes toward funding the cash value, the premiums on permanent life insurance are typically higher than those on a comparable amount of term life coverage – especially in the early years of a policy. Over time, however, because the premiums typically remain stable on permanent life coverage, these policies may actually turn out to be more cost effective for the insured.
How to Purchase Life Insurance for Parents
When considering the purchase of life insurance for parents, it is important to ensure that they will qualify for coverage. When submitting an application, the life insurance underwriters will be reviewing various criteria. These generally include the following:
- Marital status
- Smoking status / tobacco usage
- Occupation / income
The underwriters will also inquire about any health conditions that the applicant has, as well as any medications that are being taken. In addition, questions regarding family health history are typically asked. Upon reviewing the application, the underwriters can obtain a better idea of how much risk the applicant will present to the insurance company.
Oftentimes, it will also be required that the applicant take a medical exam prior to being approved for life insurance coverage. This exam will consist of submitting a blood and urine sample. These samples are examined in order to determine any health conditions that may also pose a risk factor to the life insurance company.
Should a parent or parents be approved for life insurance coverage, the underwriters will then determine the rating class of their policy and premium. If the policy is considered to be Standard, that means that their health, height, and weight are essentially average – and the premium charged for the policy will also be that of an average policy holder in that same category.
If, however, it is determined that the individual poses a higher amount of risk to the insurance company, then their policy could be approved as a Substandard. In this case, the individual would still obtain coverage, however, the premium charged would be at a higher rate.
Another option would be to go with a no exam policy or a burial insurance policy. Either of these type of insurance do not require a medical exam but would be more expensive than if you or your parents are in good health.
Taking the Next Step
In purchasing life insurance for parents, it is always wise to first compare several premium quotes from different insurance companies. At LifeInsuranceforSeniors360.com we work with many of the top rated carriers in the insurance industry and can help you in comparing life insurance premiums. By filling out the form on this page, you can get the process started.
We also understand that you may have additional questions regarding the purchase of life insurance for parents. If so, we are happy to help. Please feel free to contact us at 888-229-7522 and we will answer any questions or concerns that you may have.