Historically low interest rates have resulted in a number of dire consequences for both life insurance policyholders and the companies that provide them. In an article by the New York Times, sharply rising insurance premium costs have forced some Americans to drop out of plans that they’ve been paying off for decades. Lawsuits have been filed against insurance companies, claiming that “the insurers are raising their rates to force people to drop their policies entirely, often when they are too old to buy replacements.”
However, it’s not all bad news. There comes a time when purchasing a life insurance policy becomes a sound and viable long-term financial decision for your family, and there are many ways to save money and still afford a life insurance plan that suits your personal needs and current financial status.
1. If You Don’t Need It, Don’t Buy It
Life insurance is basically a safety net for your family in the event of your death. It’s for paying off that mortgage or any other remaining debts should you die. As The Guardian points out: “If you are single, then it’s rather pointless. Who will the payout go to? …If you have children and a non-earning spouse, life insurance is rather more important. But check out what your employer pays out should you die. Many companies have generous “death in service” benefits which will pay out three-to-four times annual salary if you die – and in some cases as much as seven times.”
2. If You Need It, Don’t Delay – Get It Now!
The sooner you purchase life insurance, the lower the overall premium costs will be. Investopedia explains the math in the simplest terms: “Every birthday puts you one year closer to your life expectancy and thus, you’re more expensive to insure.”
3. Don’t Get Life Insurance That You Can’t Afford
There is such a thing as a good debt, like borrowing money to pay for a house at very low interest rates. However, going into debt in order to pay for life insurance is never a good idea. Make sure you talk to your insurance agent or broker about getting a plan that you can actually afford for the long term.
4. Find An Insurance Company That Allows 401k Payments
Some employers allow your 401k payments to shoulder part of life insurance costs. As explained in an article here on Save the Bills: “Many companies offer to match your contribution to your retirement account, up to a certain percentage.” This can either be as part of a group life insurance plan or an individual policy – it depends on what your employer allows. Additionally, this also means that part of your insurance premium payments become tax deductible, so with this option, you’ll be saving more money in the long run.
5. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
It’s generally a good idea to maintain good physical health as all life insurance companies consider personal health in factoring costs. However some insurance companies are now putting an added premium on current health rather than using traditional underwriting methods. Those who are able to verify their fitness are able to have bigger savings on their insurance. If you believe that you lead a healthy lifestyle finding an insurance that rewards you for it will save you money.
6. Opt For A Term Policy If Whole Life Or Universal Is Unnecessary
In most cases, a whole life or universal life insurance policy is necessary only for when you need a comprehensive plan that includes savings and accumulates a cash value. The cheaper, simpler alternative is to get a term policy, which insures you for a limited amount of time, but requires less premiums in general.