FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Is your Insurance Plan Living in the Past? Life Foundation Offers Six Ways To keep it on Track in 2007
Washington, D.C. – January 11, 2006 – As you set out your financial to-dos for the year ahead, make sure that reexamining your personal insurance plan is a priority that tops the list. “Your salary, lifestyle and family situation change year to year, and so should the personal insurance plan that protects them,” says David F. Woods, CLU, ChFC, president of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE).
This year, the nonprofit LIFE Foundation offers the following six tips to help make sure your personal insurance plan keeps up with the times and all the changes in your life.
1. Review your life insurance needs at least once a year – There’s a common misconception that you only need to review your life insurance needs when big milestones occur like getting married or having a child. However, earning a raise, taking on debt or having to care for a family member are additional reasons why you might need to adjust the amount and type of life insurance you own. That’s why it’s a good idea to re-examine your life insurance needs at least once a year and certainly when big life events occur. For a general sense of how much life insurance you need, visit LIFE’s calculator at www.life-line.org/howmuch.
2. Take advantage of premium life insurance rates – If you haven’t checked out life insurance prices lately, you may be in for a surprise. Experts estimate that term life insurance premiums will drop another 4 percent this year. Rates for permanent policies are expected to drop as well. So, there’s never been a better time to take a fresh look at your life insurance coverage and make sure you’re adequately covered. With lower rates, you may be able to afford more coverage or even pay less for the coverage you already have. If you’re thinking of replacing an existing policy, be sure to check with your present company for any updates they might have and never cancel existing coverage until you have the new one in your hands.
3. Protect your most valuable asset – Disability insurance is one of the most important types of insurance, but also one of most overlooked. It provides replacement income should you get sick or injured and become unable to work. And if you think a disability is a remote possibility, think again. For workers currently age 35, more than 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men will experience one period of disability before they retire. Find out if your employer provides you with short-term or long-term disability coverage. If that coverage is not enough, look into the option to pay to increase it or consider purchasing a policy on your own that will stay with you even if you change jobs. To figure out how much disability insurance you need, check out LIFE’s calculator at www.life-line.org/disabilitycalculator.
4. Consider long-term care insurance while you’re healthy – In 2007, expect long-term care insurance products to provide more options to meet your needs. In addition, more employers are expected to offer long-term care insurance through their group benefits packages, making it even easier for you to obtain coverage that, if necessary, will provide the type and location of care that’s best for you and your family. If you can afford it, the best time to purchase long-term care insurance is when you’re in your 40s or 50s, when you’re still relatively young and your health is still good. To learn more about long-term care insurance, visit www.life-line.org/longterm.
5. Update your beneficiary designations – From weddings and births to divorces and deaths, a lot can change in a year. Now is a good time to review your insurance beneficiary designations and make sure they reflect any family changes that may have taken place over the last year.
6. Meet with a qualified insurance professional – An annual review with a qualified insurance professional can help you determine if you lack any important coverages or if you can save money on existing policies. For example, if you stopped smoking or lost weight and became healthier last year, you may be able to lower your life insurance premiums. If you have a limited budget, an agent can also help you prioritize what types of insurance to purchase first. If you don’t currently have an agent, ask for recommendations from friends, family or other professional advisors. Check out LIFE’s online insurance agent locator at www.life-line.org/agentlocator to help you find reputable advisors in your area.
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public’s growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance products that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.life-line.org.