Life Insurance FAQs
Quickly get the top life insurance FAQs answered with straightforward responses.
Every day, there are thousands of online searches for life insurance answers and most people get overwhelmed with the available information.
So, where do you turn? Who do you believe?
Great news! You can start and stop your search right here with us.
I say this not only because we want to earn your business, but because we always provide truly objective advice based on experience.
And then we back it up with facts.
So please check out the below categories and start clicking away.
Working with LIVLIFE Insurance
Do I need life insurance?
Well, that depends. If you want to leave money to your loved ones if you were to pass away either today or in the future, then the answer would be YES.
What is the best life insurance for me?
It really depends on your financial situation and goals.
I know this might not be exactly what you are looking for, but let me explain.
See, here at LIVLIFE, we take a truly objective stance when it comes to recommending a life insurance product.
We don’t believe that there are any bad insurance products.
However, there may be a bad product for you, depending on your goals.
For example, let’s say you’re on a tight budget and you are in your working years.
The ideal recommendation for you would be to purchase a term life insurance product.
A Term life insurance policy can provide the most amount of coverage today for the least out-of-pocket expense.
Now, let’s say you hate worrying about rising insurance costs or having to requalify again in 20 years.
Or you may feel that nothing is going to happen to you today and you would rather plan for the future.
So again, at the end of the day, it really depends on your goals and financial situation.
This is why we recommend conducting a free insurance review with a licensed professional.
During the review, we can discuss your goals and then help you understand what is available in the market.
We can answer any questions you might have and compare quotes from a few different insurance companies.
Click here to schedule a free insurance review today!
How much does life insurance cost?
Again, it depends.
But I can say this: life insurance can be very affordable and sometimes cost you nothing!
Let me explain.
At the end of the day, there are really only two types of life insurance products a temporary plan and a permanent plan.
The temporary plan is most commonly known as term life insurance.
The term life product provides coverage for a specific duration of time, like 10 years or 20 years with level premiums.
Term life is great because it can provide the largest amount of coverage for the least out-of-pocket expense.
Check out this example.
As you can see, Terry is a 35-year-old male that was approved with an Elite health rating.
His 10-year term life insurance plan for $500,000 in coverage is only $20 a month.
Now, if Terry were to purchase a permanent universal life product of $250,000 in coverage, his premiums would be much higher. (See the below examples.)
Now, these permanent examples start on day one and are designed to never end.
The premiums will remain level and are designed to never increase.
These options also provide cash value accumulation that in time can equal more than the premiums put in.
To learn more about cash value accumulation inside of a universal life policy please click here.
They also have permanent living benefits coverage for when Terry would need it most, around age 65.
But more importantly, they provide never-ending life insurance coverage and will pay a claim whenever Terry passes away.
How much life insurance coverage do I need?
You should always get the most amount of coverage you can afford that accomplishes your goals.
Let me explain.
Some agents will sit there with calculators, charts, and graphs trying to say you need millions of dollars in coverage.
Why do they do this?
One simple answer is the higher the coverage amount, the higher the premium.
And the higher the premium, the higher the commission will be.
So what should you do?
Get the largest amount of coverage you can afford that accomplishes your goals.
See, if one of your goals is to have your mortgage paid off if you were to pass away and your mortgage debt is $500,000, then make sure to get $500,000 in coverage.
Now, if you have other debts and want to replace some of your income, then purchase enough coverage to cover a few years of income and all your debts.
Once you figure out what’s important to you and how much coverage you want, you should then look at your budget.
This is so important because if it doesn’t fit in your budget, you will be stressing each month to make that payment.
Then, you will eventually cancel or reduce the coverage amount, wasting significant time and money.
So, once you have a better idea of your goals, think about your budget and then start the application process.
This is how we help our clients here at LIVLIFE.
We first go over your goals and then recommend products that are ideal for you, while still fitting in your budget.
This objective client-centric approach is how we have maintained a 99% persistency rate and continue to grow through client referrals.
How do I apply for life insurance?
There are a few different ways to actually apply for life insurance.
You can apply in person, face to face with an agent, or you can apply online, or over the phone.
There are now even ways to apply online through a website without speaking to an agent.
However, the different ways to apply still have the same process.
Let me explain.
There will always be an application that collects a few pieces of personal information, such as:
- Your full legal name
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Home and work address
- Family history
- Current medical conditions or medications
- Income and financial info
With this information, the insurance company will start the underwriting process.
You may or may not be required to complete a medical exam depending on your medical history.
Also, the insurance company may or may not request to see your medical records.
These will depend on the product type, the insurance company guidelines, and the coverage amount you are applying for.
All of this can be explained by your agent, which is why we recommend working with someone who is licensed.
The life insurance application process can be very confusing and frustrating at times.
Especially if it is not handled by an experienced licensed professional or licensed agency.
The underwriting process will begin once the insurance company receives all of the requirements, like your application and exam results, if required.
Here at LIVLIFE, our most popular permanent universal life Flexlife II option does not require a medical exam and can approve you in as little as 7 days.
If an exam is required, it generally takes around 10 to 15 days from the day you complete your exam to receive an approved offer.
Then, once you are approved and accept the rating, the insurance company will charge your first-month premium and your policy will be 100% inforce.
What happens if I get denied life insurance?
First things first, don’t freak out too much and please don’t shoot the messenger, meaning your agent.
This does not mean you have a few days to live.
However, this could mean that you have a few past or current health conditions that are not in the risk parameter of that “specific” insurance company.
Let me explain.
See, each insurance company has their own underwriting and risk guidelines.
Sometimes your condition or combination of conditions may not fit in that specific company’s guidelines.
The good news is that there may also be other companies that will gladly approve your conditions.
This is another important reason to work with an agent.
But not just any agent. Your agent should be able to search the market and find companies that will make you an offer.
Now, sometimes people are denied life insurance because of their health.
Other times, it could simply be that the insurance company wants more information.
This has happened in the past when medical records show that your doctor has made a recommendation and you have not complied yet.
Insurance companies put applications on hold all the time, waiting for clients to complete specific recommendations.
Again, your agent should be able to help prepare you for this and guide you through this process.
Depending on your age, you could have the option of applying for a final expense or guaranteed issue policy if you are denied coverage.
These policies have limited or no underwriting requirements.
But they do have restrictions on the death benefit payout and can be much higher in cost compared to traditional life insurance policies.
Do I need to take an exam to apply for life insurance?
Today, most life insurance companies do require you to complete a basic insurance exam.
However, there are a few companies that are changing the game.
With a new reporting system, they can check public databases and make full underwriting approvals in days, not weeks.
For example, with our most popular permanent universal life option, you would not be required to complete a basic insurance exam.
You would just complete an application and the insurance company would complete a full underwriting check to approve your application.
When is the best time to buy life insurance?
Today, of course!
No, seriously, I know that sounds funny, but it’s the truth.
The cost of insurance is based on two major factors: your current age and health.
The longer you wait, the older you get, and the cost of insurance will just continue to increase.
Also, the older you get, the higher the risk of you being diagnosed with some kind of condition, like high blood pressure or diabetes.
So again, please consider applying for life insurance coverage today while you are younger and healthier.
Should I replace my life insurance policy?
It really depends on one main factor.
Can this new policy bring you more value?
The new policy must have some sort of different feature or benefit to induce a replacement.
Unless you are simply trying to lower your premium or increase your coverage.
Now, if you are trying to increase your coverage, you might want to keep your current plan and just purchase a new policy.
This might be ideal if you purchased it a few years ago, as your current plan might have a lower cost of insurance.
So again, if this new policy can bring you more value, like adding living benefits, then I would recommend replacing it.
However, please take into consideration any lost cash value, tax penalties, or surrender charges that may occur by replacing that policy.
Can a life insurance claim be denied?
Unfortunately, yes, a life insurance company can deny a claim.
However, in my experience, it rarely happens unless the insured purposely defrauded the insurance company.
For this reason, all life insurance companies have a two-year contestability period in each policy.
A two-year contestability period basically states that:
“If an insured were to pass away in the first two years of the policy, the insurance company has the right to investigate for any fraud and potentially deny the claim.”
We have had many of our clients pass away in the first two years and claims were paid to their beneficiaries.
For us here at LIVLIFE, we do everything in our power to make sure all claims get paid.
That is why during the application process, we cross-reference any red flags regarding the application.
This precaution is done to prevent an insurance company from denying a claim.
This is just another reason why working with the right licensed agent and agency can be so important.
Now, generally, if a claim were to be denied, it would only be done during the first two-year contestability period.
After the two years, life insurance carriers are obligated to pay all claims no matter what the reason, even suicide cases.
Other situations do come up, but they are mostly because clients did not keep up with their premiums and let their policies lapse.
We have seen this happen in our industry too often.
So here at LIVLIFE, we send out monthly premium reminders and do policy reviews with every client each year.
This helps us keep each client file up-to-date and make sure all premiums fit comfortably in the budget to prevent lapsed policies.
Who are the top life insurance companies?
This question comes up a lot and my response is generally that it depends.
See, I feel it would really depend on what your definition of “TOP” means.
If you were to think that “TOP” means making the most money, then you would have to refer to the Fortune 500 list.
There you would see Metlife at the top life insurance company spot listed at #42 out of the top 500.
However, Metlife just recently sold their life insurance book of business and sales teams to MassMutual.
Now, Metlife rarely sells life insurance to the general public and has focused their services on group benefits to large companies.
So, based on these facts, I would never recommend purchasing life insurance from Metlife, even though this definition of “TOP” would persuade otherwise.
So, who do we think the top life insurance companies are?
We break it down based on specific specialties or products.
Let me explain.
We like to recommend the best company and product for each client’s specific goals.
Instead of just saying that company X is the best or company Y is the 2nd best, we discuss the pros and cons of each option so the client has all the information to make an informed decision.
Then, we back it up by comparing the various companies’ product features and benefits to show the differences.
Here is an example.
Let’s say you are interested in Living Benefits.
(click image below)
We would instantly recommend National Life Group LSW’s products, as they are the leader in living benefits.
They have the most triggers here in CA and the only company that has critical injury benefits.
In addition, the living benefits are included at no additional charge.
National Life Group LSW also has the fastest claims processing times, and a public formula that can show future benefit payout amounts.
Also, we can structure their flagship product, the Flexlife II, to be almost half the cost in comparison to other similar companies.
These above facts alone make a great case that National Life Group LSW is the leader in the living benefits market.
And we have no problem backing that up, as the facts are the facts.
Now, if living benefits were not important to you and you were looking for the least expensive term life insurance rates, we would recommend a different company.
As you can see below, for $500k in coverage, a 36-year-old elite health male could pay as little as $22 a month for non-living benefits term life insurance.
Now, each company on this list is not created equally.
Let me explain.
In our experience, Protective Life has had significant issues with processing their applications in a timely manner.
They have also approved applications at unfair ratings, increasing the cost of insurance.
On the other hand, United of Omaha has been great for our clients.
They have competitive products with great additional riders.
They have a fast processing time and very fair approval ratings.
American General, similar to Protective, can take 3 to 4 months to approve applications.
Now, American General has some competitive products and competitive rates, but again, they can take forever when processing applications.
I can go on and on, but the point is that you shouldn’t focus on who are the so-called “Top” or “best” life insurance companies in America.
You should be focused on who is the best life insurance company for your goals.
Again, you can see all over the web “The best life insurance companies” from Nerdwallet, or other websites ranking companies based on cheap rates or consumer complaints.
But the truth is that each company has different strengths and weaknesses.
Not every company is right for you just because they show up as number one on some list.
Here at LIVLIFE, we represent multiple insurance companies and can search the market for the best rates, options, and plans.
Each recommendation will be based on what is important to you and, of course, what is comfortable in your budget.
This strategy will help you receive the best overall value and help you accomplish what is important to your family.
Should I buy term life insurance?
Term life insurance is a great way to get the most life insurance coverage for the least out-of-pocket expense.
So, if you are still in your working years and want to get the most coverage today, then term life insurance is a great product.
Also, if the budget is kind of tight, term life can be very affordable.
Look at Terry’s policy below:
As you can see, Terry, a 35-year-old male that has an elite health rating, can receive $500k in coverage for as low as $20 a month.
Should I buy whole life insurance?
When it comes to whole life insurance, you can read so many debates with famous people saying one thing or another.
But at the end of the day, it really depends on your goals and budget.
Let me explain.
Here at LIVLIFE, we truly take an objective point of view in our product recommendations.
We, again, don’t believe that there are any bad insurance products, rather better products for specific situations.
See, with whole life insurance, it has a rep of being very expensive.
Now, that is very true. Whole life is the most expensive product on the market, meaning that it has the highest upfront cost of insurance and requires the most out-of-pocket expense.
But there are significant benefits that justify the high upfront cost, like guarantees, safe consistent dividend returns, and fixed loan withdrawal rates.
Now, before you go and think that we are only saying this because we sell whole life insurance, let me stop you there.
Whole life insurance is actually less than 1% of the products purchased by our clients.
We do, however, believe in permanent insurance 100%.
But there are other significantly less expensive options that can actually outperform whole life insurance.
In our experience, we generally recommend whole life insurance to people that are older than 65 and still looking for a permanent, final expense policy.
The cost of insurance can actually be less expensive and outperform other permanent products.
Again, at the end of the day, it is very important that your licensed agent review your goals and then make recommendations based on them.
This strategy will help you determine which product will be more ideal for you.
Should I buy universal life insurance?
Universal life insurance is one of the most cost-efficient permanent life insurance products on the market today.
So, if it’s important for you to have a permanent product that is less expensive than whole life insurance, then universal life insurance is your ideal product.
There are, however, many different forms of universal life insurance products.
All with different features, benefits, and purposes.
For example, there is a universal life insurance product that has zero cash value and is designed to be a low-cost permanent option.
The industry refers to this product as a Guaranteed Universal Life, or GUL.
A GUL can be less expensive at times, if you are in your 30s or 40s.
But that can drastically increase in cost over the age of 50, as you are closer to your life expectancy.
Another popular universal life product is an Index Universal Life, or IUL.
IULs are the most popular product today.
They are designed to have a lower upfront cost and have significant cash value accumulation through interest crediting.
There are other universal life products that have recently been phased out.
Traditional Universal Life and Variable Universal Life have both been either dropped from insurance companies’ portfolios or are simply not competitive anymore.
What happens when a life insurance policy lapses?
The first thing you need to do is see if you are in a grace period.
Please refer to the previous question for more details on a grace period.
If you are in a grace period, you will have the option to pay any past due premiums and restart your life insurance policy.
If you are not in a grace period and can no longer requalify, you would have to simply reapply and purchase a new policy.
If this policy had any cash value, it would be sent back to you.
But most likely, the insurance company has been charging your premiums from your cash value account to keep the policy going.
Then, when the cash value has run out, your policy will lapse.
If your policy is a term plan with no cash value, then it will simply lapse and no longer provide coverage.
If this were to occur, again, see if you can pay any past due premiums and restart that plan.
If all else fails, you will simply have to purchase a new plan.
What is permanent life insurance?
A permanent life insurance product is designed to start day one and then never end.
There are two types of permanent life insurance products.
These policies are ideal if it is important for you to have permanent coverage, want to leave a legacy, or transfer wealth from one generation to the next.
Another benefit is to simply make sure all of your final expenses and debts are paid for, so you are not leaving any bills to a loved one.
How does the cash value of life insurance work?
To make things easy to understand, there are three main components regarding the cash value.
- How the money goes into each policy
- How the cash value grows
- How you can access the cash value
With both of these products, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, the money generally goes into the policies with after-tax dollars.
Meaning you get your paycheck from your job, you pay Uncle Sam his cut, and then you pay your premiums from your checking account.
Now, how the cash value grows is what truly separates the two products.
See, with whole life, the cash surrender value grows through the issuing of dividends.
In my opinion, the easiest way to understand insurance dividends as a client is to think of the company sharing their leftover profit with you after paying all of their bills.
If you want to go into extreme detail, and if “paid up additions” is selected as your dividend payout (most popular for cash growth), the dividend is paid to your policy and then it purchases additional policies inside the same policy with additional cash value accounts, which ultimately grows your total cash value.
Now, translating back to English, what does that mean?
Well, simply put, your cash surrender value grows each day inside of your policy and when dividends are issued by the insurance company, which are not guaranteed by the way, and happens usually at the beginning of each year, your cash inside the policy will grow.
There are a ton of arguments here, but generally, historical dividends have returned rates from 4% to 6% annually.
Now, with universal life insurance, here is where it gets a little tricky.
See, there are actually four main variations of universal life.
- Traditional universal life, or UL
- Guaranteed universal life, or GUL
- Index universal life, or IUL
- Variable universal life, or VUL
Traditional universal life, or UL, has a cash accumulation account that grows based on current interest rates.
So, as current rates increase or decrease, so do your internal returns on your cash accumulation.
This plan was created in the late 70s to compete with bank savings accounts giving double-digit interest rates.
See, whole life insurance was the first insurance product ever created, and as mentioned above, historically returned 4% to 6% even during high interest rate periods.
So, people were cashing out their whole life policies and putting the cash in the bank!
Makes sense to me, right?
No risk with a 10% return!
We would all kill for that today.
With so many people canceling their whole life policies to get the cash, the insurance companies had to act fast.
So, universal life insurance was born and clients could enjoy a very tax-efficient growth based on current interest rates.
This leads me to my next point on growth.
See, permanent cash value policies have a special tax-efficient benefit since they are NOT classified as an investment (not referring to VUL, or variable universal life) and are not governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA.
Since they are not governed by ERISA, they are treated differently.
The cash value inside of all permanent life insurance products, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, grow on a tax-deferred basis.
Meaning the cash value growth does not get taxed each year that it grows.
Then, you can access the cash surrender value through loans and withdrawals.
The benefit of borrowing the cash against your death benefit is that it is classified as a loan, giving you the ability to access the cash on an income tax-free basis.
Again, the cash is given to you on an income tax-free basis because it is classified as a loan.
This highlight alone is very popular among “savers” and life insurance owners looking to have a tax-free retirement income.
Do I need a life insurance agent?
Well, that depends. An agent’s job is to be there from A-Z.
Meaning that they will assist you in searching the market for the best options based on your goals.
Then, by servicing the policy over the lifetime of the plan and, of course, being there when a claim needs to be paid.
So, if you enjoy and value VIP, one-on-one service, then having an agent can make your life very easy.
If you don’t care about any of that, and don’t mind speaking to different people each time you call in, then, by all means, skip the agent.
Are life insurance benefits taxable?
Yes and No.
See, the death benefit is paid to your beneficiary on an income tax-free basis.
Meaning your beneficiary would NOT have to pay income tax, but could pay an estate tax.
If your estate is more than $5 million here in the US, then an estate tax could be issued, if it’s not structured correctly.
Estate tax issues generally become a topic of concern when someone’s estate is more than $5 million.
How does life insurance with living benefits work?
If you are diagnosed with a qualifying critical, chronic, or terminal illness, you can access a portion of the death benefit while alive.
See, most life insurance policies only pay a claim if you DIE.
However, policies with living benefits have additional value, as you can have the life insurance coverage you need AND access the death benefit if you get sick or injured.
To see a full breakdown of what illnesses, injuries, or diseases qualify, please click here.
Does life insurance with living benefits cost extra?
Yes and No. Let me explain.
See, it depends on the insurance carrier and how you compare different insurance companies’ rates.
Let’s use National Life Group insurance company as an example. They have all the living benefits built into their products at no additional cost.
However, the premium can be more expensive for the same plan in comparison to other insurance companies.
Check out this example below of Terry, a 35-year-old elite health male:
Terry’s above plan has $500,000 in term life insurance coverage with living benefits.
So, if he were to get sick or injured, he could potentially access a portion of the death benefit while alive to eliminate financial stress.
Now, for the same $500,000 in life insurance coverage with 10-year level premiums, AAA life insurance company’s premium would be around $15 a month, or around $5 less a month.
So, as I stated before, living benefits can potentially cost more if you compare it to a plan without living benefits.
But ask yourself this:
Is paying around $5 a month more worth having access to the death benefit if you get cancer and can no longer work?
If the answer is yes, then living benefits makes sense.
Now, check this out. There are some insurance carriers that can actually cost more!
See, with a policy from New York Life Insurance Company, you would actually pay more a month for the same exact plan, BUT with NO living benefits.
So, as you can see, it really depends.
National Life group is our most popular living benefits carrier as, again, they do not charge extra for their living benefits.
And when you compare living benefits to other insurance carriers, it can actually cost less, hence my YES and NO answer.
Click here for a quick video on how Jessica beat cancer by using her living benefits inside of her life insurance.
To compare rates from different insurance companies and get a customized living benefits quote, please set up a FREE insurance review today!
How long does it take to receive a living benefits payout?
Once the insurance company has received all the claims paperwork, we have had clients receive a direct deposit in their bank accounts in as fast as 7 business days!
What is LIVLIFE Insurance?
LIVLIFE Insurance is a life insurance agency that specializes in Living Benefits life insurance.
We provide truly objective advice when helping clients search for the best life insurance options in the market.
We are NOT a life insurance company, we are an Agency.
As an Agency, we represent multiple top-rated life insurance companies.
This structure will help you find the best overall value based on your goals.
Why should I work with LIVLIFE Insurance?
The number one reason you should work with LIVLIFE Insurance is the fact that we specialize in living benefits.
With living benefits, you can have the life insurance coverage your family needs and access the death benefit if you get sick or injured.
Secondly, our process is designed to be quick, easy, and bring you the most competitive options.
We are licensed with multiple insurance companies and help you search the market for the best value.
Our options can approve you in as little as 7 days with NO medical exam.
And lastly, we are on a mission to give back.
At the end of each year, we donate a portion of our profits to families that have been impacted by major illnesses, injuries, or diseases.
Does it cost any money to work with LIVLIFE Insurance?
Nope. Nothing, nada, zilch.
We are, yes, classified as insurance brokers, but there are no extra fees or charges to work with us.
Each insurance company that we represent has fixed rates and would not cost any extra purchasing from us.
Is LIVLIFE Insurance licensed?
LIVLIFE Insurance is our doing-business-as name (DBA) because it sounded cool when we created the name.
However, our licensed business entity with the state of California and other states we are licensed in is Super Preferred Insurance Svc. LLC CA Lic #0I77151
How does LIVLIFE Insurance service my policy?
As an agency that employs licensed life insurance agents, your agent will be your first point of contact.
Your agent will answer your calls and answer any questions you might have before and after you purchase your policy.
We send out birthday and holidays cards to stay in touch, as well as conduct annual reviews to make sure the policy is adapting to your changing needs.
We also send out premium reminders to make sure the premiums stay comfortable in your budget and, again, always answer your calls!
We do have a client support team that is available if for some reason you cannot get ahold of your agent.
Your agent does service other households and might either be in a meeting or on the phone.
However, if for some reason you need immediate service, please don’t hesitate to contact our client hotline or claims department.
Click here to contact us today!
How does LIVLIFE Insurance handle claims?
Our claims process is one of the best, if not the best part about working with LIVLIFE Insurance.
See, we have an entire claims team ready to work with you and your family to get your claim paid FAST!
Once you contact your agent or our claims team, we contact the insurance company and start the necessary paperwork the same day.
We outline the time frame for your specific situation and then get to work.
We understand that dealing with a death or nasty disease is an emotional time, which is why we will do everything that needs to be done on a daily basis.
We send you or your beneficiary updates multiple times a week, informing you or them of the status.
These are not automated emails.
These updates will be phone calls and personal emails, even if there are no new updates.
We believe that an update that there is no update is better than no update at all.