“Here is a small fact, you are going to die. Does this worry you? I urge you- don’t be afraid. I am nothing if not fair.“
That’s how Markus Zusak introduces the narrator of The Book Thief. This line has drawn many readers into a story that would open up their view on Nazi Germany and break their hearts. But there’s no doubt that some elder readers were too disturbed by this fact to read on. And so they should be. They were bothered by questions such as ‘who is going to pay for your funeral?’ and ‘who is going to take care of your dependents when it’s your time to go?’ If you want to be submerged in Zusak’s literary masterpiece without any distractions, sort out your life insurance before opening the book.
It’s important to make a well-informed decision because, when it comes to insurance, ‘expensive’ doesn’t necessarily equal ‘high quality’. Make a list of what you expect from an insurer and compare different quotes. Many customers in the autumn of their lives think it’s hard to find life insurance coverage because, traditionally, the industry used to focus on a younger audience. However, over 50 life insurance has become an important niche sector of the life insurance market and you don’t have to go for the first provider that is willing to offer you over coverage. Thorough research can s ave you and your dependents a lot of money and hassle .
There are huge differences between the over 50 life insurance policies on the British market. Some providers require potential clients to undertake a medical before commencement of their policy while others offer policies that don’t require a medical from customers up to the age of 80. Some insurance companies stipulate in their policy wording that the full lump sum will not be paid within the first one or two years of the policy. If a claim is made this soon, the beneficiary will only receive the value of the premiums paid in. Some more generous insurers offer up to 150% of the value of the paid premiums. These are important aspects to keep in mind when comparing policies.
The most affordable form of life insurance is term insurance. Policies range from one year up to a few decades. If you opt for this type of insurance, the insurer guarantees to pay out a death benefit to your beneficiary if you die within the term period of the policy. No benefit will be paid if you survive.
You will have to choose whether you prefer level, increasing or decreasing term insurance. If you opt for level term insurance, the payout will remain the same throughout the term of the policy. If you intend to insure for a long period, it might be worth considering increasing term insurance. These policies usually increase by 5% a year or in line with inflation. Decreasing term insurance can be useful if you are repaying loans and don’t want to risk leaving your family with your debts. Because your debts will fall every year, you can allow the level of cover to fall each year until the policy reaches zero.
Reaching the end of the term period of your policy is a good reason to invite all your kids, friends and family and throw a party. Celebrate that you’re alive! But it might also leave you with an unsatisfied feeling – you’ve spent a lot of money and got nothing in return. It’s a legitimate reaction, even though you did of course get peace of mind. If you know in advance that you’ll feel that way about outliving your policy, a whole-of-life policy might be better for you. It’s guaranteed that your beneficiaries will receive a lump sum in the event of your death.
Other possibilities include the convertible and the renewable term insurance. The former allows you to convert your existing term insurance policy into a whole-of-life or endowment policy. The advantage is that they can’t refuse you a new policy based on the state of your health. The downside is that you will incur higher premiums. Renewable term insurance allows you to renew your existing policy at its expiration irrespective of your state of health. These are both good options if you’re still in doubt about what type of life insurance you need. Sort out your life insurance now, so that you can indulge in The Book Thief without worrying!