September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel encourages Wisconsin consumers to evaluate what life insurance can mean for their family’s well-being.
“Unfortunately, many people mistakenly feel life insurance is not an essential part of their financial plan,” said Commissioner Nickel. “If you are your family’s main breadwinner, consider life insurance to take care of your family should anything happen to you.”
Who Needs Life Insurance?
Your need for life insurance varies with your age and responsibilities. It is a very important part of financial planning.
There are several reasons to purchase life insurance:
- You may need to replace income that would be lost with the death of a wage earner.
- You may want to make sure your dependents do not incur significant debt when you die.
- Life insurance may allow your dependents to keep assets versus selling them to pay outstanding bills or taxes.
Consumers should consider the following factors when purchasing life insurance:
- Medical expenses previous to death, burial costs, and estate taxes
- Support while remaining family members try to secure employment
- Continued monthly bills and expenses, day-care costs, college tuition, and retirement
Tips on Buying Life Insurance
- Make sure you feel confident in the insurance agent and company.
- Decide how much you need, for how long, and what you can afford to pay.
- Learn what kinds of policies will provide what you need and pick the one that is best for you.
- Do not sign an application until you review it carefully to be sure the answers are complete and accurate.
- Do not buy life insurance unless you intend to stick with your plan. It may be very costly if you cancel during the early years of the policy.
- When you buy a policy, make the check payable to the company, not the agent.
- Visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)’s InsureU website for more information, such as Life Insurance FAQ’s and 10 Things to Know Before Buying Life Insurance.
- OCI’s consumer publication, Understanding Annuities, explains the different types of annuity contracts, describes the various contractual features, and discusses how to shop for an annuity.
- Talk to your insurance agent or company about which policy will best meet the needs of you and your family’s financial future.
Source: Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI), Elizabeth Hizmi, Public Information Officer