Best Life Insurance Companies for May 2022

The passing of a loved one is hard. Aside from the emotional toll this takes on a family, it also comes with new expenses and financial challenges. There are steps you can take to prepare, starting with a life insurance policy. 

This type of insurance coverage is an important safeguard that can protect your family in the event of an unexpected illness or accident. 

Signing up for life insurance requires you to designate beneficiaries to receive monetary support after you die. Your premium, which is a fixed amount, can be paid either monthly or yearly, and the beneficiary will receive a set amount of money (also called the death benefit) after your death. 

The amount of the benefit and length of the coverage period are variables that figure into the price of your premium.

There are two types of life insurance products: basic life insurance and life insurance bundled with a quasi-investment product. 

Term life insurance, a type of basic life insurance, is the most inexpensive and straightforward choice for most people. Bundled products -- including whole life, universal life, permanent life and any policy with a cash-value component -- are generally more expensive and complicated. 

"If I need to make sure my family or business is protected in the case of my passing prematurely, I want to focus on term insurance," said David Gastwirth, an insurance strategist with American Business. "It's the fundamental cornerstone of one's insurance plan."

Death benefits for term life insurance typically start at $100,000 and go up to $3 million, which should be an adequate life insurance product to cover most people's needs. (In some cases, you can get a term life insurance policy with a $5 million benefit.) 

All things being equal, Gastwirth recommends erring on the side of more coverage since the cost of a life insurance policy increases as you age -- and if you develop health issue complications later in life, you could become uninsurable. 

The best time to buy life insurance is when you're young and healthy, but it becomes more important as you get older. Most experts recommend buying a policy with a death benefit equal to 10 to 12 times their annual income and a term long enough to cover living expenses and future financial liabilities, such as mortgage payments and college tuition. 

The cost of the policy -- and the pricing of your monthly or annual premium -- is primarily determined by the term length and size of the death benefit. 

Other factors that may come into play include your health and age at sign-up, gender, whether you're a smoker and where you live. Adults in good health under the age of 40 can expect to pay between $25 and $50 per month for a 20- or 30-year term life insurance plan with a death benefit around $500,000.

We've compared coverage features, customer service rankings, corporate stability and the average price of a policy from 25 life insurance companies. 

The six companies highlighted below offer 20-year policies with a $500,000 death benefit for $23 to $32 per month (or $5,520 to $7,200 over the course of the term). 

The more expensive policies are offered by larger companies, including Northwestern Mutual and State Farm, which are known for superior customer service. We omitted companies that do not offer policies to residents in every state. 

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