What's the Difference: Homeowners Insurance vs. Home Warranty

 
 
While both are great protections to have, home insurance and home warranties offer different types of protection. Learn what each cover and why you should consider purchasing both.

 Owning a home is

Owning a home is one of the greatest investments you'll make in your life. Protecting your assets is not just smart—it's integral. The best way to do this is to purchase both a homeowner’s insurance policy and a home warranty. Purchasing both will cover your home, belongings, appliances and system components in case they need replacement or repair. But understanding the differences between the two products and why you need them can be tricky.

What is homeowners insurance?

A home insurance policy covers any accidental damage to your home and belongings due to theft, storms, fires, and some natural disasters. There are four primary areas covered under the policy: the interior and exterior of your home, personal property in case of theft, loss or damage, and general liability that can arise when a person is injured while on your property.

A home insurance policy is usually mandatory, and a bank will generally require you to obtain one before issuing a mortgage on a home. A policy is renewed yearly, and its average annual cost is between $300 and $1000. All home insurance policies offer a deductible, which is what you'll pay when a claim is made. The policy will then take care of any additional costs.

So for instance, say a pipe breaks and floods your kitchen. An insurance adjuster will come to your home and fill out a claim for repair and replacement of any damaged items in your home. Once the claim is approved, the insurance company will deduct the amount of your deductible and issue you a payment for the rest of balance to repair your home. This deductible can also assist in lowering your yearly policy premium. The higher your deductible, the lower your yearly home insurance policy will cost.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract that provides for repair or replacement of your system components and appliances that fail due to age and standard wear and tear. For instance, components of your HVAC, electrical, and plumbing, kitchen appliances and washer/dryer are all typically covered under this warranty. You can also cover larger systems like your pool and spa. Home warranties typically have 12-month contract terms and are not mandatory to obtain a mortgage. A home warranty is purely elective, but it’s a smart purchase. Appliance and system combo plans can be purchased for around $75 per month, with add-on coverage for items like an additional refrigerator or pool system available for extra costs.

So let's say your HVAC system stops working. In that case, a licensed, pre-screened technician will come out and assess the problem. If it's determined that the system is no longer working because of age or wear and tear and the breakdown is covered under the terms of your service contract, the service contractor will make the repair, or if necessary, will replace the appliance or system for just the cost of your service call. A one-time service call generally cost (depending on your policy) up tp $125, and the home warranty company pays the rest. The protection of a home warranty potentially can save you hundreds or even thousands of out-of-pocket dollars and the headache of finding a trusted service contractor to make the repairs.

Let’s face it – life happens and things break. When they do, a home warranty from American Home Shield can make it easier to get a qualified professional on the case while keeping your budget in line.

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Blood Cancers and Buying Life Insurance

According to the American Society of Hematology, blood cancers affect the production and function of your blood cells and end up preventing your blood from performing many of its functions, such as fighting off infections or preventing serious bleeding.  Approximately every three minutes, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer.  September is both Life Insurance Awareness Month and Blood Cancer Awareness Month.  In this post, let’s discuss the different types of blood cancer and how these conditions can affect buying life insurance.

What are the different types of blood cancer?

There are three main types of blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.  An estimated 1,290,773 Americans are either living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma.

Leukemia – cancer of the body’s blood forming tissues.

  • Mainly affects bone marrow and the lymphatic system
  • Usually, affects white blood cells – the infection fighting cells
  • There are many types of leukemia

Lymphoma – cancer of the lymphatic system.

  • Affects the lymphatic system – the body’s germ-fighting network – which includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow
  • There two categories: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Myeloma – cancer of plasma cells.

  • Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease- and infection-fighting antibodies
  • Cancerous plasma cells release too much protein and can cause organ damage
  • Cancerous plasma cells can also crowd the normal cells in your bones and weaken them

How does leukemia affect buying life insurance?

Leukemia can be either acute or chronic.  Chronic leukemia progresses more slowly than acute leukemia, which requires immediate treatment.  There are five types of leukemia: acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), hairy cell leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).  ALL is the most common form of childhood leukemia and AML and CLL are most common in adults.

Although individuals who have been diagnosed with leukemia generally cannot get preferred life insurance risk classes, that is Preferred Plus or Preferred, once treated with no recurrence, individuals can be considered for Standard life insurance rates.  Risk classes are dependent on the type of leukemia, your age at diagnosis, and how long it has been since completion of treatment.  The more years that have passed since treatment, the better your chances are for qualifying for Standard or Standard Plus.

Risk Classes
Preferred Plus
Preferred
Standard Plus
Standard

If you do not qualify for standard risk classes, you may be table rated and/or be required to pay a flat extra.  A table rating typically means you will pay the standard prices plus a certain percentage.  A flat extra is an additional fee that cushions the risk for the insurance carrier.  A flat extra can last the entire life of a policy or just a few years.

Table Rating
(alphabetical)
Table Rating
(numerical)
Pricing
A 1 Standard + 25%
B 2 Standard + 50%
C 3 Standard + 75%
D 4 Standard + 100%
E 5 Standard + 125%
F 6 Standard + 150%
G 7 Standard + 175%
H 8 Standard + 200%
I 9 Standard + 225%
J 10 Standard + 250%

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Example 1

 

Jane Doe was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when she was 8 years old.  She is now 30 years old and it has been over 20 years since treatment was completed.  Jane is a non-smoker and aside from her history of childhood cancer, she has a clean bill of health.

She applies for a 30-year $500,000 life insurance policy and is approved at Standard Plus.  Her monthly premium payments will be $50.

Example 2

 

John Smith was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) when he was 18 years old.  Part of his treatment was a bone marrow transplant.  He is now 32 years old, does not smoke, and it has been 13 years since treatment was completed.

He applies for a 20-year $500,000 life insurance policy and is approved at Table B.  His monthly premium payments will be $60.

Keep in mind that no life insurance company underwrites the exact same way.  (Underwriting is the process of evaluating an application and determining a risk class.)  Some will be stricter with leukemia than others.

How does lymphoma affect buying life insurance?

There are two categories of lymphoma: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin.  The difference between the two is based on the type of cancer cells present.  According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Hodgkin lymphoma is rare, accounting for about .5 percent of all new cancers diagnosed.  Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common being the seventh most diagnosed cancer.

In the majority of cases, applicants with a history of lymphoma will be assigned a flat extra for the first few years, unless a good number of years (like ten) have passed since treatment.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Example

 

John Doe is a 54-year-old male, non-smoker, applying for a 20-year $250,000 term policy.  He was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma five years ago.  He went through chemotherapy that same year and continued preventative treatment for two years following.  There has been no sign of recurrence.  He gets check-ups once per year.

John is approved at Table B with a flat extra of $15 per thousand for five years.  Here’s what all that means.  John is getting $250,000 in coverage, so to calculate the flat extra you multiply 15 by 250.  John will have to pay an extra $3750 per year on top of his normal premiums for five years.  Once year five is over, his premiums will drop to the regular Table B premium which will be $140 per month.

Again, no life insurance company underwrites the same way.  There are insurance carriers that would decline John outright.  This is why working with an independent agency like Quotacy is beneficial.  We have contracts with multiple A-rated carriers, so your chances of being approved are better.

How does myeloma affect buying life insurance?

Myeloma has different forms, but 90 percent of people who have been diagnosed with myeloma have multiple myeloma.  It’s called such because it affects several areas of the body versus just one site.  There is currently no cure for multiple myeloma, so life insurance approval may prove difficult.  Unless you have had a bone marrow transplant, an applicant diagnosed with multiple myeloma will typically be declined for life insurance.  Myeloma is, however, the least commonly diagnosed type of blood cancer.

Plasmacytoma and localized myeloma diagnoses, these are forms of myeloma in which cancer cells are found in only one site, have higher chances of life insurance approval.  Standard rates are even possible if enough years have passed since treatment.

If you have a history of blood cancer, don’t hesitate to apply for life insurance.  Applying for life insurance is free and there is no commitment to buy.  Here at Quotacy we have access to many life insurance carriers and will help to get you approved for coverage.  Start out by using our term quoting tool to run as many quotes as you would like – no contact information required.  We look forward to helping you get life insurance.

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The Real Benefits of Home Service Contracts

It's Saturday morning. With a cup of coffee in hand, you flip open the blinds and gaze out at your backyard. Despite the sunny morning, you notice standing water in the corner of your lawn.

Your heart sinks as you realize the water is your flooded leach field.

The home warranty contract you had when you first bought the house a year ago would have covered this, but you opted not to renew it last month.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract and covers wear and tear related repairs or the replacement of important home system components and appliances that break down over time.

A home warranty protects you and your family from bearing extreme expense and hardship from breakdowns not covered by your home insurance policy. Plans vary and can cover major home systems such as air conditioning, heating, electrical and plumbing as well as major home appliances such as kitchen ovens, stoves, refrigerators, and washers.

"I'm never going to have to pay for anything again!"

This isn't true.

Home warranty service contracts can cover a lot of major repairs or replace important systems and appliances, but only if you're signed up for the right one.

And there are a lot of companies out there advocating on behalf of these service contracts and the warranties they offer, and just like anything, they're not always truthful and the expectations they set with consumers can be misleading. They advertise that, under their umbrella policies, homeowners will never have to pay out of pocket again for repairs and services for their homes.

This isn't true.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of gross misrepresentations within home service contracts and the advertisements promoting them. Where, homeowners are led to believe if they spend more for what looks like an all-inclusive contract, they'll never have to pay for repairs or services to their home again, no matter what they are.

This isn't true.

The Honest Benefits of Owning a Home Service Contract

  • 1.The ability to call on a network of available pre-screened contractors for whatever their specialty is.
    • Instead of choosing a contractor blindly, a home service contract includes the right people to call on for the right jobs, mitigating the frustration of doing your own, unadvised research and dealing with the costly repercussions of illegitimate contractors who overcharge or are unfit to do the job. Not to mention, you'll never be covered for an all-out replacement.
    • In the earlier example of the flooded leach field, the service company the homeowners call on independently – because they no longer have the benefits of in-network contractors included in a home warranty – could falsely charge them. Instead of only replacing the sewage ejector pump causing the problems, the contractor might also cite septic tank malfunctions and replace the line from the house. How would the homeowner know?
    • Most homeowners don't have the time to manage what a contractor is doing or the knowledge to determine what repairs are needed and which are unnecessary. They just know they need it fixed. Home service contracts and their representatives are motivated to do the right thing on behalf of the homeowner because they are the ones who are paying for it.
  • If you pick wisely, you really will save money. Home service contracts really do pay claims.
    • The best part about the home warranty is when the consumer walks away without a penalty for wears and tears that naturally will happen to their home over time. Protect yourself, your family and your home by preparing for – not if, but – when your home systems and appliances malfunction or need repair or replacement.

 

 

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Do Home Warranties Cover Plumbing?

Let’s face it; plumbing issues stink! Plumbing is one of those home systems we tend not to appreciate until there’s a problem with it. They can occur without any warning making for an unpleasant surprise that you have no choice but to address immediately.

Plumbing problems aren’t just unpleasant; they can also be expensive. Not only does the issue itself needs to be remedied, but also leaked water can cause several residual issues such as floorboard rot, drywall damage and mold, among others.

Related: A Guide To Leaks, Clogs, And Other Plumbing Issues You Can Fix

The average cost to hire a plumber for a typical job ranges from $160 to $430. Plus, plumbers often charge an additional premium to come out on evenings or weekends. The cost of parts for the repair can vary widely, especially in older homes where replacement pieces are harder to find.

What Do Home Warranties Cover?

If you’ve been asking yourself whether you should invest in a home warranty, the first step is to look at what’s covered under the warranty. Each plan is different and coverage can vary.

E-exchanger Home Warranty plan covers the costs of repairing or replacing more than 20 major appliances and home systems, including plumbing. There are flexible plans that allow you to choose the best fit for your family’s needs and you can even build your own custom plan so you have the exact coverage you want.

Do Home Warranties Cover Plumbing?

Generally speaking, home warranties do cover plumbing when issues result from normal wear and tear. Not every plan is created equally, though, so it’s important to look at what exactly is covered, especially if you already have a contract. Some of the common plumbing troubles covered by AHS include:

  • Leaks and breaks in the water, gas, drain or vent lines
  • Faucets, shower heads, and shower valves
  • Built-in bathtub whirlpool motors, pumps, and air switches
  • Clearing sink, tub, shower and toilet stoppages

Be sure to check the yor contract for more details.

Give Yourself Peace of Mind

Unfortunately, plumbing issues are inevitable in any home. Since the best plan is to be prepared, you can ease your stress by giving yourself the gift of an American Home Shield plan.

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10 ways to save money around the house



Have you ever considered how many ways you can save money around the house? Here are 10 of them:

1. Unplug your electronics at night
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. household spends about $100 per year to fuel appliances left on standby mode. Save some money by plugging your devices into power strips and switching them off before bed.

2. Collect spare change
That loose change you find around the house can really add up. Start collecting coins, and then take them to the grocery store to exchange for dollars at the end of every month.

3. Use what you already have
Instead of going on a shopping spree every time the refrigerator seems bare, browse through the pantry and eat the items you already have.

Browse your pantry before making that emergency trip to the grocery store.

4. Start clipping coupons
If you collect the newspaper and have time to set aside on a Sunday morning, start clipping coupons. But don’t just use them to buy something because it’s on sale and seems like a great deal – only make the purchase if it’s an item that won’t go to waste.

5. Grow your own herbs and vegetables
Why buy herbs and vegetables when you can grow your own? Even if you don’t have room for a full garden of veggies, U.S. News & World Report said you can likely find enough space inside or outside to plant herbs. Try growing your own dill, basil and mint to save money and spruce up your dishes.

“Baking soda and vinegar can sanitize most of your appliances.”

6. Clean with baking soda
Who needs expensive cleaners when you have baking soda? You can replace most chemicals when you mix a natural solution of baking soda and vinegar. The combination can clear out a clogged drain, remove dirt and grime from your kitchen sink and sanitize most of your other home appliances.

7. Use a programmable thermostat
By using a programmable thermostat, you can set your heating and cooling systems to turn down when you’re gone for the day. The Environmental Protection Agency said this update can save you up to $180 every year in energy costs.

8. Consider streaming
With all of the options you have for online streaming nowadays, you might want to give it a try. Consider lowering costs by joining , two options that you can access on your laptop or other connected devices.

9.  Seal your windows and doorways
By sealing your windows and doors, the EPA estimated that you can save about 15 percent on heating and cooling costs every year. Consider adding insulation in the attics and crawl spaces, and use caulking to seal any cracks in your window and door frames.

10. Invest in a E-Exchanger Home Warranty
What happens when one of your heavily used appliances breaks down? You can’t just avoid getting it repaired or replaced. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to put down an entire paycheck to get it up and running again. When you invest in a E-Exchanger Home Warranty, you’ll receive a plan that helps cover the cost of repairs or replacements in your major appliances and systems. With a home warranty, you can rest assured knowing you won’t have to hand over an arm and a leg when an issue occurs.

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How Do Smoking Cessation Products Affect Life Insurance Rates?

Are you using cessation products to quit smoking?  There are ways for you to get great non-smoker prices on life insurance.  There are endless benefits to quitting a smoking habit.  It helps to increase both your lifespan and your wallet.  To quit smoking you need strong will power and sometimes the help of products whether those are gum, lozenges, patches, or e-cigarettes.  These products all contain nicotine and are used to wean your body off cigarettes while supplying you with the nicotine but sparing you from the other chemicals found in tobacco.

Because there is nicotine in these products, some life insurance companies will still classify you as a smoker even if you don’t actually smoke anything.  The use of these products will cause cotinine to show up in your urine test which would be enough for the carrier to classify you in one of the tobacco risk classes and issue you smoker rates.

Have no fear cessation product users!  There are insurance companies that will consider you for the non-tobacco risk classes and therefore be given non-smoker pricing.  To be offered non-smoker rates, you have to be cigarette-free for at least 12 months.  Let’s say you have been using a cessation gum to quit smoking, but you have only been cigarette-free for 5 months.  Even though you currently do not smoke, you will still get the smoker-rate because it has not yet been at least 12 months.  However, if you have been cigarette free for at least a year but still, for example, chew Nicorette Gum daily there are insurance carriers who will offer you non-smoker pricing.

Insurance carriers rate certain tobacco/nicotine uses differently.  While one company may give non-smoker rates to gum and e-cigarettes, another company may only give non-smoker rates to gum.  We asked 20 life insurance carriers if they would consider giving a non-tobacco risk class to an applicant who uses nicotine gum and four carriers said they would consider it.  Of these carriers, three said they would consider giving a non-tobacco risk class to e-cigarette users.

These examples explain why it is very beneficial for you to work with an independent life insurance agency, like Quotacy, who has contracts with multiple carriers.  It also shows how important it is for you to be very detailed about your tobacco and nicotine product use on your life insurance application.  If we have all the correct information we are able to go to the appropriate life insurance carrier to ensure you get the best policy for your individual situation.

You can still protect your loved ones with life insurance even if you use smoking cessation products, and what’s better is that there is even a possibility you can get great non-smoker rates.  No one ever anticipates needing to use life insurance, but the unexpected happens.

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Why You Might Want Wedding Insurance

If you’re busy planning a wedding, you might want to consider insuring it.

Wedding insurance policies are relatively easy to understand, and the two main types are both inexpensive compared with the cost of a ceremony and reception:

  • Liability insurance covers you in case of an injury or property damage at the wedding. Liquor liability, sometimes a separate coverage, pays out if someone drinks too much and causes an injury or damage.
  • Cancellation coverage reimburses you for costs such as deposits and guests’ airfare if you need to cancel or reschedule the wedding for an unforeseen reason. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include a change of heart.

The most common wedding cancellation claims involve:

  • A vendor, such as a venue or a caterer, going out of business or being otherwise unable to fulfill its agreement.
  • Extreme weather, such as a hurricane or tornado.
  • A member of the bridal party or family being too injured or ill to participate.

Costs

Cancellation and liability coverage are sold separately. Prices are based on the number of guests or the wedding’s price tag, depending on the insurer, but each can cost under $200 for a wedding with fewer than 50 guests.

How to buy it

You can buy wedding insurance through an event insurer, such as Wedsafe or WedSure, or large insurers such as Travelers Insurance. Some insurers sell “event insurance,” which can also cover a wedding. Ask your agent if your current insurer has any options.

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Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance a Good Option?

We often get asked questions along the lines of “My aging parent is very ill and medical bills have drained his/her savings account, but I cannot afford to pay for the funeral if he/she should pass away.  Can I buy life insurance on my parent?”  In this scenario, we do not advise purchasing “regular” fully underwritten life insurance.  More often than not, term life insurance is going to be ideal for most people, but not in this scenario.

Why we wouldn’t recommend term insurance in this case…

Term life insurance would typically not work in this case because the coverage amount would be too small, the client would likely be uninsurable because of health issues, and the client’s age would be outside the range a life insurance company would approve coverage for.

What we would recommend…

When we get this question, we usually tell inquirers that they have two options:

  1. Take the money you would have spent each month on term insurance and instead put it into a savings account so it can start accruing interest. You can then access these funds later when in need of money for your loved one’s final expenses.
  2. Purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

What is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that you cannot be denied coverage on, hence “guaranteed”.  There are a few things you should know about this type of insurance.

  1. Guaranteed issue life insurance is typically known as “last resort” life insurance. It’s meant for those who may have been denied previously and/or are not in good health.
  2. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are designed so that surviving loved ones can pay for your final expenses, such as a funeral, burial, and medical bills.
  3. Guaranteed issue life insurance premiums will never increase.
  4. A guaranteed issue life insurance policy accumulates cash value.
  5. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies have significantly lower death benefit amounts compared to term or permanent policies.
  6. There is no medical exam or questionnaire required for guaranteed issue life insurance. The only factor that is really taken into consideration is the age of the insured.  Because of this, guaranteed issue life insurance premiums are higher per thousand than most other types of life insurance.
  7. Benefits are limited to the first two years. This is called a Graded Death Benefit period.  What this means is that if you die within two years of buying the policy for any reason other than an accident, your beneficiaries typically only receive the total amount of what you paid in premiums.  (This can vary depending on the carrier.)

So, if you’re in relatively good health, fully underwritten life insurance may be a better option for you.  However, guaranteed issue life insurance is a great option for those with a desperate need.

How much does guaranteed issue life insurance cost?

While you can get millions of dollars’ worth of term life insurance coverage, guaranteed issue life insurance coverage often caps at $50,000.  Again, its design is based around simply helping your surviving loved ones pay for your final expenses.

Quotacy works with Gerber Life to provide guaranteed issue coverage options.  Gerber’s guaranteed issue policy is available in all U.S. states except for Montana.  Take a look at the examples and table below to get an idea on what a guaranteed issue policy can cost.

Example #1

 John Smith is 55 years old and has been denied for traditional life insurance because of his Stage IV prostate cancer.  He does not want to burden his children with his final expenses so he plans on purchasing guaranteed issue life insurance.

He’s automatically approved without having to undergo a medical exam or fill out any health forms.  John obtains $20,000 in coverage and his premiums are $91.30 per month.

If John passes away within two years, Gerber Life will refund to his beneficiaries all premiums that had been paid plus 10% interest.  However, if John happens to die because of an accident unrelated to his health within those two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full $20,000 death benefit.  After two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full death benefit regardless of how he dies.

Example #2

 Jane Doe takes care of her 79-year-old mother Sally.  Sally does not have any life insurance and Jane is worried that she won’t have the funds to give her mother the funeral she deserves.  Jane decides to buy a guaranteed issue life insurance policy on Sally.

A $12,000 policy is enough for Jane to ensure she can pay for a proper funeral and burial.  Sally is approved for coverage and the policy will cost $165.70 per month.

Although this type of policy is easy to acquire, it offers less coverage and higher premiums than traditional life insurance, so explore all your options.  If you aren’t sure if guaranteed issue life insurance is the best choice for you or want more information, contact us here at Quotacy and we can help you.

Recap of Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance:

  • If you’re between 50 and 80 years old, you can be accepted for guaranteed issue coverage regardless of your health.
  • There are no medical exams to complete or health questionnaires to fill out.
  • Cash value accumulates within the policy.

Remember, term life insurance quotes are free to run on E-Exchanger.com and there is no penalty for applying.  It doesn’t hurt to apply for term life insurance, then opt for the guaranteed issue if you end up being denied.  The more options you have, the better decision you can make.

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5 Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors

Here is the ultimate truth about life insurance: the only policy that matters is the one that is in force on the day you die. – Tom Hegna, economist, author, retirement expert

Tom Hegna’s quote is powerful. If you have loved ones who would suffer financially should you pass away, you need a life insurance policy that is in force.

Seniors generally have five options for life insurance. We’ll review each type to help you make an informed decision.

When you’re ready to apply, you can be confident that you’re purchasing the best policy you qualify for at the most competitive price.

Five Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors:

1. Term

2. Whole

3. Guaranteed Universal

4. Universal

5. Final Expense

Next Steps:

How To Apply

1. Term

As the name implies, term life insurance provides a benefit for a specific amount of time. Contrary to popular belief, term life insurance is purchased by seniors regularly.

Primary components to understand about term when deciding if it’s a good fit for you:

  • How old are you? At some point, your age can disqualify you from purchasing term. Each life insurance carrier is different, but generally age limits look like this:
    • 80 years old – 10 year term
    • 75 years old – 15 year term
    • 70 years old – 20 year term
    • 65 years old – 25 year term
    • 58 years old – 30 year term
    • Unsurprisingly, term life insurance premiums increase with age.
  • How is your health? Less than perfect health means higher premiums or a possible decline. As we age, it's common to develop chronic health conditions including:
    • hypertension
    • diabetes
    • cardiovascular disease
    • anxiety

Bottom line – your age and health are two main components to securing life insurance. It’s possible you will need to complete a para medical exam that often includes an EKG.  Typically after age 70, many carriers will include a cognitive and physical function test.

One more thing – there is no exam (simplified issue) term life insurance options for seniors, too. At up to age 65, healthy seniors may be able to purchase a moderate amount of term life insurance (up to $500,000). From ages 66 – 75, healthy seniors may have the options to purchase a modest policy of up to $99,000.

2. Whole

Whole (permanent) life insurance provides a death benefit for the rest of your life and also accumulates a cash value. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance remains in force as long as you pay your premiums. Additionally, your premiums remain the same amount for the life of the policy.

What is a cash value?

Cash values, which accumulate on a tax-deferred basis just like assets in most retirement and tuition savings plans, can be used in the future for any purpose you wish. If you like, you can borrow cash value for a down payment on a home, to help pay for your children’s education or to provide income for your retirement. When you borrow money from a permanent insurance policy, you’re using the policy’s cash value as collateral and the borrowing rates tend to be relatively low. And unlike loans from most financial institutions, the loan is not dependent on credit checks or other restrictions. You ultimately must repay any loan with interest or your beneficiaries will receive a reduced death benefit and cash-surrender value. – Permanent Insurance, Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance awareness organization

Whole life insurance has some main characteristics:

  • Not common for seniors to purchase, however can make sense in some instances:
    • Desire to leave a specific amount to a beneficiary (i.e. family member, university or charity).
    • Utilize the policy loan option.
    • As a strategy to minimize estate taxes.
  • Policy lasts a lifetime.
  • Premiums are more expensive than term life insurance.
  • Accumulates cash value.
    • Ability to take policy loans from the cash value.
  • Underwriting guidelines are similar to term life insurance for seniors.
    • Usually the cutoff age for purchasing whole life is 75-80 years old.
    • Your age and health factor into whether or not you qualify for whole life insurance.

Bottom line – whole life insurance isn’t purchased by seniors all the time, but it can make sense in certain circumstances. Underwriting is similar to term life insurance.

3. Guaranteed Universal

Think of Guaranteed Universal life insurance (GUL) as a branch between term and whole life insurance. GUL is regularly recommended to seniors because it has some of the appealing aspects found in both term and whole life insurance.

Key features of Guaranteed Universal life insurance:

  • More affordable than whole life insurance.
  • Tends to be more expensive than traditional term life insurance.
  • GUL is technically not considered permanent life insurance because you select the length of the policy.
    • However, the policy length is routinely expected to outlast your life.
  • Does not accumulate a cash value.
  • Premiums can be level for a lifetime.
    • Premiums are not tied to investment volatility or interest rates.
  • GUL is often often used for:
    • Minimizing estate taxes.
    • Providing a legacy to a beneficiary.
    • Financing end of life expenses.
  • The underwriting process is often the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom line – Guaranteed Universal life insurance is commonly purchased by seniors. Level premiums, a policy term that outlasts your life, and the ability to leave a legacy to your beneficiary(s) are primary reasons many seniors select a GUL.

4. Universal

Universal life insurance (UL) lasts a lifetime. The name implies that it’s similar to a GUL. However, there are some key differences and Universal life insurance is usually not purchased by seniors.

Let’s examine the specifics:

  • Universal life insurance is considered a form of permanent life insurance as it lasts a lifetime.
  • UL does have a cash value component.
    • Cash value is directly linked to policy’s investment performance.
    • Ability to take policy loans against the cash value of the policy.
  • Designed to provide flexibility in your policy:
    • Premium payments must be made to cover the cost of the policy.
    • Additional premium payments can be made to the savings component of the policy.
  • Policy is directly affected by the volatility of its investments.
    • In other words, the investment earnings are not guaranteed.
    • Depending on the policy’s performance, premium payments may need to be increased to maintain the policy.
  • Death benefit is adjustable.
  • Underwriting guidelines for UL are usually the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom line – Universal life is not usually purchased by seniors. The policy does last a lifetime and provides flexibility, however, there are risks associated with the structure of the policy.

5. Final Expense

Final Expense (FE) life insurance makes all the sense in the world for seniors under certain circumstances. Aptly named, Final Expense works well for those seeking funds to cover end-of-life financial needs.

What you need to know:

  • Final expense is permanent life insurance and lasts a lifetime.
  • FE secures funds for end of life costs:
    • Funeral and burial expenses.
    • Medical bills.
  • Policies amounts typically range between $50,000 – $100,000.
  • Often FE policies can grow a cash value, meaning that you can access funds during the life of the policy (policy loans).
  • Underwriting for Final Expense is different than standard term life insurance:
    • Approval can be instant after you pass the health questionnaire.

Bottom line – Final Expense is a popular life insurance option for seniors. While the policy amounts are modest compared to other life insurance options, it may be the right amount of life insurance needed for your family. Further, the underwriting process is more lenient and instant approval is possible.

How To Apply

Your life insurance needs determine which policy is the best fit for you. Seniors have specific life insurance considerations and as an independent life insurance agency, we’ll collaborate with you to find the best policy at the most competitive price. Independent agents are not held captive to a particular life insurance carrier and you will receive multiple quotes from multiple carriers.

This is important – Some life insurance is better than none. And, the best time to become insured is today.

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6 Holiday Headaches You Can Control with Home Warranty

The holidays can be both joyous and stressful. With a home warranty, unexpected repairs can be fixed by reliable technicians. Save yourself a headache!

While many of us look forward to the holiday season all year, it can also be a time of great stress. In between all that cookie-baking and gift-buying, it can be challenging to get someone to fix your broken dishwasher or HVAC system. Fortunately, there’s a solution for any unexpected breakdowns that might put a damper on your holiday spirit: a home warranty plan.

home warranty is an excellent way to protect your home from unforeseen and unexpected expenses. The Home Warranty Plan is a one-year service contract for the repair or replacement of covered home system components and appliances that typically break down over time.

Take a look at these five common holiday season headaches that can be easily managed with an Home Warranty Plan.

1. Finding reliable help around the holidays

It can be just as challenging to find reliable home-repair help during the busy holiday season as it is to get that Thanksgiving turkey just right. With a home warranty plan, you’ll have access to industry-leading expertise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. E-exchanger will find the right licensed personnel and eliminate the need for you to locate qualified help during the busy days leading up to and during the holidays.

2.Unforeseen expenses 

Repairing something as major as your home heating system could cost you thousands of dollars. Such a huge expense can be stressful at a time when you’re already spending money on gifts, food, decorations and other miscellaneous holiday expenses. But with a home warranty, you’ll only need to pay the monthly fee along with a trade service call fee, which is a fixed amount that's easy to plan for.

3. Dealing with insurance companies

With a warranty plan, you can skip the whole process of filing claims and deal with insurance, and spend that precious time shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking delicious meals, or decorating your home with family and friends.

4. Playing host with a broken appliance

A broken dishwasher or refrigerator can really put a damper on your holiday festivities. A home warranty plan offers an expedited repair process on covered items. You no longer have to worry about a crisis caused by appliance or system breakdowns at a time when your house is swarming with guests.

5. Paying the full cost of repair or replacement

In the event of a breakdown, insurance usually reimburses the value of the item minus depreciation. This means you will not be reimbursed the full amount paid at the time of purchase. With a warranty plan, you won’t have to pay for the actual repair or replacement of covered items, and your contract will cover repair or replacement of covered items regardless of age, make or model.

6. Not enough time to coordinate home repairs

Finding reliable help that suits your budget, following up and replacing parts all involve a considerable time investment. Since the costs associated with repair and replacement are so high, it is not possible to skimp on the research and effort needed to get a satisfactory solution. A warranty plan will save you time when you need it the most this busy holiday season.

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