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How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

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One of the first steps to purchasing life insurance is pinpointing how much you will need. The simplest way to approach a life insurance purchase is within a bigger financial plan. An economic advisor can assist you in seeing gaps and strengths in your current situation and where you’re headed.

Your decision on the most effective policy amount and kind of policy could change considerably after seeing where life insurance will fit in the big picture for you and your family.

Why Do People Buy Life Insurance?

Covering funeral and final expenses may be the No. 1 reason people buy life insurance, based on a 2020 survey by LIMRA and Life Happens, both industry-funded groups. (People could choose multiple reasons.)

  • Burial/Final expenses: 84%
  • Supplement retirement income: 57%
  • Transfer wealth: 66%
  • Help payoff mortgage: 50%
  • Replace lost wages/income: 62%
  • Home expenses: 48%
  • Tax-advantaged investment: 45%
  • Estate taxes: 43%
  • Buy college: 37%
  • Business purposes: 28%
  • Charitable gift: 27%

The need to provide loved ones with financial security has heightened because of the pandemic. A recent LIMRA survey unearthed that 44% of households said they would face financial hardship within six months if the primary wage earner were to die prematurely. For 28% of households, financial hardship would hit within one month.

The Life Insurance Gender Gap

There’s a substantial gender gap in life insurance ownership. While 58% percent of men have life insurance coverage, just 47% of women have life insurance coverage, according to the 2021 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA, insurance industry groups.

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And as it pertains to men and women who have life insurance, perception does not always meet reality. Most Americans (93%) say men and women must have equal life insurance coverage, based on a March 2021 USAA life insurance survey. In relationships between men and women where both partners have life insurance, nearly one in three women say their partner has more coverage.

USAA’s survey also unearthed that 81% of men say they have taken steps to organize their family’s finances in case something unexpected were to happen, versus 72% of women.

Calculating How Much Life Insurance You Need

Here’s an easy-to-use calculator to help you determine how much life insurance you need.

Basic Life Insurance Need Calculation

You can also determine your life insurance need with a pen, paper, and this basic equation:

[Financial obligations you want to cover] – [existing assets that may be used toward bills] = Your lifetime insurance need

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Here’s everything you might include in the “financial obligations you want to cover”:

  • Income replacement: Multiply the salary you want to replace for the number of years you want to replace it. You would like this income replacement to cover current and future expenses.
  • A mortgage: You can include the total amount of a mortgage so your family can remain on their property without fear of losing it. If income replacement (above) would already cover mortgage payments and other expenses, you should not add more mortgage money.
  • Other large debts: Would your family struggle with other large debts if you passed on unexpectedly? If so, add those in.
  • Children’s college tuition: Add tuition money to ensure your kids can pay for college if you’re no longer around.

Here’s everything you could include in “existing assets that may be used toward bills”:

  • Existing life insurance: If other life insurance is already able to provide a financial cushion, subtract that amount. Be cautious about relying on supplemental life insurance from work, though—because it doesn’t go with you if you leave a job; you can’t make sure you will have it later.
  • Savings: Subtract any savings your family would use to cover expenses. You can include retirement savings like a 401(k) plan or leave it out of your analysis if your beneficiaries wish to preserve that amount for retirement years.
  • College 529 savings: When you have a 529 account with profit for your kids, you can subtract it from your life insurance needs.
  • Funeral expenses: Many people want life insurance to cover funeral and final expenses. Some individuals buy burial insurance if this cost isn’t part of a bigger policy.

Other Methods for Calculating Life Insurance Needs

You might run across other methods for calculating how much life insurance you need. These usually include:

Multiply Your Income by 10

This rule of thumb is hard to pin down. We’ve seen many numbers attached to it. And it likely won’t assist you in pinning down an appropriate quantity of life insurance. Better to consider your total needs and subtract the assets your family would use if you passed away.

The DIME Method

DIME represents debt, income, mortgage, and education. The strategy has you accumulate these amounts:

  • Debt: Just how much debt would you leave to others? This will include credit card debt and student loans that aren’t forgiven at death.
  • Income: Multiply your income by the years you want to provide income replacement for your family. Some sites advise using the number of years until your youngest child turns 18, but most of us know that kids often need financial help longer than that.
  • Mortgage: Add your mortgage balance to your running total.
  • Education: Add an amount that covers tuition, room, and board for your kids who should attend college. The College Board regularly publishes trends in college pricing.

The DIME method is a good start for calculating a life insurance need, but it ignores existing financial resources your family might tap for expenses. Alone, it might give you over-insured.

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Insurance

Is There a Good Student Discount for Car Insurance?

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It’s no secret that new drivers pay more for car insurance. Their lack of experience behind the wheel means insurance companies consider them an increased risk.

However, there are ways teenagers can save money on car insurance. Most insurance companies offer car insurance discounts designed specifically for young drivers. You could pay less for insurance if you have good grades and complete a qualifying driver’s education course. Additionally, it is possible to cut back premiums if you leave your car at the home once you head to college.

Let’s find out how you may get a much better rate on your insurance by using student discounts.

Why Are Students More Expensive to Insure?

Young drivers are much more likely to get into a collision when compared to drivers with an increase of years behind the wheel, following data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), so insurance companies often charge them more for their or their policies.

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Drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 are more prone to:

  • Speed
  • Drive while distracted
  • Make mistakes on the road

Lack of experience isn’t the only real risk factor for young drivers. People in this generation are also recognized for taking risks while driving, operating a car under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and not wearing seatbelts.

Because they’re at an increased risk for an incident, teens are more expensive to insure. This means that car insurance companies often charge higher premiums for drivers in this age range.

However, car insurance companies know that they don’t assume all young drivers will get into a crash. This is exactly why many insurers offer discounts specifically for qualifying students.

Good Student Car Insurance Discounts

Achieving good grades takes effort and demonstrates responsibility. And, since you’ll typically take more time studying to keep your grade point average up, you won’t have as much time to goof off in a car. That means you’re less likely to get in a crash.

Insurance companies know this, so they give you a good student discount for young drivers who work hard in school.

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Depending on your insurer, you may need to supply proof of your academic success. This could be a report card, transcript, or a form filled out and signed by your school administrator. You may need to submit standardized test scores in place of a written report card if you’re homeschooled. Your insurer might request your ACT or SAT scores.

If you qualify because of this discount, be sure you continue working hard at school. You might have to resubmit proof of eligibility regularly. Your car insurance rates could increase if your grades begin to go down.

Good student discounts aren’t available in every location by every insurance company. Check with your agent to see what’s available in your state.

How Much Is a Good Student Discount?

Here is a consider the average good student discount provided by three large insurance carriers. The dollar amount of the discount would depend on the quantity of your premium.

While good student discount amounts vary from insurer to insurer, it’s often between 5% and 25%. See your insurer just how much you can save.

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Other Student Discounts for Car Insurance

Getting good grades isn’t the only method to truly save money on your car insurance as a driver. Here are some additional options available to you to reduce your premium.

Student Away-From-Home Discount

If you do not bring a vehicle with you to campus, you could qualify for a discount because you’re not driving as often. Some insurers offer this discount if you’re a college student living over 100 miles from home.

Driver’s Education Discount

Driver’s education courses can assist you in learning how to drive safely. They can help enhance your situational awareness, making you more prone to avoid accidents. You could qualify for a discount if you’ve taken an authorized course.

Safe Driver Discount

Regardless of how old you are, the simplest way to truly save money on car insurance is to operate a vehicle safely. If you do not get in any accidents or get speeding tickets for a specific time, you could qualify for your insurer’s safe driver discount.

While you won’t qualify because of this discount right away, keep practicing safe driving, and you may see your premiums decrease over time.

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Membership Discounts

College students that are members of a sorority, fraternity, or honor society might also qualify for discounts. If you’re a person in one particular organization, see if your insurer offers any savings.

How Students Can Save on Car Insurance

To ensure you aren’t paying too much for your car insurance, talk to your agent about any student discounts you could qualify for. You May very well not be aware of all your choices, or you may not automatically obtain the savings, so getting personalized advice can assist you in saving money.

Additionally, it’s often cheaper to include your parent’s or guardian’s plan than to purchase your policy. It also lets you take advantage of additional savings, including the multi-policy discount. But when that’s not an option, take care to shop around. This way, you can find a policy that’s right for you.

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What home insurance do I need?

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We cover the basic principles of home insurance: what home insurance you must have, different types of home insurance, how insurance protects you, simply how much insurance costs and how to work through simply how much insurance cover you need.

Must I have home insurance?

Building insurance isn’t legally mandatory. However, most mortgage lenders insist you’ve building insurance so that when your home is damaged, they’re not left without collateral for the loan.

Contents insurance is neither legally mandatory nor required by mortgage companies.

Who’s responsible for getting insurance?

If your property is freehold, the homeowner is responsible for all insurance.

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If you are in a leasehold property, then a freeholder is invariably responsible for the building’s insurance, and the leaseholders are responsible for the contents insurance.

  • Flat owners should read our dedicated guide to insuring a flat.
  • See our dedicated guide on new build insurance if you are investing in a new build property.

Why should I’ve insurance?

For just about everyone, their house is the most valuable thing they own, and it has brought their working lives to save lots of up for. If your house caught fire and you aren’t insured, you can watch everything you own rise in smoke.

Without buildings insurance, you will probably not have the ability to afford to rebuild the house, and despite lacking anywhere to call home, you would still need to repay your mortgage.

There is a less clear-cut case for contents insurance, but most people couldn’t afford to displace the contents of their homes if they were lost in a fire or stolen or damaged in a flood.

Valuable contents (in particular, jewellery, technology, paintings or furniture) make it worth having contents insurance. It will surely offer you peace of mind.

What does insurance cover?

All insurance policies are very different, so you’ll need to consider the small print to see what’s covered. However, in general:

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  • Building insurance covers the specific structure of the property like the floors, painted walls, and fixtures and fittings
  • Fixtures and fittings are such things as radiators, baths and shower heads that, if you turned the house upside-down and shook, wouldn’t drop out.
  • A typical building insurance coverage will cover you for fire, wind, hail, explosion, vehicles or aircraft crashing into your home, smoke, and damage due to criminal activity, including vandalism and rioting – particularly useful in London since August 2011. It’ll often also cover damage from burst pipes
  • Buildings insurance will even normally cover you for subsidence, provided your property has not experienced subsidence before
  • The building insurance coverage will pay for the repair or rebuilding of your home (be aware that the cost of rebuilding your home following the existing building regulations is dissimilar to the valuation of one’s home)
  • Contents insurance covers all of the stuff inside your home: laptops, electrical goods, white goods, furniture, jewellery, pictures, and so on. Sometimes the policies also cover bicycles and phones, but you’ll need to check
  • Contents insurance normally covers fire damage and burglary. Additionally, it may cover accidental damage and even theft of things such as jewellery when you are away from home.
  • Contents insurance can either buy a replacement on a “new for old” basis (e.g. it will pay for a new TV, even though a classic TV was stolen) or just at the industry value of one’s things (which is generally a lot lower)

What’re some typically common exclusions?

  • Flood insurance – if your home is in a flood-prone area or has now been flooded, it is notoriously difficult to locate an insurer that’ll cover you for the risk of flood.
  • Subsidence, if your property has experienced subsidence before.
  • “Acts of God” – insurance speaks for major natural phenomena such as tidal waves, hurricanes, cliff-falls and other landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Many insurance policies exclude or limit their liability for such events.

Acts of war and sonic booms from aircraft: If France invaded using Concorde and your house was damaged, this will not be covered.

What properties are difficult to insure?

Some properties could be difficult to get insurance for because mainstream insurers do not normally cover them. You may have to visit a specialist insurer, which could cost you more. However, no property is uninsurable – it may just cost you more. Properties which can be difficult to insure include:

  • Listed properties
  • Thatched properties
  • Former council houses
  • Flats in big blocks
  • Unusual properties, such as lighthouses or converted barns

When do I have to get insurance?

You’re usually responsible for the property when the contracts are exchanged, though they are legally murky waters, and the situation will vary from contract to contract.

Most mortgage lenders will insist you currently have buildings insurance set up by an exchange of contracts.

We have teamed up with A-Plan insurance to locate you the very best buildings and content insurance for your home – at a good value price. Get expert advice & a quote today

Just how much should home insurance cost?

Premiums depend on several factors, including although not limited by:

  • the worthiness of the property
  • type of property
  • your credit rating
  • whether you’ve previously made any claims
  • your security situation (e.g. your type of lock or whether you have an alarm)
  • the number of individuals residing on the property
  • location of property

Just how do I value my house?

You’ll have a surveyor offer you a “rebuilding cost estimate.”

You need to use the Association of British Insurers rebuilding cost calculator. For that, you have to register for free.

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Just how do I value my content?

The simplest way to accomplish the value of the contents of one’s property for insurance would be to:

  • Go during your house room by room and estimate simply how much it’d cost to displace each little piece of furniture and electrical good, including white goods and gadgets
  • Do the same for books, CDs, DVDs, clothes, shoes, and sporting equipment
  • When you have particularly valuable paintings, silver, jewellery or antiques consider having them professionally valued

Just how can I ensure I am eligible to claim?

When you have said you will work with a burglar alarm, ensure you always put it on whenever you leave.

  • Keep doors and windows locked securely.
  • Do not leave the property empty for significantly more than 45 days.
  • Ensure you report any criminal activity to law enforcement immediately.
  • If you utilize your home as a business or as a host to the business, you ought to inform your insurers.

Could it be worth doing your research for home insurance?

It is certainly worth doing your research for your home insurance cover, and for just two reasons:

  • There is an astonishingly large range in the premiums, and you can be paying several times significantly more than you’ll need to
  • Many insurers quote low for clients and then push their premiums annually, depending on customer inertia to boost their profits. You can avoid this by regularly getting quotes every year or two.
  • You ought to talk to at least three insurers – and more if you can bear it. Use price comparison websites, but don’t use them – you’ll need to talk directly to insurers.
  • A property insurance broker may also be useful while allowing you to ensure you have the proper level of cover in addition to comparing products for you.

Just how do I choose a home insurance coverage?

There is a vast quantity of home insurance policies to choose from:

You ought to decide whether you intend to pay a high premium or excess – generally, as one increases, one other decreases. Generally, you ought to select as high an excess as you would feel comfortable paying, to keep the annual insurance fees lower.

  • When comparing policies, ensure you are comparing like for like – keep an archive of all of the questions you ask the insurers, and try to produce a contrast table.
  • Don’t feel you’ve to utilize the insurance company recommended by your mortgage company.
  • They are most likely getting kickbacks, and you will often be able to find something cheaper elsewhere.
  • Use online comparator websites or talk to a home insurance broker
  • When you remain the dotted line check, they’re authorized by the FSA to operate legally
  • The Association of British Insurers has plenty of useful information
  • Most of all, read the tiny print

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Everything You Need to Know About Health Insurance.

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Your financial security is protected by health insurance. You can get medical bills for injuries, illnesses or accidents.

It is technically a contract between your insurance company and you. This means that the insurer will cover some or all of your medical expenses in exchange for a fee (premium). The insurer will pay for your medical expenses in one of two ways:

  • Cashless means you don’t need to pay. The hospital is paid directly by the insurance company.
  • You can first pay for your medical expenses and then ask for reimbursement from your insurance company.

Why You Need Health Insurance

Most people are reluctant to buy a health insurance policy, but it is something they do. Although there has been an increase in awareness and intent to purchase health insurance, it is still not considered a priority. The gap between intent and actual purchasing is still significant.

Any time can happen, a medical emergency could strike. Even though the chances of falling ill when you’re young are very low, accidents can happen. These medical costs can leave you with a large hole in your wallet. You can avoid this financial loss to your savings by having good health insurance. It will provide the necessary cushion to cover the cost of doctor’s visits, tests and medications.

Healthcare costs are rising at a faster rate than medical inflation. Health insurance allows you to get the treatment you need without cutting corners because of a lack of funds.

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The premiums paid can be tax-deductible up to a certain limit.

Health insurance is, in short:

  • This allows you to receive high-quality medical care without worrying about high costs.
  • This provides a cushion against medical inflation shocks.
  • You can protect your savings in case of medical emergencies.
  • Provides tax benefits.

It allows you to care for your health and your family members rather than worrying about large medical bills.

When to Buy a Policy: Now Or Later?

The sooner you act, the better. Let’s look at how to buy a health insurance policy at different stages of life:

In the 20s

The ideal age to purchase a policy is 55. Your health is likely to be good with fewer financial responsibilities. A younger age can offer many benefits, including better coverage and a lower premium. There are no medical exams required.

The best part is that you can get your insurance policy renewed in India even if you make a claim. This means you will have all the required waiting periods completed before filing any claim. You get extra coverage every year that you are not liable for a claim, which will be many.

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In the 30s

This is the phase of settling down. Most likely, you will be married and planning to start a family or invest in a house. Lifestyle diseases are becoming more common in the younger generation. All these factors should be considered when you buy a policy. You should expect a higher premium and a higher chance of filing a claim.

The 40s to 60

This is the stage when your financial responsibility will be at its highest. Higher premiums will be required if you have a greater amount of coverage. You may be at risk of hypertension or diabetes. Then expect longer waiting periods. To ensure you have the protection you need, consider adding-on benefits. You should also be ready for a medical screening before applying for the policy. A medical screening is usually required for those over 50.

Senior citizens

A high amount of insurance will be required, which comes with a large premium. This is a life stage if you expect long-term hospitalizations and treatment for critical illnesses. Opt for senior citizen health policies. Compare and select the best. Most policies include a copay condition, meaning you will have to pay a portion of the medical costs.

There are many types of health insurance policies available.

You have two options for health insurance: an individual plan or a family floater plan. The policies can be described as follows: A family floater is “one plan that covers them all”, and an individual policy is “different strokes to suit different people”. The factors that will influence your choice include your age, the ages of your children, your medical history, and your budget.

You should thoroughly research both and make the best decision for your family.

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Individual coverage

A single person can have an individual policy for health insurance. The insured receives the entire sum insured. If you, as the policyholder, are hospitalized, the insurer will pay for your costs up to the insured sum. The remaining amount can be used during the remainder of the policy period.

Family floater coverage

This policy covers all members of the family under one policy. Instead of individual health insurance, floaters require that all members are insured to share the amount.

If you buy a plan for yourself, your spouse, and your child for INR 4 lakh, all three of you will be covered regardless of who is hospitalized. When calculating the premium, the age of the oldest family member is considered. This could be a good option for young parents with small children. You can get coverage for your family members at a very low price.

Remember:

  • You can save money if you choose separate plans to insure your parents if you want to insure them. The family floater option usually has the premium pegged to the family’s oldest member. The premium will be higher if your parents are on the same plan.
  • An individual policy may be a better option if your family member is ill and will likely file a claim for a large portion of your sum insured.

Things to consider when choosing your health insurance policy

These are the main factors to consider when choosing your health insurance plan. Make sure you choose a comprehensive health insurance plan best suited to your needs and those of your family.

1: Comprehensiveness of Coverage

Consider the current cost of medical treatment, inflation rate, and your current needs when deciding on the coverage level or “Sum Insured”. Every year, renew your coverage and reevaluate what you need.

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2: Premium

Multiple factors affect the premium you pay. These include your age, medical history, and the type of plan that you choose. When comparing insurance providers, ensure you find one that offers the most features and benefits at the lowest possible price. Although premium is an important factor, it shouldn’t be the main decision-making factor.

Find out what’s included in your package and what’s missing.

When choosing a policy to purchase, check all the terms and conditions that apply. Clarity saves you the pain and hassle of later rejections.

3: Room rent sub-limits

The maximum room rent your policy allows you to cover is known as the room rent limit. Different insurance companies have different rules regarding room rent and capping. These will be clearly stated in the policy document. Ensure you are familiar with the room rent limits before purchasing a policy. This will depend on the hospital or room you are interested in.

4: Hospital network

You can check the list of hospitals that offer cashless facilities. You should choose a policy with a large network of hospitals. If you are a frequent traveller, check out global hospital networks.

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5: Copay

This clause lets you reduce your premium and buy a health insurance policy. It offers to pay a fixed percentage for all claims during the policy year. If you choose copay, the percentage you want to commit is available at the beginning.

6: Waiting period

This is the period in which claims cannot be accepted. Different policies have different waiting times. The waiting period for claims relating to pre-existing illnesses is longer. The policy with the shortest waiting period is the best.

7: Critical Illness

The incidence of serious illnesses such as strokes, heart attacks, and cancer is rising. It is on the rise. These life-threatening diseases are also expensive to treat. You should choose a plan that covers these costs if they do occur. This plan comes at an extra cost, so evaluate your needs and purchase it if you can.

8: No Claim Bonus (NCB).

This is your insurance provider’s reward for not filing any claims during a policy period. You can get a discount on your next year’s insurance premium or a higher amount insured for the same premium. Be wise when making your decision!

9: Day care procedures

Some medical procedures, such as cataract surgery, can be done in hours and don’t require hospitalization. You should find out if your plan covers these treatments.

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10 Other treatments

Many people choose AYUSH (Ayurveda yoga, Unani Siddha, Siddha, homoeopathy) as their preferred treatment. Most health insurance policies cover these alternative treatments. Make sure your policy covers AYUSH if you prefer it to allopathic medicine.

11: The reputation of the insurer

Consider factors like claim settlement ratio, solvency ratio, customer service, product portfolio, etc.

12: What your policy does not cover: Exclusions

These are the most common exclusions from health policies. Before making your decision, ensure that you understand and check the exclusions. They can vary from one policy to another.

  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Dental procedures
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Congenital disorders
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Suicide, war and terrorism-related injuries

How to Buy Your Policy

The simplest way to purchase your policy in today’s digital age is to go online.

  1. Find out more about the different types of health insurance available to you. Compare policies and research them at your convenience.
  2. A 100% do-it-yourself (DIY) process. You can even get help from an agent online.
  3. You can buy the policy online quickly if you’re looking for basic health insurance.
  4. There is no need for paper or signatures.

Bottom line

Although you may have heard health is wealth, it’s not always true. Due to the unpredictable nature of life, wealth and money are essential for good health. Accessing the money you need most is possible with health insurance.

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