There are substantial differences in life insurance coverage and costs, so it's important to be an informed consumer. The Ohio Department of Insurance publishes a book, Ohio Shopper's Guide to Life Insurance, to assist with your decision making. Call 800-686-1526 to have a copy mailed to you.
It's crucial that you choose an insurance company that's financially strong. One indicator of financial strength is the rating from a major rating company.
Why buy life insurance?
To provide those who depend on you with money after you die.
- Replace your income with a non-taxable death benefit.
- Reduce the financial burden on your family of having to continue without you.
- Keep your survivors out of the poor house.
- Put the kids through school.
- Pay the mortgage, car loan, and other debts you leave behind.
- Pay your funeral expenses.
- Pay your estate taxes.
Types of Life Insurance
There are two basic kinds of life insurance: term and permanent.
Term Insurance covers you for a specified length of time. It pays a benefit only if you die during the term. Term policies are attractive to some people because, initially, premiums are generally lower than those for permanent insurance. This allows you to buy higher levels of coverage at a younger age when the need for protection is often greatest.
Permanent Insurance including whole, ordinary, universal, adjustable, and variable life, is protection that can be kept in force for as long as you live. Premiums for this type of insurance can be more costly than term insurance, so if you don't intend to keep the policy over the long haul, it's probably the wrong type of insurance for you. But as long as you pay the necessary premiums, the death benefit will always be there. One important feature of permanent insurance, which is not found in most term insurance policies, is a "cash value." This increasing sum offers some options. You can cancel the policy and receive the cash value as a lump sum. If you need to stop paying premiums, you can use the cash value to continue your current policy for a specific time. You can also withdraw part of the cash value in the form of a policy loan.