There is more to life insurance than simply purchasing a policy and filing it away in a safe place.
Life changes and that means life insurance policies need to change as well. Events like marriage (or divorce) and a new baby mean dependents change or that it's time for a life insurance policy for the new baby. A new job or promotion and raise at work might mean it's time to increase the policy's value. Even buying a new and more expensive home can mean it is time to review life insurance to make sure your family's lifestyle is protected. It's a good idea to meet with your insurance agent to review a life insurance policy at least once a year and definitely any time there is a change.
It is also important to review the life insurance policies of marriage or domestic partners. Changes to the income or life status of each partner impact the future of the entire family.
Here are the top reasons to review a life insurance policy:
- Income changes: Getting a new job, even losing a job for any reason is the time to evaluate a life insurance policy. An increase in income usually means lifestyle changes. Increasing life insurance coverage helps guarantee that beneficiaries can maintain a good lifestyle when you are no longer around to provide for them. Starting or selling a business is time for a review and so is retirement.
- Health changes: Improvements in personal health, such as losing weight, reducing blood pressure and increasing heart health may reduce life insurance rates. Changes in the health of a beneficiary might mean it is time to consider increasing your life insurance coverage to help ensure they are able to pay medical costs if you are no longer around. Consider making provisions for the care of aging parents if you unexpectedly pass away before they do.
- Changes in family status: Marriage, divorce, domestic partnerships, a new baby, an adoption or any other change to family status means it is time to review life insurance policies. In the case of family status, it's important to review all of the life insurance policies including wife, husband and children to make sure all coverage is adequate for the future of the beneficiaries.
- Upsizing, downsizing or paying off a home: Buying a new, larger home, paying off the mortgage, or retiring to a smaller home might mean it's time to change a life insurance policy.
- Beneficiaries have changed: An ex-wife or husband benefiting from the death of a former partner is not just fodder for a movie script, it actually happens. It's important that life insurance beneficiaries be kept current as life changes, but this doesn't necessarily mean removing an ex or adding a child. The desire to provide for aging parents, or a favorite niece or nephew, even grandchildren, are good reasons to review the life insurance policy to be sure it is adequate for the needs of new beneficiaries.
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