Life Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

grandparents with grandchildren riding bikesDo you have questions about life insurance?

There are a lot of unanswerable questions in life but whether or not you need life insurance shouldn't be one of them.

Read on for answers to common questions about life insurance and how you can take steps to protect your loved ones in the future.

Your life insurance questions answered

Why do I need life insurance?

There's no replacement for you and the contribution you make to your family. You want to make sure that people in your life, especially your dependents, can remain financially secure after you die.

That's what life insurance does for you and your loved ones. It gives you peace of mind. Income replacement is the #1 reason why people buy life insurance.

Stay-at-home moms or dads also have an important, often overlooked, economic value that should be covered by life insurance.

Life insurance is also used to achieve specific business or estate planning goals.

Bottom line: life insurance financially protects your family and loved ones at a time when it is needed the most.

How do I know how much life insurance I need?

The GEICO Insurance Agency recommends that each family income provider carry no less than ten times their annual income/worth in life insurance.

The amount of your outstanding mortgage should also be a consideration. Any coverage for your mortgage should be in addition to the amount of insurance you calculate for your income coverage.

It's quite common to see life insurance also referred to as mortgage protection insurance since most people equate buying life insurance with the need to pay off large debts.

Who should I buy life insurance from?

You take the time to purchase a life insurance policy, so you want to feel confident that the company will be around in 20 or 30 years to handle your family's needs if the time arises.

That's why the most important buyer's tip is to buy from a financially sound life insurance company. Though competitive pricing is important, it's more important that the company is stable, financially strong and able to fulfill the policy should you need it.

You should pay particular attention, at time of purchase and throughout the life of the policy, to the financial stability ratings of your life insurance company. GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. recommends that you buy only from companies rated A ("Excellent") or higher by A.M. Best Company.

What are the advantages of term life insurance?

The easiest life insurance to understand (and the lowest cost to buy) is term life insurance which is why GEICO chose to offer it through Life Quotes, Inc.

Term life insurance provides straightforward death benefit protection without any expensive "cash value" or investment component add-ons.

Your term life insurance policy will offer level premiums for your choice of 10, 15, 25 or 30 years during which the premiums are guaranteed not to increase. As long as you pay your premiums on time, the company cannot cancel you. If the insured dies during the term, the death benefits are paid to the beneficiary without any complicated process or rules.

It doesn't get any easier than a term life insurance policy, plus it's the most affordable type of life insurance.

Can I afford term life insurance?

Term life insurance has become very popular with consumers in recent years because premiums for new policyholders have dropped to all-time lows.

Most companies allow you to pay on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, so whether you're a pay-all-at-once kind of person or you enjoy spreading it out each month, payment flexibility definitely makes term life insurance even easier to afford.

What should I look for in a term life policy?

Most high quality term life policies sold today are guaranteed renewable, which gives you the right to continue your coverage beyond the initial rate guarantee period without a medical exam.

This feature can become extremely important to your family should you become sick and uninsurable towards the end of your initial term life rate guarantee period.

How do I decide the number of years (term) to choose for my policy?

Choosing an initial rate guarantee period is easy. Simply match the period of time you'll need coverage to the available rate guarantee period.

For example, if your children are young or you have decades to go on your mortgage, look at 20 or 30 year term life. If your children are leaving the nest and your home is paid off or nearly paid off, perhaps 10 or 15 year term might fit the bill.

How often should I review my life insurance needs?

Your life changes constantly, right? From purchasing a new home to getting married or having children to starting a business or even retiring, your life and your financial situation are constantly in flux.

Because the financial needs of your loved ones change over time, you should take a look at your life insurance policy periodically.

The GEICO Insurance Agency suggests you review your life insurance coverage at least once every five years or when you experience a major life event such as change of income or assets, marriage, divorce, retirement, the birth or adoption of a child, or purchase of a major item such as a house or business.

What coverage does term life provide?

The standard term life policy covers death by any cause at any time in any place, except for death by suicide within the first two policy years (one year in some states), as long as it's within the term of your policy.

You will need to discuss heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses during the application process.

Expect to also be asked about heart disease or cancer in your family and whether or not you engage in any risky hobbies or activities, as well.

A brief face-to-face interview with a paramedic technician is usually required for coverage amounts above $250,000.

Who can I name as beneficiaries?

In naming your beneficiaries, keep in mind that the life insurance company will only allow the names of those who are actually financially dependent upon you in some way.

Adults or children that you support, or owe money to, are considered to have a financial interest in you.

An acquaintance, roommate, friend or relative, absent of a financial relationship, will not do. You can name a charity if you have a history of giving to that charity.

Please note:

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. These descriptions do not refer to any specific contract of insurance and they do not modify any definitions expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. We encourage you to speak to your insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

If you choose to get a life insurance quote online, you will be taken to the Life Quotes, Inc. website that is not owned by GEICO. Any information that you provide directly to Life Quotes, Inc. on its website is subject to the privacy policy posted on their website, which you should read before proceeding. GEICO assumes no responsibility for their privacy practices or your use of their website.

Life coverages are written through Life Quotes, Inc. and its affiliated insurers, and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc.