Term Life Insurance Quotes Online

What is Term Life Insurance?

In it’s simplest definition it is a life insurance policy that is used as coverage for a set number of years or ‘term’. Terms can typically range from 1 year to 30 years.
Term life insurance in contrast to other forms of life insurance, does not build cash value with time. Being that it is a temporary form of insurance limited to a certain term, it will only pay a benefit if the insured person dies during the term. In this case the beneficiaries are paid a fixed benefit. If the insured dies outside the term by even a day the benefit is not paid.

Why choose a Term life Insurance policy?

As it is a temporary insurance not building cash value, it is a more inexpensive form of insurance than others. With lower premiums it can provide a higher benefit return to premium ratio. It is particularly useful as a temporary insurance option to cover your financial responsibilities for any dependents you may have. Some Insurers offer what is sometimes called a conversion option, which essentially allows the insured person to switch to a permanent life insurance policy when their cash flow allows within a certain a certain period of years. This conversion privilege option has the advantage of turning the term life insurance policy into a more desirable permanent policy without the requirement of proving themselves insurable at the conversion time.

Types of Term Life Insurance.

While at the lowest end of the scale a 1-year policy can be sought, but as noted earlier, this will have no benefit should the person die outside the 1-year mark. 1 year is not a commonly sought term for life insurance but is available should the special need arise. There is a variation of the standard term policy that is known as Annual Renewable Term or ART.

This is a safer option for the insured as it can allow for the small one year term to be covered but the policy allows for extended coverage for a set number of years after that. This ART version of term life insurance is a slightly more expensive and as the age of the insured person increases so does the premiums of course.

Choosing an Insurer

The best option when looking for term life insurance quotes online is to compare their features and benefits as there will inevitably be some differences both in price and policy structure. Many big insurers advertise online and have websites that will allow you to request further information and quickly do the comparative research you need to make an informed decision.

A Guide To Low Cost Life Insurance

The objective of a Life Insurance Policy is to protect the family members from the financial loss incurred, due to the death of the insured person. Apart from the emotional trauma, they have to deal with the resultant financial loss. An insurance coverage can save them a lot of economical hassles.

There are two types of Life Insurance, namely Permanent and Term Insurance. Whole and Universal Life Insurance fall under the Permanent Insurance Plan. Permanent Insurance plans allow the investors to save and add extra benefits to the policies, by paying extra charges. They also allow extended term periods and the ability to borrow. These investments are mostly tax-free and cover the financial loss that arises due to the investor?s death. However, the premium rates of Permanent life insurances are usually high and include additional charges for adding beneficiary features. The premium rates and benefits are decided after analyzing the health conditions, income level and regular expenses incurred.

Term Insurance on the other hand, requires a lesser premium rate and is considered ideal for young and healthy people. A term insurance covers a beneficiary only if the insured dies during the insured period. A Term Insurance can become economical if the difference amount between the premium rates is invested, to earn an additional income.

It is crucial to do a little research and then decide the right kind of life insurance plan, according to individual needs. A wrong investment might lead to the loss of policy. It is advisable to compare the quotes offered by the various low cost insurance companies online. Investors can take the help of insurance brokers to have a better idea of the pros and cons of their policies. Life insurance policies ensure that the surviving family members benefit from the investment made by the insured.

Experts Fear Life Insurers Are Courting Reserve Risk

After more than a year studying a surge of intricate financial deals in the life insurance industry, regulators said Thursday that they had found transactions that could “give the industry a black eye,” but could not agree on what to do about them.

“There are some transactions out there that we’re not comfortable with, and we’re not sure you’d be comfortable with,” Douglas Slape, chairman of the research panel, told a ballroom full of industry representatives at a conference in suburban Washington. “We can’t go into the details because it’s confidential.”

Differences among the panelists soon became apparent as the group laid out its findings. Some expressed concern that insurers were “betting the policyholders’ money,” while others argued that the transactions were carefully vetted and safe.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners convened the research project, in part, in response to an article in The New York Times on the growing practice among life insurers of offloading huge numbers of policies into opaque, off-balance-sheet subsidiaries. The transactions, often valued in the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, can improve the appearance of the insurers’ balance sheets and free up money for other projects, or to pay shareholder dividends.

The Times article questioned whether the use of the special-purpose vehicles meant a shadow insurance industry was being created, outside the usual reach of state insurance regulators.

Diverging views among Thursday’s panel of state regulators pose a problem because the transactions often involve an insurer in one state, a subsidiary in another, and policies sold to customers in any number of other states. States, rather than the federal government, are the primary regulators of the nation’s insurance companies.

“Our entire financial solvency system falls apart if there is not uniformity” among state regulators, said Joseph Torti, a panelist from Rhode Island. “We need to be able to understand what our sister states are doing.”

Separately, New York State is conducting its own investigation of the off-balance-sheet insurance deals. This year it called on the insurers under its jurisdiction to provide detailed information about their special-purpose subsidiaries, why they had created them, and whether the subsidiaries were counting assets that the insurer itself would not be allowed to include on its balance sheet.

In recent years, some states passed laws allowing insurance companies to set up the subsidiaries, because they were perceived as creating good jobs.

Conventional state insurance regulation protects policyholders by requiring companies to set aside enough of the premium money they take in to build reserves to pay all future claims. Companies are also required to maintain a healthy surplus, and regulators can make them stop selling new policies if they fall too far short.

When the life insurers secure their policies through special-purpose vehicles, however, they can do so without building up a body of liquid, cashlike reserves, as prescribed by regulators.

Instead, they offer some form of collateral, like a letter of credit, to stand behind the policies. Some regulators said there were cases in which the collateral was inadequate and would not have been admitted under the usual regulatory standards.

Data compiled by SNL Financial, a data and news company, shows that the practice of securing life policies through a wholly owned subsidiary has grown sharply in the last five years. In 2006, the companies SNL surveyed used such subsidiaries for 31 percent of the policies they reinsured; by 2011, it was up to 45 percent.

SNL also found that while the practice was very popular at some companies, others did not use it at all. The American International Group used subsidiaries for nearly 80 percent of the life policies that it reinsured in 2011, for instance, while Northwestern Mutual used only unaffiliated reinsurers, where the terms would be set in an arms’ length transaction. Still others, like State Farm, were not reinsuring their life policies as of 2011.

New York Life, a modest user of affiliated reinsurers at 15 percent, submitted a written comment letter to the panel, warning of “a system that encourages companies to circumvent statutory reserving standards by using complex structured transactions.” It called for “strong regulation” that would allow only “clean, unconditional collateral” to backstop the reinsured policies.

New York Life also said that after artificially lowering their costs through the complex transactions, some companies were coming back to market and selling new policies to consumers at low prices.

“Although lowering prices to consumers is generally a worthy objective, doing so at the expense of effective solvency regulation is inappropriate,” the company stated. “It can result in reserves being reduced below the level needed to protect policyholders.”

The off-balance-sheet vehicles are designated “captives,” under state insurance law, even though they do not resemble conventional captives, which are typically used by noninsurance companies as a vehicle to insure the company’s own risks.

Conventional captives were not subject to the regulatory panel’s scrutiny. Some of the regulators expressed concern that the insurers were using the “captive” designation inappropriately, to take advantage of state laws that allow captives to keep all financial information secret.

The secrecy of the transactions was the biggest source of disagreement among the regulators.

“We think there are things that are legitimately held confidential,” said David Provost, the delegate from Vermont, the first state to allow captives. The captives often house just one very large transaction, and some companies say more disclosure would allow their competitors to find out their confidential strategies. Mr. Provost said insurance regulators in Vermont worked hard to keep their counterparts in other states informed.

Mr. Torti, the delegate from Rhode Island, disagreed. “I have not heard, in all these deliberations, why any of this information should be confidential,” he said. “I think it should be available to the public, available to investors. It should be out there.”

Types Of Life Insurance Leads

Life insurance agents are the representatives of a life insurance company who contact people and make them aware about the various insurance options available. They help the customers decide the insurance policy that would suit their needs as well as budgets. However, life insurance agents need to find and filter potential customers out of the huge population that provides the customer base. As there are many types of policies, there are also many types of life insurance leads.

Today the Internet is one of the biggest and possibly most reliable source of generating life insurance leads. Customers who are looking for life insurance quotes submit their details for assessment. This information is collected and stored as a lead. The life insurance agent, who receives this lead, will then contact the potential customer and offer more details. Usually, people do not submit their request on only one website. This means that multiple insurance agents will have the same lead and will contact that prospect. This is advantageous to the customers, as they will now get competitive rates. Customers usually inform the insurance agents, that they are getting better rates elsewhere, which might result in the agents revising the quote to a lower rate.

Life insurance agents also keep a tap on other markets that require life insurance. For instance, people purchasing a mortgage are required to have a life insurance policy in certain cases. Life insurance agents then contact such customers and approach them to fulfill their life insurance requirement. Such leads are known as mortgage life insurance leads.

Health insurance leads are also generated in a similar way. Life insurance agents procure the list of customers who have either purchased or enquired about a health benefit policy. Such prospective customers are also more likely to buy a life insurance policy if a policy is customized in their budget and offers required benefits.

There are many companies in the market that specialize in generating and then selling these lists to insurance agents as well as brokers. These companies can also be approached for various types of life insurance leads.

Online Term Life Insurance Quotes in Less Time than it Takes to Brush Your Teeth

Online term life insurance quotes have played a dramatic role in driving down the cost of term life insurance rates. Why is this? Term life rates have decreased substantially due to the increased price transparency of the Internet, the highly competitive nature of the insurance industry, and the convenience of the online quoting process. All of these three factors have helped many Americans to find very affordable term life quotes online.

Price Transparency of the Internet

10-20 years ago shopping for term life insurance could be a gigantic hassle. When you consider that an appointment would need to be scheduled, illustrations would need to be prepared, and a sales presentation endured all simply to see some concrete numbers. (And that is not even taking into consideration the fact that it was next to impossible to compare more than two different companies side by side). Now with the price transparency of the Internet rates have dropped quite a bit as insurance shoppers can now just compare online price quotes in less time that it takes to brush your teeth.

Highly Competitive Nature of the Insurance Industry

The insurance industry is extremely competitive, especially in the area of term life insurance. With the exception of Return of Premium (ROP) term and a few other term insurance variations there is not really a whole lot of difference in one term life insurance policy versus another. Yes, you want to choose an insurance company that is rated an “A” or higher by AM Best for their financial strength and yes, you want a big company that you can trust but once those criteria are satisfied then term life insurance is a very commoditized product. This ability to compare “like to like” and “apples to apples” puts tremendous downward pressure on insurance companies to maintain competitive term life insurance rates.

Convenience of the Online Quoting Process

No appointment is necessary. No traveling is necessary. No sales presentation is necessary. No requirement to request information during standard 9-5 business hours is necessary. All of these positives are reasons why the online life insurance quoting process is fast becoming a preferred avenue for many Americans. You can now request life insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies and view some solid numbers from the comfort of your own home or office 24/7 – all in less time than it takes to brush your teeth!

No Load Term Life Insurance

A term life insurance policy or plan that does not have any form of agent commissions or cuts attached to it is commonly termed as a no load term life insurance policy. This kind of no commission policy is thus devoid of any tussle due to conflicts of interest on behalf of agent and the person seeking insurance. This is a kind of coverage that can cost the policy holder a lesser amount of money and at the same time can offer the individual a quality product.

Most companies today will offer this kind of no load life insurance quotes or policies directly to the public for purchase. In order to receive an estimate, the customers who may be interested in such a policy can shop on the Internet or even speak to several professionally licensed advisors. The professional advisor is very different from an agent who makes commissions on sales. In case of a product devoid of commission the initial fee attached may be higher but on the overall the customer would have saved more money.

Purchasing a life insurance policy means being responsible for the future of one?s family. In case of a no load life insurance policy the premium rates that are quoted can most likely be noticeably less than that of a standard plan from a regular insurance company. This again can be attributed to the fact that there are no marketing fees or commission so to speak added on to the price of the policy. A no load term life insurance is additionally a form of coverage that costs you the least amount of money. Such term policies will have non-existent cash value, but will however provide you peace of mind in knowing that your family and assets are protected financially for a specified period of time in the face of any unforeseen mishaps or tragedies.

MetLife Will Repatriate an Offshore Reinsurance Unit

MetLife, the nation’s largest life insurer, said Tuesday that it would make its business more transparent by moving some deals for hedging risk back to the United States from offshore, pleasing regulators but underwhelming the stock market.

For a number of years, MetLife has been using a Bermuda subsidiary, Exeter Reassurance, to reinsure several billion dollars’ worth of variable annuity contracts, in which customers pay in advance to receive guaranteed payments in retirement. By buying the reinsurance, MetLife was able to remove the obligations to these policyholders from its balance sheet.

Such transactions have become extremely popular in the life-insurance business in recent years, and regulators at the New York State Department of Financial Services have been investigating the deals since last July. The department’s superintendent, Benjamin M. Lawsky, recently called them “financial alchemy.”

“Let’s call it shadow insurance,” Mr. Lawsky said in a speech in April, recalling the so-called shadow banking system that appeared in the run-up to the financial crisis.

MetLife and other insurers have been trying to cope with the Federal Reserve’s long-running policy of keeping interest rates very low to help revive economic growth. Many life insurers are having trouble because they normally buy bonds to make good on annuities they sold in the past, and they cannot get the yields they need in the current low-rate environment. They can reduce the obligations on their balance sheets, however, by shifting them to reinsurers.

But buying reinsurance from an off-balance-sheet subsidiary “does not actually transfer the risk for those insurance policies off the parent company’s books,” Mr. Lawsky said in his speech. By law, reinsurance must involve a real transfer of risk; otherwise insurers are not supposed to use it to improve their balance sheets.

Mr. Lawsky said questionable reinsurance deals throughout the industry were increasing the likelihood that policyholders would not receive their payments at some point. He also expressed concern that they were causing systemic risk within the broader economy, the way the booming growth of mortgage-backed securities had done in the years before 2008.

MetLife’s chief executive, Steven A. Kandarian, said in an annual presentation to investors on Tuesday that repatriating MetLife’s policy obligations from Exeter “proactively addresses recent regulatory concerns” about such deals, adding that Mr. Lawsky’s inquiry had been an important factor. He also said the change would put MetLife in a better position to comply with new collateral requirements put in place by Congress after the financial crisis.

Mr. Lawsky issued a statement on Tuesday praising MetLife’s decision, saying the company had “acted wisely in bringing this subsidiary back to the United States, where it will be subject to stronger rules and oversight.”

MetLife said the transaction, which it expects to complete next year, was also part of an effort to lower the risk of its variable annuities business. It also said it was ratcheting back on sales of the annuities, aiming for $10 billion to $11 billion worth this year, compared with $28.4 billion in 2011.

MetLife’s shares closed down 1 percent, or 48 cents, to $42.82.

When MetLife’s transaction is complete, it will have returned Exeter to the United States and merged it with three state-regulated MetLife units: the MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut; the MetLife Investors U.S.A. Insurance Company, now based in Delaware; and the MetLife Investors Insurance Company, based in Missouri. A spokesman said it was not yet clear where the merged company would be based.

Buying The Right Life Insurance Plan

Life Insurance is an important investment and irrespective of the income level, it is imperative to buy at least a basic Life Insurance plan. This helps to secure emotional and financial stability. It is very important to know and understand which plan would be ideal for an individual’s specific needs. The details that have to be considered are the financial status, assets, affordability, debts and credits, including child support expenses and any other related expenditure. The present insurance market offers a host of varying policies and it is quite difficult to make a choice.

Permanent and Term Life Insurance are the two regular Life Insurance plans. They have their own advantages and disadvantages. They should be opted for keeping in mind optimum benefits and minimum expenditure. A permanent insurance guarantees forced saving, tax-free income, paid-up additions to the benefits, provisions of extended term periods and the provision of borrowing. However, a high rate of premium is applied, to avail of these features. It covers the monetary loss incurred by the investor?s death.

Term Insurance, on the other hand, covers the beneficiary only if the investor dies during the insured period. The premium charged for such insurance is much less than a permanent insurance and it has no saving feature. According to experts, a term insurance can be the best deal if the investor saves the difference and puts that money to good use. The interest received can become an additional income in that case, maintaining a low cost insurance at the same time. Surveys reveal that twenty percent of the investors lose their policies within two years and fifty percent of them in five years, after buying permanent policies.

Investors can go through all the necessary details associated with a particular policy and then decide if it meets their requirement.

Mortgage Life Insurance and Mortgage Protection and You

Decreasing term mortgage life insurance pays your loved ones a lump sum if you die during the set term of the cover. The amount they are paid is contingent upon the term of the life insurance, which decreases just about in line with the amount that remains on your mortgage. By the end of the life insurance plan, the lump sum will be down to zero.

Decreasing term life insurance covers you for a set term. It will pay your dependents a lump sum if you die during that term. How much your dependents are paid will depend on the term of the insurance policy, which decreases roughly in line with the amount outstanding on your mortgage. The lump sum decreases during the period of the term by the end of the plan, it is down to zero.

How much your life insurance premium is depends on the sum to be insured, the period of cover, your age, your sex and whether you smoke or not. A non-smoker is usually defined as someone who has not smoked for at least twelve months. This kind of insurance is not great for investment purposes, as there is no maturity value payable at the end of the plan.

Although the mortgage life insurance cover reduces, your monthly premiums will stay the same throughout the policy. With some decreasing life insurance policies, you can have additional options, such as critical-illness cover. Adding critical-illness cover will mean the plan pays out if you get a qualifying critical illness or if you die during the term of the policy.

Decreasing Mortgage Life Insurance Pros and Cons

Decreasing life insurance is great if you are keen to leave a cash sum to your loved ones to help pay off your mortgage after you have died. Decreasing life insurance is also cheaper than term life insurance, which pays out the same sum regardless of when you die.

Weighing against decreasing mortgage life insurance is the fact that the policy pays out only if you die or are diagnosed with a qualifying critical illness (if you have critical-illness cover). The policy will also have no maturity value if you live beyond the plan.

Mortgage protection

Mortgage protection is an important part of your mortgage needs. Your mortgage is a big financial commitment, so protection is very important. It is always important to budget for mortgage protection as it is easy to ignore these payments when looking at your monthly mortgage costs.

When financial advisors talk about a fully protected mortgage, they mean protecting your mortgage against every eventuality. The areas of mortgage protection are death; redundancy; critical illness, and long -term sickness.

Mortgage protection pros and cons

Mortgage protection is not compulsory. Mortgage protection might seem a depressing thing to think about. However, you could become ill and be without your income at any time. This is why mortgage protection is so vital. It’s a financial safety net and, now more than ever, protecting your mortgage is vital.

Mortgage protection is good because it need not cost the earth, your premium is based on the level of cover you need, how old you are and the size of your mortgage repayments. It’s also a way of protecting your savings if you fall ill and can’t pay your mortgage, you’ll soon eat into your savings. However if you have no earned income and are on state benefits, mortgage protection insurance will not be right for you.

Copyright (c) 2009 Mark Walpole