How Life Insurance Helps
Life insurance offers the stable protection that you and your family—and even your business—need in a constantly changing world.
While many people may think life insurance is too expensive and too complicated, it doesn't have to be. It is a powerful and flexible tool for protecting you and those you love. When you consider and understand how an insurance policy can help, you realize that insurance can be well worth the cost. So take the time to learn what it can do for you and your family.
An insurance policy's death benefit can be the difference between staying in the family home, providing for higher education, keeping a treasured family business or not. If you have someone or something that you want to protect, life insurance can help you accomplish that goal, regardless of your current stage in life.
Typical Benefits and Uses of Life Insurance
A life insurance policy can help you:
- Protect your family's future by providing income to pay expenses, such as a mortgage, care for a child or parent, higher education, and emergency demands that are bound to arise as the household finds its financial footing.
- Protect your family from financial risks as your life circumstances and financial commitments change.
- Leave a legacy, either by offsetting the impact of estate taxes or by creating additional wealth for your family or a charity you want to support.
- Protect a small business in various ways, such as covering the loss of a key employee, implementing your succession plan, or unlocking the value of your business for your own retirement.
Other Ways Life Insurance Can Help
Life insurance policies may offer a number of options and features that expand the ways they can be used, making them a more flexible and more powerful financial resource.
- Some policies have optional benefits or riders that can help pay for your chronic or terminal illness care expenses.
- Some policies provide features that help prevent the policy from ending prematurely if you become unemployed.
- Policies that build “cash value” over time can allow you to take supplemental income from that value.¹ That income can be used for unexpected expenses or other needs.
- Optional features on other policies allow you to cover additional people, such as your spouse or children, all in one policy.
What’s Right for You?
Different types of life insurance range from simple and basic to having more features to address different needs.
Sometimes one policy can meet your needs; other times you may want the combined benefits of more than one policy to cover your needs both now and in the future. If you already have a policy, your needs may have changed over the years, and you may want to consider whether your original policy still covers those needs.
With so many choices available, if you find the options overwhelming, remember that you don’t have to sort all this out by yourself. A financial professional can explain the different types of life insurance that are available and help you determine the types and amount of coverage that would work for your situation.
¹Life insurance policy cash values are accessed through withdrawals and policy loans. Interest is charged on loans. In general, loans are not taxable. However, withdrawals are taxable to the extent they exceed basis in the policy. Loans outstanding at policy lapse or surrender before the insured’s death will cause immediate taxation to the extent of gain in the policy. Unpaid loans and withdrawals reduce cash values and policy benefits. They also negate any guarantee against lapse. If a policy is a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC), distributions (including loans) are taxable to the extent of income in the policy. An additional 10 percent federal income tax penalty may apply to those distributions. You may wish to consult your tax advisor for advice regarding your particular situation.