Life Insurance - Frequently Asked Questions
You need life insurance if anyone will suffer a financial hardship caused by your death. Our
ability to earn an income is what makes us so valuable. If that income stops, your family will suffer.
Life insurance can be used to fulfill all of your family’s future needs by replacing your income.
Many people will also use life insurance for specific needs such as making sure the mortgage is paid
off and leaving the family with a debt free home. Other people use life insurance as means to pay for
burial expenses. We are all going to die and it is our responsibility to prepare for that day so our
family won’t suffer financially, as well as emotionally.
Employer group life insurance is great as supplemental coverage. What happens to my employer coverage
when I retire, change jobs, or get laid off? Group coverage is only good when you are part of the group.
Make sure you have planned ahead and purchased individual life insurance so no matter what happens your
family will be protected.
There are different ways to determine the amount of life insurance you need. Most experts agree you need
to evaluate these areas to determine how much insurance is enough:
What will your family need to enable them to maintain the same standard of living if you should die
prematurely? Income needs are usually greatest when you have minor children. Most experts agree
that you will need 5 to 10 times your annual income for replacement purposes.
Money will be needed to pay the balance of your mortgage. If you rent, you will want to consider
putting money aside for a "rent fund."
If you have a car loan, home improvement loan, credit card balances, etc. these will need to be considered
when determining the amount of life insurance you need.
EDUCATION FUND FOR CHILDREN
Educating children can be a very expensive task. Be sure to include the cost of tuition, room and board,
and books and other fees. You will want to consider this for all children.
Final expenses refer to items such as final medical and hospital costs and funeral expenses. The average
funeral in America today costs in excess of $7,500.
You will want to have money set aside for your family to cover major home repairs, auto repairs and medical
emergencies. Half of your annual income should be sufficient to cover the emergency fund.
You will want to consider an additional amount for this category if you have special needs children, aging
parents that are dependent on you or other important, unique needs. Use our
needs analysis table
to help you determine your current
life insurance needs.
Simply contact your Farm Bureau agent and he or she can help you with your purchase. If you don’t have an
agent, please use our Find an Agent
Term life insurance is perhaps the simplest form of life insurance. It provides temporary life insurance
protection on a limited budget. Term life insurance is a way to get the most amount of coverage for the
lowest cost. Since term insurance can be purchased in large amounts for a relatively small initial premium,
it is well suited for short-range goals such as life insurance coverage to pay off a loan, or providing extra
life insurance protection during the child-raising years. Term life insurance provides death protection for
a stated time period, or term. The main drawback to term insurance is that after the specified term is over
the cost will increase. The good news is that all of our term products are convertible to permanent insurance
depending on your age, and you may not be required to complete any medical exams or answer any health questions.
Whole life provides life insurance protection for as long as the policy is kept in force (“whole life”).
Whole life policies feature lifelong protection, guaranteed premiums, guaranteed death benefit, and a cash
value account. The cash value can grow each year and grows tax deferred. The cash value can even be borrowed
against to help with emergencies or when times get tough. Another valuable feature of whole life insurance
is the opportunity to receive policy dividends*. Dividends can be used to increase your death benefit, increase
your cash value, or even help reduce your premiums. Farm Bureau Life has paid a dividend every year since the
*Not all whole life policies pay dividends and dividends are not guaranteed.
Cash value is an internal build up of money inside a whole life or permanent life insurance policy. The cash
value earns interest and grows on a tax deferred basis. The money in the cash value account can be accessed
through policy loans or surrenders. However, surrendering the cash value or taking a loan on it may have an
adverse effect on your policy and benefits paid. The cash value account is not a savings account but it can be
a useful way get funds in the event of an emergency.
A dividend* is a benefit paid to a client who has a participating whole life policy. The amount of the dividend
is based on the profitability of the company. There are several dividend options a client can choose. Dividends
can be used to increase the death benefit, increase the cash value, be paid in cash or even reduce premiums.
Farm Bureau Life has paid a dividend every year since the company’s inception.
*Not all whole life policies pay dividends and dividends are not guaranteed.
You choose how to use the dividend the company has issued on a participating whole life policy.
The following options are available:
- Paid up additions: The dividend is used to increase the death benefit.
- Accumulate at Interest: The dividends are put into a side account with in the policy and earn interest.
- Reduce Premiums: The dividend can be applied to premiums that are due.
- Dividends Paid In Cash: The dividend is paid directly to the owner of the policy.
It depends on your age, the amount of coverage, and the type of policy. If you do need a physical,
we will work around your schedule to make sure the process is as easy as possible. We will pay for the
cost of the physical and we will even have someone come to you. Our examiners can come to your home or
office. This makes the examination process quick and convenient.
The benefit of your policy can be paid in several ways at the choice of the beneficiary. There may be
an immediate need for the entire lump sum to pay for medical expenses and funeral costs. After a traumatic
loss, many beneficiaries choose to avoid making such important decisions in haste. Proceeds can be left to
earn interest, to set a payment stream up for a designated number of years, pay a lifetime income, or paying
a designated amount as requested. You can withdraw as much of the death benefit as you wish and leave the
remaining balance with the company under an interest option, with the understanding that you can withdraw
the remaining balance at anytime. The money sits in the account and earns interest until you choose to withdraw
it. The death benefit can also be put into an annuity to create an income for the beneficiary’s lifetime or
for a specific period of time, again, at the choosing of the beneficiary.
Yes, in most cases. The majority of our clients choose a revocable beneficiary, which can be changed by
the owner of the policy at anytime. There are some situations where the owner chooses an irrevocable
beneficiary. In this case, the beneficiary would have to approve the change along with the owner of the policy.
Upon the death of an insured you can contact your Farm Bureau Agent
call us at 1-800-922-4632, or email us
To assist us in providing the best possible
service please provide the name of the insured, the date and cause of death, and the name, address, and telephone
number of the person who should be contacted.
YES. Even though your spouse may not earn an income you will suffer a financial hardship if your
spouse dies. Take, for example, the stay at home mom. What would it cost to hire someone to do
all the things mom does on a daily basis? Numerous studies suggest it would cost over $100,000 a year.
Just think about the cost of daycare and housekeeping alone.
We don’t depend on our children financially but should the unthinkable happen we will suffer financially.
Funeral cost can be anywhere from $7,500 and up depending on the arrangements. If you don’t have the ability
to pay for that cost out of pocket life insurance is an affordable alternative. Life insurance on a child is
very inexpensive and it will be a great gift for them to have later on in life.
If you are in a saving-money stage of life, a deferred annuity can:
- Help you meet your retirement income goals
- Help you diversify your investment portfolio
- Help you manage your investment portfolio
If you are in a need-income stage of life, an annuity can:
- Help protect you against outliving your assets
- Help protect your assets from creditors