Linda Jensen: Your IUL Guide
LINDA JENSEN – Obtaining a universal life insurance policy that suits your unique needs is often a challenging undertaking. But why is that so? It is because universal life insurance policies are flexible products. Given that, selecting the right one requires that you evaluate between numerous available options. Most likely you might end up empty-handed.
Let us help you help you get acquainted with what it entails to get universal life insurance. Here are our four top tips for buying IUL.
Tip # 1: Know Your Broker
Avoid relying on advice found online as there are many providers and calculators out there. Keep it in mind that you might be persuaded to purchase the cheapest option. Nonetheless, this might not be a suitable option for you.
Remember that many options are available for you to select from when shopping for an IUL. Consulting with independent brokers pays off when evaluating between multiple providers. Hence, you should go for a broker that specializes in indexed universal life to help you pick the best policy for you.
Tip # 2: Your Financial Status
Having living benefits is a bonus for many life insurance policyholders. Living benefits are policy riders that offer you benefits before your demise. These riders let you access a portion of your death benefit while still alive. Following is a list of all benefits that you are entitled to in an IUL policy.
- Terminal illness benefits: this benefits applicable to terminally ill IUL policyholders with 12 to 24 months to live
- Chronic illness benefits: applies to insured individuals who have deficiencies in completing essential living activities
- Critical illness: this benefit is given to individuals who have cancer, kidney failure, or are at risk of heart attacks or strokes. The severity of these conditions determines the size of your lump sum payout. For instance, if you have Stage 3 cancer, the lump sum payout is higher than if you had Stage 2 cancer.
- Critical injury: this benefit is provided to clients who are in a coma, with traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, or severe Typically, a majority of companies don’t offer this benefit to their employees. This is why you need to talk with your insurance broker to get you a policy that includes this benefit.
Note that living benefits are a lifesaver for your portfolio as they provide you with an alternative to other standalone solution, for instance, long-term care. This is especially important for families that have limited resources.
Tip # 3: Leverage Your Investments
Typically, maximizing your investment ROIs requires lots of commitment, time, and effort. Plus, due to the uncertainty of the stock markets, you can potentially end up making losses. This is why you should look for ways to let you manage any tips that might occur along the way.
IUL policies offer a policyholder a means of evening out these dips. Usually, these products provide between 0% to 3% credit guarantees over other products. As a result, your investment is protected against market fluctuations. What’s more, the fact that IUL’s have variance guarantees is all the more reason why you should consider one.
But what is the implication of this? Whenever an index gains in value, your provider is bound to credit your policy accordingly. Essentially, your policy either gets capped or credited up to a certain ceiling. Typically, caps are in the range of 8 % to 18%. For example, if an index returns 20%, you receive a cap of 18%. If an index had negative returns, your provider still retains your policy. Nonetheless, the importance of reviewing policy caps cannot be overstated as these can affect the long-term performance of your investment.
Tip # 4: Premium Prices and Underwriting Costs
Even though you can use an IUL to diversify your investments, it isn’t suitable for everybody. For instance, it is very expensive to obtain an IUL in your 60s rather than in your 30s. Often, its cumulative pricing can wipe out your insurance policy. Over time, death benefits and associated charges may reduce the ability of your investment accumulate value.
Besides that, there is the issue of underwriting eligibility. For instance, you may receive a low rating if you have a terminal illness. If you are young and have excellent health, IUL is an excellent way of diversifying your portfolio.
So there you are! Apply these tips when shopping for an IUL. Also, remember to seek advice from a professionally certified and independent broker who’ll provide you with comprehensive details of your available options rather than what’s in the best interest of an insurance provider.
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Linda Jensen is the principal and owner of Asset Care & Preservation Services with offices in Olympia, WA. Linda began her career with Prudential Preferred in 1994 where she was an agency leader. She earned the credentials of a financial planner and has been in practice as an investment and insurance professional since that time. Linda started her own company in 1997.