Category Archives: term life insurance

Term life insurance is the least expensive type of life insurance in Colorado that offers the best value. You can easily compare many quotes with term lengths from 10-30 years and apply online.

Experience, Expertise, and Convenience

After we help you find the best life insurance policy to fit your needs, regardless if it is term, universal or whole life insurance. Insurance Shoppers allows you to apply online in the comfort and convenience of your home or office with our assistance over the phone or email (if you like). Or, if you prefer, we can meet with you in person at the time and place that works best for you (Colorado life insurance clients only). Feel free to call or email us whenever you have any questions.

Why Choose An Independent Broker?

Jay Norris has 12 years of experience with Colorado life insurance.Almost all Colorado life insurance companies sell their products through agents, rather than directly to the public. Some companies use ?captive? agents, who can only represent one company. The most competitive term life insurance providers (such as those featured at this site) use independent agents, who are free to represent several companies. These agents can help you select from a variety of products and companies to tailor a plan.

The premium rate is set by the carrier, and it cannot be changed by the agent. The price you pay for a given product will be the same no matter where you buy it. ?Price shopping? for an agent in Colorado will provide no benefit, assuming that you have the basic product and pricing information to know what to ask for. We shop a large number of companies, view the life insurance carriers we shop in Colorado, based on price, coverage, how they will underwrite you, stability, etc. So, we are more likely to find the best coverage at the lowest price than other life insurance agents in Colorado. There is no disadvantage and there are many advantages to using a knowledgeable broker to guide you in the right direction, so don?t hesitate to have us help you find the best plan.

Do You Need Life Insurance If You Don’t Have Kids?

I recently saw a poll asking people if they thought life insurance was necessary if you don’t have children. ?The majority of the respondents said no. ?This is understandable given that we tend to think of life insurance as a means to provide for our minor children if we die while they are still financially dependent on us. ?Of course there are lots of other purposes for life insurance as an estate planning tool or a means to keep a family owned business intact, but especially when we’re looking at basic term life insurance, providing for children is the number one reason people purchase coverage.

But I think this is a situation where it’s important to consider your own specific situation rather than just the generic advice that is given to people in your demographic (people with children, people without children, single parents, etc.). ?Before you dismiss the idea of a term life insurance policy simply because you don’t have any children, consider the other possible uses for the policy.

For starters, term life insurance for a healthy person is a very inexpensive purchase, especially when compared with the other types of insurance that we can buy (disability, health, auto, etc.). ?And the younger and healthier you are when you buy it, the less expensive it is. ?So although you might not have children yet, if you’re planning to have them a few years down the road you might want to get a term life insurance policy in place sooner rather than later. ?You can opt for a 30 year term in order to cover your potential child’s entire childhood, even if that child isn’t born for several more years.

Another thing to consider is that a term life insurance policy can be used to provide for a surviving spouse or partner, even if that person has their own source of income. ?If you’re in a long-term relationship where you both work and contribute financially to the household, what would the sudden loss of your income mean for your partner? ?Would he or she have to sell your shared home because his or her income alone would no longer be enough to cover the mortgage? ?The surviving partner might indeed decide to sell and relocate or downsize, but it’s nice to be able to do that on one’s own terms rather than being forced to sell quickly because there isn’t enough money to cover the current living expenses.

In addition to covering expenses until the surviving partner is able to downsize his or her life to match his or her solo income, a small life insurance policy might allow the surviving partner to take some time off work to grieve and come to terms with the loss without having to worry about paying the bills right away.

If you don’t have children, your need for basic life insurance is going to be considerably less than it would be if you did have children. ?But a small term policy might be the perfect way to provide a cushion for an adult who relies on you emotionally and/or financially, even if that person is technically capable of supporting him or herself entirely. ?Life insurance is about peace of mind and creating the sort of life you would like for those who are left behind. ?With no life insurance proceeds, a surviving spouse might have to struggle to make ends meet, sell the house, or work extra hours during an emotionally wrenching time in order to pay the bills. ?A small life insurance policy could be the thing that makes the financial aspect of the whole situation easier to bear.

126th Cavalcade Of Risk

Welcome to the 126th Cavalcade of Risk, where we’re showcasing the best in risk-related writing from around the web.? As a primary risk-management tool, insurance in all of its various forms tends to show up a lot of the posts, but there’s something for everyone here, so dig in…

cards To start things off, we have a compelling article from Scott Bartlett about the dangers of progress.? Scott’s post is inspired by the book A Short History Of Progress by Ronald Wright.? It’s a reminder of the ultimate risk to all of us if we don’t take care of this little planet we all call home.? But more then the usual articles about climate change and environmental degredation, Scott also looks back over centuries of history to see how the rise and fall of civilizations is often linked to resources and their depletion.? Sobering, yet an excellent read.

To put a visual spin on the idea of risk, Julie Ferguson of Workers’ Comp Insider brings us a photographic depiction of workers performing all sorts of tasks far from terra firma.? If you’re leery of heights, these are probably not the jobs for you.? There are pictures of modern workers, as well as plenty from days gone by, and it’s interesting to note the complete lack of safety equipment in some of the older shots.

Life Insurance And Estate Planning

plane Jim Yih of Retire Happy Blog brings us Cathy’s story of life insurance.? It’s an excellent example of a scenario where term life insurance makes much more sense than permanent life insurance.? Term life insurance is a perfect product for someone who is insuring her life in order to protect her children, since we can assume our children will only be financially dependent on us for a finite length of time.? And since it’s a lot less expensive than universal or whole life insurance, a term policy allows a person to have a policy with a higher face value and lower premiums.

Free Money Finance also writes about term life insurance, taking to task a recent WalletPop article that included term life insurance as a type of coverage that is “not worth the money”.? I think FMF’s take on this is absolutely correct.? For some people, permanent life insurance might be just the right product.? But anytime a planner or advisor is recommending permanent life insurance as being generally a better option, it’s a good idea to question how much more commission they will get if the client goes with permanent life insurance.

Continuing on the importance of estate planning, Jeff Rose of Good Financial Sense tells us what happens if you die without a will.? Basically, all assets will pass through probate, and state laws will determine how your money and possessions are doled out – and who will care for your minor children.? The way the state does it may be far different from how you would want it done, which is why having a will is such an important part of financial planning.

quake Russell Hutchinson of Chatswood Consulting Limited takes a look at whether the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake will impact life insurance premiums.? He notes that although the loss of life was tragic, the payouts in terms of life insurance settlements will be quite small when compared with the payouts for property damages from the quake.? He concludes that events like the recent earthquake will usually not impact life insurance premiums rates at all.

Health Insurance And Healthcare Reform

Jaan Sidorov of the Disease Management Care Blog delves into some of the financial nitty gritty behind the idea of patient centered medical homes.? The PCMH concept has become quite popular during the course of the healthcare reform debates, but Dr. Sidorov’s article brings into question the financial sustainability of such models, as it appears that they won’t be making much money.? The idea is for the clinics to be paid on a per member per month basis, but the actual amounts that would likely be paid are startlingly small.

racecars InsureBlog’s Bob Vineyard tells us about a European ruling which prohibits companies from using gender in setting prices for products like insurance and annuities.? Turns out that there could be some unintended (and not-so-great) consequences, such a young men buying higher performance cars because their auto insurance premiums are artificially reduced.? Here in Colorado, health insurance premiums are no longer allowed to be based on gender.? It will be interesting to see if similar laws catch on across the country, or with regards to other products, like auto insurance.

Jason Shafrin of the Healthcare Economist looks at a proposal from the Healthy Trucking Association of America and the Convenient Care Association, for a plan to provide health insurance to truck drivers that would allow them to access care congress wherever their job may take them.? The integrated medical home concept works well for people who are generally in the same geographic location from one day to the next – but truck drivers need access to care all over the country.

Eric Turkewitz of the Terkewitz Law Firm writes and open letter to NY lawmakers, encouraging them to reject a proposed measure that would cap pain and suffering damages at $250,000 in medical malpractice lawsuits.? While we tend to hear a lot from people who are in favor of tort reform measures like the cap on non-economic damages, Eric’s letter provides quite a bit of detail from the other side, and explains why it would do more harm than good to place such a cap.

The Consumer Boomer gives us an overview of how Medicare Advantage programs work, the details about what the various Medicare plans cover, and information needed for enrollment.? Good info for anyone approaching retirement age and starting to look at how health insurance works once we turn 65.

P&C Insurance

Nancy Germond of All Business explains why your home may be underinsured.? The problem seems to stem from the fact that many insurance carriers give the homeowner the responsibility of determining the replacement value of a home, and that may not be the same as the market value of the house.? Nancy notes that a better option is an insurance carrier that will do an independent appraisal, or one that will add a percentage cushion to the determined replacement value in order to more adequately account for increases in replacement cost.

Neal from Wealth Pilgrim explains that if you need to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, hiring a private insurance adjuster can be a good way to make sure that you get as much money as you’ll actually need to repair or rebuild your home.

Canadian Finance Blog explains the basics in terms of how auto insurance premiums are calculated😕 type of coverage, how much you drive, what kind of car you drive – they all play a factor.? I’ve read that some auto insurance carriers even look at credit scores in order to set prices.

Other Risky Business

alt Health Blog’s David Williams discusses whether parents should be allowed to give teachers gifts.? While regulating such things might at first seem trivial and intrusive, David points out how gifts from pharmaceutical companies to doctors have been shown to influence the doctors’ prescribing habits.? Observation of the relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical companies when gifts are involved should give us pause to consider the fact that there is always a risk of compromising integrity when gifts are allowed.? Good food for thought.

The Dough Roller tells us about identity scores.? I wasn’t aware such a thing existed, but an identity score – compiled using data from a much wider source of data than credit scores -? is used by lenders as an indicator of how likely it is that a credit applicant is using a fake identity.? The higher the number, the more likely it is that an applicant is committing identity theft.? The article includes details about how you can check your ID score and make sure that it doesn’t contain errors.

Credit Card Guru takes us for a closer look at payment protection insurance, and concludes that it’s usually not worth the money.? Sure, programs like that help to alleviate some risk (for people who carry a balance on their credit cards and would have a hard time making payments if they were faced with an unexpected job loss, illness, etc.) but it appears that the insurance is pricey and has a lot of fine print.

Heather Hollingsworth takes a look at how unrest in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East could impact global financial recovery from the recession.? Since so much of the world’s oil comes from the Middle East, protests and regime changes there can have an effect all over the world.

That wraps up this edition of the Cavalcade of Risk.? Thanks for all the great submissions!

Increasing Premiums For Universal Life Insurance

Most people who have financial dependents have a genuine need for life insurance. ?But for the majority of those people, a simple term life insurance policy can fulfill that need in a relatively uncomplicated, inexpensive manner. ?A term policy purchased in early to mid adulthood that lasts for 20 or 30 years (with a fixed premium during that time frame) will protect most families throughout the time when they are financially responsible for children and debts like mortgages. ?After the children are grown, and the mortgage is paid off, and especially after retirement, there is much less of a need for significant life insurance death benefits for most people.

For some people with more complex financial situations (such as a family business that they would like to leave to their heirs, for example), permanent life insurance may be a more appropriate choice. ?But such policies are much more expensive than term life insurance, and tend to be more complicated too. ?For people who really only have a genuine need for the protection offered by term life insurance, the investment benefits associated with permanent life insurance can usually be obtained in a more straightforward manner by simply investing the additional premiums that would have been needed to purchase permanent life insurance.

Although permanent life insurance products can be a useful tool for some clients, purchasing them might not be truly the best financial move for many people who might be better served by a basic term life insurance policy and a separate investment program to accumulate money for later in life and/or to pass on to heirs. ?However, the commissions for agents who sell permanent life insurance is significantly higher than the commissions for term life insurance policies, in part because the policies themselves are so much more expensive. ?This can potentially create a conflict of interest if a client is taking policy recommendations from an agent who will receive the commission for whatever policy is ultimately purchased.

In a reminder that Universal Life insurance (a form of permanent life insurance) premiums are not fixed, a recent class action lawsuit in CA ended with a federal judge ruling that Conseco Life Insurance Co. cannot triple premiums for 50,000 policy holders who have had their policies since the late 80s and early 90s. ?The courts got involved because the proposed premium increases were so significant, but the complexities of universal life insurance include a lot of flexibility in terms of premiums. ?If interest rates drop (as was the case for people who bought policies in the 80s, when interest rates were much higher than they are today), future premiums can increase significantly. ?Although the court has ruled that Conseco cannot triple the premiums for those policy holders, there’s no set limit for how much premiums can increase. ?Older policy holders who have had their coverage for decades can find themselves unable to keep their policy in force if premiums rise beyond what they can afford.

Anyone in the market for a life insurance policy should be well aware of the differences between term life insurance and permanent life insurance, and should understand the long term implications of each type of coverage before selecting the best option for their particular situation.

Term Life Insurance Sales Lower In Second Quarter

There was a sharp increase in the number of life insurance policies sold in the first quarter of 2010 when compared with the same time period in 2009. ?And now the second quarter of 2010 has posted another strong increase. ?Compared with the second quarter of 2009, annualized premiums for individual life insurance policies were up 7% in the second quarter of this year.

Whole life, universal life, and variable universal life are all being purchased more this year than last year. ?But term life insurance did not show gains; annualized premiums for term policies dropped 11% in the second quarter of 2010. ?I find this interesting, given that term life insurance tends to be the most appropriate choice for the majority of the population that needs to secure death benefits.

It’s possible that the slowly-rebounding economy is responsible for the shift from term to permanent life insurance products, and for the overall upswing in total annualized premiums. ?For the last couple years, the recession has meant that most of the country has been tightening their budgets. ?Term life insurance policies are a lot less expensive than permanent policies, so for people who needed to buy life insurance during the recession, term products were likely more popular. ?But now that the economy is showing signs of recovering, people may be more apt to purchase higher-cost permanent life insurance policies that grow cash value or include an investment component. ?It will be interesting to see how the numbers play out for the rest of 2010… will term life insurance policy sales bounce back, or will the growth of permanent policies continue?

Comparing Life Insurance Options

This week’s Cavalcade of Risk included an informative article at the Consumer Boomer blog about how to compare different types of life insurance policies. ?The article did a good job of detailing the major differences between term life insurance and permanent life insurance (both universal and whole) but not much was said about the cost differences, other than to note that the permanent policies are “more expensive”. ?Permanent life insurance is dramatically more expensive than term coverage – often ten or twenty times as much in annual premiums. ?For some people, the benefit is worth it. ?But for most of us, it makes sense to buy a term policy and keep our investments separate from our life insurance. ?But either way, the Consumer Boomer article provides a good summary of how the various types of coverage work. ?If you’re in Colorado and you’d like to get quotes for your particular life insurance needs, we’re be happy to help.

Life Insurance Popularity Increasing

The first quarter of 2010 has seen an sharp increase in the number of life insurance policies purchased, compared with the first quarter of last year. ?It does make sense that after the economic problems of the last couple years, that people would be more focused on managing risk now than they were before the recession. ?Term life insurance is especially appropriate now for risk-averse clients, as it is an inexpensive way to provide financial security for one’s family, without concerns about stock market volatility.

Certified financial planner Carl Richards had a great article on the New York Times blog last month, about why life insurance shouldn’t be treated as an investment. ?The napkin drawing is chuckle-worthy, but it also makes a really good point: ?for most people, it’s a better idea to keep investing and life insurance as separate entities. ?There are exceptions, such as people who need to generate cash upon their death to pay estate taxes on assets like real estate or a business that they would like to pass to their heirs without selling. ?For situations like that, the financial obligation won’t diminish over time and the life insurance policy needs to be permanent. ?But for most people, the need for life insurance does indeed diminish over time as children finish college and mortgages get paid off and net worth grows. ?For many people, the need for life insurance after retirement is low, as there is no longer an earned income that would need to be replaced.

For people who still have many years of work ahead of them – and many years of financial obligations – now is a great time to look into securing life insurance. ?A term life insurance policy will allow you to lock in the premium based on your current age, and is a great way to protect your family’s financial future without taking financial risks.

What You should Know About Permanent Life Insurance

A recent article on CNN Money lists five things you should know about permanent life insurance:

1. ?It might be more coverage than you need… or at least coverage for longer than you need. ?Because permanent life insurance is so much more expensive than term life insurance, people might get a lower face value than they really need, but end up with life insurance long after their children are grown and the house is paid off. ?It usually makes more sense to purchase a less expensive, higher face value term policy, which will truly provide financial protection to your family while they need it – ie, while children are young, college still has to be funded, and payments are still being made on the house.

2. ?It may not be your best investment. ?The idea with permanent life insurance is that it provides a death benefit, but also builds cash value via investments. ?But for most people, it makes more sense to purchase insurance separately from investments. ?It’s hard to tell where your money is being invested in a permanent life insurance policy.

3. ?But in rare cases, it’s just the ticket. ?I would say that these are very rare cases, but they do happen.

4. ?The right flavor makes all the difference. ?Deciding among the three types of permanent life insurance policies (universal, variable, and whole) will likely require extensive research and/or a meeting with a financial advisor.

5. ?Dumping a policy will cost you. ?It takes many years for the cash value in permanent life insurance policies to build up to a significant amount of money. ?If you cancel a term policy early, you’ve only paid for the life insurance protection you got during the years you had the policy. ?But if you cancel a permanent policy in the first 10 or 15 years, you will likely have paid a lot of money (above and beyond what you would have paid for just having the death benefit of a term policy) and get very little in return. ?A permanent policy is really only appropriate if you know that you’ll stick with the policy for the long term.

Permanent life insurance is a good option for some people. ?But if you choose to purchase it, make sure that your decision is based on independent research or advice from a qualified professional who does not have a vested interest in your decision. ?The premiums – and thus the commissions – are significantly higher on permanent life insurance policies; if the person advising you to opt for a permanent policy is also making a commission based on the policy you buy, you might want to get a second opinion.

Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

Earlier this year, Louise and I came across this forum thread about a family and their life insurance situation. ?It’s a sobering conversation for sure, but one that inspired us to increase the amount of life insurance we have. ?Before we read that thread, we were content with our relatively small face value term life insurance policies. ?They would be enough to pay off the mortgage with some left over, but we weren’t really looking at the big picture. ?We have a toddler now, and if one of us were to die young, it’s important to us that the surviving parent would be able to focus primarily on raising our son, rather than scrambling to make a living while taking care of him at the same time.

If you have life insurance through your employer, be sure you know how much coverage it provides and how far that would go. ?If you need to add additional life insurance coverage, a basic term policy of 20 or 30 years will probably do the trick. ?Premiums are based on age at issue, so the younger you are when you get your policy, the less you’ll pay for the life of the policy. ?And since life insurance policies are medically underwritten, the healthier you are, the better rate you’ll get. ?The time to make sure that your family is protected is today.

Extreme Sports And Life Insurance

Many Americans get life insurance as a benefit from their employers, but the amount provided is often not enough to really provide for a family. ?For this reason, a lot of people seek out additional life insurance coverage on their own. ?Term life insurance policies are very inexpensive, especially when compared with the cost of things like health insurance and long term care insurance, but those prices can increase dramatically if a person is unhealthy or participates in anything that life insurance companies deem to be risky activities.

As an example, if you’re a very healthy 35 year old, you’ll probably find it relatively easy and inexpensive to secure several hundred thousand dollars worth of term life insurance. ?But if one of your hobbies is rock climbing, the premium on the life insurance policy can easily be tripled or quadrupled by most carriers. ?The standard underwriting action in a case like this is to bump the rate from “preferred best” to “preferred” and then to add an additional annual amount ($2 – $2.50, for example) for every thousand dollars in life insurance coverage. ?So a half million dollar policy can easily increase in premium by more than $1000/year if the applicant participates in “risky” activities.

However, underwriting does vary from one insurance carrier to another, and some are more lenient than others for specific activities and health conditions. ?If you’ve applied for a life insurance policy in Colorado and received a rate increase because of health or lifestyle, there may be other options that would allow you to purchase the same amount of insurance for a lower premium. ?We can compare options for you and help you find the best value for your insurance dollars, and there is never a charge for our services.