how does divorce affect my life insurance Archives - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Factors That Impact Life Insurance

Life insurance is a simple concept to understand. You pay the premium; your loved ones get the benefit when you die. Like all types of insurance, life insurance premiums are calculated based on the risk that you will die prematurely. This is why young people pay less than someone in their 30s or 40s. The risk is small and their premium reflects that. But besides age, what else affects your premiums? That question is bit more complicated to answer.

At the most basic level, there are two types of risk factors that will determine your premium (Note: this is for term life insurance rates only). The two are “personal risk factors” and “size, term, & type of policy.” Personal risk factors tend to be things like age and gender. The other is self-explanatory – it depends on the size and term of the policy.

Let’s focus on personal risk factors. Personal risk factors usually break down into nine categories, all of which can affect the price you pay for insurance. Those nine factors are age, gender, smoker/non-smoker, personal health conditions, personal health history, family health history, occupation, hobbies & travel, and lifestyle. Some of these may affect you, most of them may not. Some states don’t use gender to determine rates, some do. It’s important to know which ones affect you before worrying about whether or not they will. Let’s break these down in groups of three.

First three up are age, gender, and smoker/non-smoker. The younger you are, the longer your potential life will be. The biggest difference between a 20-year-old and a 50-year-old is that one of those people is going make it another 40 years and it’s probably going to be the former. This is the reason that people urge young people to buy life insurance plans: you will save tons of money in the long run. The second factor, gender, plays a significant role in premium calculations and, in many cases, works in tandem with age. Women tend to live longer than men. That’s a fact. This matters because so long as you are alive, you are paying premiums. More premiums are a good thing for the insurance company. Women live longer and can pay premiums for a longer period of time. This means they get charged less. This makes a difference when you recognize that most men live to around 75, while most women live to around 80. That means a 25-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman will have about 50 years in them before they die. That’s a big deal when it comes to insurance rates. Finally, smoking status. This is, by far, one of the biggest risk factors and the one that is most in your control. A smoker will pay two to three times more than a non-smoker when it comes to premiums.  Also, quitting does not automatically put you into the non-smoker category. You have to be tobacco-free for a couple of years to be considered a lower risk factor.

The next group is health conditions, personal health history, and family health history. Health conditions refer to current health problems you are dealing with. Examples include high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or hypertension. Getting yourself into good health can help you avoid the costs that are incurred. Personal health history refers to problems you have had, but no longer deal with. This could be cancer, stroke, heart disease, or depression. These conditions tend to resurface, so the chance that they may return puts you at greater risk of dying sooner. The last one is family history. If one of your parents died of a health condition before the age of 60, you can expect to see your rate increase because of the chance that you may also develop the same condition.

The final group is occupation, hobbies & travel, and lifestyle. Occupation usually will not be a concern for most people. However, the occupational hazard difference between a logger and a blogger is significant. If you work a particularly dangerous job, your premiums will be higher. Up next is hobbies & travel. In most case, your hobbies will not affect you. If your hobbies include things that tend to result in accidental death, then you’re asking for someone to see you as a risk. The same goes for travel. Traveling to Italy to indulge in fine food and drink is a lot different than going to the Middle East to be a translator for the Army.

When it comes to the size and term of the policy, the larger or longer it is, the more you will pay. That’s pretty simple. The longer the policy is around, the greater chance the company will have to pay you out. That could cost them a lot of money depending on how long the policy lasts. In any case, all these factors should be taken into consideration when shopping for a policy. If you’re looking for an affordable policy from someone who can guide you through the process, look no further than Spencer Insurance Agency for all your life insurance needs.  You can give us a call at (215) 885-2200 or visit us online at https://spencerinsurance.com/ and we will be happy to assist you. Go here to get an immediate term insurance quote.

 

How does divorce and separation affect my insurance?

 

Here is an important article from our website on how separation and divorce affects your insurance coverage.

You are thinking or have decided that separation or divorce is your only solution.  What do you do now?  We at Spencer Insurance Agency are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice.  However, we understand that separation and divorce have a huge impact on your insurance coverage.

Our goal for this article is to educate you on how divorce or separation can impact your insurance coverage.  We also intend to provide some useful links on topics that are related to your insurance.

What is the first thing I should do? Call us at 215-885-2200 or contact us from our website!!!  Discuss with us your situation so we can make sure you are properly protected while going through this process.

What you need to understand:

  • Privacy laws may prohibit or limit our staff from discussing with you information concerning your spouse.
  • We do not take sides. Since both you and your spouse are our clients, we want to make sure both of you have the proper coverage during this process.
  • We will need written authorization from you to speak to one of your advisors (lawyer, financial planner, insurance agent) concerning any of your insurance coverage.

How will separation or divorce affect my insurance coverage?  Depending on the type of insurance coverage, actions taken by you could have a huge impact on your insurance coverage.  We suggest you call us and discuss your situation. Here are some examples on the impact that divorce and separation have on your insurance protection:

  • Auto Insurance
    • Who is the named insured on your policy?  In your auto policy the words “You” and “Your” are used often to refer to the Named Insured on the Declaration page and the spouse if a resident of the same household.
      • If you are not the named insured and move out of the household, you may not have coverage under your auto policy
      • If you are not the named insured and your spouse moves out of the house, you may not  have coverage under your auto insurance
      • If your spouse is the only named insured, your spouse may be able to delete your vehicle from the auto insurance policy without your knowledge. (Note: If we don’t know you are separating, how can we protect you?)
      • Whose policy will carry your teen drivers?

What is the solution?  That depends on many factors, however it may be best for our agency to split your cars onto separate auto insurance policies

  • Homeowner’s Insurance
    • Who is the named insured on your policy?  The named insured could be one or both spouses and still cause you problems.
      • If both spouses are named insureds and one of you moves into an apartment, you have limited personal property coverage.  Your policy says that personal property at other residences is limited to 10% of your Coverage C limit on your Homeowner’s policy or $1,000, whichever is greater. In regards to liability coverage, the new residence may not be covered if coverage is not extended to that location from the original homeowner’s insurance policy.
      • If you are not a named insured on the Homeowner’s policy and you move into another residence, then you may have no personal property or liability coverage
      • If your spouse is the only named insured, your spouse may delete coverage or endorsements from the homeowner’s policy such as jewelry, musical instrument or other valuable items coverage.
      • Both Named Insureds move out leaving the property vacant.  If a home is left vacant then some of the provisions of the policy may be voided.  You may need to get a Vacant Dwelling policy for the home.

What is the solution?  You may want to purchase a renter’s policy to give you the proper coverage for your new residence.

  • Life Insurance– It is critical that you review your life insurance policies and wills when considering a separation or divorce. Don’t forget the group life insurance policies you purchased through your job.  Check out our Free Report: What you need to know about Life Insurance. . . How to Make sure the People You Intended to get your Life Insurance Benefits Actually Get the Benefits!  You need to consider the following:
    • Is the life insurance on my spouse for the benefit of our children?  What happens when that spouse dies and you no longer receive child support?  To make matters worse, what if your ex-spouse’s life insurance lapsed because of failure to pay the premium?  Discuss with us options available so this does not happen.
    • Whoever owns the life insurance can change the beneficiary at any time.  You may never know the beneficiary change was made. Consider making sure you are an irrevocable beneficiary.  However, this may not matter if the policy lapses for non-payment.
    • Do you need more or less coverage now?
    • What happens if you or your ex-spouse has children with a new spouse?  Who will benefit from the life insurance?
    • Health Insurance– Our agency does not handle Health Insurance but can recommend someone for your needs.  It is very important that you check to make sure your health insurance benefits for you and your children are not impacted by the divorce.  Know the answers before you finalize the divorce.  Check out this link from the US Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-consumer-cobra.html

Other Important topics you need to consider:

  • Wills– make sure you have updated your wills throughout this process.  Talk to an attorney.
  • Retirement plans and investments. Know your rights.  Talk to your financial planner or get one if you do not have one. Check out this link from the US Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/qdros.html
  • Social Security Benefits– Make sure you know how your benefits will be impacted by your divorce.  Check out this website from the Social Security Administration: http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm

Many times the separation and divorce process can be very amicable, especially when children are involved. Even so, our agency usually learns about separation and divorce too late in the process to protect you properly.  Don’t wait until it is too late.  Call us at 215-885-2200.

This information was meant to provide you some guidance when you are considering separation or divorce.  It is not meant to be considered legal or financial advice.  Spencer Insurance Agency suggests you seek the advice of an attorney and financial planner among other professionals.  Your insurance policies will dictate what coverage is provided to you.  Nothing in this article is meant to replace your policy provisions.  Consult your policy and agent for details on coverage provisions.