We've gathered answers to your most popular life insurance questions below.
The most common purpose of life insurance is to provide money for your family if something happens to you. When you purchase a policy, you select a death benefit your beneficiary will get if you pass away. Depending on the type of life insurance policy you buy, your policy may also build cash value, which can be used for things like education costs, retirement income or as a source of emergency funds in the future.
This will depend a lot on your specific circumstances. In general though, you may want to buy enough life insurance to cover your family’s financial needs, like the mortgage, any outstanding debts, education costs and final expenses if something happens to you. For an idea of how much you might need, our life insurance calculator can help.
The three most popular types of life insurance are term, whole and universal.
Term life provides protection for a specified period of time (like 10, 20 or 30 years) and is typically very affordable when you’re younger.
Whole life and indexed universal life insurance policies provide permanent coverage as long as premiums are paid. They typically have higher premiums than term life but also build cash value that can help with things like providing emergency funds or an estate for your family later in life.
A life insurance policy usually only covers one person. And in most cases, there would be a significant change in your family’s lifestyle if something happened to either you or your spouse. A life insurance policy for each of you can help ensure that your family will be able to maintain their lifestyle.
Group life insurance policies are a great benefit for employees but are typically only active while you’re employed with that company. So if you leave the company or retire, you may be without coverage.
A personal life insurance policy can provide coverage regardless of your employment status. If you wait until you retire to get coverage, premiums could be quite a bit higher as you get older.
Quite possibly. While you may not have a spouse or family depending on your income to get through life, you may have debts and final expenses that someone will be responsible for. And if you’re a younger single person, there’s a good chance you’re pretty healthy, which typically means better rates than you’ll get in the future. You could also take advantage of a whole life or indexed universal life insurance policy that can build cash value over the years.
There are a lot of benefits to purchasing a policy for a young child. The younger you are, the more insurable you usually are – and the lower your rates will be. Whole life or indexed universal life insurance can also be a great way to give your child a way to help protect their own family down the road, or save for the future. The cash value buildup could eventaully be used to help with educations costs or retirement. And if the worst happened, a child’s policy could be used for final expenses, something that could be a financial strain otherwise.
It depends on your specific situation. Life insurance can help seniors prepare for the future. While you may not have dependent children, a mortgage or other major debt anymore, it can help your spouse or partner with your final expenses and everyday living expenses if something happens to you. The cash value of a whole or universal policy could also help add to your retirement income.
Term life insurance is life insurance you buy for a specific amount of time, like 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. If something happens to you during that period, it can provide money for your family to use for things like covering final expenses, paying off the mortgage and other debts, and saving for education costs and retirement.
Permanent life insurance (such as whole life) provides lifetime coverage, with more available features, at a higher cost. When you buy a whole life insurance policy, part of the premium is set aside to grow into cash value, similar to building equity in your home.
Indexed universal life (IUL) offers premium and coverage flexibility with the potential for more cash value growth because it's linked to the performance of a stock market index. You can designate some or all of your policy's cash value to earn index credits based on market performance up to a cap rate. Those index credits will never be negative, even if the market goes down.
In many cases, the death benefit your beneficiaries receive from your life policy is not taxable. But there are some exceptions. Talk to your tax professional1 to learn more.
We call these the living benefits of life insurance. There's a misconception that life insurance only benefits your loved ones if you pass away. But whole or indexed universal life insurance policies have a cash value that increases over time, and the cash value you accumulate is yours to spend if the need arises.2 So, whether you need it for an emergency fund or a substantial payment, your whole or indexed universal life policy can work for you while you’re still living.
Life insurance policies issued by COUNTRY Life Insurance Company® and COUNTRY Investors Life Assurance Company®, Bloomington, IL.
1COUNTRY Financial and our representatives cannot give legal or tax advice. Please consult tax and legal counsel of your choice regarding your personal circumstances.
2Policy loans and withdrawals decrease the cash value and death benefit of the policy and increase the likelihood the policy may lapse.
The information and descriptions contained here are not intended to be complete descriptions of all terms, conditions and exclusions applicable to the products and services. The precise insurance coverage under any COUNTRY Financial® insurance product is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions in the actual policies as issued. Products and services described in this website vary from state to state and not all products, coverages or services are available in all states.
Policy form numbers
Term Life Insurance: ICC20(RCT), RCT(ND20), RCT(FL20)
Whole Life Insurance: ICC18(WL), WL(ND18), WL(FL18)
Single Premium Whole Life Insurance: ICC18(WLSP), WLSP(ND18), WLSP(FL18)
Indexed Universal Life Insurance: ICC21(IUL), IUL(ND21)
Term Life Insurance: Insured Rider: ICC20(TLII), TLII(ND20), TLII(FL20)
Term Life Insurance: Insured Spouse: ICC17(TLIS), TLIS(ND17), TLIS(17)
Child Term Insurance Rider: ICC18(CTR), ICC21(IULCTR), CTR(ND18), IULCTR(ND21), CTR(18)