What can you find on this site?

Sometimes the world of insurance can seem like a confusing maze. Once you enter, you find yourself turning this way and that, not having any clear idea how to find your way through. In the center you know there's the right policy for you and your family but, the way things look, you're never going to find it.

This site offers a general introduction and guide to life insurance. Why this particular form of insurance? Because, of all the different types, this is the one that can cost you the most money. Get the choices wrong and the losses can be significant.

So browse through the pages here. We tell you what the different types of life insurance are and how to plan provision for your family after you've gone. This site offers information and guidance. It can't replace independent financial advisors guiding you when they know your financial position. But it will tell you what to ask your advisor when you meet.

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Types of Life Insurance

What are the different types of life insurance? When you see the following four words, “term”, “whole”, “universal”, and “variable”, they all look so innocent. You know these words. You use them without thinking. But as applied to life insurance. Ah well. That's a whole new set of meanings. And, in a way, that captures the main problem with life insurance. It takes ordinary words, words you trust, and changes them into something different.

Well the following pages are designed to take the mystery out of these words. Each of them is taken in turn with explanations of what they mean and, more importantly, on how you should begin choosing between them. The most important choice is between term and the other three. Some suggest you should only buy whole, universal or variable in very limited circumstances. Others say a good case can be made for buying one of them if the right conditions are satisfied.

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Financial Questions

Financial questions asked and answered When it comes to reading through the quotes or, worse, trying to understand the policies, there are always a number of basic questions. This section tries to explain the basics for you. It starts with the deceptively simple question of whether a life insurance policy can ever be a good investment. Agents trying to sell these policies always make great claims, but what's the truth? Then we look at how far you should go to protect a mortgage. It's a big debt. Does it need separate cover?

Then we get into the basics. You need to know how life insurance companies set the premium rates and what factors they rely on in deciding whether to insure you. Finally, given the economy is still going through tough times, you need to know how best to find cheap cover. No matter what's happening in the world, you need to protect your family.

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Life insurance and your health

Life insurance and your health Whether you can buy life insurance at affordable rates depends on your health now. Insurers have developed a series of health or risk classes. If you fall into a “preferred” or “standard” class, you will find quotes come your way. But if your health is suspect for some reason, you're likely to find the premium rates quoted are very high or cover is refused.

These pages help you understand how insurers assess your health. For all applications requesting higher value cover, there will be a medical exam so you will find an explanation of what to expect. You will also find guidance on the response if you’re overweight or still smoke. Then we come to the more politically sensitive issues of how insurers relate to the disabled or those who go through tests which suggest genetic predisposition to certain types of life-shortening diseases.

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Insurance for different category of people

Life insurance for different groups of people Rightly or wrongly, every society treats people differently depending on their sex, age, where they live, what job they have, and whether they have previous convictions. In theory, everyone is treated equally, but some groups find they receive more respect than others.

These pages start by asking whether the European Court is right in holding men and women should pay the same premium rates. American courts allow women to pay less for life insurance than men because they live longer. Then there's the question of age. It should be obvious that older people will have to pay more for cover because they are closer to death. But how is this changing as life expectancy increases? Then we come to factors that can mean real discrimination based on your ZIP code, your job, and whether you've been convicted of a more serious offense. It's unfair but that’s the way insurers work.

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