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The Intelligent Life Blog

Helping millions of Americans become educated
in making intelligent decisions around their life needs

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These Statistics Will Make You More Cautious

Nov 27, 2016 9:14:00 PM

While it's true that we are now living longer than at any time in history, the fact remains that we're not immortal. Of course, thinking about your eventual demise is never pleasant, but planning for it is probably the most responsible course. If you're one of those people who thinks that tragedy will never strike close to home, you're not alone.

Sometimes a subtle wake-up call laced with factual data can help move us in the right direction. Here are some startling statistics about accidents, injuries, and even fatal illnesses in the United States and some ways that you can protect your family's financial future.

Leading Causes of Death in the United States

Each year, more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. take their final breath. Of the top five leading causes of death, four are due to illness which may or may not appear unexpectedly. This is particularly the case with cancer, which claims more than half a million people each year. Other leading causes of death due to illness are heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and stroke. What many don't realize is how frequently unintentional injuries have fatal consequences.




Wait: Are You Making These Mistakes with Your Life Insurance?

Jul 5, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Life insurance is essential to make sure that loved ones are provided for in the event that you aren't around to fulfill that role. Making a mistake with a life insurance policy can cause issues down the road for those very people who are meant to be protected. Here are just a few of the most common mistakes that people make with life insurance policies and how you can avoid these missteps.

Relying on a Group Life Insurance Policy

Many employers provide free group life insurance up to one or two times annual salary. While this is a great benefit, the limits aren't sufficient as a sole life insurance policy. Beyond that, if you leave your job for any reason, you will also forfeit that life insurance coverage. There are affinity groups that also say that they provide discounts on group life insurance. Again, you'll need to maintain membership in that group to keep the insurance and the rates for these group policies aren't always less than what you could find with an individual policy.




Finding the Best Life Insurance for High-Earners: Special Considerations

Mar 29, 2016 10:00:00 AM

"Make your money work for you!"

That's a common theme in many areas of business, including the life insurance industry. Brokers and financial experts often use this mantra to extol the benefits of whole life insurance when comparing it to standard term life insurance policies.

They'll note that whole life insurance acts more like an investment instead of just remaining inert until you pass away. Plus, whole life insurance has no finite term after which it is useless - and it even offers the possibility of monetary profit that can be paid to you or your heirs. Sounds good, right?

In reality, whole life insurance may not be advantageous to many people. This is especially true for individuals who have high incomes.

What's the Difference?

First, it's important to identify the difference between term and whole life insurance. Term life insurance is pretty much what it sounds like: a life insurance policy which will pay out a predetermined benefit if the policyholder dies within a specific time period, such as 10, 20 or 30 years.

On the other hand, whole life insurance (sometimes called universal life insurance) does not come with an expiration date; but the possibility exists for the policy to have a cash value if the policyholder chooses to surrender it in the future. Also, whole life policies often earn dividends which can be either deposited or put toward the monthly premiums.




Best Strategies for Retirement Planning

Sep 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM

The process of selecting a retirement plan can be a daunting task, often resulting in years of procrastination. However, the sooner you have a retirement strategy in place, the sooner you can feel comfortable knowing things will be taken care of in your later years. In addition, the sooner you start saving, the more interest you will earn and the less money you will need to save.

Retirement solutions will differ from one person to the next. However, your goal should be to find a solution that not only meets your expected needs, but plans for any unexpected events as well. For example, if only one spouse is working and saving for retirement, a plan should be put in place to ensure the other spouse is financially stable should anything happen to the family breadwinner. This includes ensuring you have a good life insurance policy in place should the need arise.

Take Advantage of Employer-based Plans

The most convenient and possibly the best retirement solution is an employer plan. Many companies provide their full time or salaried staff with a retirement account. These are tax-advantaged plans thanks to the Internal Revenue Service. Many employers offer 401k retirement plans managed by third-party investment companies. In some cases, employers also contribute to them. Oftentimes employers will also provide life insurance policies to take advantage of. It’s a good idea to enroll in one of these plans which allow your life insurance fees to be deducted straight from your pay-check. If your employer does not have a life insurance option, view our affordable life insurance plans.

Individual Retirement Plans

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) along with the Roth are tax-advantaged plans that are not required to be opened under your employer. More importantly, they provide you with the ability to put aside money for retirement that is a tax deduction for you. Other forms of retirement accounts exist that may be beneficial to those who own their own business or work for non-profit organizations. These accounts allow you to build a retirement account over time, with tax advantages both now and later. It is important to realize that most retirement accounts limit your ability to use those funds immediately, although you may be able to borrow against your funds or just cash out to access money.

Unique Retirement Strategies

If you are looking for retirement savings to put towards other savings tools, there are options available. Here are a few ideas to get started.




4 Unbelievable, But Valid Insurance Claims

Mar 24, 2015 1:39:00 PM

Insurance agents have seen their fair share of weird and in many cases, unsubstantiated claims. But now and then, agents come across a claim that truly shocks them, not because it’s outrageous, but because it’s outrageous…and true!

Today’s post discusses four of these seemingly bogus scenarios.

1) iPhone Disappeared…Inside of a Cow: We’re willing to bet that you’ve left your iPhone in a lot of different places: your bathroom, your car, on top of your kitchen countertop, etc.

But you’ve probably never lost your phone inside of an animal before.

Well, Ivor Bennett, a livestock farmer, did. He was assisting a cow who was giving birth in the middle of a dark and stormy night and used the light on his phone to aid him. The phone later resurfaced but didn’t work properly (no shock). The insurance company paid him for the full claim.

2) Bridal Dress Catches Fire: A wedding dress is one of the most important garments a woman will ever wear. And each dress is as special as the woman wearing it—assuming it isn’t ablaze. The bride, Paula Catelli was standing a little too close to the barbeque, when her dress caught on fire. Her husband saved her life by picking her up and throwing her into the sea. The insurance company agreed to compensate the couple for half the damages.

3) Danger From Above: The last thing you expect while on vacation is to injure yourself from…relaxing. British travel agency, Club Direct, knew that stranger things have (and do) happen and started issuing policies to cover injuries caused by falling coconuts. That very same year they decided to issue their new policies, one of their customers was struck in the head by a coconut and knocked out cold, while she was reading a book under a palm tree. Luckily, she recovered. Club Direct paid her in full.

4) Decking Drivers with Christmas Trees: This example reads like a scene from the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie. Mr. Fairclough was driving home from Christmas shopping when he saw a car approaching him from the opposite direction with a Christmas tree haphazardly positioned on top of the car. No sooner had he registered this when the car went around a sharp bend, and the tree flew straight toward him. The other driver never stopped or returned to the scene, so Mr. Fairclough ended up taking the tree home with him, along with a huge dent left by the tree’s trunk. His car insurance paid for all of the damages.

Every insurance holder wants to be paid any claims that he or she makes, of course the above four people probably would have told you that receiving the payment was nice, but if they could, they would have rather avoided the events that led them to file their claims.

The same is true with life insurance. While a life insurance claim is one you hope never has to be filed, those you care about, who are protected by your policy, will be glad they have the option should something unexpected happen to you.

Curious about the type of life insurance coverage available to you? Visit our quotes page and compare up to six quotes in just a few minutes.




How Life Insurance Can Help To Raise Your Child, Even If You're Not There

Mar 5, 2015 3:25:00 PM

Raising a child is not easy, and for many parents it seems like the job never ends. Even when your kids leave the house to strike it out on their own, an economic recession could send them right back into the safe confines of your home.

Raising kids is even harder when one spouse is left alone to care for the family. It’s even worse when both parents are out of the picture.

How can you protect your child if you’re not here?

Life insurance can help.

Today’s post will discuss how life insurance can care for your child in the event of your untimely passing.

1) A college education: College is big business, and the four-year cost of a university education is more than the cost of a car for most people (and in some cases, the cost of a home). According to the College Board , the average cost of a year of tuition and fees for 2013-14 was $30,094 (private college) and $22,203 (out-of-state students attending state universities). Naming your child as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy means that if the unexpected should occur, and you were to die, your surviving spouse or your child’s legal guardian would not need to take out a second mortgage to pay for your child’s college education.

2) Care for your special-needs child: If you have a special-needs child, then you already know that they’ll need your support for the rest of their life, and that translates to more long-term costs. When you purchase life insurance, you’re not just protecting yourself; you’re making sure that your child is covered for the long haul, including any housing costs.

3) Cover unexpected medical bills: As much as it pains us to say this (and it pains you more to think about it), you could be struck with a life-threatening illness, such as cancer. And while health insurance may ease some of your financial burdens, it won’t cover everything. Some life insurance policies have optional benefits that can help pay for your survivors' chronic or terminal illness care expenses, so you can focus well-being and recovery. Your policy also provides a source of funds for your family to pay unpaid medical bills should you pass unexpectedly.

4) Maintain normalcy: Losing a loved one is emotionally trying. It’s especially heart-wrenching for a child to lose his/her parent when they’re young. Now imagine a grieving household that also has serious financial hardship. Many adults would be unable to cope with this stress, let alone a child. Life insurance can maintain a sense of normalcy for your family while they get through the hard time of grieving over your loss. The more financially secure your family is, the sooner they can heal and resume their daily lives.

At IntelliQuote, we know that as a parent, you only want the very best for your child, even if you’re no longer living. A term life insurance policy gives them a real chance to thrive in your absence.

Are you ready to give your child added protection? Visit our quotes page, and start your journey today.




The Top 5 Myths About Employer-Based Life Insurance

Feb 19, 2015 5:00:00 PM

If you work full-time for an employer, you know that there are many perks to being an employee.

One of those bright spots is not having to worry about high health insurance rates or life insurance coverage, right?

Wrong—at least from a life insurance perspective.

The truth is, your employer-provided life insurance policy may not provide you the coverage you need. If you want to maximize your coverage, the onus is on you, not your employer.

At IntelliQuote, we know most people think they are set on the life insurance front if their company has purchased a policy on their behalf. If you, too, are under that impression, today we’re going to shatter that illusion and provide a better reality.

1) Your employer-based life insurance is all that you need: The insurance you have with your job may cover your final costs, but just barely. What about all of the other expenses you pay month in and month out? In other words, that new house you just bought, or the new car you just leased? Are there enough funds left over to pay for these expenses for months or years to come so your spouse and family stay afloat? If these series of questions has you scratching your head or frowning, it’s time to purchase additional insurance. Also keep in mind that employer-provided life insurance is non-transferable. If you get laid off or leave your job your company can cancel your policy whenever they choose.

2) Only the working spouse needs life insurance: If you’re the sole breadwinner in your house, you may believe that you are the only person that needs insurance, right? But the reality is that it doesn’t matter if you commute to work in a car or by walking into another room in your house, both spouses need coverage. If your stay-at-home spouse were to pass away suddenly, who is going to watch the kids or do the cooking? If you’re working full-time, that means you’ll have to pay for childcare or for someone to help you with maintaining your household, and those costs can really add up on just one salary.

3) My coverage should only be double my annual salary: In theory, this reasoning works: That means that your family can continue their lifestyle based on your coverage for at least a year. That’s assuming, of course, that they won’t incur any additional major expenses and your family can adapt to the loss of your income. It’s a dangerous assumption to make, and if you’ve already passed on, it’s too late. Getting your own coverage allows you to plan ahead and to have adequate coverage to protect your family for the worst case scenario.

4) Employees with no dependents don’t need a lot of coverage: Children are expensive, so people automatically think that single folks lead a less expensive life. Errr….we’d argue that people who don’t have children spend just as much, if not more than those with offspring. And remember that your coverage can also be used to pay off any debt remaining at the time of your death, like student loans or credit card debt and especially the mortgage on the house.

5) Term life insurance is all that I’ll ever need: Most employer-based life insurance is term life insurance and is, therefore, affordable. But what if you want to convert your term life insurance to permanent insurance in the future? Or if you want to blend your term life policy with permanent life insurance for even more benefits? Purchasing a separate policy ensures that you have fewer, if any, limitations should you leave your employer.

While having employer-based life insurance is a good thing, we strongly advise that you consider buying additional insurance to give your family the best protection possible.

Are you looking to increase your family’s protection and your sense of well-being? Why not set aside a few minutes today and investigate your options by getting a half-dozen quotes in less time than it takes you to finish your lunch hour?




Term Life Insurance: What It Is. What It Isn’t.

Feb 13, 2015 4:30:00 PM

We want to set the record straight.

We understand that the words ‘term life insurance’ can conjure up a lot of assumptions and puzzled looks. At IntelliQuote, we’re in the business of creating clarity, so for today’s post, we’ve decided to share a quick guide to highlight what term life insurance is and isn’t in order to squash any misconceptions floating around.

Term Life Insurance - What it isn’t:

1) A magic pot of gold: Who doesn’t want extra money? The idea of borrowing money (tax-free) against an insurance policy sounds tempting, even to the most conservative spender, but unlike permanent insurance, term life insurance has no cash value. With term life insurance, your coverage is valid over a certain time period, and payout takes place if the inevitable occurs within this time frame. You also have the flexibility to change beneficiaries.

2) Asset protection: Are you looking to keep the cash value of your policy and death benefits under the radar of creditors? If this is the case, then a term life policy won’t help, but a permanent life policy may be an option.

3) Guaranteed lifetime protection: The premise behind term life insurance is that it’s good for a predetermined amount of time which you set in advance. If you pass on during this time period, the policy will pay out at the time of your death. However, term life insurance does not offer you level premium protection after the guarantee period.

Term Life Insurance - What it is:

1) Uncomplicated (relatively): One of the biggest assumptions people make when it comes to life insurance is that it’s complicated. Term life insurance, on the other hand, is pretty straightforward: you assess your current expenses, and these expenses (along with other factors) determine what your coverage should be. Of course, a knowledgeable advisor will ask you the right questions to get a true sense of your total costs. An added perk is the simplicity allows for easier comparison shopping for you.

2) Protection for your family for less: Does the idea of premiums dredge up images of steep monthly payments? You can rest assure that term life insurance is one of the most affordable ways to protect your family from life’s unexpected twists and turns.

3) Option to convert later: The above example discussed the affordability of life insurance. But what if you want an insurance policy with a cash value down the road to supplement your income or to have a lifetime of coverage? A term life policy with a conversion privilege gives you the option to convert to permanent life insurance at a later date.

We hope this scoop on what term life insurance is and what it isn’t will help keep you in the loop, because at IntelliQuote, we believe that a well-informed customer is a lifetime customer.

Curious to know more about how term life insurance can fit into your life? Head on over to our quotes page and start your journey today.