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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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Pre-Existing Health Conditions and Life Insurance

Oct 15, 2016 12:38:00 PM

Life insurance is an important financial protection that most people should have in place. Too many people believe certain life factors might preclude them from purchasing a life insurance policy. Among these are age, lifestyle habits, and pre-existing health conditions. While you may face some challenges with coverage in a few cases, you'll still be able to get life insurance with a pre-existing health condition if you stay organized and follow these tips.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

The number of people with pre-existing medical conditions became more visible with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. In 2011, the government determined that nearly half of all Americans under retirement age had some sort of pre-existing condition that was locking them out of the healthcare system. If you are one of these people and are now getting the treatment you need, it can only help your situation. Even if you've been receiving treatment, you'll want to be honest about your health status.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, don't try to hide it or lie about it to an agent or insurance company. If you lie and the truth comes out later, your coverage will likely be cancelled and any claims denied. Your best course of action is to have as much detailed information as possible on hand about your condition. Gather dates of diagnosis, major treatments, tests, or surgeries, recent lab results, and a list of medications. This information will be helpful in documenting your condition and getting you the best life insurance quotes.
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Are Life Insurance Rates Lower for People with a Healthy Lifestyle?

Sep 13, 2016 6:00:00 PM

You probably (hopefully) grew up learning that it was a good idea to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise on a daily basis, and get plenty of rest at night. What you likely weren't told was that not only will these activities make you a healthier person who may live longer, but they will also save you money and even make you richer. In fact, according to a new research series from Money, there is a positive correlation between good health and good finances. One of the ways that a healthy lifestyle puts more money in your pocket is by giving you access to lower life insurance rates.

Health Matters With Life Insurance Rates

Life insurance companies investigate your health and habits before agreeing to issue you a policy and setting your rates. The things that are tested and reported include height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, medications, and questions related to habits and daily regimen. Whether or not you smoke is a key factor in determining your life insurance rates.

Aside from the fact that smoking is bad for you, your life insurance rates will be much lower if you ditch the habit before trying to purchase a policy. The savings are significant. According to a NerdWallet study, consumers who quit smoking or don't smoke at all save over $10,000 a year on life insurance premiums. When you quit smoking also factors into your savings. On average, it takes being tobacco-free for five years to attain the same life insurance rates as non-smokers. However, quitting for just a year can bring in savings of as much as 67 percent.

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Are Life Insurance Quotes for Women Different Than Those for Men?

May 18, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Ladies know the truth: lots of things are just more expensive for the fairer sex.

For starters, women who often are not as auto-savvy may find themselves shelling out more money to purchase or repair their car. They also pay more for clothes and haircuts when compared to men. And let's not even talk about the cost of health care (perhaps because men "never go to the doctor").

However, there is one product for which women generally pay less than men: a life insurance policy.

According to GoodFinancialCents.com, the potential for lower monthly premiums between the average male and the typical female is:

  • $20 for a 10-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy at age 30
  • $56 for a 30-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy at age 40
  • $132 for a 20-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy at age 50
  • $820 for a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy at age 60

Women Live Longer Than Men

The main reason for this price disparity is the difference in life expectancies between men and women. According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average life expectancy for an American woman is 81.2 years, which is about 6% longer than the figure of 76.4 years for men.

Because of this inequality in life expectancy, a woman is less likely to pass away at any particular point during the time period of her life insurance policy than her male counterpart. As a result, the premiums charged by her life insurer will be lower because of the reduced risk of the company having to pay out a hefty death benefit.

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Life Insurance Rates: Are You Over-Estimating the Cost?

Mar 10, 2016 9:21:00 AM

The cost of life insurance can be much lower than many people may think.

 

It turns out that life insurance rates are much lower than most people think. A 2012 study by the nonprofit LIFE Foundation and LIMRA found that Americans overestimated the cost of a $250,000 level term life insurance policy for a healthy 30 year old by almost three times. Younger Americans in particular overestimated the cost by almost seven times.

A similar study in 2015 found that 8 in 10 adults thought life insurance would cost more than it actually does, and one in four guessed that a 20-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy (for a male 30-year-old non-smoker) would cost at least $1000 per year (actual cost is closer to $150 for men and less for women).

The ramifications of these wrong assumptions are not hard to see: many who want to have life insurance for their families are not getting the coverage they need. About a third of those surveyed acknowledged that they need additional coverage. Half of those who didn't have any coverage agreed with this assessment.

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Four Of The Most Bizarre Insurance Policies

Apr 1, 2015 11:30:00 AM

What do a blinding white smile, twin babies and a mega lottery jackpot all have in common?

If you guessed that all three were going to be featured on an upcoming reality show, we can understand how you’d arrive at that conclusion. But the truth, believe it or not, is that all three of the above are related to unusual and outright bizarre insurance policies.

1) Insuring Your Flesh: Celebrities are an unusual bunch. They’re human, but also can be privileged and famous, so they name their children after things like fruit and map coordinates. They don’t have to worry about things like making sure they’re financially solvent to pay for a loved one’s final expenses and debts or covering the cost of their child’s college education in the event of their death.

Instead, some celebrities have insurance policies for parts of their own body. Star of the now defunct Ugly Betty, America Ferrera once endorsed Aquafresh White Trays, an at-home teeth whitening system. Apparently, her sparkling smile dazzled the company so much, they took out a $10 million dollar Lloyd’s of London policy on her smile.

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3 of the Most Idiotic Attempts at Insurance Fraud

Mar 30, 2015 11:30:00 AM

At IntelliQuote, we encourage our customers to purchase life insurance because you have to “be prepared for life.” And life’s many surprises can happen at the most inopportune times. For example, after the sudden death of a spouse, the surviving spouse will file a claim to help him/her cover the inevitable expenses that come along with that tragedy.
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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.

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Extra Life Insurance Coverage and Your True Cost of Living

Feb 10, 2015 3:30:00 PM

You are not a dumb person.

You know that life insurance is important, and that’s why you have coverage through your job, right? In the event tragedy strikes, you want to ensure that your loved ones are covered, and life insurance is a viable way to do this.

But just how covered will they be when you’re gone?

The truth is your policy is only as good as your coverage, and the last thing you want is to surprise your family with unexpected debt and no payment solution in sight after you’ve passed.

So right about now you’re probably thinking, “How do I know if I have enough coverage?”

By asking yourself the tough questions, that’s how. Let’s look at four questions you’ll need to ask to find your answer.

1) Calculate all of your expenses: Chances are, when you receive your weekly or bi-weekly paycheck, a large chunk of it goes toward bills like your mortgage/rent, food, child care, student loan payments, savings, car payments, utilities, etc. But are you also accounting for discretionary costs like vacation and entertainment (eating out, movies, Netflix) etc.? These other costs add up quickly, and you should assume that if you unexpectedly passed away, your family would continue to live a similar lifestyle as they did when you were alive. Sit down and go through your expenses with a fine-tooth comb to figure out where every dollar and cent that doesn’t go into your bank account (or toward a bill) actually goes.

2) Forecast college costs: Despite many universities being not-for-profit, college is big business—and that’s not going to stop anytime soon. Today’s tuition can quickly become tomorrow’s memory, which means you to need be a bit psychic when it comes to predicting college costs. According to Bloomberg, private college tuition and fees rose 3.7 percent to $31,231 annually; four-year public school rose 2.9 percent to $9,139 annually (for in-state residents). College costs have been rising at about a rate of 8% for decades—this is a good rule of thumb to use when calculating the cost of your child’s education in the future.

3) Plan out your funeral, today: Yes, we know this sounds super creepy, but the upside is that if you do it right the first time, you’ll never have to think about it again. Securing life insurance now ensures your relatives won’t pay through the nose when it comes time to honor your final wishes. Whether you want a New Orleans-style sendoff or a traditional burial, you’ll be able to square away the price tag ahead of time.

4) How comfortable does your spouse want to be? Will your spouse be working after you pass or will he/she need to replace your income to survive? Even if he/she continues to work, can they make it on just his/her paycheck alone? Life insurance is a great way to supplement income that your spouse may receive before those income sources inevitably stop. Save your spouse the stress of having to prematurely spend down assets to produce income just to stay afloat and possibly putting their financial future at risk.

Taking time out of your busy schedule to pinpoint how much coverage your family really needs is the difference between providing your family with the lifeline they need versus giving them just enough to stay afloat after you’re gone.

Help your family thrive in the future. Just a few minutes of time today can get you up to six quotes for life insurance!

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