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Serving Norfolk Since 1985

Call Curt Hjorth at (402) 371-2287

The LTC Insurance Specialist

Customer Questions

Yes. You could have a permanent life insurance policy and add a supplemental term life policy for a short-term need, for example. If you request more insurance coverage than your expenses indicate you need, the insurance company will want proof that a medical condition is not motivating your request.

If your insurance policy lapses, most companies allow you a grace period in which to pay your premium and continue the policy. If you have enough cash value built up in your policy, most companies will use part of the cash values to pay the premium due. If you have a term policy and don't pay within the grace period, your policy will lapse and simply end.

An advantage to buying life insurance now is your premiums will be low. If you have dependents in the future, you will have locked in the lowest rates, and you will have guaranteed your "insurability" because you won't have to take a medical test for life insurance in the future.

Group policies don't require medical exams. Unless you are buying Supplemental Group Life, or asking for a higher amount than the standard coverage level for the policy, you don't have to provide medical documents. Most group life insurance enrollments are held annually through an employer (usually larger corporations offer group health benefits).

For individual life purchases, you will be classified based on height, weight, nicotine use and other health factors. Your health status will determine what rate class category you fit in, so even if you have some health problems, you could be covered. Your agent or insurance company should explain what criteria determined the class into which you fall.

If you don't qualify for their best rate today, you might be able to improve your rate category if certain health factors improve. For example, a 35-year old woman buys a life insurance policy. She is 50 pounds overweight, has high blood pressure, and is trying to quit smoking. Two years later, her policy is still in force and she has lost 50 pounds, her blood pressure is normal, and she has been nicotine-free for a year. She could talk with her agent about a revision in medical underwriting on her policy, possibly reducing her rates.

If the medical evaluation showed a condition for which she would be classified into a higher rate category, she could remain at her current rate. The insurance company would not reclassify her into a higher rate bracket.

Yes, but only if you have an "insurable interest" in that person. This usually means a relative, a domestic partner or live-in companion, or a business partner. There are products such as first-to-die and second-to-die that allow you to insure the life of another.

No, you cannot take out an insurance policy on someone without his knowledge.

While most people choose only their spouse, it is possible to name more than one person as a beneficiary — but only if those persons have an "insurable interest" in your policy. For example, if you have a $100,000 individual life insurance policy on your own life, you could name your spouse and four children to share in the policy equally at $20,000 each.

No. Upon your death (assuming you have paid all the necessary premiums), the credit life policy will pay out according to the terms of the policy (paying off your credit card balance, and so on) and the whole life will pay out according to the terms of its policy (your full death benefit).

When trying to decide whether to purchase a term life or permanent life product, it’s first important to understand each policy type and what they’re ideally designed to do. Most people in their middle years, or more “debt heavy” years, typically buy term life insurance policies. The reason for term in many cases is to keep the cost down. Term life is the lowest cost insurance product that you can buy. They cost less because they offer a death benefit for a fixed premium guaranteed in most cases for varying periods up to 30 years. However, these products do not build an internal cash account in the policy that a policyholder can draw money out of in the future if they chose to exercise that option. The example that many people use to describe term insurance is that the policyholder is “renting” the coverage. The policyholder is making the scheduled payment to have the death benefit in place should they die prematurely and at the end of the period they walk away from the policy. Again, no cash value was developed during the life of that policy. Because term insurance is significantly less expensive than permanent insurance, most people buy term life when they need large amounts of coverage to provide for the family in their more debt heavy period. Most commonly, people purchase death benefits of $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $1,000,000, etc.

Permanent insurance on the other hand is a little different. People typically buy permanent insurance with smaller death benefits because of the cost. Large death benefit permanent insurance policies can be very costly compared to the same death benefit for a term life insurance product. You buy permanent insurance when you want a policy that’s going to last the length of your lifetime, well into your later years. These products do build an internal cash account that policyholders can draw from in the future through a couple of different methods if they need money in case of an emergency and so on, but the policy needs to be slightly “overfunded” to make those funds available without jeopardizing the longevity of the policy. When the policy is set up at a lower scheduled premium amount such as the minimum premium or slightly above, the cash value needs to remain in the policy to run the policy out to it’s intended maturity. If you “borrow against” an “underfunded” policy during the life of the contract, that money will need to be paid back in at some point in order for the policy to remain in force up to its intended maturity date. Permanent insurance policies are all about flexibility. Flexibility is very important when you need an insurance program to be in force for 40+ years because an awful lot can happen during that period of time. Again, you purchase permanent insurance when you have a long-term insurance need and those programs carry a little higher price tag because they’re designed to do more than just a basic term insurance product. Ask your Langenberg & Associates representative for complete details.

This is a question that only really you can answer, but there are certain guidelines that are almost always followed when choosing a benefit amount. Just know that the amount of coverage you need today can and often does change in the future. Your insurance needs are an ever-changing thing and a good agent should always work closely with you over time to ensure that you’re adequately covered. The most common method of selecting a death benefit is the “multiple of current income” rule. This is a very simple and very effective way to select a death benefit amount. Remember, insurance is designed to restore an individual to their pre-loss state after a loss. The loss in this case is obviously your death and if your current income is establishing your family’s current standard of living, they’ll need your income to be replaced for a period of time after your death to sustain them. Many insurers will allow you to replace up to 9 or 10 times your current annual income for personal life insurance. For example, if you make $50,000 per year today you can purchase a policy up to $500,000. Don’t forget that life insurance death benefits are completely tax-free. Your Langenberg & Associates representative will assist you in selecting a benefit amount that is right for you and most importantly they’ll make sure that it fits within your current budget.

The optional benefits are called riders. Many insurance companies offer a lot of the same “standard” riders. These include Waiver of Premium, Accidental Death, Children’s Term Insurance, and more. Several of the insurance companies in the industry today offer a lot of new or “non-standard” riders such as a Spouse or Other Insured Rider, Disability Income, Return of Premium, Critical Illness, and many, many others. Be sure to ask your Langenberg & Associates representatives to go over optional the riders that may be available on your policy.

The requirements for coverage vary greatly by company. A lot of it depends on your individual factors such as age, health history and the amount of coverage you’re applying for. Some products require what they call “full underwriting” which usually includes a blood draw. Other products you can qualify for without a blood draw and some programs require no medical requirements at all. Be sure to ask your Langenberg & Associates representative for complete details.

Most companies will allow you to pay monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Probably 80% or more of all policies are paid by a monthly automatic withdrawal. The monthly draft is very simple. At the time of the application you provide a check for the initial or first premium and you also submit a “void” check. You choose a monthly withdrawal date, which can be any day of the month from the 1st through the 28th (you can choose the day of the month for the withdrawal with just about every company). Each month on this date your monthly premium payment will be automatically deducted from your checking account. There are no paper bills, statements, no writing checks, etc. Nearly every insurance company in the country collects monthly premium payments in this manner. Most insurance companies have gone away from sending out monthly bills and statements because of cost. Automatic withdrawal provides the insurance company and the policyholder with a very simple, fast and effective way of collecting monthly premium payments. Ask your Langenberg & Associates representative for complete details.

A temporary insurance agreement (conditional coverage) can be issued if all requirements of the application have been satisfied including receipt of the full initial premium. Requirements of the temporary insurance agreement vary slightly from company to company, so be sure to ask your BIM Financial Services representative for complete details.

Typically, you will have a 30 or 31-day grace period. If you pay within this time frame, you won't be charged additional interest. If you don't pay within the grace period, your policy will lapse. With a permanent policy; however, you can usually draw from the cash value to continue your premium payments. This will lower the cash value of the policy, though. If you are unable to pay because you have become disabled, and you elected a "waiver of premium" provision or rider on your policy, you do not have to pay premiums for the duration of your disability.