Like many Americans, you may have been procrastinating on whether to buy life insurance – or you simply aren’t sure when the best time to buy is.
insuranceQuotes.com recently met with Vicki Gunvalson, owner of Coto Insurance & Financial Services in Orange County, and star of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County”, who is an expert on life insurance policies and financial planning for the future.
Her motto is “Preserve, plan and protect your future” which is why she’s an advocate for getting a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy, or if you’re the breadwinner in your family. We asked her opinion on some of the most important questions we hear from people over and over again.
iQ. When is the best time to buy life insurance?
VG. The best time to buy life insurance is when a family member depends on you financially and if you were to die, they would suffer financially due to the loss of your income. The time to purchase a policy is when you’re as young or as healthy as possible. You’ll never be any younger than you are today, so the answer to that question is NOW.
Unfortunately, as we grow older, our health is likely to change – and if you’re purchasing a life insurance policy when you’re older, or you have an illness, the policy will be much more expensive. Also, depending on your situation, some insurance companies may not even sell a policy to you.
iQ. How does being a smoker affect your life insurance rate?
VG. Smokers will pay higher premiums than non-smokers as they are at much higher risk for health issues. For example, in this 2014 insuranceQuotes.com life insurance study, a 25-year-old non-smoker would pay $242 per year for $500,000 of death benefit while a smoker for the same coverage will pay over triple that amount.
And the older you get, the more that rate will shoot up. For example, a 45-year-old smoker will pay $6,178 a year for the same coverage.
iQ. Do you need life insurance if you are married?
VG. If you are newly married, have children or if your spouse depends on your income to support the family, life insurance coverage allows the beneficiary to be able to financially support the family if the insured dies.
No one ever expects to die young, but unfortunately it happens every day. Without proper planning, the family you leave behind could be financially devastated.
Life insurance will allow your family to stay in your home, support your children and allow the surviving spouse peace of mind that they can maintain the lifestyle they had prior to the death of the breadwinner.
iQ. Can you tell us about a young client who purchased life insurance from you – and why he or she did it?
VG. When I was first licensed, I sold a $500,000 20-year term life insurance policy to a 32-year-old man that had a stay-at-home wife with 3 young children. His premium was $67 a month and he felt it was important to have a policy to protect his family if he were to pass away.
Unfortunately 3 weeks after the policy was placed and paid, he died in a tragic car accident. If he didn’t have this policy in force, his family wouldn’t have been able to financially survive without the help of others. Life insurance in this situation and many others like this is a necessity, not a choice.
Want more life insurance advice from Vicki? She’ll be co-hosting a LIVE webinar “Get Answers about Life Insurance: Who Really Needs Life Insurance and How Much Is Enough” on Tuesday Nov. 18, 2014.