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Four questions to ask your agent

An annual review with your agent is always a prudent step. Here’s where to start.

New home, new baby, new job—a lot can happen in a year, which is why an annual review with your agent is a good idea. Think of it as a “a year of your life in review”-a chance to catch up on all that’s happened since your last meeting.

So, where to begin? You can start by reviewing and making notes on this annual review checklist—maybe even take it to your meeting as a conversation starter.

You may also want to ask your agent about a few items in particular, including:

  • Do I have enough insurance? Many people purchase life insurance for one reason: To protect the people they love. What you need to know is:

    1. How much would be needed at death to meet immediate needs, such as final expenses and medical costs?
    2. How much future income do your loved ones need to sustain their lifestyle and/or household?
    Your agent can help you go over your estimated costs, as well as calculate future needs–taking into account your home/mortagage payment, educational costs, business expenses, and more.

    If you'd like to get a head start, plug a few numbers into our life insurance needs calculator. You can review your results with your agent, who will compare your current coverage and make any necessary recommendations—ensuring your future, and that of the people you love, is secure.
  • Do I have the right kind of insurance? Ask yourself, “Do I need to consider more permanent insurance that’s going to build over a period of time, or do I need more temporary insurance to cover my needs for a set amount of time?”

    There are many factors that can help determine which product if the right one for you and your best place to start is with your agent. He or she will help you think through factors such as: the length of time coverage needs, what features appeal to you, as well as your budget. In the interim, familiarize yourself with the features and benefits of both our Term Insurance and Whole Life Insurance products.
  • Do I have the right beneficiaries named on my policy? Of course, only you can determine who your beneficiaries are, and most people name their policy beneficiaries when they initially buy life insurance and let that be that. But did you know that if you name your kids as beneficiaries and die while they’re minors, they might not receive the proceeds from your life insurance? Here’s why:

    1. For their own sakes, minors can not receive or control proceeds.
    2. In most jurisdictions, state law determines when children are entitled to receive insurance proceeds, which may be as young as 16 or as old as 21—also known as the “age of majority.”
    3. Once a legal guardian of the minors’ estate has been appointed by a court, that guardian will control the money for their benefit until they reach the age of majority, depending on state law.
    4. Additionally, if you have a special needs child or adult you care for, inherited funds from you or anyone else may put their government support in jeopardy. This may disrupt the care and support programs they depend upon for their daily and future care.
    The use of wills and trusts can help ensure the people you love—including your kids—receive the proceeds from your life insurance policy. You can read up on naming minors as policy beneficiaries here: Should I name minors as policy beneficiaries?, and then ask your agent to help point you in the right direction with a referral to a trusted professional in your community. Talking the matter over with him or her can get you started on the right path.
  • Where can I find more information and resources? Your agent is a font of knowledge-don’t hesitate to ask any questions that come up before, during, or after your annual review. He or she can provide you with helpful literature, referrals to professionals in your area, and more. You can also find more information right here. Here are a few resources you may want to check out:

    Planning tools
    Life Insurance product resource page

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