If you realize the importance of life insurance as part of your financial strategy, you should realize how important a regular review of your coverage can be. It can help determine whether your goals and current coverage are still aligned. If you have had a life-changing event recently, or if you are not sure that your beneficiary designations are up to date, you may want to consider a complimentary insurance policy review with M&T Securities, Inc.
Why Should an Insurance Policy Be Reviewed?
Many people buy an insurance policy, put it away in a safe place, and really never pay much attention to it other than paying its premiums. Specific types of insurance – term, whole life, universal or – variable – are designed to address specific needs. Over time, a change may occur – either with the insurance need or with the performance of the policy insuring that need. Like other assets, a life insurance policy needs to be reviewed to determine whether it still meets your needs and goals and is performing reasonably well to expectations. In other words, determining if you are carrying the right amount of life insurance is likely to fluctuate at different times in your life.
Updating Your Life Insurance Coverage
Throughout your life, as your personal and financial situations evolve, a periodic review of life insurance coverage can help assure that you are appropriately protected. Any of the factors below may be a trigger for a consultation with your insurance professional:
- The purchase of a new home
- The birth or adoption of a child
- A new job or promotion that has resulted in an increased standard of living
- Increased debt burden
- College education expenses
- Charitable giving
- Financial planning due to a death in the family
- Ownership in a business
- Planning for retirement
Insurance Policy Performance and Cost
Any number of factors can affect the cost or performance of a life insurance policy, including:
- Policies that were illustrated at interest rates that are unreasonable in today’s economic environment or may be underperforming based on market or interest rate reductions
- Policies that were under funded, or funded with a combination of term and permanent coverage, to keep costs down with the result of longer than expected or higher than expected premiums
- Policies that have premiums based on older (1982) mortality tables will be more expensive than those with premiums based on more recent (2001) mortality tables. As a result, there may be opportunities for greater insurance coverage and lower premiums
- A term insurance policy is reaching the end of its term and premiums will increase substantially
- New riders may offer more appropriate features, such as Return of Premium or Guaranteed Death Benefit Protection
The M&T Insurance Policy Review Process
M&T offers an insurance policy review service at no cost to M&T customers. In addition, you are not obligated to purchase insurance from M&T Securities as a result of this service. An insurance policy review may indicate that your insurance policy is performing as intended and that you should continue to review it on a regular basis. If this review reveals any underperformance or other challenges, your policy review report will contain specifics and we will explain what their impact might be. Your policy review report may also offer options to address the specific challenges uncovered by the review. Your registered representative can assist you in exploring those options or you are free to explore them with any other financial professional you choose.
The following are some of the important factors to consider in evaluating whether you should surrender or exchange your existing policy for a new policy:
- Surrender charges may be due on an exchange of one contract for another
- A change in policy may require a physical examination
- If you are not in good health, premiums for a new policy may be higher or you may not qualify for coverage at all
- Any new policy is also likely to have a new contestability period
- Surrenders may be taxable. You should consult your own tax advisors regarding any liability on surrenders or exchanges of existing policies
To schedule an appointment for your complimentary, no-obligation insurance policy review, simply call us toll-free at 1-800-724-9949 or visit your nearest M&T branch. You can also complete the contact form online for your personal or business needs, so that you may be contacted by a representative.