PUA 101: Are Paid-up Additions a Smart Idea? (the Answer Is Absolutely)

In 2020, many life insurance companies saw double-digit growths in policy sales. That’s in comparison to the number of life insurance policies they sold in 2019. Despite this, just a little over half of US adults now own a life policy.

However, Deloitte predicts the global life insurance sector to grow by 3% in 2021. So, if you don’t have a life policy yet, now’s the best time to purchase one. Besides, the sooner you get a whole life policy with paid-up additions, the bigger the benefits you get.

What exactly are these “additions,” though, and how can they boost your benefits? What makes them a smart and worthy life investment?

This guide will answer all these questions, so be sure to keep reading!

What Are These Paid-up Additions All About?

Paid up additions (PUAs) are also known as “paid-up riders” (PURs). They serve as an extra or additional whole life insurance coverage. You can think of PUAs or PURs as “mini” whole life insurance policies within a standard whole life policy.

As a mini policy within a policy, PUAs increase the overall value of the entire policy. One way it does so is by raising the main policy’s overall death benefit. Moreover, a whole life policy with a PUR has a higher guaranteed net cash value than one without.

So, a whole life policy with paid-up additions yields bigger death and living benefits.

How Do Paid-up Insurance Riders Work?

On its own, whole life insurance earns cash value for as long as the insured sustains the policy. Keep in mind that whole life coverages don’t expire, unlike term insurance. So long as policyholders pay their premiums, their whole life insurance remains valid.

For this reason, whole life insurance earns cash value for as long as the policy is intact. A huge chunk of the premium payments goes toward the death benefit, while some build up cash value. The latter also increases over time, thanks to its compounding interest.

If you include a PUR to the policy, more money will go toward both its death benefit and cash value. Of course, this also means that your premium payments will be higher.

Most insurance companies require upfront PUR purchases. This means that you might have to buy the paid-up additions together with the whole life policy. This is perfectly fine, as it means that the “mini” whole life policy starts to accrue interest right away.

Some insurers do permit existing policyholders to purchase PUAs at a later date. This is an ideal set-up if you can’t make bigger premiums payments at the start of your policy.

Bigger Death Benefits

Did you know that the average casket already costs more than $2,000? However, some mahogany or bronze caskets can cost five times more, with prices reaching up to $10,000! That’s already a lot of money, and it doesn’t even cover basic funeral service fees.

The thing is, the high cost of funeral services is only one of the issues mourning families face. A much bigger concern is the potential loss of a household’s primary breadwinner. The most at risk are single-income families, which comprise one in four US households.

In any case, the loss of income can take away the roof over a family. Granted, mortgage debts don’t get passed on to the living survivors of a borrower who dies. However, the survivors would still need to keep paying the mortgage if they want to stay in that house.

The thing is, only about four in 10 US homes are mortgage-free. If yours isn’t one of these, it’s best to consider getting a whole life policy with a bigger death benefit. If you get a policy with paid-up additions, you can leave your beneficiaries with a bigger benefit.

More Substantial Living Benefits

Paid-up insurance riders allow you to cash in bigger living benefits. This is especially true if you purchase the paid-up additions up-front. More of your premium payments go toward the policy’s cash value, so it accrues more interest.

PURs also accrue interest on a compounding basis. So, the overall cash value it builds gets bigger and bigger with each passing year. That’s how a whole life policy’s cash value with a paid-up option swells faster than one without.

Since you earn money faster with your PUI, you may be able to withdraw against your policy sooner. You can also wait a bit longer so that you can cash out a larger chunk of your living benefits. Either way, you can use your earnings whichever way you want, as it’s your money, after all.

Even More Earnings With Dividends

As a stand-alone mini whole life policy, PUAs can also earn dividends themselves. In this case, “dividends” are part of an insurance company’s profit distribution. They award these to their policyholders with PURs, usually once a year.

If you acquire dividends with your paid-up additions, you can use it to pay some of your policy premiums. You can also convert their value to secure reduced paid-up insurance costs. Either way, these profit-sharing tools help policy owners save on premium payments.

Some insurers also permit policyholders to use dividends to raise their PUR’s value. In this case, you add the dividends’ value to that of your paid-up additions. It starts to accrue interest, too, as it already becomes part of your PUR.

Make the Most Out of Your Whole Life Policy With a PUR

As you can see, paid-up additions are an excellent way to boost your whole life policy’s benefits. At the very least, it guarantees your beneficiaries a larger amount. You also get to enjoy more substantial earnings that you can use while you’re still around.

So, as early as now, consider purchasing a whole life policy with a paid-up insurance rider.

Ready for more wealth creation guides and money-saving strategies? Feel free to browse the rest of our site’s financial how-tos then!

3 Things to Consider Before Taking Out Life Insurance

One of the most important decisions you can ever make is to take out life insurance. It will protect the people you will eventually leave behind, and it can also help far before then. However, you may not know exactly what you need in a life insurance policy.

There is a plethora of things to consider when taking out life insurance, but we have compiled the three most necessary. These three things to consider before taking out life insurance will be able to help you with your important decision.

How long do you need coverage?

You can decide to take out life insurance for a certain period of time, or a lifetime, depending on your needs. When you’re deciding on how long you need life insurance, there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Why you’re purchasing the policy in the first place
  • If you’ve just had a child
  • If you’ve recently bought a house
  • What you will receive
  • What your family will receive

For example, if you have just had a little one join your family, you would likely go for a policy that covers you until they’re no longer financially dependent on you. That can range anywhere from 20-30 years if you plan to cover their college/graduate tuition. Then, it is much the same if you’ve just purchased a house.

Owners of a new home may want to consider looking at a 30-year policy because that is how long your mortgage usually is. If you only have a 20-year mortgage, it is also a good idea to go for a 30-year coverage just in case of refinancing or circumstances changing.

A beneficiary

Firstly, let’s understand what a beneficiary actually is. A beneficiary is someone who receives the proceeds from your life insurance policy. However, there are a few things to remember when you’re naming your beneficiaries, here are some options:

  • Choose one or multiple people
  • The trustee of a trust that you have set up
  • A charity or not-for-profit organization
  • A minor (be careful as sometimes they cannot receive funds)
  • Your estate (be careful as this may have tax implications

Because you are the one giving your assets away, you are named as the benefactor. This means, that with you in charge, you can decide on the who, what, when, where, and why of the assets you’re giving away. You need to make sure that you remain very specific about who receives it for the sake of your family and your wishes. It is also a great idea to consider no exam life insurance.

Insurance costs

There are plenty of costs associated with life insurance, but the cost you will pay greatly depends on several factors including:

  • Your age when you start your policy
  • Your health when you start your policy
  • Policy features (how long payments must continue)
  • The level of cover that is chosen
  • The type of cover that is chosen

In plenty of cases, a life insurance policy will actually cost less per month than what you pay for all of your streaming subscriptions.

What Is Burial Insurance? A Guide on the Key Things to Know

Funerals can be expensive, and so often we aren’t in a position to plan for them. Funeral costs vary depending on where you live and what arrangements are made. But the average casket cost is about $2,000 today and can run well over $10,000.

This can be a huge burden to your loved ones. To help alleviate this constraint, many people are turning to burial insurance. Continue reading to find out what is burial insurance, how it works, and how it might help you.

What Is Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance is also known as “final expense insurance.” It is essentially a whole life insurance policy that can be used for almost anything.

The insured pays a monthly or annual premium, which is based on their age, general health, and the amount of the policy. Typical payouts range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $25,000.

Burial insurance policies are available for purchase through most life insurance agents. Some funeral homes offer them as well. Anyone can purchase them, but it is a particularly attractive option for people who want peace of mind following a health scare, such as after a heart attack.

Advantages of Burial Insurance

There are a number of advantages to having burial insurance. These include:

  • Financial peace of mind
  • Planning for the unexpected
  • Flexibility and ease of purchase

Financial Peace of Mind

Funeral prices continue to rise across the board. Even the most basic funeral can be expensive. The cost of embalming, memorial services, headstones, funeral plots, flowers, and wreaths can all start to add up.

Cremation can save on embalming and casket costs. And even mushroom burial suits are becoming popular, for economic and environmental reasons. But these alternatives to traditional burial are not without expenses. The jumping-off point for mushroom suits is $1,500, and urns can be quite costly as well.

Regardless of what arrangements you wish for your funeral, burial insurance makes sure that all of these expenses are taken care of.

Planning for the Unexpected

Covering costs is not the only advantage of burial insurance. Most people don’t like thinking about their funeral. And, for this reason, this can make it difficult to plan for. This is even moreso the case if it is an unexpected death.

The point is that a funeral is not a time conducive to loved ones “shopping around” and finding the best deals on arrangments. The ones we leave behind will be in a sorrowful emotional state. It is a time to grieve, not worry to worry about finances.

Having an influx of funds to cover expenses can help this time go more smoothly for them. It is one less thing they have to worry about.

Ease of Purchase and Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of burial insurance is that it is easy to get. Unlike many life insurance plans that require in-depth medical examinations, burial insurance usually only requires the insured to answer a few simple health-related questions.

Also, unlike other savings mechanisms that require payouts to be used for specific things, beneficiaries of burial insurance plans can use the money however they like.

Find a Plan Today

Don’t risk waiting to finalize how your funeral expenses will be paid. You can plan for it today by purchasing a burial insurance plan that will cover these costs, whether they are far down the road or tomorrow. It will give you the peace of mind to know that your loved ones will be taken care of in their time of grief.

We hope that this information has been useful. In addition to exploring topics like “What is burial insurance?” our blog covers a wide variety of lifestyle topics, including travel, food, and fashion. Be sure to check them out.

What Is the Average Cost of Family Health Insurance

Did you know that around 44 million Americans do not have health insurance? The reason that so many people take a chance with their health insurance is for financial reasons. If you are wondering “what is the average cost of family health insurance?” we have the perfect article for you below.

Keep reading to learn more about costs and some tips and tricks to help you find the best rates out there.

What Is the Average Cost of Family Health Insurance?

In 2018 the average cost per month for family health insurance was $1,168.00. The costs can vary based on family size, the states you live in, and how much coverage you opt for. Understanding the cost of the different plans means that you have to know what to expect when it comes to the deductibles and co-payments.

The deductible is how much money you will have to pay before your health insurance provider begins to pay for your coverage. The higher your deductible the lower your monthly premiums will usually be. Keep in mind that with some family plans you will probably have two deductibles (an individual deductible and a family deductible).

Copayments and Coinsurance

Another cost to take into consideration is your copayment. This is a fixed amount that you will pay every time you receive a service at either a hospital or a doctor’s office. The copayment might come into effect before or after you reach your deductible.

A coinsurance is a percentage that you will pay for covered services once you reach your deductible. You will more than likely pay coinsurance until you reach your out of pocket max.

Government Assitance

If your household income is not very high then you might qualify for government assistant to afford health coverage for you and your family. There is a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides inexpensive or free health insurance to families with children that do not make enough money per month.

For families that make less than $99,000 annually, they might also qualify for some federal assistance or state programs to make health insurance affordable.

With Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are tax credits for those that make a certain percentage of the federal poverty line and can’t afford to pay for health coverage. The lower your income and the larger your family size, the larger the subsidies you receive.

Ready to Shop Around for Health Insurance?

Now that you are more familiar with the average cost of family health insurance, you can start the research process in your area. This is the time to gather your options and see if you qualify for any government help. Even though the tax penalty for not having insurance was removed in 2019, you still do not want to go without it.

Did our blog post help you out today? Please feel free to browse around the rest of this section for some more helpful reads.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Business Life Insurance

Life insurance offers a diverse range of benefits, whether you apply when young or aged. Your dependents can use it to clear your debts or mortgage when you’re gone, provide for their daily needs, or even finance other investments to guarantee a better future.

All the above are possible if you apply the policy correctly without making the mistakes we share below. After all, familiarizing yourself with life insurance facts is an essential step in making a decision that you won’t regret along the way.

Here are the common mistakes that policyholders ought to avoid when buying business life insurance.

Choosing the wrong life insurance policy

While it’s crucial to choose a life insurance policy that aligns in pricing with the marketplace, the cost shouldn’t be the only factor to consider. It helps to understand the exact benefits that the plan offers to your personal needs before all else.

For example, this life insurance cover sourced by Caspian is an excellent choice when you’re employed. With it, your employer pays for the protection whilst getting tax relief from the government for being a business expense.

Before spending money on any life plan, find out about the terms and possible restrictions that come with it. While at it also, consider the benefits if the risk occurs vis-à-vis the total amount of premiums that you’ll pay during the entire coverage period.

Waiting too long to purchase

The interesting fact about life insurance policies is that they cost more as you grow older. This stems from the fact that older people are at a higher risk of life-threatening health conditions than younger people. For this, insurance providers tend to charge costlier premiums as you approach old age.

Besides, sometimes you might struggle to find suitable coverage if you wait too long to purchase the life insurance policy. And if you’re lucky to get it, the benefits might not be as lucrative as those available to people who apply when younger.

Forfeiting premium payments

Not all life insurance policies are leniently flexible when it comes to monthly payments. For example, the terms of a universal life policy are strict to late payments. Therefore, if you choose it, ensure you’re up to date with your premium payments. Doing this will guarantee full payout when the covered risk occurs.

Even with the above strictness to forfeiture, insurers offer a grace period before cancellation of a policy. For example, it’s not uncommon for the UK insurance firms to wait up to 90 days whilst reminding you to update your premium payments. An ideal approach when unable to raise premiums is to communicate with your provider to find you practical ways to clear the outstanding balance.

Relying on Group Insurance Policy

Registered companies in the UK often take group insurance policies to cover their employees against life risks. Normally, you benefit from it only if you pass on while still working for the entity. In that case, if you lose your job or get into a situation that puts you out of the workforce, you will lose that coverage.

Moreover, group life policies might not guarantee sufficient coverage for all your personal needs. Although the payout will cover the costs associated with your funeral, it might not be enough for mortgage, children fees, and other costly expenses. If possible, choose a personal term life insurance policy that’s flexible to changes in your status quo, for example, switching workplaces.

Incorrect listing of beneficiaries and policyholder

The life insurance application requires you to be very keen especially on the crucial details you provide. For instance, your insurer will offer the option to place the policy into a Trust to allow you to nominate the beneficiaries. In this case, you’ll want to make sure that you have the rightful people as your trustees who will control the proceeds from the insurance cover.

When choosing a policy, ask yourself these basic questions:

Who will be the primary and contingent beneficiaries?

For example, listing your children as primary beneficiaries has the least problems compared to your spouse. Unfortunate marriage risks such as divorce can present considerable obstacles to your policy.

How many people will depend on the policy, and what are their ages?

Remember minors quickly outgrow the dependent age than the elderly people, such as your parents.

How much does each beneficiary receive as payout?

Finding answers to this question helps you determine a reasonable premium to pay for your chosen policy. For example, underspending on premium payments when you can pay for a better cover can deny your loved one sufficient proceeds.

Which of these mistakes sounds relatable? We’d like to hear your thoughts below.

Life-insurance: 4 Questions You Ahould Not be Afraid to Ask

Buying life insurance can be for many one huge decision, therefore asking the right questions at the right time is essential. In the old say, if you wanted to ask a major question that implies your financial situation, you probably had to leave your home, go to the library, or seek a trusted advisor. Fortunately, those days are long gone as today, most of us have the luxury to delve into a 1500-word article on our smartphones and find our most asked questions and their answers.

As you shop for life insurance, you’ll likely have a lot of questions not only about what you are buying but also on what can happen after your purchase.

Life insurance doesn’t have to be confusing, especially when the financial future of those you love are in play. Let’s delve together through some most asked questions so you can get a better approach on this topic:

1. How much life insurance do I need?

In order to sort out how much insurance you need, you will have to take a look at your current situation and ongoing expenses, future expenses, and even your funeral. But adding up all those numbers can typically amount to a bigger policy than you actually need. Moreover, you should subtract assets that could add up toward those expenses such as investments and savings.

2. Are multiple life policies possible?

Indeed, you can benefit from multiple policies from the same or even numerous insurance companies. For instance, you could purchase a permanent life insurance policy like a whole life type insurance and also a term life policy for a shorter need. These may include paying a mortgage or savings for your kids’ college if you were to die. When you apply for more insurance coverage than your current situation requires, top life insurance companies will likely ask you why.

3. Why buy life insurance when I’m young?

One of the many advantages of buying life insurance as a young person is that you’ll be able to lock in a steady rate for the extent of the policy. For instance, if you have dependents in the future, you have secured a low rate and ensured your own “insurability,” which means you don’t even have to worry about higher rates as you age and potentially experience deteriorating health.

Bear in mind that the older and less healthy you are when you purchase a life insurance policy, the higher the price.

4. What if I don’t die?

It goes without saying that before purchasing any kind of life insurance, you should think about what and why you are buying it. Do you need financial protection for your family in case of early death? Are you facing any additional debt which requires you to provide coverage?

In case you want a policy to cover your financial obligation, you may want to consider permanent life insurance. If you are currently experiencing a cash crunch and have an urgent responsibility towards your family, a business partner, or your lender, term insurance policy can offer you a short-term solution.


A Comprehensive Guide to Homeowners Insurance Coverage

To file or not to file?

When you don’t know how your homeowners insurance coverage works, it can cost you big time financially. Every year about 20% of all home insurance claims related to water damage. Yet, that doesn’t mean these claims payout.

Instead, homeowners often find out that because the water damage was a result of negligence, they have to pay themselves. On top of having to cover the damages, the homeowner might have to deal with a rise in their insurance rates.

Even when a water damage claim doesn’t payout, it’ll still exist on your claims history. A bad claims history can make your insurance rates can skyrocket and your provider may choose to non-renew your coverages.

Knowing what your policy covers, and when to file a claim, is the best way to protect your financial future. Read on to learn everything you need to know about home insurance coverage.

Understanding Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Your homeowner’s insurance coverage will protect your house, belongings, and finances. Each specific policy will have its list of coverages and coverage limits. These coverages are what will pay to repair or replace things in your home, as well as your belongings.

It’s important that you fully understand when your homeowner coverages will apply, and when they aren’t eligible. Your policy binder will have a list of Perils, that has to happen for your insurance policy to activate.

A peril is a type of event, like a fire or robbery, that can cause damage to your house or belongings. Here’s a list of Perils that home insurance policy’s usually cover:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Lighting
  • Windstorms
  • Hail
  • Explosion
  • Vandalism
  • Malicious mischief
  • Damage from a car
  • Damage from an aircraft
  • Falling objects
  • Water damage
  • Ice, snow, sleet damage
  • Theft

Typically earthquakes and floods will require you to have a separate policy. Sometimes homeowners become confused when it comes to determining whether something qualifies as water damage or flood damage.

Luckily you can use a claim service, to help walk you through the insurance claims process. To make sure your house is fully protected, it’s always a good idea to have both a flood and home insurance policy active at all times. The only exception would be if you’re not in a flood-prone area.

Also, if you live in a state that’s prone to hurricanes, make sure you have a reasonable hurricane deductible. While hurricane damages are typically covered on home insurance policies, they often come with high deductibles.

While high deductibles are great for low monthly premiums, they can make it difficult to recover after a major storm. Since hurricanes are unpredictable beasts, make sure your deductible is low enough for you to pay it at a moment’s notice.

No Insurance Payouts for Negligence

When damage occurs to your house and it’s a result of your negligence, it’s unlikely your insurance will cover it. For example, let’s say you replace the wiring in your living room, and it causes a fire. Your insurance policy won’t pay for the damages since if you’d hired an electrician to perform the work, the damages may not have happened.

The same holds if you experience a loss as a result of a preventable theft. If you left your house with your front door open or didn’t lock the door, the insurance company isn’t on the hook to pay. It’s up to you as a homeowner to fulfill your responsibilities to make sure your house is reasonably secure.

Home Insurance Coverages

On top of knowing when your insurance policy will become active, you should also know what it’ll pay for. Here’s a shortlist of the different types of home insurance coverage:

  • Dwelling protection
  • Other structures
  • Personal property
  • Liability

The most standard of all homeowner’s insurance coverages is your dwelling protection. The dwelling coverage is the protection that will help pay for the structure of your home. This includes your house’s foundation, walls, and roof. The dwelling protection can also cover structures that attach to the home, like an attached carport, or garage.

Next, we have the other structures coverage. The other structures coverage will protect any structures on your property that aren’t attached to your house. For example, a shed in your back yard would qualify as the other structure and would fall under this coverage. If you live in an apartment building some countries have just one insurance policy for the whole building.

Moving on, we have the coverage for your personal property. All of your furniture, electronics, and other personal items fall under this coverage.

Keep in mind however that there are specific categories for the property your policy will cover, and limits for each category. For example, there’s a strict limit for the amount of jewelry or paper money policy that will replace. You can always look into purchasing additional coverages, or extended coverage if you feel your current policy limits aren’t enough.

Finally, liability protection will help pay for the medical costs of someone getting hurt on your property. You have to be at fault for the individual’s injuries and they can’t be a member of your household, for liability coverage to apply.

Don’t Compare Policies

Each individual policy has coverages and costs that are carefully calculated on a per house and per person situation. Your house’s age, material, and history will all play a part in determining the coverage you’re eligible for. The same holds for you as a person.

Your age, career, and financial history will directly impact what you pay for home insurance. If you want to find ways to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance coverage, go directly to your insurance company and ask for help.

Even if they can’t get you a lower price, they can at least clearly explain why you’re paying the price you are. When it comes to financial success, knowledge is the ultimate power. See what our money experts have to say in our Finance section today!

Why You Need Commercial Vehicle Insurance

If you run a small business, you may find that you need to use a car or commercial vehicle to run errands that will keep your company ticking over – whether that’s transporting goods to a customer, visiting a site or even driving your customers yourself. Have you got the correct insurance cover for your work, though?

It’s vital that you make sure you have the right coverage for you and your business’ transportation requirements. If you don’t think you need to have it, then here are some of the reasons you should.

Your personal insurance may not cover you

A personal auto insurance policy is designed to cover individuals, and not any business entities. The insurance typically covers those who are named in the policy declarations.

If you have a look at your personal auto insurance, you may also find there are business-related risks that are excluded from the policy. These may include:

  • Commercial auto exclusion: many policies exclude someone from using a vehicle if they are employed or engaged in a business that isn’t ranching or farming. However, this doesn’t apply to private passenger vehicles or pick-ups/vans not used for transporting/delivering materials and goods. If you have a vehicle that’s larger than 10,000lbs or you use any-sized vehicle for delivery or transport, then you need commercial auto coverage
  • Auto business exclusion: this applies to vehicles used in businesses that sell, repair, service, park or store autos – such as a repair shop or dealership
  • Livery exclusion: pretty much all personal policies exclude using trucks or private passenger vehicles to transport people (eg taxi service) or property (eg packages) for a charge. This also includes ride-share businesses

Limits may be inadequate

Most personal auto policies won’t have the liability limit that you may need for a business. The typical maximum limit for a personal policy will be $500,000 – whereas your commercial vehicle insurance could provide you with an auto liability limit of $1,000,000.

Such coverage could be money well spent. If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident where there’s a serious injury, then that could result in you receiving a large liability claim. So, if you don’t have adequate coverage, then that one claim could put you out of business.

You may be required to have it by law

Federal law says there are strict commercial auto insurance requirements for certain businesses that use vehicles to transport passengers or goods between states. However, these requirements will be different depending on what you are transporting. Your commercial insurance provider must submit filings to verify that you meet the insurance requirements that you need.

If you don’t cross state lines for work, then you may still need to submit these filings with state officials to confirm you meet your state’s insurance requirements. This will also include commercial auto insurance conditions that may apply.

So, if you’re transporting parcels, people or equipment, then it may be that you’ll need to get commercial vehicle insurance. It may save the future of your business if you are involved in an accident.

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