Insurance Made SimpleFor when things get complicated
Insurance Policy Review for Peace of Mind
You have an insurance policy. That’s great! It gives you peace of mind of knowing that you have protected those you love.
A great insurance policy isn’t a static thing. You don’t just set it and forget it. Life happens. Stuff happens. There are things that go on throughout your lifetime, and your insurance policy needs to keep up with those life changes.
If your policy doesn’t keep up with your life, then it might not give the desired protection you want when you need it most. That completely takes away from the initial point of the plan; protecting those you love. There goes your peace of mind.
Think back to when you got your current policy. Think about where you were, and what was happening in your life. Now think about how life has changed since you got that policy. I bet there have been a few changes.
Not all life changes mean that a new policy is needed. Sometimes just a review to be sure you’re still protected is enough. Welcome back peace of mind.
What sorts of life changes might suggest a review or a possible change in an insurance plan is needed? I have narrowed it down to a few key elements that will help in determine just that.
If you have gotten married, separated, divorced, living common-law, or lost a partner, then a review is needed. Your plan should reflect your new, or updated status.
Have you had children or grandchildren since you got your insurance policy? Does that current policy reflect your needs and wishes for these children who are now such a large part of your life?
If you have bought or sold property, changed your primary residence, purchased a recreation property, or bought a property for investment, then a review is needed. If might be to compensate for the change in your debt load. Taxes that are owed on an investment or recreation property derails many people’s dreams of leaving to family when they are gone. An insurance plan can help.
Your job or income
Have you changed jobs since your last policy? Are you making more money? Are you making less money? Any of these changes should suggest a review of your current coverage.
Have you taken on more debt since your last insurance plan? Less debt? If an insurance plan is partly designed so the debts you leave behind can be looked after, then a review is needed.
Has your health improved since your insurance plan was put in place? If so, then a more affordable plan might be available, or a different kind of insurance might be available to you. If your health was gotten worse, then taking advantage of plan renewals or conversions that don’t require any medical underwriting might be worth considering now.
Important people or things
Do you have important people or things that you would like to remember when you are gone? Possibly a relative or friend you would like to be sure gets a tax free financial gift? If you have a charity, or special organization that you would like to support after you are gone, an insurance policy is a great way to do that too. It skips the need for these things to be mentioned in a Will as an insurance policy contract stands separate from a Will, and acts entirely on it’s own.
Are you finding your current policy is stressing you out for making the payments each month? If your current plan is too expensive, then you will eventually either skimp out on other important things you must pay for, or you will let the policy lapse. Some insurance is better than none at all. A review and search to find a more affordable option might be better than struggling with payments.
If any of these scenarios fit how your life has changed since your last insurance policy, then a review is in order. A review can be an easy exercise in comparing where you were with where you are now.
A review will indicate where any changes or improvements could or should be made. That puts you in control of your insurance plan again.
Welcome back peace of mind. You will now have the details necessary to make a great decision for you.
A great insurance plan doesn’t just happen. But with the right planning, the right guidance, and the right advisor, you can have a great plan. Gotta love peace of mind.
Remember, an insurance policy isn’t about you. It’s about protecting those you love. A great plan does just that.
Robert Dice is an independent life insurance and group benefits broker in Guelph, Ontario. He calls his practice ‘Insurance Made Simple’. There are many things in life that are complicated. Protecting those you love doesn’t have to be one too. Everyone deserves a great insurance plan.
Protecting Those You Love
Jim and Nancy were in their mid ‘60s and comfortably enjoying their retirement. They owned a beautiful home, were debt free, in good health, and Jim’s wife had a great pension. Jim had benefitted from hard work, smart planning, and an inheritance that while not large, he had leveraged into a comfortable situation.
Jim wanted an insurance policy on himself. Nancy was already covered, but could I help him find a plan?
I had known Jim for well over 30 years. We hadn’t spoken seriously in a few years other than annual birthday wishes, and a note at Christmas time. Of course, I was happy to be asked to try and help an old friend. I started with my needs analysis and Jim was only too happy to oblige me with the details I needed. It also provided us a great opportunity to get caught up completely, and reminisce some stories from our enjoyed past.
Jim asked me a couple of questions; “Isn’t a death benefit received tax free? And normally, would a cheque from the insurance company would be received by the beneficiary in less than a month after death?”
I told Jim that he was correct. My needs analysis confirmed that Jim really didn’t need a policy. He had succeeded in self-insuring himself. He didn’t want to leave a charitable legacy. He had no dependents, and only two mature stepchildren, which really weren’t in his life financially.
I understood the why Jim had reached out. He wanted a plan in place for Nancy that would give her access to tax free cash quickly upon his passing.
Depending on how the estate and the will is structured, being cash poor in the short term can be a problem following the death of the spouse. What could be worse for the surviving spouse to not be able to access cash in a speedy manner?
Life insurance isn’t about you. It’s about protecting and providing for those you love. And it’s continuing to show your love for them even when you are unable to do so in person. After Jim’s passing, Nancy will have lots of details to look after, but having cash available quickly won’t be one of them. It’s an elegant, simple, and guaranteed solution to a situation that they will have to deal with at some point.
Robert Dice is a life insurance professional in Guelph, Ontario. He is a rescue dog dad, a guitar player, and garage mechanic on the old car he has had for over 2 decades.
Why a Life Insurance Policy is a No Brainer
Tragedy can strike anyone at anytime
Here’s a little story about a friend of mine who had a rough go a few years back, and how she was extremely fortunate to have a life insurance policy in place when life took an unexpected detour.
Di was a wife and mother in her early 20’s when tragedy struck. They were living in a coastal town in southern Australia where Di, pregnant at the time, stayed at home with her young daughter and her husband who worked to provide for their new family. This was when they discovered that her husband was gravely ill. He was gone 6 months of surgery and hospital visits later. Di found herself raising a 2-year-old and a newborn daughter now only 3 months old, all on her own.
For months they made the 3-hour journey to the larger hospital where her husband could receive the surgery and care that he needed. They spent most of their time in hospitals, which saw the course of 2 open heart surgeries and recovery. They received social welfare benefits from the day he fell ill. He was totally incapacitated for work and from normal daily life. Money was tight.
Usually we can’t see it coming
Their income was limited, so they reached out to their insurance advisor. They simply had to cut back on expenses, and his whole life insurance policy had to go. Their advisor did his best to convince them not to cancel the policy, and even offered to pay the premiums himself. Luckily, he had seen this scenario before, and cancelling their policy was a financial disaster in the making. He simply would not let them cancel the policy. Di and her husband took their advisor’s advice and continued making their premium payments. For that bit of guidance, Di is forever grateful.
After a 6-month battle, her husband passed. She now had 2 daughters to care for, a mortgage on their home, and a cranky car that constantly needed repairs. While her mother lived an only hour away and of course invited her to return home with her daughters, Di wanted to do it herself. She did not want to raise her family within her mother’s house.
But there are things we can do to prepare, like investing in a life insurance policy.
Remember that insurance policy that they had struggled to continue paying for? Her advisor brought her the cheque and at the time, Di was unemotional. The money simply would not bring her husband back. What it did allow her to do was maintain her independence. It paid off the mortgage, it bought her a better car, and it allowed her to provide for her daughters in their new reality.
Most of all, having the insurance money gave Di the chance to heal. To grieve without having to worry about paying the bills, where to live, and how to get around. To give her daughters a chance to grow up together.
Insurance advisors always talk about preparing for the unexpected things in life. Planning so that if something does happen your family will be able to carry on somehow without you. Everyone always thinks that it can’t happen to them. People think that they’ll live a long life and an insurance policy is money that might be better spent elsewhere, until it happens to them. Can you even begin to imagine what’s Di’s life might have been like had there not been an insurance policy to help her?
A life insurance policy can give the ones we love get a second chance.
Today, Di is a successful coach and entrepreneur on two continents. She is a mother, a grandmother and a partner. Her advice? Life insurance is a ‘no brainer’. Unfortunately, that is the kind of advice that can only come from someone who has lived something like this.
Check out the full video here https://youtu.be/haLEBM3Ls5o
If you yourself have questions about how you and your loved might benefit a life insurance policy, there are a few different avenues to explore here. Our FAQ’s page offer some quick insights. You could sign up for our newsletter and receive a free pdf highlighting some common misconceptions about insurance. And of course, you can book a call. I am always happy to talk about this stuff because I believe it can make a real difference in people’s lives.
Do you feel lucky?
You’re probably thinking; ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?
That is one of the most memorable quotes in movie history (Dirty Harry 1971). It’s also something we do every day: we make choices. Most choices we make involve benign things like what to wear, or what to have for lunch, you know, things that aren’t really life and death decisions. Not like whether Dirty Harry might have one bullet left.
You might think comparing choices, a quote from Dirty Harry and the purchase of life insurance is too dramatic. Our eventual death is not in question; the question is simply when that will happen. The state of our affairs at death is something that we have little control over as we don’t have a definite timeframe to plan around. Someone who is avoiding having their own life insurance plan in place is really channeling Dirty Harry: ‘Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?’
What you really want is to be organized, so that when you pass on, your affairs are in order, your debts erased, and the important people in your life are looked after. You’ll be able to move on peacefully, knowing that you have done everything you could. That level of organization rarely happens. There always seem to be a couple of details that are left and not dealt with. If you add the uncertainty of the time of your passing, then having life insurance takes care of those details. You take ‘being lucky’ out of the equation, and you are left with good planning. Life insurance is simply good advance planning.
So far, I am only talking about life insurance to leave your affairs in order. Nothing about using life insurance for leaving a legacy, tax planning, or transfer of wealth, etc. That will be for another day.
Why are some so averse to doing any life insurance planning? The excuses:
- I’m young and healthy
- I am too old now to start
- I have no family or debt
- I can’t get insurance
- I have enough through my work
- It’s too expensive
The truth is probably that no one they truly trust has ever had life insurance really explained it to them. I sat across from a 24-year-old entrepreneur the other day who is driven, focused, and has great things that she wants to accomplish. When asked her about her current debt to make her dreams reality and what would happen if she weren’t there to look after it, a sudden look of enlightenment appeared on her face. She said what I was expecting; “No one had ever explained it to me.” She doesn’t believe in luck, rather she believes in her own hard work and making smart choices. Like getting the proper life insurance coverage in place. Sooner rather than later. Once it was explained, there was really no question in her mind as to how she would protect herself.
Take the time to have your life insurance needs explained or re-explained to you. Find an advisor you can trust to create a plan to fit your needs. Good planning means that you don’t have to feel lucky. You’ve got it covered.