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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: term insurance

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Family RunningLife insurance can do some pretty amazing things for people. It can buy loved ones time to grieve. It can pay off debts and loans, providing surviving family members with the chance to move on with a clean slate. It can keep families in their homes and pre-fund a child’s college education. It can keep a family business in the family. It can provide a stream of income for a family to live on for a period of time. First things first, though: you need to own life insurance.

Too many Americans do not have adequate life insurance protection. According to the industry research group LIMRA, 95 million adult Americans have no life insurance whatsoever. Here’s the bottom line: A majority of families either have no life insurance or not enough, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones.

What if you were suddenly gone and your family had to manage on their own? When was the last time you did the math to make sure your loved ones would be financially sound? Have you checked with your employer to find out what kind of life insurance benefit you have through work and whether you have the option to increase your coverage? When was the last time you had your life insurance needs reviewed by an insurance professional?

Visit our Term Life Insurance page to learn more about term life insurance and to learn how to determine your life insurance needs.  You can even answer a few questions to obtain a free quote online.  

Call us at 800-220-5582 if you have questions about life insurance.

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Single GirlWe spend a lot of time talking about how couples, families and businesses can protect their financial futures with life insurance. But what about if you are single—do you need life insurance, too?

There are those people who have no children, no one depending on their income, no ongoing financial obligations, and sufficient cash to cover their final expenses. But how many of those people do you really know? And, more importantly, are you one of them?

It is important, then, to illustrate how a life insurance purchase can be a smart financial move for someone who is single with no children. Asking yourself these three questions can help you get at the heart of the matter:

• Do you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings?
• Do you have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely?
• Did family members pay for your education?

Life insurance is an excellent way to address these obligations, and in the case of tuition, reimburse family members for their support. But don’t just take my word for it. Instead, “do your own math.” This Life Insurance Needs Calculator can help you quickly understand if there is a need—a need you might not be aware of—that could be easily addressed with life insurance.

In addition to addressing any financial obligations you might have, the current economic climate has made permanent life insurance an attractive means to help you build a secure long-term rate of return for safe money assets. Cash value in traditional life insurance may provide a 3% to 5% long-term rate of return over a 20-year period. This can provide you with money for opportunities, emergencies and even retirement.

For young singles, keep in mind that you have youth on your side. I don’t mean to sound trite. Instead, think about the fact that purchasing life insurance is very affordable when you’re young and allows you to protect your insurability for when there is a future need—perhaps, in time, a spouse and children.

While all of these reasons are valid, the most important reason for you to consider life insurance may be the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that your financial obligations will be taken care of should anything happen.

The professionals at Insurance Planning Service can help you find a Life Insurance policy tailored to your needs and outlook, old or young.  Call us at 800-220-5582 or contact us today!

Source: LIFE Foundation

Life InsuranceOver the years, we have advised many clients on the importance of life insurance. You’d think everyone would understand the need for life insurance in the event a wage earner or family member dies. Yet LIMRA estimates 41% of U.S. adults — 95 million people — have no life insurance at all.1 And 43% of those with coverage believe they need additional life insurance.2 These statistics tell us that many still don't understand the need for life insurance and how to adequately protect themselves.

Employers clearly feel an information gap exists among their workers when it comes to life insurance.3 In fact, only 41% of HR professionals say their employees understand the need for life protection very well. Improving benefits communication efforts at the policyholder level can reap strong rewards, helping clients who don’t have life insurance understand the valuable need for this coverage.

We can assist those who don’t have enough coverage determine the right amount of life insurance for them and their families. LIMRA says 44% of those who say they need life insurance haven’t bought because they don’t know how much to buy.

While many policyholders struggle to figure out how much life insurance they need, many of those with existing coverage simply don’t understand the important features of the policies they own. It is important to understand these 10 commonly overlooked features of life insurance plans:

  • Waiver of premium. This feature pays the premium of a policy if a serious illness or injury causes the policyholder to become disabled.
  • Accelerated death benefit. This feature allows policyholders to receive cash advances against the death benefit of their policies if they’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. Many people with this benefit use the money to help pay for treatment and other expenses when they have only a short time to live.
  • Guaranteed purchase option. With this feature, policyholders can purchase coverage at designated future dates or life events without proving they’re in good health.
  • Long-term care riders. Some life products include this option, which allows individuals to use the benefits of their policies to pay for long-term care in exchange for a reduced life benefit.
  • Spouse or child term riders. Life policies with this feature allow policyholders to purchase term life insurance for their spouses or dependent children, up to age 26. This option can be a more affordable way to purchase coverage for those who can’t afford separate policies.
  • Cash value plans. This type of policy pays out upon a policyholder’s death and also accumulates value during their lifetime. individuals can use the cash value as a fund from which they can borrow and use to pay the policy premiums later.
  • Mortgage protection. Some term life plans are designed to provide mortgage protection for homeowners, typically paying a decreasing benefit that corresponds to the outstanding balance of the mortgage.
  • Cash withdrawals and loans. Many universal and whole life policies allow policyholders to withdraw or borrow money, using the cash value of the policy as collateral. Interest rates tend to be relatively low. Individuals can also use the cash value of their life policies to pay their premiums if they need or want to stop paying premiums for a period of time. Policyholders must pay back the loan, or your beneficiaries will receive a reduced death benefit.
  • Survivor support services. Some life policies offer services that provide objective financial and legal assistance to beneficiaries.
  • Employee assistance programs. This feature makes resources available to policyholders when they have problems that can affect their personal and professional lives. Resources are usually free and help address issues such as substance abuse, stress, marital problems, legal concerns and major life events.

Advantages of Voluntary

LIMRA research shows that 57% of people who are under-insured prefer to buy life insurance face to face. And 18% of them prefer to purchase at the workplace. Voluntary life insurance can be an important part of a company benefits package and can help meet the needs of employers and employees. This coverage can be purchased as a complement to company-provided life insurance or as a standalone offering. Because it’s typically employee-paid, voluntary benefits allow employers to expand their benefits packages at little to no additional cost. Some other features of voluntary coverage include:

  • Portability. With individual policies, the employee, not the employer, owns the policy, which means workers can keep their policies if they leave their jobs.
  • Simplified underwriting. Both guaranteed issue (no health questions for underwriting) and simplified issue (minimal health questions for underwriting) are available, if participation and eligibility guidelines are met.
  • Variety of life insurance plans. Employees now have choices in plans to meet their individual needs when it comes to protecting their families and building cash value.

Voluntary life coverage can be an especially effective combination in an employee benefits plan. Companies that work with insurers to improve benefits education can boost participation in their programs, which helps ensure employees have the coverage they need to protect their families and their lifestyles.

The insurance professionals at Insurance Planning Service can assist with questions you may have regarding your Life Insurance.  Call us at (800) 220-5582 or visit us at for a free quote on Michigan Life Insurance.


1. LIMRA, (Life Insurance and Market Research Association) “Facts About Life,” 2011.
2. Retzloff, Cheryl, “Trillion Dollar Baby — Growing Up,” LIMRA, 2011.
3. Colonial Life, Life Insurance and Disability Insurance Survey, October 2011.

FamilyLife Insurance Awareness Month is dedicated to educating consumers about the need for life insurance. LIAM is an industry-wide effort coordinated by the LIFE Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions. Launched as an educational campaign with the intention of alerting the American population about the devastating effect that life’s uncertainties can cause, the main purpose is to bring greater visibility of the need for life insurance.  This effort is supported by the Michigan Legislature’s House Resolution 122.

According to the Independent Agents Magazine:

  • 3 in 10 adult Americans have no life insurance.
  • Insured Americans on average have only four times their annual income in life insurance coverage. Many insurance experts believe that an individual’s true need for coverage is 10 times their gross annual income and sometimes more.
  • Only 41% of adult Americans have individual life insurance. Many rely on insurance provided by their employers, leaving many employees without coverage if they were to lose their job or change jobs.
  • Each year, a significant number of Americans (550,000) die prematurely. In fact, the chances a 25-year-old male will die before reaching the retirement age of 65 is nearly 1 in 5; for a female the odds are 1 in 9.
  • When a premature death occurs, insufficient life insurance coverage on the part of the insured results in 75% of surviving family members having to take measures to meet financial obligations: Working additional jobs, longer hours, borrowing money, withdrawing from savings and investments and, in some cases, moving to smaller, less expensive housing. 

As many Americans are struggling to survive on a day-to-day basis, it may seem hard to think about life insurance.  But the sad story is that many don’t think about it until it’s too late. The financial safety net life insurance provides is especially important now given that many people have far fewer resources to fall back on in the event of a death in the family.

What better time than now to contact Insurance Planning Service about life insurance?  We can discuss your family situation, assist in determining your life insurance needs, and put together a program that will help accomplish your goals.  We are an independent insurance agency offering a full range of insurance products – auto – home – business – life – health – to individuals, families and businesses throughout Michigan.  Call or visit us on the web today for a quote on your insurance!

734.421.9900  |  800.220.5582  |

[Source: IIABA]

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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake