Trusted SASKATOON INSURANCE expert!
Here experts answers questions on Personal Insurance on the SASKATOON DIRECTORY:
1. Jennifer Sparks: How much life insurance should a single parent have with 2 children who just entered their teens?
A: Again a needs analysis should be done. There are many variables. Who would the teens live with in the event of your death? Could that person afford to support the kids? You need to consider eliminating any debt that may be present when you die and of course providing enough income to support the kids until they are old enough to be on their own. Add your debt and at least 75 to 80% of your income x 10 years.
2. Melodie Poorman: How long is the coverage period of life insurance?
A: The coverage period on life insurance depends on the type of policy you have. Term insurance plans definitely have an expiry date but that varies from plan to plan and company to company. Most permanent plans have no expiry date and the coverage will be in place until the date of your death.
3. Corry Stewart Dorosh: If you got your children life insurance at birth and they get medical issues can you still purchase them more life insurance or if they choose when they are older can they get more?
A: Even if you purchased a life insurance plan for your child at birth their ability to purchase more life insurance in the future will depend on the type and severity of their medical problem. Depending on the problem it is possible that they will not be able to purchase any other life insurance in the future. To prevent this from happening I advise my clients to add a guaranteed insurability option to their children’s policies. For very little additional monthly premium this option can be added and allows your child to purchase more life insurance numerous times in their life without difficulty or having to answer any medical questions.
4. Kimbrolina Linke: What kind of life insurance should parents get and when should they get it?
A: The type of insurance parents should get can vary according to individual need. Why are they getting it? The most common type for young new parents is term insurance. It allows a young couple to make sure they have protection in the case of unexpected death to cover debt, mortgages, children’s education and to replace their income for the family, all at an inexpensive rate. If they are looking at purchasing insurance as an inheritance for their children or for estate planning then permanent insurance is the product of choice. Again a proper needs analysis will help determine the right amount and the right product.
5. Amanda Starosta: I'm a funeral director and have heard some horror stories about families trying to obtain life insurance benefits after a death, is there any advice I could give them to make sure they have all the documents/information they need to go through the process with ease?
A: Generally speaking obtaining life insurance benefits shouldn’t be difficult for a person. I think a lot depends on the type of life insurance policy. It may be more difficult to obtain benefits that are provided through creditor protection plans than from individual life insurance contracts. In my experience I have had no problems obtaining the benefits for beneficiaries. The usual documentation required is a death certificate or funeral director’s certificate, claimant’s statement completed by the beneficiary and sometimes a copy of the deceased’s birth certificate. If everything is in order they usually receive the benefit with a week to two weeks
6. Andrea Pyle: Jennifer, do I need to get more life insurance, even though I'm covered with my work? Is it beneficial to do so?
A: I always advise my clients to have additional insurance to their coverage at work. Today it is very, very common for a person to change jobs or careers a few times. The life insurance coverage you have through your work is tied to the group benefits plan at that job. If you leave that employer the life insurance does not go with you and the next employer may not have a plan offering the same coverage or if you become self-employed you may no longer qualify for life insurance if your health has changed.
7. Ann Lyte-Maille: Jennifer, are there any policies that cover critical illness? Such as Chron's disease?
A: There are critical illness policies that cover a large list of illnesses, usually anywhere from 24 to 28 illnesses. However, at this time I do not know of any that cover Crohn’s disease.
8. Trish Planchot-Voldeng: Jennifer, I have heard it is hard for cancer survivors to get any form of life or travel insurance. Is this true or do they pay a very high premium? Does it ever decrease if a person is cancer free for a number of years?
A: First I will respond to the travel insurance. A cancer survivor can get travel insurance but depending on the type of cancer. They are not eligible if they have received any treatment for pancreatic or liver cancer or had any type of cancer that has metastasized. If this is not a problem they can qualify for travel insurance as long as they have no reasonable expectation of needing to see a doctor and are not travelling against their doctor’s advice. Now this applies to people under age 70 travelling for less than 36 days. For client’s older than 60 travelling for an extended period of time, they will have to answer a detailed health questionnaire and they could find it more difficult to qualify for the travel insurance or pay an extra premium.
Now for life insurance, it is possible for cancer survivors to obtain life insurance but there are many variables that need to be considered; what type of cancer, what stage or grade of cancer, age of diagnosis, what type of treatment was required, how many years since the person has been considered cancer free. Was there any metastases? For example: someone diagnosed with malignant melanoma or skin cancer that had the cancer removed and it was in the low stages may be able to obtain life insurance within a year; for higher stages it may be five years. Prostate cancer: again this depends on the age of diagnosis and the severity. In this case the older you are at time of diagnosis the better. Breast Cancer: This can be harder to get life insurance. Even with the lowest grade of cancer you would need to be 5 years post treatment. With any type of cancer a rating or additional premium may be applied but it is important to note that with these ratings, as the years go by and the length of survival increases, the rating/ premium can be reduced. If you are a cancer survivor don’t assume you won’t qualify for insurance. Talk to someone or call me.
9. Tanis Macala: Jennifer, Saskatchewan has some of the highest percentages of smokers. Currently, Saskatchewan has the highest number of smokers between the ages of 15-19 (20%)... a title we've had for nine straight years. Can you explain the effects this has when it comes to obtaining life insurance and the difficulties it may cause?
A: Generally speaking if you are in good health being a smoker won’t cause any difficulty in obtaining life insurance. However, it definitely will increase the cost. Smokers see an additional 40 to 70% increase in premiums compared to non-smokers depending on the type of life insurance, the amount and whether they are male or female. The good news is that if you quit smoking and maintain this for 12 months, you could have the smoker rate reduced to non-smoker rates, providing your health is still good.