AccuQuote Blog

Our life insurance blog is dedicated to providing you with valuable information from experts on the topics of insurance, financial planning and personal finance.

Life Insurance Benefits You May Not Know About

by Byron Udell

 

Did you know that there are life insurance benefits you may be able to take advantage of without dying?

It’s true!

Life insurance is an amazing product, and a feature known as the Accelerated Death Benefit can make it even more valuable than most people realize.

The concept behind the Accelerated Death Benefit is simple: under certain circumstances, your life insurance company can give you a cash advance against your death benefit.  You can use the money to cover medical bills, pay for a family vacation or otherwise make the most of the time you have left.

Some life insurance policies include an Accelerated Death benefit rider automatically.  On others, it’s an optional add-on feature (called a rider) you may have to pay extra for.  Every insurance company does things differently.

“I’ll never forget that phone call from his wife…”

The Accelerated Death Benefit can provide tremendous relief during a very difficult time. 

In the video below, Howard Weissman, one of the experienced professionals here at AccuQuote, shares a touching story that shows the how big an impact this benefit can have on a family.

An Accelerated Death Benefit Rider may provide Living Benefits if the Insured is diagnosed with a:

  1. Terminal Illness
  2. Chronic Illness
  3. Critical Illness

Terminal illness has been an Accelerated Death Benefit feature on both term and permanent  life insurance policies for many years, while Chronic and Critical Illness have been added primarily to permanent life insurance policies during the past few years.   Very few term life policies offer Chronic and Critical illness as Accelerated Death Benefit riders.  That will probably change in the coming years. 

Call us at 800-442-9899 to find out if your current coverage has an Accelerated Death Benefit feature.  We’ll review your policy for free!

Let’s discuss briefly these little-known features.

Terminal Illness

Terminally Ill means that the Insured has a medical condition, resulting from bodily injury or disease, or both, which is expected to result in death within 12 months of diagnosis (most insurance companies go by 12 months).   This is the most common accelerated death benefit feature available in life insurance policies nowadays, and has been around for many years.

The video above talks about a terminal illness scenario.

Chronic Illness

Chronically Ill means that the Insured is unable to perform, without substantial assistance from another person, at least two out of the six “Activities of Daily Living” (Eating, Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Transferring, the ability to stand up, walk across the room and sit back down, or Continence, which is the ability to control bladder or bowel movements) or requires substantial supervision by another person due to Severe Cognitive Impairment.   This assistance is often referred to as long-term care – and it is EXPENSIVE.

About 70% of people over the age of 65 will need access to long-term care at some point. 

Critical Illness

Critically Ill generally means that the Insured has been diagnosed with one or more of the following health conditions (this definition can vary slightly among insurance companies):

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • cancer
  • end stage renal failure
  • major organ transplant
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • blindness
  • paralysis

The Accelerated Death Benefit can keep you from becoming a burden on your family when you begin having trouble taking care of yourself.  It may also protect you and/or your family from depleting your savings and going broke!

Call 800-442-9899 today to find out how you can take advantage of the living benefits of life insurance.  You can also get a free quote here.  You and your family will be glad you did.

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Kiplinger’s Trusts AccuQuote. Shouldn’t You?

By Byron Udell

 

I’ve always said you should buy your life insurance from the person or company that gives you the best advice. 

Obviously, I hope you choose to do business with us.

If you are a savvy consumer—and if you read this blog, you probably are—then you’re likely familiar with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine.  Kiplinger’s is, simply put, a premier personal finance publication and its staff is full of experts.

So when it comes to matters of retirement, investing, saving, and insurance, people trust Kiplinger’s.

And Kiplinger’s trusts US!  The magazine often calls on me and AccuQuote for rate information, quotes, and an experienced opinion when writing about life insurance. 

In fact, in the current (August) issue, four pages (pages 40-43) are committed to life insurance, and AccuQuote is part of the coverage.  Read the THREE stories here, here and here.

If the personal finance experts use AccuQuote for guidance when it comes to life insurance, shouldn’t you?

Call us for a free quote at 800-442-9899, or just take a couple minutes and do it online

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For Lessons in Business and Life, Read This Book (and others I’ll suggest)

By Byron Udell

 

It’s not that I don’t believe in education—I have a law degree and all three of my kids are college educated. It’s just that I feel strongly that you can absorb the same information – and more – by reading the right books.

Hey, it’s worked for me. I’m always reading (usually two or three books at a time), and much of what I read is with the intention of bettering myself, my company, and my ability to do business and make a profit.

With that in mind, I want to start sharing book recommendations with my blog readers. I’m not sure how often I’ll post about books, but stay tuned.  There are so many that I think you’ll find useful.

Note: The entries will be book recommendations, not reviews, meaning you’ll have to read the book to learn the lessons!

These won’t be books about life insurance. After all, that is MY passion. You’re probably passionate about something else.

Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More is a great place to start.

Here are a few high-level takeaways to pique your interest.

The gist is this: The 80/20 Rule states that a small minority of your activities produce the majority of the outcomes.

For example:
• 80% of sales are made by 20% of the salespeople on your team
• 80% of traffic drives on 20% of the streets in your city
• 80% of the profit you earn is the result of 20% of the tasks you perform

You may not have thought about it this way before, but you inherently know it’s true.

This is not a new concept. Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto described the 80/20 Rule over a century ago. This book will make you think about how to implement it in new ways.

To that end, Marshall takes the 80/20 Rule even further; he explains that the top 4% (20% of 20%) produces 64% (80% of 80%) of the results.

Simply put, there are a few key activities that you can focus on to become much more productive, profitable and happy. It’s up to you to figure out what those activities are and put your efforts there.

There are a few key individuals who can have the greatest impact on your life and business. It’s your responsibility to discover who those people are and give them the appropriate amount of attention.

1. YOU get to decide what gets your focus, time and resources; if you spend your time, energy and money on the 20% stuff, you’ll greatly increase your productivity and decrease your stress levels (caused by working outside of your strengths, on things that matter very little and could better be outsourced)
2. Concentrating on those things helps you move forward (faster, easier) toward your goals, no matter what they are
3. You can stop doing things that don’t “move the needle”

One last thing: The majority of people (80% or so) will never do anything with this information. But the 20% who do will be much better off.

I encourage you to be part of the minority.

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How does marijuana use affect your life insurance rates?

By Byron Udell

 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog—and if you’re not, you should be!—then you know I’ve written about marijuana and life insurance before.

Well, as more states make recreational use legal, how life insurance carriers view the drug is becoming more and more important and relevant.  Media is covering this as well, as evidenced here.  AccuQuote was quoted in this article, which is informative and helpful.

Specifically, the story emphasizes how some carriers classify marijuana users as non-smokers.  That means you might not face a smoker penalty if you smoke pot.

Bloomberg reporter Selina Wang also emphasizes that you need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rate.

Hmmm… shopping different life insurance companies so you get the best rate?  That’s an interesting concept…

It’s EXACTLY what we do!

Whether you use marijuana, have diabetes, or have any other lifestyle habit that might affect your rates, you need to shop around. And that’s what we’re here to do!  And it only takes minutes!

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What Are My Insurance Agent’s Motives?

By Byron Udell

 

At AccuQuote, our motives are clear and our mission is simple. We are dedicated to communicating the importance of life insurance to as many people as possible. We strive to be the best source of advice and helpful information on life insurance you can find.

That’s why a Gallup poll I recently saw really bugged me. In a survey about honesty and ethical standards, 36% of people scored insurance agents as “low or very low” in this area. Only 15% of respondents gave agents a “high or very high” score. (As a point of reference, 10% gave members of Congress a “high or very high” ranking.)

I am aware that some people think of life insurance agents as an irritation, but these numbers really surprised me. I’ve known thousands of insurance professionals over the years, and I’ve employed hundreds of them. By and large, they are high-integrity professionals.

Have you ever wondered why life insurance agents do what they do?

The vast majority of life insurance agents wakes up in the morning and thinks about protecting families. Period.

EVERY AccuQuote agent wakes up thinking about that. I am 100% certain about this. I wouldn’t allow them to work here if that wasn’t the case.

Many of them have personally experienced the amazing impact of life insurance.  Many of them have seen the devastation that occurs when a loved one passes away without coverage…

Our agents are advisors, not high-pressure sales people. They will never rush you into making a hasty decision, and they’ll never advise you to take action they don’t believe is in your best interest. They are not looking to make a quick sale and never speak with you again. (In fact, we even serve customers who DIDN’T buy insurance from us!)

When you become a customer, the AccuQuote team becomes your advisor FOR LIFE.

The premature death of a spouse or parent, or even a business partner, can cause a financial disaster for the survivors.  We’re committed to making it as simple and easy as possible to get the life insurance you need to protectthe people you leave behind.

Those are the motives that drive our insurance agents.

We believe that life insurance is the most important product in the history of mankind.  It’s our job to spread the word. And we take that job seriously.

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