What is traditional life insurance?
Traditional life insurance (also called standard life insurance) is the most common type of life insurance. In most cases, it comes with a medical exam and medical questionnaire that you must complete. In terms of premiums, it is the most affordable product (especially traditional term life insurance). If you have very good or even just decent health and no serious preconditions, it might be the best insurance choice for you.
Traditional life insurance plans come in many shapes and forms with the following two being the key ones:
- Traditional Term Life Insurance: It covers you for a pre-defined period of time (aka term), has no cash accumulation component, and it is by far the cheapest life insurance type. It is great to protect you and your loved ones for a period of time (e.g. until you pay off your mortgage or until your kids grow up).
- Traditional Whole Life Insurance: It covers you throughout your entire life (as long as you pay the premiums). The premiums are constant and stay the same during your whole life. It is also a cash accumulation product, meaning that you can accumulate funds and access them. This is, though, a more expensive product than traditional term life insurance.
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Features of traditional life insurance products
Traditional life insurance has several features that make it different from other life insurance types – here are the key details you need to know:
Requirement to go through a medial exam: In most cases, you will need to go through a medical exam (including fluids, such as a blood test) to qualify for this product. That is the main difference between traditional life insurance and no medical life insurance, which never has a medical exam. However, in some cases (e.g. younger age and low coverage limits) an insurer might decide to skip the medical exam. In this case, the policy is called traditional medically underwritten life insurance without medical exam.
Option to get traditional rated insurance: If you do not have perfect health or face some less serious health preconditions (e.g. particular types of diabetes), you still might be able to qualify for traditional life insurance. In this case, you might need to pay higher rates. This insurance is called traditional rated life insurance. These increased rates will still be better than rates for no medical life insurance (simplified or guaranteed life insurance).
Coverage limits: Coverage limits for term life insurance can vary widely: from $50,000 to as much as $5,000,000. Traditional life insurance is a good alternative to mortgage life insurance due to its high coverage limits.
What factors impact costs of traditional life insurance?
There are numerous factors impacting costs of traditional life insurance – we divided them into four key categories:
- Policyholder: age, gender, physical form, medical history and health pre-conditions, family history
- Policyholder’s habits: smoking, drinking, driving, travel, extreme sports, job/occupation
- Financial habits: bundling products, frequency of payments, regular policy review, use of brokers to compare pricing.
- Policy specifics: policy type (e.g. term, whole, universal), length of term, coverage amount, return of premiums feature, cash value for permanent products, multi-life feature, joint policy feature, etc.