Joint Term Life Insurance Explained

First of all, what is “Term Life Insurance” ?

Term Life Insurance is where you take out a policy to cover a death of the insured for a set period – the Term. These are typically used by people who may have a mortgage, or other large repayment commitment, and require coverage to make sure that during the period of the commitment the payments are covered in the case of death. Once the Term insurance is finished you do not get any funds in refund for not making a claim against the policy nor do you get a surrender value.

Once you stop paying the premiums of a term life insurance policy, or joint term policy, the policy will be cancelled and you will not be entitled to any refund.

Joint Term life insurance, as the name implies, is where two people are listed on the policy and payment is made if one of them dies or is unable to work. Traditionally the couple on the policy would be man and wife and the policy is created to cover a joint liability (eg a mortgage, income replacement, or other such large domestic cost).

Once claim payment has been made on a joint term life insurance policy the policy is terminated, premium payments are no longer required, and the surviving partner should sign up for a another single term policy if they have on-going commitments that the original joint policy did not cover. Some life insurance companies will provide a window of time where the surviving insured can apply without proving current health and avoid underwriting.

Can I cash in a joint term policy ?

Traditionally – no you cannot. It is used purely as death benefit coverage.

Can I transfer a joint policy to a single person’s term policy ?

Most insurance companies will allow you to convert a joint term policy into a single term policy, providing that both parties are willing to do so. This is mostly used in the case of divorce, or separation where both of the insured’s agree to separate the policy into two policies however beware that there are life insurance companies that do not allow this type of change.

If my partner and I have a mortgage must we use a joint term policy ?

Not at all. If you wish to take out a single term policy just for you (or two policies – one for each of you, you are free to do so). However you should consider some of the pit falls of a joint term life insurance policy.

All policy features are based on equivalent single age this is when the life insurance company calculates a combined age which is higher the then oldest insured. i.e. conversion and termination date.

If one insured is ill and would not qualify for a new policy the healthy insured may have to renew at the higher rate in order to maintain the coverage for the insured that is ill.

Solutions Financial is a Canadian owned and operated life insurance brokerage.



Ten reasons for using a Life Insurance Broker

Finding the correct life insurance policy can be easy, difficult, impossible, or just extremely frustrating depending on how much time you have to research it and the people who you end up talking to on the phone. Each person you phone with regards to a policy is going to try and get you to sign their policy by telling you about all of the good things, while conveniently glossing over some of the not so good things. Unless you are an expert at reading contract language there is a strong chance that you signed for something you may not have wanted. This is where an insurance broker comes in.

They know the product.

By definition an insurance broker sells insurance. Or to be more precise, in today’s world an insurance broker will connect you with an insurance company and broker the policy deal between you and them. They are aware of what products exist, what the product is and what it means to you in terms of money out and money in.

They know the people.

As insurance brokers tend to deal with lots of people, each with different situations and requirements they tend to have a large portfolio of insurance companies that they deal with, on a daily basis. They know who to phone at these companies to get quick answers. They have contacts that they regularly speak to, who you as a member of the public may never get in touch with. People who can make your process of getting a policy easier.

They know the language.

Insurance contracts are steeped in legal jargon. They have to be, there is a lot of money involved in each policy and every eventuality has to be covered in the document that forms the policy you sign. This language is difficult to follow and comprehend to the layman, but to someone who deals with it every day, it is simple.

Experience with problems.

Hopefully when you decide to take out a life insurance policy there will be no problems. But this is life, there could be lots of problems. You may find that your scuba diving hobby is making the insurance company hesitate and that they are asking you lots of questions about it. You gave up smoking two years ago and the company want a blow by blow account of your smoking history. All of this delays you getting a policy with you sending in the form, getting questions back, replying, etc. Back and forth constantly. An agent will be able to ask you all of the relevant questions, then only come back when they have definitive answers.

It’s their job to shop around.

You obviously want the best policy for the minimum monthly outlay. Unless you get extremely lucky with your first enquiry to an insurance company, this is going to involve you phoning lots of companies to compare prices. Even if you use the internet to do the comparisons before you start phoning you are still going to have to look through a lot of sites before you narrow down your search. A broker will be able to ask you how much do you want to spend, what coverage are you looking for. Then just by looking in his laptop, or case they will be able to pull out a list of companies that have policies to meet your requirements.

They can answer your questions in layman terms.

Phone an insurance company up and query page 3, paragraph 6, sub section 12 of your policy. When you finally get through to someone who is qualified to answer you, the answer they give you will be in pure insurance language, leaving you more confused than when you started. A broker is there to make sure that you are answered in laymen terms, in terms of what it is going to cost you, what the pros and cons are. Basically they are there to explain it to you in a way that you can understand.

They should be impartial.

A good insurance broker should be impartial. They should not be affiliated with any particular insurance company and be able to suggest a number of companies to you when you ask them about available policies. It is there job to find you the best value policy for your situation, not the highest paying customers for an insurance company. If an a broker is unable to recommend a number of different companies, find another broker.

They can sort out problems.

You are travelling to Russia next week on business and need to check if Russia is still a restricted country, and will travelling there affect your life insurance policy. You don’t have time to sit on hold for days on end trying to find someone in your insurance company who actually knows the definitive answer. Your broker is there to help you. Field the question to them, let them use their contacts to find out the answer. Then when they have they can get back to you and let you know if there is anything you need to do.

They are one stop contact.

In theory, once you have a policy you are locked into a company. That company will have a customer support department and should be able to answer your question or handle your problems. In the real world this is not always the case. There are support departments for billing, claims, questions, legal and so on. With a broker, they are a one stop shop for your insurance dealings. Have a problem with your monthly payment; field it to them, a problem with a claim; let them handle it. By using a life insurance broker, you should only ever need to speak to one person.

Peace of mind.

Insurance is complicated, there is no question of that. When you sign that policy are you sure that every “t” is crossed, and every “i” dotted? That’s what a life insurance broker is for, to make sure every thing has been covered and to give you the peace of mind you require.

In conclusion, most people are capable of going out and finding a company that will offer them life insurance, and most will find a policy that suits them to a certain extent. But is it worth the chance that when you found the policy you liked, you missed something. Something that could potentially cost you thousands in the future ?

To put it another way; when your car needs to have the breaks replaced, do you take it to a mechanic and make sure that the job is completed properly, or do you have a look on the internet and do the job yourself, risking the scenario that when you need to stop you might not have done the job as well as should have been expected?

Life Insurance for Scuba Divers

Canada is known for its largest fresh water lakes in the world which makes it a place or destination to enjoy scuba diving. Many Scuba Divers go to Canada to enjoy this adventurous thing to do. Scuba Diving is known to be exciting more than ever now that you don’t have to rely on a breath hold or air pumped from the surface. It is now a lot safer and a free way to scuba dive by carrying your own air source in a tank. This allows divers to move freely under water more than that with an airline.

Scuba Diving is an adventurous thing to do without any doubt but with the adventurous things comes the risk of injury or dealth. There are a lot of factors to which you can have injuries and suffer problems while scuba diving. You can face injuries while scuba diving due to change in intense pressure, breathing high pressure gas can cause some problems for you, decompression sickness, oxygen toxicity, failure of diving equipments, loss of intense body heat and much more. But despite of so much risk you must be thinking why one would go scuba diving? Well the one who has already done or the experts in the field says – “There is nothing that we can compare with scuba diving deep under the water.”

Despite all these risk you must take some of the precautions if you are going for scuba diving. But what’s the most important thing that you must have while doing scuba diving? Well, the most important as well the most essential thing you must have is a life insurance policy. As a scuba diver you never know when you will be struck with trouble and lose your life.

So, if you are a scuba diver we will tell you the qualifications that is required by Canadian Life insurance companies. Below are the things that you must have before going to a life insurance company to obtain coverage.

  • Your Experience in Scuba Diving, along with the certification in the field
  • Your medical history
  • Dive Location
  • Diving Activities you do
  • The depth and frequency of dives as well as if you dive at night.
  • Your lifestyle

There are three things that likely to happen after applying for a life insurance policy, the policy will be issued standard, rated or even declined. If you are a diver who dives beyond a depth of about 120 feet under the water then you will be rated. And if you are suffering from some medical diseases like cardiovascular related problems or any respiratory breathing problems you will likely be declined by the insurance carrier. If declined you may opt for another option to get a non-medical life insurance coverage. You can opt for this non-medical insurance if you are 20 to 85 years of age, however premiums tend to be much higher for this type of policy.

So, these are the options available for you regarding opting for life insurance as a scuba diver as per Canadian life insurance standards. You must carefully read out all the terms and conditions attached to that particular life insurance plan and make sure that you are opting for the right plan for yourself and your family. Enjoy the diving and stay safe.

My Best Financial Tip

Credit Cards

Credit cards generally have very high interest rates compared to conventional loans

Some people use their credit cards and never pay interest, how you say – by paying the entire balance of the statement on or before the due date. Many Canadians today only pay the minimum required amount that is stated on their credit card bills, even though this practice usually ends in misery for the cardholder and puts unnecessary strain on their family. Credit cards generally have very high interest rates compared to conventional loans, for example – bank loans, lines of credit and car loans. Credit card interest can accumulate quickly at 28.8%, however when considering compound interest this increases the outstanding balance even quicker making the cardholder feel more anxiety and despair.

Here is a list of 10 things that you could do to not fall into the credit card trap. 

  1. Never pay credit card interest always pay the balance of each statement.
  2. Ask yourself this question before using your credit card, is this what I need or what I want.
  3. Never put automatic payments on your credit card.
  4. Leave your credit card at home when going out to shop.
  5. Never pay the balance late.
  6. Never exceed the credit card limit.
  7. Only have 2 credit cards maximum.
  8. Make sure keep the available credit low.
  9. Never let anyone use your credit card
  10. And if all else fails freeze the card in a block of ice and hope like hell the urge passes before the block melts.

In conclusion people have to look at a credit card as a tool and not a way of borrowing money. To minimize the dangers of hurting your financial health be aware of the 10 points above, also choose your credit card wisely some have annual fees and extra charges for the way you use the card.  My best financial tip is never pay credit card interest and always pay the balance on your statement every month on or before the due date.

Visit the Solutions Financial website for help in securing your Financial Security needs and obtaining your Financial Freedom in the future years to come.