Congratulations, you bought life insurance or mortgage protection! Purchasing either life insurance or mortgage protection is an important financial safety net for you and your family. You think you’re done, right? Actually there are several more steps you should take. We have compiled the top 4 things you must do after buying life insurance life insurance or mortgage protection.
Although it’s tempting to just file-and-forget it, there are a few important things you should do right away after buying insurance.This way, in the event of a tragedy, the claims process will go smoothly. Your family will be able to easily and quickly receive the money you want them to have.
Here are the top 4 things you must do after buying insurance:
1. Talk about it
It’s important to tell your family about the type of life insurance or mortgage protection coverage you have. Use discretion here though, especially if you think a particular person or persons should not know. Life insurance or mortgage protection is a very private and personal thing, so use your judgement when deciding who to tell.
Just make sure, at a minimum, to tell your beneficiary (the person who will be receiving your insurance money).
Hopefully you have asked your beneficiary if they wanted to be the recipient in advance. If so, just update them about your purchase and give them the details they need to know.
If you didn’t ask in advance, tell them now! By being open and honest and very clear about who is receiving the money (you can list more than one person), you will make sure that your family has an easy time in the claims process (receiving your insurance money).
Your loved ones can’t be financially protected if they don’t know that the financial protection is there. This way, if something unexpected happens to you, your family is aware of your coverage and how they will be protected.
2. Leave a Paper trail
Make sure to give your beneficiary a “summary statement” or “policy certificate” (these are the same). This paperwork will be all they need to collect your insurance money. By providing them with a “summary statement” or “policy certificate,” your beneficiary will have the information they need but not all of your personal details that are on your original application. Ask your agent or contact your insurance company directly for this document.
You can also give your beneficiary a copy of your actual policy, but since your personal information is on your policy, such as your social security number and your medical information, you may choose to provide the documents listed above instead.
3. Keep your documents safe
Keeping your insurance documents safe is vital. Once you receive your final insurance policy papers, make copies. Your original may become lost, stolen or damaged. Put the original and the copies in two different places.
Another great way to keep your documents safe is to keep digital copies. This means making a copy of your entire policy to put on your computer. You may also want to email it to yourself and put that email message in a folder in your email account. That way, all you have to do is look through your email to find it! There are also many cloud-based applications (places where you can store your policy online) that are available and offer access from a variety of digital locations (like your cell phone or even another computer). These online storage spaces, like Dropbox or Google Drive, are very private and secure.
4. Write instructions to your family
This is like a love letter to your family and loved ones. In the event of your death, this is a written letter instructing your loved-ones on what they need to do. Spell out the steps that they need to take clearly. A detailed guide for your family will help them to navigate a difficult and emotional time. In this letter remind them of where your important paperwork is stored and what they should do with it. Include as many details that you think they will need. If you need help with writing the instructions, ask your insurance agent to help you. Your agent knows all the steps your family will need to take to make sure your family gets the financial security you want for them.
Now you are good to go!
Buying life insurance or mortgage protection is just the beginning of your journey. To make sure your family is able to collect your insurance money, make sure to follow the steps above and make it as easy for them as possible!
But wait – there’s more!
While you have your policy, you should keep it maintained.
Make sure to notify your insurance company about any beneficiary changes and get policy reviews.
Make sure to contact your insurance company if there is any change in your beneficiary. Your insurance company needs to know about all phone number and address changes. Or maybe you just want to list someone new as your beneficiary.
Also, don’t forget to get a policy review every three years or so. You may qualify for different benefits at that time, and insurance companies often have new types of policies available, so your insurance agent can help determine if your current policy is still the best for you.
A shocking and true story
Shockingly, during a policy review, some people find out they are not even using the full benefits of their policy. In fact, one of Asurea’s clients had personal experience with this. She had become disabled and was no longer able to work. During that time (about three years), she continued to pay her monthly life insurance payments. Asurea called her to offer her a policy review (we want to make sure our clients are taken care of!), and she accepted.
When her agent, Moe Biltagi, went to her home for the review, he discovered that her policy waived her monthly payments for the entire time she was disabled, and not only that, part of her policy included disability insurance! So all of that time, she did not have to make her monthly payments and could have been receiving a monthly check from her insurance company to help her pay her monthly bills. If it were not for that policy review, she would still be making her monthly payments and missing out on her disability benefits.
So get your life insurance or mortgage protection policy reviewed every now and then! Don’t just buy it and forget it.
It’s worth it!
While all of this takes a little extra effort, it ensures that your family will not face any problems or delays. You want to make sure your loved-ones are financially taken care of as soon as possible.
Asurea offers Mortgage Protection, Medicare Supplements, Final Expense, Retirement Planning and Permanent Life Insurance.