California Life Insurance

Experts break down life insurance costs, coverages, companies, and more.

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Covering yourself with a life insurance policy is one of the best things you can do for your loved ones. A good policy can help to ensure that those you leave behind have financial stability after you’re gone. This can be especially important if you pass away unexpectedly during your prime earning years.

But how do you know which policy is the best choice for you and your family?

Independent agents have provided thousands of California residents with guidance and advice about all kinds of insurance products. These local agents can help you find a competitively priced life insurance policy that is ideal for you. Talk to an insurance agent near you to learn more.

What Are the Top 5 Causes of Death in California?

The CDC tracks causes of death across the country. In California, the most common causes are:

  1. Heart disease 
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic lower respiratory disease
  4. Cerebrovascular disease
  5. Accidents / unintentional injuries

It is worth noting that accidents are among the top five leading cause of death in this state. Accidental deaths are usually sudden, so there is no time to plan for the financial security of dependents and loved ones left behind.

Why Do California Residents Need Life Insurance?

Life insurance is not required by law. However, for many, this fully optional coverage is a wise investment.

There are different types of policies available. You will need to evaluate your personal and financial life situation to best determine whether a policy is a good idea for you and your loved ones, and if so, how large it should be.

A low-value life insurance policy may be sufficient to cover your end-of-life expenses, such as estate settlement and funeral costs. A high-value policy can provide your spouse and children with financial security for years to come.

The good news is that the average life expectancy in California is 81.6 years, which means most people in this state will live long lives. Unfortunately, sometimes the unexpected happens. A serious accident or an unanticipated diagnosis of a fatal illness can suddenly cut a life short in its prime.

When you have a life insurance policy in place, you do not need to worry that your untimely death will cause your dependents to suffer undue financial hardship.

Consider this: In California alone, life insurance providers pay out more than $10 billion a year. 

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost in California?

The cost of life insurance can vary significantly from person to the next. Factors that can influence your costs include:

  • Policy type: Term life, whole life, and universal life policies each come with widely different costs and benefits.
  • Your age: The younger you are when you purchase your coverage, the less it will cost you.
  • Your occupation: Those in high-risk or high-stress jobs, like construction workers and long-haul drivers, will pay more than those in low-risk jobs like clerical work.
  • Your personal health history: If you are in good health, you will pay less than someone who has a chronic disease.
  • Your tobacco product use: Smokers pay significantly higher rates for coverage than non-smokers.
  • The value of your policy: The more coverage you want, the more you will pay.

The only way to find out how much an insurance policy will cost you is by requesting customized quotes from a few competing insurers. Independent agents make comparison shopping easy by doing the legwork for you.

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What Is California Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is a policy that is designed to provide coverage only for a designated period of time, or “term.” Most life insurance companies offer policies with terms that range anywhere from five to thirty years.

For some people, a term policy is the best choice. Young couples may want to consider a 30-year term policy that can provide coverage during the years they need it most, such as while they are paying off their mortgage.

Single parents may want to purchase a 20-year term policy to ensure that their children will be provided for and will have the funds necessary for their education after high school if they were to suddenly pass away.

  • Pros: Term policies are the least expensive life insurance option. A term policy will cost only a fraction of what a whole life policy of the same size would cost. This makes it possible for you to buy a very large amount of coverage at a very affordable price.
  • Cons: Term policies are temporary. When your term has expired, you will no longer have coverage. At that time, it may be difficult to purchase another policy, particularly if you have since been diagnosed with a chronic illness. If you can get coverage, it is likely to be expensive.

What Is California Whole Life Insurance?

As the name implies, whole life insurance can provide you with coverage for your entire life, as long as you continue to pay your premiums.

These policies cost a lot more than term policies, but they offer an investment component as well as tax-deferred status. Therefore, many people find it worth the higher price.

Whole life policies are best when purchased while you are still young and healthy. That way, you can lock in low rates and maximize your benefits.

  • Pros: Your policy builds a cash value while providing you with money-saving tax benefits. You can tap into the accrued value of your policy for a loan if your financial situation necessitates it. Also, you can cancel your policy and collect your cash earnings at any time.
  • Cons: This coverage comes with a much higher price tag than a term life policy. Also, if you fail to pay your premiums on time, the policy may be irrevocably terminated.

What Is California Universal Life Insurance?

Universal life insurance is similar to whole life, but it is more flexible.

Some people prefer these policies because they enable you to make adjustments to your total coverage amount, and you have the option to use funds from your policy’s accumulated cash value to pay your premium if you are unable to make your payment in any given month.

  • Pros: Universal policies are more flexible than whole life policies and don't expire like term life policies. They have a cash value that you can tap into at any time if needed. 
  • Cons: Universal life policies cost much more than term life policies. 

Which Type of Life Insurance Policy Should I Buy?

Many people find that the most difficult part of purchasing life insurance is deciding which type of policy to buy. Often, a trusted financial adviser can help you review your current financial situation and can make recommendations about which type may be best for you.

However, when it comes to life insurance types, there really are no right or wrong choices. Ultimately, the kind of policy that is best for you is the one that you feel most comfortable with.  

What If I Already Have Life Insurance through My Job?

If you are among the residents of California who are fortunate enough to have life insurance coverage through their employer, you may think that buying another policy isn’t really necessary.

However, if you accept a new job with a different company, retire, or get laid off, your policy does not go with you, or the policy may be potentially expensive to take with you. This can leave you without any coverage at all unless you also have your own policy outside of your job.

How Can an Independent Agent in California Help You Find the Best Policy?

Local independent agents can help you find the right life insurance policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs.

These agents can work with some of the best life insurance companies in California to get you selection of customized quotes. That way, you can choose the policy that offers the best value for you and your family.

It doesn’t cost anything to talk to an independent agent. Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent near you to begin your search for the best life insurance policy.

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https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/LCWK9_2015.pdf