Although people may understand the need for life insurance, sometimes it can be a burden to pay the monthly premium. This is particularly true for senior life insurance as retirees are often living on fixed incomes and have limited ability to pay their expenses.
Premium financing options are available to allow people to keep up their payments and maintain their policies.
How Life Insurance Premium Financing Works
When the insured doesn’t have the income to cover the monthly premium, the payments are borrowed from a third-party lender such as a bank or from the insurance provider itself. The amount owed the lender will increase over time. Every month the insured borrows the premium amount plus the accrued debt earns interest.
In most cases, the lender is reimbursed upon the death of the borrower by taking a portion of the life insurance value before it is passed on to the beneficiaries. Although the amount owed steadily rises, as long as it is less than the total value of the policy then the beneficiaries still receive a benefit. This is considered preferable to canceling the policy due to inability to pay, thus leaving the beneficiaries with nothing after the policy holder dies.
Who Should Consider This Option?
Life insurance premium financing is a viable option in several cases. Premium financing is a popular option among retirees. They often have their assets tied up in investments and may not wish to liquidate their assets to provide cash. Some investments can’t be sold or can be sold only at substantial discounts so borrowing is a better financial option.
Some individuals without substantial assets also consider premium financing. Even considering the cost of the loan, leaving something to their heirs is deemed more important than losing the policy completely.
In some cases the interest rate on the premium loan may be less than the return on investments, making liquidation the less preferred choice. Or the interest rate may be less than the rate of return on the life insurance, making borrowing preferable to canceling the policy. There are also situations where this arrangement carries tax benefits.
Seek Expert Advice Before Making A Decision
There is no simple formula for determining who would benefit from life insurance premium financing. As with all investment choices, the advice of an experienced financial counselor will help you determine if this is the right option for your set of circumstances.
If you decide that this is the right financing option for you, there are some details that will need to be attended to. A trust will need to be created to coordinate payments from the financing company to the insurance and from the policy to the beneficiaries after the policyholder passes away. If the trust is not set up, the payout may be held up in probate or subject to substantial estate tax.