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It’s not much fun to think about life insurance. But preparing for the day when you shuffle off this mortal coil is a good idea for many of us, especially if you have dependents.
Life insurance can provide funds for surviving family members or other loved ones to cover major costs ranging from mortgages and college tuition to your funeral costs.
Finding the right life insurance provider can be an intimidating prospect for many people. Recently, J.D. Power offered help to those shopping for a policy when it released the findings of its 2018 Life Insurance Study, which measures customer satisfaction among life insurance providers.
J.D. Power measured satisfaction in four areas:
- Annual statement and billing
- Policy offerings
J.D. Power then used a scale from zero to 1,000 to assign scores to each company based on the findings. According to the survey, the top 10 insurers are:
- State Farm: 825
- Northwestern Mutual: 812
- Nationwide: 810
- MetLife: 793
- Mutual of Omaha: 792
- New York Life: 791
- Protective Life: 791
- Prudential: 784
- Pacific Life 783
- MassMutual: 781
Those 10 insurers were the only companies in the survey to beat the industry average of 779.
The study data included responses from 5,391 individual life insurance customers surveyed in June and July of this year.
Do you need life insurance?
While life insurance can be a great product, it’s not for everybody. As we note in “7 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Buy Life Insurance“:
If you have no spouse or dependents, a life policy might not be necessary. Also, if you have enough financial resources to provide for your dependents if you died unexpectedly, buying life insurance may be a waste of money.
Going through the list of questions in the story will help you determine if you need a policy — and, if so, which type of coverage you should buy, and how much coverage you would need.
Another Money Talks News story, “How to Save on Every Type of Insurance,” can help you drill down further on the type of coverage you need. As the story explains, life insurance comes in two main varieties: term life and whole life.
Term life is the better choice for many people. As we write:
Term life insurance covers you for a fixed period of time and pays a death benefit if you die during that period. That money is tax-free, and your beneficiary can do whatever he or she wants with it.
By contrast, a whole life policy will likely cost you more money, although it does offer advantages that might appeal to some people. Read the story to learn more.
Finally, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has weighed in on the topic of life insurance in the past. He offers a seven-point approach both on deciding whether you need life insurance and landing the right policy if you do need coverage.
Stacy says there are many factors to weigh before deciding whether you need life insurance. But if you want to cut to the chase, he has a suggestion:
You don’t have to be an expert to know whether you need life insurance. You just need to think about what would happen if a paycheck suddenly vanishes. If you have the need, do some reading, do some shopping and take action.
For more of Stacy’s thoughts on the matter, check out “Ask Stacy: Is Life Insurance Necessary?”
Do you have an opinion about life insurance? Sound off in comments below or on our Facebook page.