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 expenses.
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 latest 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 1,000-point scale to assign a score to each company based on the findings.
According to the survey, the top 10 insurers are:
- State Farm: 825 points
- 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 points.
The study data included responses from 5,391 individual life insurance customers.
Do you need life insurance?
Though 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 that 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.
Do you have an opinion about life insurance? Sound off in comments below or on our Facebook page.