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Young Family? 3 Life Insurance Myths to Reject

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Dec 13, 2016

Helpful life insurance tips for young families in Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and surrounding areas.Young families have a lot to think about--having children, buying their first house, and getting themselves established in their careers top the list. Because of these, money is often not plentiful, and there isn’t much time to look into the future and try to predict what surprises life might have in store, let alone to think about life insurance options.

If you are a spouse or partner in a young family, you may not have considered what would happen if you were to die unexpectedly. With life insurance in place, your family would be able to remain in their home and maintain their standard of living. It also gives your grieving survivor some time to make decisions without financial pressure.

The necessity for life insurance in young families may be apparent, but persistent misconceptions can keep those families from purchasing the coverage they need.

Here are three life insurance myths that can prevent your young family from receiving the protection it deserves:

Myth 1: Only the primary breadwinner needs life insurance.

If something happened to the breadwinner in your family, that paycheck would be missed. And the first myth addresses the importance of replacing the largest paycheck but without considering the value of the stay-at-home parent.

The costs of caring for your children, managing the household, and paying for all other domestic duties can be substantial. The parent who chooses to pass up a paying job and stay at home is providing an enormous service that has real value.No matter the size of the paycheck, your family counts on you and your income to maintain its quality of life, and either would be missed if something were to happen to you.

Myth 2: I can buy term insurance now, and if I still need protection at the end of the term, I can always renew the policy.

That is true if your policy is renewable, but not all policies are, and renewable premiums can be expensive. Why? When you come to the end of a 10 or 20-year term policy, you are ten or twenty years older, which guarantees a higher premium.

And think about this: If your policy isn’t renewable, you must once again qualify for the insurance. If your health has changed over the years, you might be uninsurable. Even if you can qualify for it, you will be paying much more.

Term insurance is popular with many young families, and there’s a good reason for it. The policies give the most coverage at the lowest cost. And it comes at a time when money is tight, and the need for coverage is highest.

But term insurance is just that—coverage for a relatively short time. It’s an excellent policy to provide for any needs that may disappear over time, including a mortgage or college expenses, but there are other plans designed to meet your longer-term needs.

Myth 3: Term insurance is sufficient. 

Term life insurance has its place in your overall financial planning, and it certainly makes sense for young families. Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, provides a death benefit along with other features such as lifelong protection and tax-advantaged cash accumulation within the policy.

You can access the cash value in your plan to pay for a business opportunity, your child’s education, or an emergency. Just remember that any funds you withdraw from the policy will reduce the death benefit and cash value if you don’t repay them.

Although permanent life insurance is more expensive than term insurance in the short term, there are long-term cost advantages to permanent coverage. So, you might consider buying a term policy with a large face amount, which gives you the immediate protection you need, and combine it with a smaller permanent policy.

We'll Help You Find the Best Life Insurance at the Best Price 

Contact us for life insurance tips and to purchase the best insurance for your young family.To learn more about your life insurance options at any age, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848. Our team of independent life insurance agents will help you find the best policy from among competing insurance carriers. Call or click today to get started.

Tags: Life Insurance Philadelphia Pa, Life Insurance Lancaster Pa, Life Insurance Reading PA, Life Insurance Allentown Pa, Life Insurance Harrisburg Pa, Life Insurance

6 Reasons Why Singles Should Have Life Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Jun 13, 2016

Why singles need life Insurance. Contact us for the best life insurance in Philadelphia, Allentown, York, Erie, Reading, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.You’re single and have many things on your mind—moving up the ladder in your career, investing for the future, relationships, and the list goes on. Something that you might not be thinking about, but should be, is life insurance.

If you’re like many single people, you likely assume that life insurance is for married couples and those with kids. While it is true that not all single people need life insurance, here are six reasons why life insurance could make good sense for you:

  1. Student loan debt
    While it’s true that student loans through the federal government are discharged if you were to die, personal loans that have a cosigner are usually not. If your parents co-signed your loan through a bank, they would be responsible for paying the rest of the loan if something happened to you. The bank may even call for the loan to be paid in full immediately after a death, leaving your parents to deal with grief and loan payments.

  2. Living with your significant other
    Living together means sharing the financial responsibilities. You probably need two incomes to pay the rent (or mortgage), utilities, taxes, and other living expenses. Think ahead to the possibility of one of you dying prematurely. Would the other partner be able to maintain a similar lifestyle on one paycheck? Or would the apartment have to be abandoned or the house sold? Life insurance may be the only way to create an estate immediately, offering an easy answer to those questions.

  3. Lock in a low price now
    You’re young and healthy. Your age and your health will mostly determine how much you’ll pay for life insurance. It makes good financial sense to lock in a low price if you have both of these right now. A healthy 30-year-old non-smoker can get a 20-year $250,000 term life insurance policy for about $20 a month. Remember, if you wait until you believe life insurance is a necessity, your age and any health issues that have developed will make the insurance more expensive—or impossible - to get.

  4. Lock in your insurability now
    You plan on having kids in the future. Statistically, it costs nearly $250,000 to raise a child to age 18. And that’s not factoring in the cost of college. You may not be thinking about this right now, but when the kids arrive, they bring with them additional bills and expenses. Purchasing life insurance now means you have coverage in place for when you do have a child, and you have protected your insurability for the future.

  5. Others may need your support
    You know now you’ll be taking care of family members in the future. You may need to provide financial support to aging parents or a special-needs sibling. Think about what would happen if your support disappeared with your death. Life insurance can ensure that there is money in place to fund those needs into the future. In cases like these, permanent life insurance, as opposed to term insurance, might be a better choice. Talk to an agent for details on the difference between the two policies.

  6. It can pay for your funeral
    With the average cost of a funeral at over $7,000, you don’t want to leave the burden of paying for it to your parents, partner, or other family members. No one, especially young and single adults, likes to think about such things, but the truth is if you die without life insurance, someone you care about will likely end up paying for your funeral.

We Make Life Insurance Easy - Just Click or Call! 

Contact us for information on buying the right life insurance to meet your needsGetting life insurance doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, and we’ll walk you through your options—at no cost to you.

Our independent agents will compare plans from competing life insurance providers to craft a quality life insurance plan at the right price. Contact us today to get started!

Tags: Life Insurance Philadelphia Pa, Life Insurance Lancaster Pa, Life Insurance Reading PA, Life Insurance Allentown Pa, Life Insurance, Life Insurance for Singles

Extreme Sports? Life Insurance? Maybe not!

Posted by David Ross on Thu, May 12, 2016

Extreme sports may disqualify you from obtaining life insurance. Contact us for help in getting life insurance if you are involved in extreme sports.Extreme sports can make it difficult or even impossible for you to get life insurance. Surprised?

Statistically, a coin collector will likely live longer than someone who enjoys bungee jumping. So, if you thrive on the adrenaline rushes that only extreme sports can give you, be aware that your chance of getting life insurance at preferred rates (or maybe at all) will be diminished if you engage in certain pastimes.

Whether you get your thrills on earth, water, snow, ice or air, insurers will take into account your risky hobbies and your level of competence when determining premiums or even if they want to accept the risk of taking you on as a customer.

Life Insurance Red Flag Activities

While there are many ways to push your fun to the limit—mountain climbing, skydiving and scuba diving will always raise red flags—there are some sports that push right on by those limits and create a risk that few insurers will be willing to take on.

Here are a few others you’ll want to avoid if affordable life insurance coverage is important to you:

Ice-climbing: Self-inflicted puncture wounds from crampons, those metal plates with spikes fixed to the bottom of the hiking boot, are not the only danger from this sport. There is always the threat of cracked ice breaking free and taking the unlucky climber with it.

Cliff diving: Think about the consequences of diving from a ledge that is 80 or 90 feet above the sea. Even if you survive the jarring impact from a perfect dive, you may have to contend with rocks below the surface. And this assumes that you didn’t hit the side of the cliff before you reached the water. Or maybe you weren’t able to execute the dive and have hit the water awkwardly, breaking bones or injuring your spine. It’s no mystery why insurers frown on this activity.

Freerunning: An acrobatic and athletic discipline, freerunning is an urban activity in which participants leap from roof to roof, negotiating any obstacles, at maximum velocity. No parachutes, no ropes, no nets—and, understandably, no insurance!

Street luge: Street luge was created when downhill skateboarders found they could reach higher speeds by lying down on their skateboards. Riders on street luge boards can reportedly top out at 70 to 80 mph, making it almost impossible to get life insurance if you choose to participate in this extreme sport.

Heli-skiing: This type of downhill skiing is done at remote locations accessible by helicopter only. Skiers board the helicopter and are carried to a landing zone on the mountain. Risks include those of any back country skiing, including avalanches, tree wells, and the inherent risks of helicopter flight. Not surprisingly, this sport is banned in Germany and France. 

Huge-wave surfing: Every surfer dreams of catching and riding that 50-foot monster wave. Many are willing to journey to the ends of the earth to find one. Unfortunately, they may find more than they hoped for—broken bones, shark bites, drowning, and life insurance denial can also be part of this adventure.

Base jumping: Parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff is known as base jumping. It’s also known as a surefire way to be denied life insurance. Because of the lower altitudes of the jumps, base jumping is significantly more dangerous than skydiving from a plane. Base jumping is prohibited in many locations, including the United States. So, if you decide to try it anyway, you stand to lose your life insurance and your freedom! 

It Doesn't Pay to Cheat on Your Life Insurance Questionnaire!

Honesty is the best policy—especially when it’s a life insurance policy. Be honest about your extreme sports hobby when you apply and be prepared to pay a higher premium if you engage in extreme sports. The most common reason life insurers deny a death claim is because of "material misrepresentation" on an insurance application. If you should be killed in an extreme sport accident, your loved ones might be hurt. That’s a risk you should not take.

Why We're the Right Choice for All Your Life Insurance Needs

We're a Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agency serving Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Lebanon, Erie, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, State College, PA and points beyond and between. Contact us today!Because we're independent insurance agents we're free to shop among competing insurance providers to find you the right life insurance at the right price. It also helps us find a company who may be willing to insure you despite your extreme sports activities.

For more information about life insurance, contact us online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

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Denied Life Insurance? Take These 3 Steps!

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Jan 21, 2016

Being denied life insurance can be scary...

3 steps to take when your life insurance application has been denied. Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, PA and beyond with cost effective, high quality life insurace.Life insurance offers the peace of mind of knowing your family will have a financial safety net if you’re no longer there to provide one. While most people think obtaining coverage is as simple as filling out a few forms, that’s not always the case.

What should you do after you try to buy life insurance coverage but end up being denied? It can be a scary situation. You ask yourself why this happened and where you go from here. 

First of all, don’t get too upset. You’re not out of options. Begin by trying to find out why you weren’t approved. Next, take some steps toward a better outcome.

Reasons you may have been denied life insurance coverage

  • You have a specific health condition: If you have elevated cholesterol or glucose levels, or previously had a heart attack or cancer, you may be denied coverage.

  • You participate in high-risk activities: Sky diving, mountain climbing, and flying as a recreational pilot are considered risky hobbies that could get you turned down.

  • You’ve been caught driving under the influence: Most companies won’t insure you if you’ve had multiple DUI’s. If it’s only been once, you might be able to shop around and get insurance coverage.

  • You are overweight or obese: The red flag pops up for these conditions because they often lead to severe health complications, particularly cardiovascular issues.

  • You use drugs: Life insurance companies will want to know about any kind of drug use--both legal and illegal. Illegal drug use is an obvious reason for denial. But the regular use of legal medications may point to an underlying medical condition and could hurt your case as well.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it can give you an idea of some of the factors that are considered after a life insurer receives your application.

What to do if you’ve been denied life insurance coverage

  1. Learn why you were denied.  Before an insurance company denies an application, they collect lots of data from several sources to evaluate your risk. If the risk is high, you will be rated, postponed or denied. In any of these circumstances, you are encouraged to ask the life insurance company for the specific reason of denial for your application. A denial stemming from a current exam tends to be the most disturbing, since you may not have known about an illness or disease beforehand. But stay positive and be thankful that the issue was discovered, so that you can take steps to resolve it.

  2. Confirm the results. You signed an authorization for the underwriter to pull your medical records. If poor exam results were cited as the cause of denial, order these records and check with your doctor to verify their accuracy. Sometimes, mistakes are present in the medical records and need to be fixed. In other cases, you could be denied for recreational hazards, criminal records and even financial issues. If these records haven’t been updated or are lacking in detail, they can lead to postponement or denials because the underwriter simply can’t properly assess your risk profile. Make sure all of your records are accurate and notify the insurer if any discrepancies are discovered.

  3. Work with an independent life insurance agent. After you uncover the reason and fix the errors, you should work with an agent to find coverage. Every insurance company has its own criteria for assessing the risk of its applicants, and independent agents know which companies are more likely to approve you based on your health and your lifestyle.

Contact Our Independent Life Insurance Agents for Help

Trusted Choice Independent Life Insurance Agents near Reading PA, serving Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, PA and beyond with qualiity life insurance.Knowledge is power, so find out why you were denied. Then, straighten out all of your records and work with an experienced independent life insurance agent to obtain the coverage you need.

Contact one of AIG’s experienced agents here or call us at at (800)  947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

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Is 10x Your Salary in Life Insurance Right for You?

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Question: How much life insurance do you need?

Answer: It all depends…

How much life insurance you need depends on several factors. Contact us for all your life insurance needs in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg, York, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lehigh Valley, PA and beyond.This answer implies that there is work ahead. There is no standard lump-sum figure or, at the very least, a formula that can be used to arrive at the right amount of life insurance for you. In the past, traditional schools of thought have suggested that seven to ten times a person’s annual salary should be sufficient coverage.

But, does this one-size-fits-allapproach apply to your situation? Maybe, maybe not.

What Factors Go Into Determining How Much Life Insurance You Need?

First off, be aware that the amount of insurance that you need today may change dramatically in the future. For instance, the single, carefree young man--whose need for life insurance today is minimal--might become a married homeowner with a couple of kids in a few years. The responsibilities that have been added into his life will considerably increase the amount of insurance that he should carry. Here are some of the factors that must be taken into consideration in deciding how much insurance coverage is right for you:

  • Money for final expenses (funeral, burial plot, etc.)
  • Replace lost income
  • Pay off a mortgage
  • Pay off other debt (auto loan, credit cards)
  • Provide an education fund for your children

And remember, just because you are a stay-at-home parent without income doesn’t mean you can forego life insurance. Childcare is expensive and hiring someone to take over your household responsibilities could put a sizable strain on your family’s budget.

Replacing Income: Vital to a Family’s Financial Survival

If you have long-term financial goals, now is the time to think about how those plans would be affected by the loss of your paycheck. If your children are young, your life insurance might be needed to support them for quite a few years in your absence. In the case of a special-needs child, it will probably be for a lifetime.

In addition to your income, your family will likely be losing your employer-provided health insurance, which would amount to thousands of dollars in premiums each year to replace it. Consider that your family will have to trade in an aging vehicle at some point or that a teenage driver might need a car for school, a part-time job, or commuting to college. If these and other long-term goals are part of your planning today, it is important to provide for them in your life insurance estimates.

Coming Up With an Insurance Protection Estimate

Once you have determined how much lost income you will need to replace, you can add that amount to any mortgage, debts, final expenses and education funds you want to cover. This is your life insurance number. From that figure you can subtract:

  • Personal life insurance policies that you already own
  • Life insurance you have through work
  • Liquid assets your family can use

One important consideration about life insurance at work is that it is only a benefit as long as you are working at that company. If you change jobs, you might end up with less coverage or none at all. For that reason, it might make sense to exclude this coverage from your calculations.

Underestimating your future financial needs will leave you underinsured. And if you believe that you can buy more insurance in the future, understand that will only work if you are as healthy then as you are now. Unexpected illnesses could make your future life insurance premiums prohibitively expensive—if you can get coverage at all.

We Can Help With Your Life Insurance Needs

Coming up with an accurate life insurance amount can seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to tackle it by yourself. Click here to contact us or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848; we can guide you through the process, and help you to arrive at a life insurance number that’s right for you.

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5 Surprising Things Life Insurance Can Do While You’re Alive

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Sep 03, 2015

The right life insurance policy can benefit you during your lifetime. Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Life insurance is a key component in any financial plan. Its death benefit creates an immediate estate for beneficiaries that will provide them with income, cash for college or other capital needs, and funds to pay taxes, funeral expenses, or administrative costs. It can pay off a mortgage or retire other debts.

In its simplest form, it pays cash when an insured individual dies, but did you know that a life insurance policy can be set up in such a way that it is beneficial during a policyholder’s lifetime?

Two Types of Life Insurance

Term life insurance pays a predetermined amount of money when a person dies. It is in force for a specified period (term) and may be renewed if needed. It provides a death benefit only.

Permanent life insurance, as the name implies, is set up to last a lifetime. Like term insurance, it too provides a death benefit, but that is where the similarity ends. Whole life insurance (the more common designation for permanent insurance) accumulates tax-sheltered cash values that can be accessed by the insured. Although not guaranteed, there may also be dividends that are similar to those paid to stock owners. Also, unlike the premiums on term insurance, which increase at the end of each term, the premiums for whole life remain level.

How Can the Accumulated Cash From a Life Insurance Policy Be Used?

The short answer is that it can be used for anything. After cash has accrued inside a whole life policy, it is available for withdrawal as a policy loan. While it is not a requirement to pay the loan back, any amount that is not repaid will be subtracted from the death benefit. That said, here are some creative ways in which others have used the living benefits of their whole life policies:

  • Help with college tuition. If the cash value is large enough, all of the hassles of applying for bank loans or filling out financial aid forms can be eliminated. Using the money in your policy is probably preferable to tapping retirement savings or home equity, but it’s best to consult your agent to be sure.

  • Start your own business. Starting a business may be your dream, but your bank may see it as their nightmare. If your savings and private borrowing from friends and family aren’t enough to get your venture moving forward, using your cash value might be sufficient to fill the gap.

  • Take time off to attend to family matters. An untimely accident or illness to a family member may require you to take an unpaid leave of absence from your job. Aging parents are especially vulnerable and may need help for weeks or even months during their recovery. The accumulated cash in your whole life policy can replace lost income.

  • Get funds to sustain you during a chronic illness. If you are chronically ill and unable to perform all of the activities of daily living, some permanent policies will allow you early access to your death benefit. If yours doesn’t, the accumulated cash value can still be used until you recover sufficiently. Whether you access your death benefit or cash value, the money taken out will reduce the amount your beneficiaries receive.

  • Use your cash value to fund the early years of retirement. Your 401(k) and IRA can continue to grow tax-deferred if you live off your cash value early in retirement. The relative safety of your insurance money allows you to take on more risk and growth potential in your other sheltered accounts for several more years.

Finding the Life Insurance Policy That's Right for You

Contact us to find the best term or whole life policy. Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, PA and beyond.These examples are not appropriate for everyone. A professional insurance advisor from American Insuring Group can analyze your circumstances and help you find the term or whole life insurance policy that's right for you.

Click here to contact us, or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Life Insurance Berks Pa, Life Insurance Philadelphia Pa, Life Insurance Lancaster Pa, Life Insurance Reading PA, Life Insurance Allentown Pa, Life Insurance Harrisburg Pa, Life Insurance York Pa, Life Insurance

Life Insurance Tips for the Mother-to-be

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Mar 17, 2015

Tips for selecting the right life insurance before, during, or after pregnancy. Serving Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Did you recently get married?  Have you started thinking about having children?  Are you already pregnant?  Congratulations!  This is a very exciting time in your life! 

Next question…Have you thought about life insurance?  Your life insurance needs will probably change significantly once your baby is born.  The task of regular feedings and diaper changes will probably have you struggling to sneak in some shut-eye, and I can pretty much guarantee that preparing for the "what-ifs" in life will move to the bottom of your to-do list.  

Whether you become a stay-at-home mom or work outside the home, it’s important that you plan for the “what if” something were to happen to you.  Life insurance helps ensure that your child can be properly cared for and that your family doesn’t face financial hardship.

Can Pregnancy Affect Life Insurance?

Sounds like a crazy question, right?  Pregnancy isn’t a disease; it’s the way children have been brought into the world since the beginning of time. 

In the vast majority of cases, pregnancy has no effect what-so-ever on life insurance rates.  If it’s early in your pregnancy and there are no medical complications, your life insurance should be unaffected. 

However, on rare occasions, pregnancy can affect your policy rate and/or your ability to obtain life insurance.  If you’re farther along and there are medical issues, some insurance companies may force you to wait until after your child is born to purchase life insurance. 

Life Insurance Risk Factors During Pregnancy

The most common medical issue for pregnant women is gestational diabetes.  Between 3 and 10 % of all pregnant women experience gestational diabetes at some point during their pregnancy.  While this issue usually disappears upon the birth of the baby, there are instances when it can lead to other forms of diabetes, such as type I or type II diabetes. 

Another risk is if the mother gains excessive weight during her pregnancy.  This can cause preeclampsia, which can affect the liver, kidney, and even brain function.  If she is unable to lose the excessive weight after childbirth, she can develop other conditions, such as high blood pressure, that can also affect insurance premiums. 

In some cases it makes sense to wait to apply for life insurance until well after the delivery so the new mom has time to deal with the after effects of pregnancy.  The lower premium rates will allow her to save money and/or enable her to buy a larger amount of life insurance.

This is fine if you already have a life insurance policy in place.  If not, you could have inadequate coverage, leaving your family vulnerable to financial hardship.  Therefore, we recommend that you look at your life insurance needs prior to planning for a family. 

Term vs Permanent Life Insurance

Term life insurance costs less than permanent, making it more affordable for young families who may not have a lot of disposable income, but if you live beyond the period of the policy, you and your beneficiaries receive nothing.  Permanent insurance (often referred to as whole life insurance) is more expensive initially, but it will provide lifelong coverage and a cash accumulation feature, which can help supplement your retirement plan.  

Sometimes, the best solution is a combination of both term and permanent life insurance.  The term policy can give you extra coverage during the years when the children are at home and the permanent policy can provide life-long coverage.

How Much Life Insurance Should I Purchase?

Both working and stay-at-home moms need life insurance.  While a stay-at-home mom may not contribute an income, it would be expensive to replace all the things she does if something were to happen to her.  If the income that a working mother contributes is important to the family financially, she needs to replace that income if something were to happen to her.

Don’t be tricked into thinking the group insurance you have through your employer is adequate coverage.  Usually, that coverage is given in a lump sum of money – maybe $50,000.  That may sound like a lot, but think about how long that money would actually last.   Plus, if you leave that employer, the policy is normally terminated.

Estimating Your Life Insurance Needs 

For an estimate of your life insurance needs, check out this life insurance calculator.

Contact us to learn more about affordable life insurance policies from reputable companies. We serve Reading, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Pottstown, Erie, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Then contact American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848. We're independent life insurance agents offering a variety of life insurance plans from many competing companies, so we're free to find you the best deal on the right life insurance protection to meet your specific needs. Contact us today.

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How to Gift a Life Insurance Policy

Posted by David Ross on Fri, Feb 13, 2015

IHow To Gift Life Insurances there a non-profit organization near and dear to your heart that you would like to assist financially?  Maybe it’s a religious organization, a pet shelter, or a children’s home.  You aren’t alone. It turns out that we are a very charitable people with more than 95% of American households giving an average of just under $3,000 a year to charity.  But, do you ever wish that you could do more?  There is a way to give more financial support to your favorite charity.

A life insurance policy can provide the opportunity to make a much larger gift to charity than you might otherwise be able to afford. Although the cost to you (your premiums) is relatively small, the amount the charity will receive (the death benefit) can be quite substantial. Yes, that charity may have to wait for the donation, but as long as you continue paying the premiums, the charity is guaranteed to receive the proceeds when you die.  Plus, this method may provide some unexpected advantages.

Here are some unique advantages to the gift of a life insurance policy:

  • Because life insurance is a contract that passes outside the will, it cannot be contested in probate proceedings.
  • The payment of a life insurance policy death benefit is private—not a matter of public record.
  • Although payment of the life insurance death benefit is deferred, the charity may be able to use the cash value immediately.
  • The charity does not pay income or estate tax on the benefit.
  • There are no probate delays.
  • Assets are preserved for the donor's family.
  • Since life insurance proceeds paid to a charity are not subject to income and estate taxes, probate costs, and other expenses, the charity can count on receiving 100 percent of your gift.

How to gift a life insurance policy:

  1. You can make a charity the beneficiary of an existing policy.  Maybe you took out the policy when you had children living at home; now all those children are grown and independent.  They don’t need your financial support.  If you name the charity as the beneficiary of the policy, they will receive the policy’s death benefit when you die.  Although there are no current tax benefits with this approach, the value of the policy will be removed from your estate for federal estate tax purposes.  Plus, if the policy is a form of cash value life insurance, you still have access to the cash value of the policy during your lifetime.
  2. You can make a charity the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy. With this approach, you transfer full ownership of the policy to the charity.  You would make annual tax-deductible gifts to the charity in an amount equal to the premium, and the charity would pay the premium to the insurance company. Upon your death, the charity will receive the policy’s death benefit.  This approach also removes the value of the policy from your estate for federal estate tax purposes and provides you with current federal income tax deduction. To do this, you must assign all rights in the policy to the charity. By doing this, you give up all control of the life insurance policy forever. This strategy provides the full tax advantages of charitable giving because the transfer of ownership is irrevocable.
  3. You can have a charity purchase a new life insurance policy on your life. With this approach you must arrange to pay the premiums through gifts to the charity, but it also provides federal income tax deductions and the policy proceeds aren’t included in your estate for federal estate tax purposes.
  4. You can use a life insurance policy in conjunction with a charitable remainder trust.  This approach is pretty complex and requires an attorney to set it up.  However, it provides greater tax advantages than other, simpler methods. 

Learn More About Gifting a Life Insurance Policy

Gifting a Life Insurance Policy. Serving Lancaster, Reading, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, State College, Lebanon, and Pennsylvania with affordable, high quality life insurance policies for over 25 years.To find out more about giving the gift of a life insurance policy to your favorite charity, contact American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

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4 Reasons to Re-Evaluate Your Life Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Dec 09, 2014

So You Have Life Insurance? Good for You, But ...

95 million Americans lack life insurance. Is it time for you to get life insurance or re-evaluate your life insurance coverage? Contact us for help. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, the Lehigh Valley, Erie, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Currently, 95 million Americans live without life insurance and only one-third of consumers are covered by individually-owned life insurance policies. So, if you’ve taken any time to think about life insurance and how to best protect your loved ones in the event of your death (which, let’s face it, is inevitable), you’re probably patting yourself on the back, telling your family how lucky they are to have such a responsible person in their lives, and never gave that policy another thought.

Well….  Yes, they are lucky to have you, but the fact is there are times when you should re-evaluate your policy.    One survey found that nearly eight out of 10 people have never changed or even thought about changing their life insurance policies.  The circumstance of your life can change, and your life insurance needs may change with them.

Here are four circumstances when you should take a look at your life insurance policy to ensure that you have the right coverage:

The size of your family changes.
If you get married, have children, get a divorce, or watch a grown child leave the nest, you may want to change the amount of life insurance coverage on your policy.  If your spouse relies on your income to maintain his or her current lifestyle, you may want to increase your coverage to pay off certain debt in the event of your death. 

If your family grows with the addition of children, you may want to make sure there’s enough money to pay for expenses such as a college education or a wedding in the event of your death.  When (hopefully not if) your children grow up, get their own place, and become financially independent, you may want to reduce the amount of your policy.

Plus, you may want to change the beneficiaries on your policy.  Imagine having a life insurance policy with your ex-wife or a deceased parent as the beneficiary.  You may also want to add your children as backup beneficiaries in the event that something happens to both you and your spouse at the same time.

The amount of your debt changes.
In the event of your death, your debt can become your family’s burden.  If you’ve taken on any significant debt, such as a mortgage or student loan, since purchasing your life insurance policy, you may want to increase your coverage.  Then again, if you pay off a mortgage or student loan, you may be able to reduce the amount of coverage or even cancel certain life insurance policies.  Look at your entire financial picture to see if there are other needs for life insurance.  If not, cancel the policy or reduce the benefit amount and enjoy the savings on your premiums. 

Your child becomes disabled.
You may have purchased a term life insurance policy with the assumption that your children will eventually become self-sufficient and no longer need your financial support.  If one of your children becomes disabled, they may need your financial support for a longer period of time.  In this case, you may want to consider taking out a permanent policy that will provide for the child no matter when you pass away.  

You purchased your life insurance policy prior to 2009.
This may seem odd, but 2009 is the year that insurance companies were required to switch to the 2001 mortality tables (the previous table was from 1980), which shows that people are living longer, paying into their insurance premiums longer, and delaying when the policy is paid out.

As a result, your monthly premiums may be lower.  Although you can’t renegotiate your existing policy, you can ask your independent insurance agent to shop around for a lower quote on the same policy.  You may end up with a lower premium. 


Contact us for the right life insurance protection. We serve Reading, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, the Lehigh Valley, Lebanon, Erie, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.If you’ve experienced any of these changes, since you purchased your original life insurance policy, contact the independent insurance agents at American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.  

We offer coverage from competing insurance carriers, so we can find the best deal in terms of quality and coverage, so go ahead and take the challenge. We can take a look at your policy to make sure you have the right coverage for your current circumstances, and then you can pat yourself on the back again!

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6 Reasons for Life Insurance After Retirement

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Sep 17, 2014

Carrying life insurance during retirement makes sense in some cases. Contact us to learn if it may make sense for you. We serve Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Erie, Pittsburgh, Allentown, the Lehigh Valley and beyond with quality life insurance protection.Ideally, when you retire you are financially stable enough that your death will not leave your spouse or a loved one struggling to make ends meet.  So, the question becomes, “Do I really need to keep paying on my life insurance policy after I retire?”  Life insurance is not really intended to insure your life; nothing can truly replace your life.  Life insurance is intended protect your surviving loved ones from financial loss upon your death.   

It’s interesting to note that some people have a hard time letting go of their life insurance policy.  They think, “I’ve paid on this life insurance policy since I was 25.  I can’t just cancel it.  I didn’t get anything out of it.”  Those same people rarely say that about other types of insurance.  For example: Let’s say you have insurance on a motorcycle you own, and you decide to sell the bike.  Would you continue paying the insurance premiums for that bike?  No, of-course not, and you’d probably be glad you never needed to make a claim and relieved not to have to pay the premiums anymore. 

Financially, the “I haven’t gotten anything out of it yet” scenario isn’t a good reason to continue paying on a life insurance policy; however, there are a few scenarios in which keeping an insurance policy after retirement may make sense.


6 Reasons Why Life Insurance after Retirement May be Right for You

Inadequate pension:

If your family relies on a spouse’s monthly pension payment, and that spouse chooses the higher payments of a plan that is based solely on his/her life expectancy, rather than the lower payments of a “joint and survivor” benefit option or if only a low percentage of the pension is paid to the surviving spouse, you may want to consider keeping your life insurance policy to avoid a financial hardship for the surviving spouse or family members.

Non-adult children:

Many couples are choosing to have children later in life.  If you retire and still have children who rely on you for their financial security, a life insurance policy can help.


For some parents, it’s important to leave their children (even financially-secure, grown children) an inheritance.  A life insurance policy can provide your children extra financial security for years to come.


Naming your favorite non-profit organization as your primary beneficiary is a great way to pay a little each month and leave a substantial amount to a charitable cause.

Estate Taxes:

If you’re leaving behind a large, illiquid estate, the taxes your beneficiaries will need to pay can be significant.  A life insurance policy can help maintain your estate without affecting their personal assets.

Business Owners:

If you are a business owner or partner of a company with illiquid assets, you may want to consider keeping your life insurance policy.  Illiquid assets are subject to both taxation and market flux.  A life insurance policy can ensure that your business won’t have to liquidate corporate assets.


Temporary or Permanent Life Isurance Policy?

If you decide that you still need a life insurance policy after retirement, you probably don’t need as much or as long of a term, which is good since your rates will increase as you age.  Rather than renewing a term (or temporary) policy, it may be wise to take out a permanent policy (such as a universal or whole life plan). Although permanent policies are generally more expensive, they usually provide higher benefits and you’re guaranteed to “get something out of them.”

Learn More About Life Insurance - Contact Us!

Contact us to learn if life insurance in retirement is right for you. Life insurance can be a difficult topic to discuss. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to retirement or to life insurance. At Amerian Insuring Group we can help you determine your best course of action regarding life insurance after retirement; please contact us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

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