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The Accidental Coach

Life insurance (possible PSA)

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We let my life insurance lapse this year.  The company was in the process of changing how they handle LI policies and raising my premium by more than 100%.  We decided that because I'm relatively healthy, feel great, am active, haven't been to the doctor in a couple of years,and so on and so forth that letting it lapse for the time being wouldn't be too catastrophic.  Well, we haven't gotten around to getting a new policy yet and now it's become a concern.   My yearly mammo came back abnormal and, after the images have been viewed by two separate doctors, I have to go in for a comprehensive ultrasound.  I'm not in panic mode as the nurse said abnormal mammos are common and I had to go in for a repeat mammo last time due to scar tissue from a breast reduction (15 years ago). That was my baseline mammo and this new one shows a mass that wasn't there two years ago.

 

 Among the many things Dh and I have discussed is our earlier decision about my LI policy.  If something is truly amiss with the mammo and it is something serious, will I be able to get coverage?  At a reasonable rate? Probably not.  We haven't had full conversations about the financial ramifications yet but I have had thoughts about the implications for DH and our children.  What a stupid, stupid, stupid decision letting my LI policy lapse was.  

 

If you do not have an active LI policy, might I suggest you get one. Even a small one (one to cover end of life expenses) would be beneficial.  In case something should happen, worrying about the 'what ifs'  is a stress or concern that need not be there.

 

 

 

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Once you've been in remission for several years you may be able to get a regular policy again but the rates are probably going to be higher not only due to you being older but because of your medical history as well.

 

 

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As with all insurance, when you let it lapse instead of buying another policy from another provider and then canceling the former, it will be more expensive and usually by quite a bit. Punishment by the insurance industry I guess. Ugh...

 

We knew that early on going into it so even when our finances were tighter than two coats of paint, we kept that John Hancock LI policy that dh got way back when he was 26 for 3/4 of a million dollars at $38.00 a month. Whew. We have a $200,000 policy on me at Edward Jones and while not as good of a deal because we got it when I was in my mid-thirties, we are definitely keeping it.

 

I know that many people are unaware that you really get skranked on policy premiums when you let insurance lapse. It is true of car insurance as well as health insurance though sometimes you can avoid the health insurance issue if you go from being uninsured to a group policy at a large company where the premium is pre-negotiated. Private pay they usually hike it to the moon.

 

I hope it works out for you Scoutermom.

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Can you get a LI policy set up before any official diagnosis?  

 

No - medical records are already in play. 

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Sorry if this is a weird question, but how exactly did you let it lapse?  We basically cannot do that with ours.  We could only outright cancel it.

 

 

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I agree with everything you wrote, OP. My DH has several health problems that make getting new insurance a bear.

 

FWIW - I have dense breasts and have had the extra ultrasound more than once, which came out fine. I qualified just fine for the best rate for term life insurance when we worked on life insurance again. I hope the same thing happens for you!

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(((Hugs))) I'm so sorry about your health scare, and I sincerely hope it turns out to be nothing but a scare. 

 

Unfortunately, IME, *any* health issue can be a problem for insurance. Definitely still try for a new policy (since you feel you need one), but don't be shocked if it is pricey or takes some effort. I recently had a good experience with "selectquote" for a new policy for dh. The cool thing is that they ask you a zillion health questions on the phone, then they put that in their computer and it spits out rates for all the various carriers they work with. They explained that some carriers have very different "up charges" for various issues, so by comparing a zillion carriers with your information, you can get the best shot at a good rate. The rate I got for dh was almost half what I was quoted by our independent local agent. The whole process takes 6-8 weeks with the nurse visit, etc. It's all free until/unless you sign on the dotted line for a particular policy. 

 

Anyway, in our recent experience, everything worked out and dh got great rates on his new LI and disability policies (select quote doesn't do disability . . . for that, we went with our local agent) . . . but, MAN, they ask a zillion questions, and that was for dh, who the visiting nurse (coincidentally same for both polices several months apart) said was in "perfect" health. No meds, no nothing, nothing but a couple running injuries and animal bites in the last decade . . . My health is a little more dodgy, and I am glad it wasn't me who needed new insurance! (We have a small LI policy on me, but we'd probably let it lapse if it wasn't so cheap . . . )

 

One thing that is reassuring to me about LI as we get older is that retirement for one is much cheaper than retirement for two, so in some ways, dh and the kids would be better off financially if I dropped dead. (Sad, but true.) Heck, dh could likely retire in 10 years instead of 20 if it weren't for me . . . I don't know if that's reassuring for you or not, but it is for me, lol.

 

 

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Can you get a LI policy set up before any official diagnosis?  

That idea has been on my mind for the past couple of days. I'm looking into it. I want to be as honest as I can be on the application, though, as I don't want the policy to become invalid for any reason.

 

And, honestly, it could be nothing.  My worry is that if it is something than DH won't have any financial cushion for my final expenses, when that time comes. I don't want to be doom and gloom at the moment but it's a possibility.

Edited by ScoutermominIL

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Sorry if this is a weird question, but how exactly did you let it lapse?  We basically cannot do that with ours.  We could only outright cancel it.

 My premium was due at a time when money was tight (for many reasons) and I didn't have the full amount so I just didn't pay it; my premium was due yearly, not monthly, so it was quite a big chunk at the time.  The policy was written so that I couldn't switch to a monthly premium without rewriting a new policy.   The company was switching the way the policies were underwritten and the premium was already doubling.  A new policy to go to monthly instead of yearly premiums would have resulted in a larger increase.  January 1, 2016 was the date for lots of policy changes.

 

I just called the company for a new quote and, evidently, the old policy might be able to be reinstated.  That's interesting. I'll have to talk to my agent tomorrow as he took the day off.

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(((Hugs))) <snip>

 

One thing that is reassuring to me about LI as we get older is that retirement for one is much cheaper than retirement for two, so in some ways, dh and the kids would be better off financially if I dropped dead. (Sad, but true.) Heck, dh could likely retire in 10 years instead of 20 if it weren't for me . . . I don't know if that's reassuring for you or not, but it is for me, lol.

It's interesting but I have thought about what would happen.  I think everyone does, especially when confronted with one's own mortality or after the passing of a loved one.  I am a planner and I don't like surprises so I think about things like how will the mortgage be paid if X,Y, or Z should happen. 

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 My premium was due at a time when money was tight (for many reasons) and I didn't have the full amount so I just didn't pay it; my premium was due yearly, not monthly, so it was quite a big chunk at the time.  The policy was written so that I couldn't switch to a monthly premium without rewriting a new policy.   The company was switching the way the policies were underwritten and the premium was already doubling.  A new policy to go to monthly instead of yearly premiums would have resulted in a larger increase.  January 1, 2016 was the date for lots of policy changes.

 

I just called the company for a new quote and, evidently, the old policy might be able to be reinstated.  That's interesting. I'll have to talk to my agent tomorrow as he took the day off.

 

Oh bummer.  We pay ours monthly.  Thankfully they do not charge more to do it that way.

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