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According to the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals with type 2 diabetes spend 50 percent more on prescription drugs than individuals without and have a 50 percent greater likelihood of death. In turn, life insurance premiums can be significantly impacted by a diabetes diagnosis. However, while it’s true an insurance underwriter is going to have to gauge whether you’re a risk, that doesn’t mean you’re destined to pay unreasonable rates. Pre-existing conditions do affect life insurance eligibility, but with the help of your insurance provider, it’s possible to strategize for securing an affordable policy that benefits your family in all the ways you hope. As you prepare to select a plan with your provider, consider that you’ll need to answer the following six questions as you fill out your application.

  1. When were you diagnosed? The younger you were when you were first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the more of a problem the disease may pose to securing a life insurance policy you are happy with. Life insurance underwriters tend to prefer you received your diagnosis after age 40.
  2. What medications do you take for your diabetes? You should be prepared to tell your potential insurer whether you need prescriptions to treat your diabetes, the names and dosage of each medication, and how often you take it.
  3. Is your diabetes currently under control? Insurers will want to know whether you are managing your type 2 diabetes well. An ideal fasting blood sugar level on the date of your medical exam, for example, is 135 or less. Underwriters also prefer A1C at or below 7.0. These are not numbers you can achieve within 30 days of your date of application, however. Industry specialists recommend working hard to maintain ideal numbers for 90 days before your required medical exam. This means physical activity, dietary changes, achieving a healthy weight, and managing medications as needed.
  4. What details should we know about your family medical history? Besides indicating which family members also have diabetes, you’ll want to disclose issues your parents, siblings, and grandparents have had with cardiovascular health, depression, anxiety, hypertension, cancer, sleep apnea, or stroke.
  5. What other medical conditions do you manage, whether related or unrelated to your diabetes? Whether current or in the past, these conditions may include the ones mentioned above as well as neuropathy, elevated lipids, or coronary artery disease.
  6. Have you used tobacco products within the last 12 months? Keep in mind here that it’s best to tell the truth. While insurance rates for smokers are higher than insurance rates for nonsmokers, blood tests from a medical exam or results from an autopsy after your death will reveal a hidden habit. You don’t want an insurance company to reject a payout to loved ones after it’s too late for you to adjust your application. Also, know that you can always update your smoking status to non-smoker once you’ve been smoke-free for a year or more.

Should your diabetes and related health concerns result in difficulty obtaining eligibility for a traditional life insurance policy, you aren’t completely out of luck. You can still purchase a no exam life insurance plan, which means the requirement for a medical exam is waived. The benefit here is that you achieve coverage quickly, rather than having to wait for appointments and review of results, and you may find that a no exam life insurance policy can cover you up to $50,000. You can also ask your insurance provider to talk to you about burial insurance, which would give your loved ones financial assistance toward funeral and burial costs in the time of their mourning.

Debt happens. When it comes to pursuing a post-secondary education, loans can be an important means to an end. But before you choose between federal and private loans (or choose a combination of the two), you need to understand the difference and the long-term effect each can have on you and your family’s future. This includes knowing whether it means leaving loved ones in debt should you face a personal tragedy.

How Do Federal Student Loans Work?

Federal student loans are funded by the federal government. On a federal student loan, the terms and conditions for repayment are based on the law. As a student, you don’t have to start paying on the loan until you graduate, unenroll, or drop your hours to less than half-time. You may also qualify for a subsidized loan if you need the government to take care of the interest on your loan while you are still in school, provided you enrolled in enough credit hours. Federal student loans offer protection for your family after your death. If you pass away, your loan will be “discharged,” meaning dismissed, once proof of death is submitted to the company that handles the billing on your loan (also known as a loan servicer). FORBES magazine warned last summer, however, that not all federal student loans are dissolved so quickly. A PLUS loan taken out by parents, even if forgiven, can still have parents on the hook for paying income taxes on the forgiven loan.

How Do Private Student Loans Work?

Private student loans are made by a lender, which may include a credit union, a bank, a state agency, or a school. The Office of the U.S. Department of Education clarifies that on a private loan, these terms and conditions are set by the lender and may or may not require you to make payments while still enrolled in school. The interest rate may be fixed or variable and may include a penalty for paying the loan off early. Note that a private student loan is intended only for education; it is not the same as a personal loan, which can be used for home projects or weddings. A private personal loan may include language that excludes the use of the funds for post-secondary education. It is important to note that while private student loans may come with a death and disability policy, the lender may still try to collect from your estate and/or co-signers. Some states are community property states, which means a spouse can be on the hook for student loan debt after your death even if he or she didn’t co-sign on it. The answer to this conundrum is often a term life insurance policy that will cover student loan debt in the event of your death.

Talk to Your Agent

Do not wait until it’s too late to have protection in place. Speak to your agent today about adding a life insurance policy to better protect the ones you love most.

Life insurance: you may not want to think about it too hard, but you need to. It can be difficult to consider the possibility of your own passing, but when you realize what the financial consequences of your death might be for your loved ones, you’ll realize just how important life insurance is. If you have a policy, that’s the first step. However you cannot simply let that policy sit untouched for all the years of your life. There are certain changes you may go through that would necessitate updating your life insurance beneficiaries. But what are those changes? We’ll dive into it a little deeper.

You Get Married

When you consider the many changes your life will go through after tying the knot, updating your life insurance beneficiary might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But when two become one, often combining their finances, ensuring your spouse will be taken care of in the unthinkable event of your death is one of the most loving things you can do to secure your new life together. Many couples will change their beneficiary to their spouse once the nuptials are over. In fact, depending on where you live you may be required to. The death benefits would ensure your spouse will be able to take care of final expenses, pay off your debts, and not have to experience the burden of entirely losing their partner’s income.

A Child Is Born

You may be having a child together, adopting, or taking over care of a friend or relative’s child. Whatever the case, if an important child comes into your life, you may want to take another look at your life insurance beneficiaries. Some do not recommend adding your new child to your list of beneficiaries, since they will not be able to receive death benefits until reaching the age of majority. However you can still specify to your spouse or other beneficiary that you would like the policy benefits to go towards something specific, such as your child’s education expenses.

You Start a Business

If you own a business with partners, it is possible to include them in your list of life insurance beneficiaries. However, you should also consider creating a buy-sell agreement with any business partners. This will allow your business partner(s) to use the benefits from the agreement to buy out your shares in the company in the event of your death. If you wish to protect the business you have built, make sure to speak with an experienced insurance agent to ensure you have all the coverage you need to keep your business running no matter what.

Whoever you name as your life insurance beneficiary, be sure to inform them right away. This is especially true if you choose someone outside your immediate family, since they may not even expect to be named in your policy. Life insurance benefits will not bring you back after you are gone, but they can go a long way towards protecting the people you care about.

Carnal Roberts Agency has a full offering of life insurance services, so you can get started protecting who and what you care about today.

More than any other generation, millennials (born 1981-1996) are going without life insurance. In some instances this is understandable; perhaps you are debt free or never plan to have children. However there are some considerations you should take into account before writing off life insurance entirely. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are a millennial considering (or who has never before considered) the possibility of purchasing life insurance.

Do you have others depending on you?

Whether it’s children, aging parents, or a disabled sibling, if there is someone who is financially depending on you for their future, life insurance will be there to take care of them. Although many millennials are waiting longer to get married and have children, life insurance is most affordable when you are young. This means even if you do not have children but plan to in the future, purchasing life insurance now is a good option. Once you begin having children, you can always adjust your coverage to fit your new needs.

Do you have co-signed debt?

Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt, and much of that debt belongs to millennial borrowers. While it is true that federal student loans are forgiven if you die, private loans are not. If you have a co-signer on your loan, such as your parents, they will be strapped with the responsibility of paying off the remaining debt if you pass. The same goes for any credit cards, cars, or mortgages with a co-signer. Having life insurance in place is a good idea for millennials with co-signed debts, since it will assist your co-signers in paying off the remaining balance.

Is there a history of health issues in your family?

If your parents have heritable health conditions, there is a chance you could be diagnosed with the same condition eventually. Since it’s the most affordable to purchase life insurance when you are young and healthy, it is best to do it before you develop any health issues that may make life insurance more expensive or make you unable to qualify.

Are you an entrepreneur?

Many millennials are interested in entrepreneurship. If you own a business with someone else, they probably depend on you to keep the operation going. You can make sure the business you’ve built from the bottom up won’t be hurt by your death by purchasing life insurance, with the intent that the benefit be used for these purposes.

Do you live with a significant other or roommates?

It’s increasingly common for unmarried millennials to cohabit with a partner, and many live with one or more roommates. Unlike life insurance that benefits a spouse or children, a policy intended to assist housemates with the cost of rent will not need to cover a long span of years. It will only need to help with covering expenses through the end of your lease.

Millennials who are curious about insurance should speak with our experts here at Carnal Roberts Agency! Get in touch by calling or emailing today.

You already know that marriage will change a lot of things in your life. When you say “I do” you are combining your entire world – and often your home – with someone else’s. Among the changes that come with married life are adjustments you should make to your insurance coverage.

Home & Property

If you and your spouse move in together after getting married, you will want to have both of your names listed on the policy to ensure you both benefit from its protection. In addition to this change, you should consider increasing or adjusting your personal property coverage. Even before the wedding, you will want to get the engagement ring covered. Even if you never take the ring off and have no chance of losing it, there is still a chance that stones could fall out. Over the course of your engagement and even after the wedding, you may also receive valuable gifts. Whether you live together prior to marriage or combine your households after, wedding gifts can increase the total value of your possessions and require updates to your personal property coverage.

Auto

Auto insurance can undergo some of the biggest changes for married couples. Studies have found that married people have fewer motor vehicle accidents and take fewer risks while driving. Your auto insurance rates may decrease significantly after you get married. However if one spouse has a poor driving record, combining policies may not be the best option. It is best to get your agent’s advice on this matter, since he or she will be in the best position to tell you how you and your spouse can benefit from policy changes.

Life

If you and your future spouse do not already have life insurance policies, the event of your marriage is a good reason to consider purchasing life insurance. After all, once the two become one, you will most likely come to reply on each other financially. If either of you already possesses life insurance, you may want to update your beneficiary information to include your new spouse. Younger couples may not believe they need life insurance, but this coverage is likely going to be the least expensive while you are young and healthy. Life insurance will help protect your new family from the unexpected for years to come.

Health

Marriage is one of the qualifying life events that allow you to make changes to your health insurance policy outside of open enrollment. Usually valid within 60 days of the wedding, you can change your policies or add your spouse to your plan. Even if both partners already have health insurance through your employers, it can be worth it to speak to your agent about whether your current health coverage has everything you need.

Last but not least, if you are changing your name after getting married, be sure to submit the change to your insurance company after finishing the legal side of the process! Marriage can be a wonderful thing, and when you have the proper insurance you are able to enjoy it even more fully. Let Carnal Roberts Insurance Agency help you get your new life started off right. 

If you are reasonably healthy with no preexisting medical conditions, it is likely that your best bet for getting great life insurance at a low rate is to take a physical exam. This exam determines if you are prone to illnesses that would make you a higher risk to insure, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc. We’ve put together a list of things to expect from your exam so you can be better prepared to take it.

 

When, Where, and How Long

The exam itself won’t be much different than a routine exam with your doctor. However, there is no set office location that insurance companies operate out of, and they know that scheduling an appointment can be difficult. Therefore, they will send out a paramedical technician either to your home or workplace, depending on your preference. You’ll want to schedule the exam early in the morning if you can, because fasting blood work will be required. The exam itself should only take about 30 minutes.

 

Before Your Exam

To get the best results possible from your physical, drink plenty of water the day before and the morning of your exam. Also, skip your morning coffee – caffeine will elevate your blood pressure, which could mean a difference in your test results and cost of premium, even if you aren’t prone to blood pressure issues! Similarly, avoid alcohol, nicotine, excessive salt, and fatty foods a few days before your exam, as these substances can negatively affect your blood work results. Make sure to study up on your medical history and be ready to list any medications you take, as well.

 

During Your Exam

During the exam, your tech will perform routine health checks you would normally expect from a doctor: height/weight, pulse, blood pressure, blood work, and a urine sample. If you are an older applicant, your technician may ask you to undergo an EKG to measure your heart’s electrical activity. These tests are performed to check for the following:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Nicotine usage
  • Recreational drugs
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Blood diseases such as HIV and hepatitis

 

After Your Exam

The results from your paramedical exam will be given to the insurance company and taken into consideration along with your age, family medical history, and lifestyle. If all goes as it should, expect to hear back with your actual quote within a few weeks.

If you’ve been keeping healthy and prepared for the exam properly, you should pass the exam and score a lower premium on your policy! If you’re concerned that the results of your exam are inaccurate, you can ask your carrier to schedule a second exam. This will not do away with the results of the first exam, but the two will be combined and your new premium will be based on the composite.

 

Keep In Touch With Your Agent!

If you have any questions at all before or after your paramedical exam, don’t hesitate to give your independent agent a call. Not only are they experts in the insurance field, but they can direct you to the right carriers for your case to help you get the best price on life insurance, no matter the state of your health.