If you’ve been seeking life insurance coverage, it is likely that you have seen ads from several of the large life insurers such as New York Life.
Many such life insurance companies have been in the business for a century or more – which is a good sign, as it can signify financial strength and staying power, as well as the ability to pay its claim obligations.
New York Life Insurance Company has been in business for nearly 170 years. The company traces its history to 1845, when its first life insurance policy was sold with a face amount of $5,000.
Fast forward to the present time, and as of year-end 2013, New York Life had in excess of $425 billion in assets under management, and the company has continued to set records over the past several years – even during a volatile market and economic times.
Why Consider Life Insurance Coverage Through New York Life?
While there are many life insurers to choose from in the market place, New York Life Insurance is a strong contender. First, this company is quite solid when it comes to its credit outlook – especially in terms of its financial ratings. The insurer has earned top ratings from A.M. Best (A++), Standard & Poor’s (AA+), Fitch (AAA) and Moody’s (Aaa). This means that the company is extremely strong in terms of its ability to meet both its current and future financial obligations – including paying its policyholder claims.
When it comes to product offerings, New York Life provides a nice variety, including all of the major forms of life insurance.
Along with all the product offerings, all of the industry-standard life insurance coverage products are provided as well, including:
- Cash Surrender Option: Returns a policyholder’s balance after cancellation
- Survivorship Policy Option: Extends coverage to a second party
Other policy options available include, one for a return of premium and a term conversion option that provides the company’s term life insurance policyholders with flexibility. These policies only go up to $1,000,000 of life insurance coverage.
Additional options can be found with mortgage life insurance, as well as whole life vanishing premium options that provide protection for homeowners with mortgage balances and who wish for their life insurance premiums to decrease as their mortgage balance goes down.
For younger individuals who may have smaller budgets – but who still need coverage – New York Life offers some policies that start with an initial face amount of $5,000. These can provide a great way to get a plan started and then grow with it over time.
With its permanent policies, New York Life offers access to cash value via loans and/or withdrawals, as well as many plans that have guaranteed interest rates, and periodic dividends with paid-up addition options.
Policyholders may also choose plans that include flexible death benefits – which may include level and/or variable options. There are also a wide variety of additional riders that can be chosen to add more flexibility and customization to one’s coverage.
New York Life also offers a nice variety of how policyholders are able to make their premium payments. In addition to setting up automatic payments from a checking or other type of bank account, customers may alternatively opt to pay via credit card (hello airline points credit card for a free trip somewhere). They can also pay online or pay premiums over the phone.
In addition to the products that it offers, New York Life also provides excellent customer service. There are numerous options for getting in touch with a representative, including phone and email, as well as online chat, click to call, Twitter, and Facebook. This shows that the company is very up to date in terms of its communications strategies – and it also makes itself available to its customers in a variety of ways, making it easy for clients and policyholders to get their issues resolved. This could be one reason why the company has very few complaints on file.
At this time, one of the few drawbacks with regard to company communication is that New York Life does not offer mobile access to their clients’ accounts or documents, nor does the company provide a mobile website for smartphone web browsers. This means that customers are required to call into the company’s customer service center during business hours if they want specific account related information.
Other Considerations When Purchasing Coverage
In addition to the insurer, there are a number of other factors to consider when you purchase life insurance coverage.
These can include the following:
Type of Coverage
One of the biggest factors in narrowing down your life insurance choice is the type of coverage that you need.
For example, there are two primary categories of life insurance.
These are term and permanent.
With term, you obtain pure death benefit protection, whereas permanent life insurance offers a death benefit component along with either a cash value or investment feature, too. Because term life is considered to be plain vanilla coverage, it is oftentimes the most affordable type of coverage – especially for those applicants who are young and in relatively good health. Term life, however, is offered for only certain periods of time – or terms – such as 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, or 30 years.
Permanent life insurance coverage, however, as its name implies, provides permanent protection for the remainder of the insured’s life, provided that the premium is paid. For those who have “temporary” needs such as paying off a 30-year home mortgage, term life insurance is often the best choice. On the other hand, for those who have an indefinite need for coverage, a permanent policy may be the better option.
Amount of Death Benefit Protection
The right amount of death benefit protection is also important. Having too little coverage could leave survivors in a financial predicament, still having to pay expenses of the decedent and/or struggling with ongoing expenses following the insured’s death, that in itself is good reason to look into a burial insurance policy to help protect your family.
Length of Term
For those who are purchasing term life insurance, buying the proper length of coverage is also essential. If, for instance, the need is short-term, then a 10-year plan will likely be sufficient. However, it may be necessary to purchase a 20 or 30-year option for long term obligations.
Need To be Covered
The need that is being insured for is another factor in choosing which type of life insurance will be best.
For example, is your goal to cover lost income, or are you insuring to pay off a particular debt balance?
This makes a big difference in the amount and the type of coverage that you purchase.
It may also prompt you to increase or decrease your coverage amount on a regular basis as your life changes.
The cost of your life insurance premium can also make a difference.
Here is where comparing different life insurance policies and companies will serve you well, as the cost of identical coverage can oftentimes be priced vastly different by differing carriers. Therefore, be sure to shop and compare before making your final decision.
The underwriting guidelines can sometimes make the difference between getting coverage or being declined.
This is especially the case for someone who has certain health issues. Therefore, be sure to check the company you are applying through regarding their underwriting guidelines.
How and Where to Obtain the Life Insurance Coverage You Need
In obtaining the life insurance coverage that you need quickly, it is oftentimes best to first compare several different policies and premium quotes.
This way, you will be able to review exactly what is available to you – as well as what you may be charged for this coverage.