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5 steps to take after buying life insurance

Purchasing a life insurance policy is an important step in establishing financial security. Which is why, after purchasing life insurance, you should feel good; you’ve done the responsible thing. But, if you just purchased life insurance and you’re uneasy, wondering “Now what?” – don’t worry, you’re not alone. Purchasing life insurance is just the first step in owning a policy that will protect you and your family for the rest of your life. So, now that you have life insurance, here are a few things you should consider doing to make sure you get the most out of your policy. 

1. Read/ familiarize yourself

As rudimentary as it sounds, it’s important to take the time to read through your policy before and after you purchase it. Take the opportunity to come up with questions and have them answered by your employer or insurer. The more familiar you are with the coverage, terms and conditions the more comfortable you’ll feel using and managing your policy. 

2. Set up an annual review of your policy on your calendar

Your coverage needs are going to increase and decrease as you go through life’s various stages. To avoid the all too common mistake of buying your life insurance policy and forgetting about it, set an annual date to review your policy and make sure it aligns with your current and near-future situation. For example, start thinking about more predictable life events that you are anticipating. Are you starting a family this year? Are your children going to college in two years? Start doing your research surrounding these changes early so you can adjust accordingly. 

3. Prepare a will

If you haven’t already created a will, it’s a good idea to do so in conjunction with purchasing your life insurance policy. Your life insurance beneficiaries may or may not be the same beneficiaries listed in your will, but including your policy in your will makes it easier for them to locate your policy information. Ironing out your will and life insurance policy helps put you at ease knowing that in the worst case scenario, your family will receive what you intend to pass on to them and your assets will be handled appropriately. 

4. Budget for it

Ideally, you’ve taken into account how much you can afford prior to purchasing your life insurance policy, but, as we’ve noted, situations can change. Depending on what life throws at you, hitting a financial speed bump can affect your ability to pay for your life insurance policy.  Plan your budget now, with life insurance taken into account, while things are going well so it will be easier to react when the unexpected happens.

5. Inform your beneficiaries

Let your beneficiaries know that you’ve listed them on your life insurance policy. If you don’t, they won’t know to even file a claim on you at all. Walk them through your coverage, who to contact and answer their questions. This way, should they need to make a claim on you, they won’t be taken by surprise and will be well informed.  This will give both you and your beneficiary confidence they won’t experience frustration at an already difficult time. 

The only certain thing in life is uncertainty. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly prepare for the unexpected. Taking the extra time to understand your life insurance coverage and educate your beneficiaries can help put you and your loved ones’ minds at ease.

Posted on April 16, 2019 in Consumer

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