Monday, October 19, 2015

How to decide on whether to continue your existing life policy

A retiree sent the post sale illustration of three life insurance policies that he bought more than twenty years ago. He asked for my views if he should continue the policy or give them up.

He told me that he does not need the money but will give up the policies if they provide him a poor return.

I analyzed the three policies using this approach. I take the cash value now and the annual premium paid for the next five years. I looked at the projected cash value at the end of five years and compute the yield.

The projected yields on the three policies are 1.2%, 3.3% and 3.9%. I also looked at the life insurance cover provided by the policy now. This is the current death benefit less the cash value. I sent the detailed calculation to him by email and spoke to him over the telephone.

The first policy has a low yield and should be given up. The second policy is borderline. The third policy is attractive and can be kept.

My benchmark is a yield of 4%. The third policy has a yield that is closed to 4% and can be kept for the next 5 years. The policy has a death benefit that is higher than the cash value by $150,000, and the cost of this coverage is quite small.

I calculate the cost of the coverage as follows. The current cash value plus future premium accumulated at 4% is (say) $180,000. The cash value at the end of 5 years is $160,000. The cost of coverage for the next 5 years is the difference of $20,000. This should be compared with the coverage of $150,000 for the next 5 years.

This calculation is "look forward". It does not calculate the yield for the past years of the policies, which is "look backward".

As I made the analysis for 3 policies, I asked the retiree to donate $250 to the Financial Services Consumer Association. He was delighted to make this donation, as he found the information to be useful.

If you wish to do the calculation on your own, you can buy this e-book:


Anonymous said...

If the public is not sure what insurance to have or wonder if the insurance they bought is the right one, they should seek review early
before the damage is out of control.
Paying or donating $150 to FISCA is minuscule a sum to pay when the benefits of not losing tens of thousand dollars to a rotten insurance product or being conned by insurance conmen and women, right?
Is it a surprise to hear consumers have not heard of term insurance or have not heard of the DPI site or have heard they need not pay commission to insurance agents to buy insurance? You see , the insurance agents do not want you to know what is good for you but what is good for their pockets.
If there is this review service from FISCA the public should take advantage of it and avoid losing tens of thousands dollar for rubbish
insurance products and dishonest and incompetent insurance salesmen and women.

Anonymous said...

The difference between whole life insurance and term insurance is whole life makes the insurance agents richer and the customers poorer and term insurance gives higher and adequate coverage to customers at lower cost and the agents less commission.
Can you now see why the insurance agents are not interested to offer you term insurance even if it is putting your interest first?
Anyway before you buy insurance I think the best protection you can have is to first seek advice from FISCA for a small fee.

Anonymous said...

4% isn't enough because it still loses to inflation. It should be at least 5% and break even at the 10th year and not at the donkey years.
How can products that earn you so low a return be considered a saving plan? More correctly a losing plan or scam. It should be named as
Reverssave or Rabbishave

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