Just a few years ago there were only a couple insurance companies that added true living benefit life insurance within both their term and permanent life insurance products. Now, nearly ten different major insurers offer living benefit life insurance as a standard feature on select life insurance products. Recently another insurance company, one that is 140 years old, joined the growing list of insurers offering living benefit life insurance. This is great news! Even more, this particular insurer has additional benefits for all policy owners that are above and beyond what other insurers offer.
Living benefit life insurance is life insurance (term or permanent) that includes the added benefit of allowing the insured access to all or a portion of their DEATH BENEFIT in the case of severe critical or chronic illness. To be clear, some insurance agents confuse consumers by referring to cash value as living benefit. Living benefit life insurance is life insurance that offers access to the death benefit proceeds for serious medical events in which the insured survives!! Living benefit life insurance can be cash value insurance, but it can also be term insurance with no cash value. True living benefit life insurance is a new revolution in life insurance that very few consumers and even many insurance agents and brokers fully understand.
Critical and chronic illness includes heart attack, stroke, cancer and autoimmune disease. In most cases, for those with chronic illness, the insured will have to be unable to perform at least two of the six basic activities of daily living (ADL) to qualify. What does this mean for you? In means that if you suffer from a chronic illness like a Multiple Sclerosis, ALS or any of the major autoimmune diseases and you need help with daily living, you can get all or a portion of your death benefit in advance, while living, to use as you need or desire.
To better understand living benefit life insurance, let’s review the activities of daily living before we go detail the insurer that just joined the living benefits arena.
There are six basic Activities of Daily Living that people perform. If you can’t perform at least two of these activities on your own, then you likely need full or part-time assistance for day-to-day living. These basic ADL’s are:
1. Bathing and Showering
3. Feeding yourself
4. Transferring (moving from one place to another or from bed to wheelchair etc.)
5. Personal hygiene (grooming)
6. Toilet hygiene.
In general, insurance policies that offer living benefits include a clause that in order to qualify for living benefits (access to the death benefit while alive) the insured will need to be in a prolonged condition (90-days or more) where they cannot perform at least two of the six ADL’s. It doesn’t matter if the condition is a result of a chronic illness or (for some insurance companies) a sever accident. However, keep in mind that the best living benefit life insurance policies provide a benefit on first diagnosis of a heart attack or cancer.
Two Important Exceptions To the ADL Requirement
The first is a diagnosis of terminal illness, the second is how most insurers treat critical illness. All living benefit products I am aware of will allow for access to all or a significant portion of the death benefit upon the diagnosis of terminal illness. However, some define terminal illness as 12-months or less to live, others define it as 24-months or less to live.
The second is how critical illness is treated. The most liberal living benefit insurer allows for access to living benefits immediately upon diagnosis of any of 16 critical illnesses. More conservative insurers list just life threatening cancer, heart attack, stroke, major organ failure or transplant, Alzheimer’s and end stage renal failure. In these cases, access to up to 90% of the death benefit is common.
It’s important to distinguish that the ADL requirements are geared for a diagnosis of chronic illness or severe accident, critical or terminal illness may allow for immediate access to all or a portion of your death benefit. This means that a diagnosis of cancer or a heart attack will likely allow access to your benefits immidiately. That’s what living benefit life insurance is all about!
Now let’s take a look at the 140 year old insurance company that is the newest kid on the block in adding living benefits to some of its life insurance products. That company is Foresters (aka The Independent Order of Foresters).
The Independent Order of Foresters
Foresters is a 140 year old insurer based in Canada. Unlike most insurance companies, Foresters is a fraternal benefit society. As a fraternal benefit society, Foresters is tax exempt, but must return what the company would have paid in taxes back to its policy holders. Foresters calls policy holders “certificate holders”. To give back to its certificate holders Foresters offers the following benefits*:
Grants & Scholarships
Each year, Foresters offers up to 250 scholarships for tuition for higher learning worth up to $8,000 each in the US and Canada. Students of any age with a minimum 40 hours community service and a GPA of at least 2.8% or 70% may apply.
This benefit provides the children of deceased members with a renewable higher learning scholarship of up to $6,000 per year for up to four years to help cover tuition and maintenance.
Emergency Assistance Program
Emergency grants are available to provide short term, temporary financial assistance to members affected by significant personal hardship, disaster or large scale emergency. This benefit is a one-time, per disaster payment.
….. and more
Access certain free and discounted legal services in your area. Connect with lawyers for help with a variety of issues including wills, home ownership and family law.
A monthly payment for orphans, which pays $900 per month per child to the legal guardian for children under 18 upon the death of both Parents.
A toll-free and confidential phone-based financial helpline gives you access to an accredited counselor who can help answer your questions about everyday management of your money.
Free Fun Family Events
It’s important to take time to focus on our families. That’s why each year Foresters offers tons of fun events that give our members a chance to relax and connect with each other and their loved ones. Sporting events, theme parks, zoos, circuses, museums – there’s an event for everyone, no matter what you’re interested in!
*these are not full descriptions of the benefits of being inured through Foresters or limits they may have on their benefits. Please see www.foresters.com for details.
Living Benefit Life Insurance
The above benefits are what you get just for being certificate (policy) holder with an insurance death benefit of at least $10,000. Those are exceptional benefits and they don’t raise your insurance cost because Foresters simply uses the money it would have had to pay in taxes if it were not tax exempt.
Living benefit life insurance is standard for all non-medical insurance policies with a minimum death benefit of just $20,000 and a maximum death benefit of $500,000. These include term, whole-life and universal life policies. I would rate the terms of their living benefits as average when compared to other companies. Some companies offer more liberal living benefits, others less. But none offer the scholarships and other benefits detailed above.
The living benefits include access up to 24% of the death benefit for chronic illness, with the ability to make up to one claim per 12-month period. If diagnosed with a critical illness you can access up to 95% of your death benefit. The same with terminal illness, which they define as diagnosed with a condition resulting in a 12-month or less life expectancy.
All in all, Foresters total benefits offered are unique and unsurpassed. While this is just one of nearly ten different living benefit life insurance companies we work with, it’s ideal for many families that want to couple financial security with the opportunity for scholarships and other benefits. Foresters is a great addition to the family of living benefit life insurance providers.
If you are interested in getting a free quote on living benefit life insurance to compare with what you have now, just complete this simple life insurance quote request: Life Insurance Quote Request
Shield Insurance Solutions is independent. Our goal is to find the best insurance company, price and policy for you. We specialize in living benefit life insurance and Medicare Supplement insurance. We work with nearly 100 different insurance companies in order to find the right policy at the right price and value for you. We are transparent so you can make the most informed decision and have been in the financial services industry since 1984. Our life products include Medicare Supplement insurance / Medigap insurance, Whole Life, Universal Life and Term Insurance (all living benefit life insurance), mortgage protection insurance and final expense insurance. We are based in Jupiter and Palm Beach Florida, the treasure coast, and licensed in almost every state including Virginia, Maryland, Oklahoma, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois and expanding. If you are shopping for a life insurance quote, we can show you what many of the top insurance companies will offer. The price differences will amaze you. Visit www.ShieldInsuranceSolutions.com to get a free life insurance quote comparison, or call us at (800) 847-9680