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How to select the right Term Insurance coverage for a specific period

Discover how to select the appropriate term insurance coverage for a specific period based on your financial goals and family's future needs.

Term Insurance Coverage for a Specific Period

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Term Insurance (TI) is a type of life insurance cover that offers coverage only for a specific period. During an ongoing term, the beneficiaries receive a fixed sum as a death benefit if the policyholder passes away. This type of insurance is cost-effective and straightforward compared to other policies, such as Whole Life Insurance or Endowment policies. Since TI is for a defined period, it becomes crucial to make the right choice regarding the duration and the coverage.This article will highlight how to select the right Term Insurance coverage for a specific period. But before that, understand how to go about selecting the right term period. 

Factors to consider while selecting the right term period
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Choosing the appropriate term period is crucial to buy Term Life Insurance. This decision can significantly impact the amount of death benefit your family receives. While making a decision, you must consider the following factors. 

Your current age is vital in determining the suitable term period. Younger individuals may opt for longer-term policies as they have more working years ahead. On the other hand, older individuals might prefer a shorter term, aligning the policy with their remaining active years and decreasing financial responsibilities.

Your short-term and long-term financial goals are significant factors when selecting a term period. You must choose a lower premium plan if you've recurring financial commitments such as EMIs, children's education fees, or any similar expenses.  

Every family is unique, and their financial needs vary. When deciding on the term period, you must evaluate your family's financial circumstances and future needs. For example, if you have young children, you should probably opt for a long term insurance to ensure their financial security until they become independent. Alternatively, if your spouse is working and has a stable income, you may choose a short term insurance policy, knowing that your family can be financially self-sufficient without your income. 

Your anticipated retirement age can help determine the appropriate term period. Generally, it is advisable to choose a term that covers you until your retirement age, usually around 65 years. Post-retirement, your financial responsibilities are expected to decrease, and your dependents may no longer require the same level of financial support. However, if you plan to work beyond the average retirement age or have significant post-retirement financial commitments, you may consider extending the term period.

Your current life stage can also influence the choice of the term period. For example, if you are a young professional starting your career, you might have fewer financial responsibilities, and a longer term may be suitable. With changing life stages, your financial obligations are bound to increase. You might get married and start a family. With an increasing number of dependents, your expenses will increase.

Calculating the Term Insurance coverage amount
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Calculating how much TI coverage amount you require can often be tricky. Don’t worry, the following points will help you out.

Assess your current income
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A suitable term plan must be able to replace your income if you pass away. It would ensure that your family is financially secure after you are gone. It is always advisable to have a insurance coverage amount of at least 10 to 15 times your annual income.

Evaluate your family's financial needs
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Consider your family's current and future financial requirements, such as monthly expenses, loans, children's education, marriages, and spouse's retirement. Such factors add to future costs and must be considered while finalsing the coverage.

Subtract your existing assets
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Your existing assets include savings, investments, and any fortune. You must subtract any existing assets while calculating suitable coverage. Your family can liquify these assets and use them in your absence.

Add liabilities
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Include any outstanding loans or liabilities your family would need to repay in your absence.

Final calculation
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Sum up the results of the above steps to arrive at the Term Insurance coverage amount you require. The amount should be enough to help uplift your family from financial problems in case of your untimely death.

Methods of calculating the Term Insurance coverage you need
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If you're still confused about calculating the Term Insurance coverage, here are a few textbook methods to calculate the coverage you need.  

1. The Income Replacement method 
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It focuses on replacing your income upon your untimely demise. As we've seen earlier, it's advisable to have coverage of at least 10 to 15 times your current income. In such a situation, your income would be replaced, and your family would not be exposed to financial vulnerabilities.

2. Needs-based method
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This method involves a more comprehensive approach to calculating the coverage amount. Start by listing all the financial needs that your family may encounter in case of your untimely death, such as follows.

Consider inflation as well to get a realistic estimate. Considering all the financial needs listed above, sum them up and subtract any existing assets your family could use. 

3. Human Life Value (HLV) method
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The Human Life Value is a popular method through which you can calculate the economic value of an individual. This method considers the individual's income, age, working years left, and expected future earnings. To calculate your HLV, follow these steps.

The total amount you get is your human life value. In order to replace the financial value you bring into the family, your coverage must be equivalent to your HLV. 

4. DIME (Debt, Income, Mortgage, and Education) method
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DIME is another popular method to calculate the suitable coverage for your Term Life Insurance. As the name suggests, the method considers four fundamental financial needs: debt repayment, income replacement, mortgage protection, and education funding. To calculate the required coverage using the DIME method, follow these steps.

Add the amounts calculated for each category to determine the total term insurance coverage needed.

When selecting a Term Insurance plan, it is essential to consider factors such as the insurance company's reputation, claim settlement ratio, policy features, premium rates, and riders. Research and compare different types of life insurance plans to find the one best suits your needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Here’s a list of common questions and answers related to selecting the right Term Insurance coverage for a specific period.


Can I extend my term insurance coverage after the policy term ends?

Yes, some TI policies allow you to extend your policy coverage beyond the initial term period, usually up to a specific age. This feature may be subject to additional premium payments and underwriting requirements. Review your policy documents thoroughly and consult your insurance provider for more details.

What happens if I do not die during my Term Insurance policy?

In most cases, if you do not die during your Term Insurance policy, the coverage will end, and you will not receive any benefits. However, some TI policies offer a Return of Premium (ROP) option, where you can receive the total premiums paid during the policy term if you outlive the policy. This feature usually comes with higher premium rates.

Can I change my Term Insurance coverage amount after purchasing the policy?

Some insurers offer policies with a feature called "policy modification" or "increase/decrease cover option," which allows you to adjust the sum assured after certain life events or milestones, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or taking on a mortgage.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.