A good rule of thumb when purchasing a policy is to calculate your life insurance needs and buy as much as you can comfortably afford. But what happens when your needs change and the coverage you bought several years ago isn't enough? Fortunately, there are several different types of life insurance policies available to help you build a protection plan that's right for you.
Review your group plan options
If you participate in an employer-sponsored group life insurance plan through work, check with your plan's administrator to see if you have the option to increase your existing limits. Depending on the plan, you may be able to buy additional coverage.
Layer your policies
If increasing your group coverage through work isn't an option, then consider buying a policy outside of what your employer offers. It's not uncommon for people to have a life insurance policy through a group plan at work, as well as an individual life insurance policy. Sometimes, the combination of both policies can be a way to get the extra coverage that you need.
Buy a second policy
If you already have an individual life insurance policy and just need more coverage, then speak with your insurance agent, financial advisor, or life insurance company representative about buying an additional policy. Depending on your needs and budget, he/she may recommend a particular type of life insurance policy, or even a blend of coverages such as a combination of term, whole, or universal life.
Check your policy's options
If you have an existing individual life policy, check to see if you have any type of options for increasing your coverage. Some policies have additional purchase options (guaranteed insurability riders) that may allow you to purchase additional life insurance at a later date without having to prove your insurability. However, these purchase options generally can only be made at specified times or for certain life events such as a marriage, or the birth or adoption of a child. Another possible option may be for you to add a term insurance rider to a whole life or universal life policy. This optional rider can provide a fixed amount of term insurance for a specified period of time. If you have a temporary need for additional life insurance above the current face value of your existing policy, this might be a good solution for you.
However, it's important to note that many riders and endorsements can only be added onto a life insurance policy at the time that it is written. Therefore, if you think you may need additional coverage in the future, be sure to determine which riders are only available at the time of purchase and do so within your free-look period. You can read more about life insurance policy riders or learn about calculating your life insurance needs by visiting the Protective Learning Center.