Important Facts

Flexible Life Insurance: Using Your Life Insurance Benefits While Still Alive

Many life insurance policies offer provisions or riders that allow you to access benefits while you're living under conditions such as a terminal illness. See why you might consider these options.

Life Insurance Benefits: Flexible Options to Access While Still Living

The main reason for buying life insurance is to provide financial security for the people you love after you die. But did you know many policies offer flexible life insurance provisions and/or policy riders that will allow you to access some of the benefits in your policy while you are still alive.

The accelerated death benefit.

If you were to become terminally ill, an accelerated death benefit may allow you to exchange your death benefit for a payment that's equal to the face value of your life insurance policy. However, every insurer is different, and some may only pay a portion of your death benefit up to a certain maximum dollar amount. Then, when you die, the insurer will pay the balance of the death benefit remaining in your policy to your beneficiary(s). Again, depending on the insurer and the type of policy you have, you may only be able to access this benefit if you have 12-months or less to live.

Waiver of premium rider (WoP).

If you suffer a serious illness or prolonged disability and are unable to afford your life insurance premiums, the WoP or waiver of premium rider will allow you to stop making your premium payments and still keep your life insurance policy in force. Premiums will continue to be waived until you make a full recovery. Depending on the insurer and the type of policy you have, it's best to review your contract's specific language as it pertains to WoP.

Cash accumulation in permanent life insurance policies

Permanent* life insurance policies such as whole life or universal life, have the potential to earn cash-value over time. You can let this cash value accumulate in order to take out a policy loan (as long as there is enough cash value available to borrow) for whatever you may need while you're still alive. However, if you don't pay back 100 percent of the amount you borrow, what you owe will be subtracted from your death benefit along with any unpaid interest. 

For more information on how flexible life insurance can be, visit the Protective Learning Center.

* As long as required premiums are timely made.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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