6 Things To Know About a Life Insurance Policy

Give your loved ones the financial support they deserve when they need it most
You can contact us at 855-200-0449, and refer to code Q2B
You have car insurance to cover you if an accident occurs. You have homeowners or renters insurance in case something happens to your residence. But if you’re like many people, you may not be fully protecting one incredibly valuable asset: you. Or rather, the income you provide to keep your household running.
There’s a simple step you can take to protect your loved ones from the sudden loss of your income. By owning a sufficient amount of life insurance, you can help make sure your loved ones can cover not only funeral costs, but also outstanding debts, living expenses and even a home mortgage.
If you’re concerned that you don’t have enough coverage or the right type, here are six questions to ask yourself.

1. What role does life insurance play in my current situation?

No matter where you are in life, the right amount of life insurance can play a key role in your financial future and help your loved ones be more financially secure. Keep in mind your needs for protection change throughout your life. Here are a few examples:
  • Recent college graduate: If something unexpected were to happen to you, your student loan debt might become your parents’ responsibility.
  • Spouse or significant other: If you live with another adult, the two of you likely share the cost of the monthly living expenses. Life insurance can help pay those expenses and continue the same standard of living.
  • Homeowner: The largest expense for most homeowners is their monthly mortgage. Life insurance can help provide money your loved ones can use to continue making those payments.
  • Parent: A life insurance payout could help pay your children’s college expenses or provide much-needed financial support to your partner to help raise your children.
  • Caregiver: If someone else, such as an aging parent or a special needs child, is relying on you to provide care or financial support, proceeds from your life insurance can help ensure that their care and support will continue.
  • Charitable supporter: Life insurance proceeds can help you leave money to
    an organization that is important to you, helping it continue its mission well into the future.

Call 855-200-0449
to speak to a TIAA Life representative,
and refer to code Q2B

2. How often should I review my life insurance policy?
You should evaluate your policy every few years to ensure that it provides sufficient protection for those who rely on you. A major life event such as a marriage (or divorce), the birth of a child, the purchase of a new home, an increase in salary or a change in jobs should also trigger a review of your coverage.
Another reason to review regularly? The coverage provided by some types of life insurance may change over time. Review your policy to make sure it is still in alignment with your goals.

Life insurance can be more affordable than you think

People typically overestimate the cost of coverage—by a lot

3. What kind of life insurance is right for me?
There are two basic types of life insurance:
  • Term insurance is specifically designed to provide financial protection if you pass away during a specific period of time, typically covering you for 10–30 years. This is usually the least expensive type of life insurance.
  • Permanent life insurance doesn’t have a set “stop date” and provides you with coverage for as long as you live, provided you keep the policy in force. Cash values in permanent life insurance grow tax deferred, potentially building up an accumulated value that may be accessed in times of need.1 Because of these additional benefits, these policies are typically more expensive than their term counterparts.
It’s important to note that many term policies allow you to convert your coverage to permanent protection. Should you choose to do this, your premiums will usually be based on the amount of coverage and your age when you convert your policy.2
Your chief financial goal will determine whether you should buy a life insurance policy that covers you for a specific length of time or one that provides lifetime protection. No matter which type you choose, your loved ones typically won’t have to pay federal income taxes on the proceeds.3

Many people don’t realize they may not have enough life insurance

4. Do I need more life insurance than my employer provides?
If you think your life insurance needs are met because your employer provides you with coverage, you may need to take a closer look at the amount of protection you’re getting. Employers usually offer a basic life insurance policy that provides 1 to 2 times an employee’s annual salary as a death benefit. Everyone’s financial needs are different, but generally your life insurance should be worth 10 to 15 times your annual income.
This amount should help your family pay your final bills and cover their daily expenses for a few years. But if you want to set up reserve funds for emergencies, to help pay for college or for other long-term needs, you may need higher amounts of protection.

Try TIAA’s Life Wizard® to see how much insurance may be appropriate for you

5. What happens to my life insurance from work when my employment changes?
Typically, it ends. The life insurance your employer provides is often linked to your ongoing employment, so when you leave an organization—whether you’re changing jobs or retiring—you also leave your policy behind. Some employers may allow you to convert the insurance you have through them to an individual policy, but you may end up paying a significantly higher premium.

3 easy steps to purchasing individual life insurance

6. Are all life insurance companies the same?
The quality of providers in the life insurance industry, just as in every industry, varies significantly. When considering a life insurance provider, you should consider a company’s stability, ability to pay claims and overall financial strength. There are several agencies that rate companies on these criteria and more.
The four leading insurance industry ratings agencies are:
  • A.M. Best Company
  • Fitch Ratings
  • Standard & Poor’s
  • Moody’s Investors Service
Getting started now can help you later
Concerns about cost, financial priorities or just feeling a lack of need are common reasons people say they put off buying life insurance. Since the premiums you pay for a policy are partially based on your age at the time your policy is issued, you may be able to lock in to a lower cost by applying for life insurance today, not tomorrow. You don’t have to do this alone. There are resources and people to help.

Discover More

Call us at
weekdays, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (ET),
and refer to code Q2B
Exclusions, restrictions, limitations and reductions in benefits will, in certain situations, apply to your policy. We can provide costs and complete details.
Life insurance is issued by TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company.
1 Policy cash values are accessed through loans or withdrawals. Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce policy cash values and the death benefit and may have tax consequences.
2 Restrictions or limitations may apply.
3 For more information, refer to Internal Revenue Code Section 101(a).
Investment, insurance and annuity products are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed, are not deposits, are not insured by any federal government agency, are not a condition to any banking service or activity and may lose value.
TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company is domiciled in New York, NY, with its principal place of business in New York, NY. Its California Certificate of Authority number is 6992.