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Which Life Insurance is Right for You?

We all know that nothing ever stays the same, yet when it comes to life insurance needs, we rarely take the time to make sure our needs are in sync with our coverage. We spend a considerable amount of time and money making sure our cars, homes and jewelry are properly insured, but show little effort when it comes to our own lives. Well, it’s time to spend the next few minutes evaluating your insurance protection planning strategy.

What is this strategy?

An integral component to any comprehensive financial plan is a life insurance analysis. Many of today’s financial planning software tools have the ability to perform the analysis at various stages throughout an individual’s projected lifespan. The purpose of an analysis at differing stages can help in determining which type of life insurance is right for you.

In the world of life insurance, there are essentially four basic categories of policies:

  1. Term Life Insurance
  2. Whole Life Insurance
  3. Universal Life Insurance
  4. Variable Universal Life Insurance

As it can be expected, each category of insurance has features that will complement your overall financial objective.

How can I implement this strategy?

Selecting the appropriate insurance policy is an art rather than a science. The selection process entails more than a human life value calculation or simply covering any outstanding debts you may have. Financial planning software tools are powerful in determining the levels of coverage needed by a client throughout their lifetime. These tools not only enable the advisor to calculate the insurance need, they assist in creating an illustration that can be presented to the client to explain the level of recommended coverage.

Term Insurance

Term life insurance is a form of temporary insurance that provides a lump-sum payout upon death for a stated period of time. Since term insurance can be purchased in large amounts and for a relatively small out-of-pocket expense, it is most suitable for income replacement and short-range goals (i.e., to pay off a mortgage or loan, to fund a child’s education, etc.)

Whole Life

Whole Life is a form of permanent insurance that covers a client for as long as he or she lives and continues to make the required premium payment. Whole Life can be a good fit for achieving long-range goals, as the premiums remain the same for the life of the policy. In addition, cash values may provide money to help with temporary needs or emergencies that may arise. Many whole life policies also include a dividend that can be used to offset premiums in later years or add to cash value.

Universal Life

Universal Life is a permanent, flexible-premium, adjustable death benefit life insurance policy that builds cash value. The flexibility of this policy allows you to change the amount of insurance, as your needs for it change. Some of these changes may require an additional medical exam. Universal Life makes sense for those individuals who have a long-term need for life insurance and desire premium flexibility.

Variable Universal Life

Variable Universal Life is a permanent, flexible-premium type of insurance that builds cash value. This cash value is allocated to various investment subaccounts at the discretion of the policy owner. Variable Universal Life can be a good fit for people who have a long-term need for insurance and desire the upside potential that the underlying variable investment options may provide.

Contributed by Sean Beliles, JD. Sean joined the Trust & Estate Administration Department in February 2014 as a Senior Relationship Manager. In December 2014, he was promoted to Vice President and Program Manager of the CFS Group. Sean has 15 years of experience in the wealth management field.

Who can I contact for more information and implementation? The Wealth Management Group at Chemung Canal Trust Company is staffed with experienced case design specialists. These specialists can assist you in determining the most suitable type of policy, and furthermore, assist you in selecting the carrier with the most effective premium structure. For more information, please contact Marci Cartwright at