Monday, October 26, 2009

Life insurance is sexy again?

Life insurance was considered a kind of investment drudge most of the years I covered personal finance for The Kansas City Star. Markets were booming and you could make buckets of money investing in tech stocks and such.

No more. If ever. Insurance giant Prudential kicked out some new research this week that shows the recession has raised investors opinion of life insurance quite a bit since those days. Two thirds of us think it's a safe financial product and half of us now like it better than the stuff we lost money on, Pru reports. At this point, we'd probably like change we find on the sidewalk better than what we lost money on before, but I get the reasoning. In times like these, you can even borrow against whole life policies like one I bought to convert my GI life insurance to a commercial policy when I left the Army.

The Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group, recently published a quick rundown of what you'll find in the market if you are looking for some of the security that coverage provides. The trick to buying well is figuring out first what you want coverage to do for you, then finding a plan that fits that wish.

Look at whole life policies if you like the idea of building a conservative stash of cash while buying insurance coverage to provide your family income if you die, say advocates such as John Girouard, in Bethesda, MD. Those are more expensive than other choices, but that's manageable if you are young enough. Check out term insurance if you're looking for economical coverage, but be aware of its limitations too. You get no money back if you outlive the policy. Happy hunting.

No comments: