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How life insurance works

While the exact process might vary slightly from insurer to insurer, there are five steps that you can typically expect when applying for life insurance:

  • Submit an initial application.In order to obtain life insurance, you must qualify by submitting an initial application that covers general information (e.g. proof of identity, contact information, proof of financial situation), your personal and familial medical history (e.g. surgical history, medical diagnoses), and your lifestyle (e.g. smoking habits, hazard level of your occupation). This applies whether you're in Dubai, UAE, United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, or Umm Al Quwain.
  • Participate in a phone screening.After your initial application is reviewed, they'll often follow up with a phone call where they confirm the provided information and discuss more questions related to your health and lifestyle.
  • Receive a medical exam.While not required by all insurance policies, many require an additional medical examination. This can include everything from the basics of weight and height to blood tests and even drug tests. This process is standard whether you're located in Dubai, UAE, United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, or Umm Al Quwain.
  • Wait.Your insurance company will also likely perform a soft credit check, pull your motor vehicle report, and check your prescription history. This and the previously gathered information will be used in the underwriting process to determine your final rating.
  • Confirm and sign your policy.If no other issues arise, then you just need to confirm and sign your policy!

Remember, once you finalize how much life insurance you need and your rate, you must keep paying your premium to keep the coverage in place.

How does life insurance work when I die?

After you pass away, your beneficiary must file a claim with the life insurance company and submit relevant documentation, such as a death certificate. The beneficiary may choose how the death benefit will be paid out to them — either via lump sum or annual payments. Each life insurance payment option is paid out tax-free.

Types of life insurance policies

Another factor to consider — aside from how much insurance you need — is what life insurance options are best for you and your family members. The two primary differences between these types of life insurance policies are the length of coverage over your lifetime and the potential to increase your death benefit over time via cash value.

Permanent life insurance policies

Permanent policies remain in effect for your entire life (or at least as long as your premiums are paid). They also offer the benefit of building cash value. While often used interchangeably with "whole life insurance," cash value life insurance also encompasses other permanent life insurance policies such as universal life insurance.

With cash value life insurance, a percentage of every premium payment you make is diverted as tax-deferred cash value that accrues interest at the rate specified on your policy. This is separate from the death benefit and is available to be used while the policyholder is still living. Beneficiaries should not expect to receive both in the event of the policyholder’s death. Think of it as a savings account built into your whole life policy.

Is life insurance tax-deductible?

Life insurance premiums are generally not tax-deductible. One of the rare exceptions is business owners, who can deduct life insurance premiums paid for employees. However, this comes with a few more provisions; for example, you cannot deduct premiums if you own the business with your spouse and the business must not be named as a beneficiary on the policy.

Are death benefits taxable?

The death benefits payout beneficiaries receive is not considered taxable income. If your family is expected a death benefit of $1 million after you pass, they can expect the full amount. Many policyholders strategically plan to pay future family expenses tax-free — including college tuition or mortgage payments — by enrolling in life insurance.

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