Life insurance – it’s an important choice. It’s the kind of financial decision that requires a fair bit of thinking about what you need today, and what you might need in the future. And one of the key components in the life insurance decision is short and long-term affordability. Which brings us to our topic: Stepped and Level premiums – what’s right for you?
Stepped vs Level – what’s the difference?
The main difference is pretty straight-forward. Stepped premiums (“rate-for-age”) are age-related and increase as you get older, but are usually cheaper than Level premium insurance in the short-term.
With Level premium insurance, on the other hand, you don’t have to worry about increasing premiums as they remain steady throughout the duration of the contract. Level premiums are usually higher than Stepped premiums at the start of the policy, but lower in comparison in the longer term.
So, in a nutshell, with Stepped premium insurance you tend to save in the short term. With Level premium insurance, you tend to save in the long term.
The handy graph below may help you better visualise the benefits.
The above graph is based on the following details: Female; 36 years old; Non Smoker; Life Cover Sum Insured: $500,000; Terminal Illness: $100,000; Insurance Provider: Booster
The short and long of it
The choice between Stepped and Level premium insurance mainly depends on whether you think the level of cover you need may change, and in what period of time.
If you think you need a higher level of cover in the short to medium term, and a lesser level of cover down the track, then Stepped premium insurance could be an option for you. If, on the other hand, you think the level of cover you need won’t reduce, then locking in your premiums now and saving down the track with Level premium insurance could be more appropriate for your needs.
No crystal ball but good advice available
Of course, none of us know exactly what we’ll need in five or ten years. But sitting down with an adviser and talking through where you are at now, where you think you’ll be in the future and how the options stack up to your needs, is a smart move. Having some comparisons to consider is often the best first step in making an informed choice for your personal circumstances.
And with that in mind, we’re here to help and welcome you to get in touch if you’d like to compare Stepped and Level premiums and how they apply to your life insurance needs.
If you’d like to discuss your life insurance, contact one of our advisers today.
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