Losing a spouse is a life altering experience many of us will endure at some point in our lives. With the emotional, psychological and social impact of becoming a widow or widower, we must also face the financial dilemma associated with the array of insurance protection coverage.
One such protection that will be of immediate concern involves the life insurance coverage. While this may seem to be a simple task, many widows or widowers will find they are unfamiliar with the variety of life insurance policies that may have been available in the event of loss.
If you are unsure what, if any, life insurance may have been purchased to cover your spouse begin by looking through documents in your home and be sure to look in the safe deposit box. In addition, pull bank records and review the transactions for any payment that appears to be insurance related. Speaking with the human resource at your spouse's place of employment in addition to your auto or home insurance agent may also provide guidance in tracking down any applicable insurance protection coverages.
Once the life insurance policies are identified, the next step is to determine the process for filing a claim, including what documentation will be required, and then to decide how and what type of payment arrangement will take place. In many cases, the life insurance company will opt for a lump sum payment as a key financial option for your personal investing.
In addition to lump sum payment, some life insurance companies offer other alternatives to the payments of claims. Life income can be made through a specific period of time, based on life expectancy or event through a plan known as an installment refund. In most cases, these plans do not provide adjustments for inflation and, in the event of your death, you will want to determine if the plan will continue to pay your beneficiary, as in a period life income payment, or if the benefit terminates, as in a life expectancy income payment.
Once you've gathered and calculated the life insurance payment you will receive, your next step will be to determine what, if any, additional life insurance you will want to purchase for your own protection. Without a spouse to guide your financial decisions, this will be a matter you will want to discuss with a financial advisor. The financial decision will involve not only the amount and interval of life insurance but even the type of life insurance you will need to make available to your beneficiaries.
As with any issue involving the death of a loved one the issues surrounding financial decisions can become quite complex. For many widows and widowers, the research just to locate the array of insurance policies can leave one to feel quite overwhelmed. Taking the time to locate the life insurance documents will provide you with the information needed to ensure you have tapped into all of the available financial coverages that may have been purchased or paid for.