Thursday, April 26, 2012

Understanding Mortgage Life & Mortgage Disability Insurance

When purchasing a new home, buyers must decide if they want mortgage life insurance and mortgage disability insurance. Both forms of coverage provide some degree of protection if the purchasers become disabled, become terminally ill or die. It is important to know what options are available before deciding. The following points define the various options for both insurances.

1. Reducing Term Mortgage Life Insurance

In the past, this was the most popular type of coverage chosen. The amount owed on the mortgage is the insurance amount, and the death benefit decreases each year as the mortgage is paid down. If the policyholder died suddenly, the remaining amount would be enough to pay off the home. This reduces the chance that the insurance company would pay out more than necessary. For example, they would not want to pay $250,000 to survivors if the current amount owed was only $50,000.

Me and Amy at our new house!!!

2. Term Life Insurance Mortgage Protection

As a rule, this economical form of coverage is the most popular choice today. With this form of coverage, two basic elements are combined: Term life insurance and mortgage payments. This policy offers the same protection as a regular life insurance policy. There is no decreasing benefit over time. However, the term expires when the mortgage is paid in full, which means the policy serves its purpose for the time needed.

3. Return Of Premium Mortgage Life Insurance

This form of coverage comes with higher premiums than regular term life. However, the main advantage is very clear. If the policy is effective throughout the entire term, all premiums paid are returned to the policyholder. In a way, it is similar to simply making a large refundable deposit in multiple installments.

4. Mortgage Disability Insurance

The disability coverage on a mortgage-based policy is somewhat different than regular disability coverage. There are more limitations, and the benefits can only be used to make mortgage payments. For example, with regular disability coverage, the policyholder has the freedom to use the benefit funds to pay for any necessary expenses. Food, medical care and utility bills can be paid. However, mortgage disability benefits are paid directly to the lender. This ensures that the funds are used only for their intended purpose. Keep in mind that most regular disability policies offer between 40 percent and 80 percent of total income replacement. Having a mortgage disability policy to close the gap and ensure a place to live is definitely beneficial. Research shows that a large percentage of foreclosures are due to people becoming disabled and not being able to make mortgage payments. If an individual does not have separate disability coverage, this mortgage policy can be very helpful.

Every home buyer must decide whether these insurance policies are right for their individual needs. It is also important to read the terms of each policy carefully. Not all underwriters have the same requirements or provisions, so be sure to compare quotes and terms before making a final decision.

Andrew Greene is a freelance insurance writer who blogs for ppiclaims.org.uk, a site he recommends to anyone who wants to learn more about ppi claims.

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