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Life Insurance

What you need to know about life insurance

If you were to pass away unexpectedly, you would want your family to be financially secure without you. Having a life insurance policy helps to do just that.

What is it?
An insurance policy for your life is unlike other insurance policies in one big way. Instead of providing benefits to you, it usually provides benefits to someone else after you die. There are some types of policies that provide limited benefits while you are alive, but the main benefit of a life policy is to pay a benefit to your beneficiaries after your death.

Who is it for?
A life policy can be a good idea for just about anyone, but it is most important for people who have others who are dependent on them financially. That might be a parent, a person with a spouse who doesn’t work or someone who takes care of a vulnerable sibling or parent.

How does it work?
Life policies have a set death benefit and they pay out a lump sum payment to the beneficiary or beneficiaries who are named in the policy after the insured person’s death. In some cases, some policies may provide living benefits to the insured person while he or she is still alive, and if those are used, they are subtracted from the death benefit. Life policies, like other insurance, can have exclusions, which means they won’t pay out if death is caused by certain means, such as suicide.

Different types of policies
There are two main types of life insurance: term and permanent. Term policies provide you a set amount of coverage for a set time period, say 30 years. If you pass away within the term period, the policy pays out. If you don’t, the policy expires. Permanent insurance stays in force for as long as you keep up with the premiums. It is further broken down into categories, such as whole life, universal life and variable life.

Major benefits
The major benefit to having a policy from a life insurer is the potential for a payout to your loved ones at your death. Building a cash value in certain policies also is a benefit.

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I’ve been with the Karlen Agency for over 25 years.  They’ve always gone above and beyond with their service, claims, and advice.  Highly recommend them.


I was looking for car insurance and met with James from the Geoffrey Karlen Agency, he was well informed and extremely patient in answering my numerous questions. Everyone from the GK Agency was helpful and I highly recommend them.

Amanda B.

James helped me set up a commercial insurance policy for my business. He is very helpful and my policy is not only less expensive than my old one, but the service is much better as well. I will be re upping next year and highly recommend anyone looking for a commercial policy give him a call!

Dustin Beruta

I switched to Nationwide for my homeowner’s insurance. James was extremely through and even told me about items that I did not have on my original policy that protect me as an owner during a catastrophe. The agency’s attention to detail and customer service is AMAZING! Thanks guys!

Kristin Salgado

My Agent James Van Kirk has been amazing. I switched to Nationwide for my renters insurance. James, and this Agency, is extremely thorough. The email updates regarding policy notifications are great for me since I’m always on the run. The agency’s attention to detail and customer service is why I’ll be staying and telling all of my friends about them.

Jason Washington

Its refreshing to know that professionals like my agent James are still in our area. As someone who gets to see many operations and practices, this office always exceeds my expectations and are among my favorite local professionals to do business with.

Mike DeLoso


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