of Life Insurance and Financial Terms
[L to O]
This glossary is arranged in alphabetical order.
Click on a letter or scroll to search.
L M N O
This refers to the termination of an insurance policy due to the
owner of the policy failing to pay the premium within the grace period [Usually within 30 days after the last regular premium was required and not paid].
It is possible to re-instate the coverage with the same premium and benefits
intact but the life insured will have to qualify for this coverage all
over again and bring up to date all unpaid premiums.
This refers to the practice of some life insurance companies to offer
policies which are lower in price because they have assumed a high probability
that the policies will be cashed in by their owners for one reason or another
before the death benefit becomes available. It is a bold and risky offer
by the insurance company because sometimes the purchasers of these policies
simply don't lapse them.
Last To Die Coverage:
This means that there are two or more life insured on the same policy
but the death benefit is paid out on the last person to die. The cost of
this type of coverage is much less than a first to die policy and it is
generally used to protect estate value for children where there might be
substantial capital gains taxes due upon the death of the last parent.
This kind of policy is also valuable when one of two people covered has
health problems which would prohibit obtaining individual coverage.
Level Premium Life Insurance:
This is a type of insurance for which the cost is distributed evenly
over the premium payment period. The premium remains the same from year
to year and is more than actual cost of protection in the earlier years
of the policy and less than the actual cost of protection in the later
years. The excess paid in the early years builds up a reserve to cover
the higher cost in the later years.
The average number of years of life remaining for a group of people
of a given age and gender according to a particular mortality table.
Life Income Fund:
Commonly known as a LIF, this is one of the options available to locked in
Registered Pension Plan (RPP) holders for income payout as opposed to Registered
Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) holders choice of payout through Registered
Retirement Income Funds (RRIF). A LIF must be converted to a unisex annuity
by the time the holder reaches age 80.
Some insurance companies include this benefit at no cost to their
policy holders. The insurer considers on a case to case basis, the need
for insurance funds before death. If the insured can demonstrate a shortened
life of less than two years and with some insurers one year, the insurer
will consider releasing up to 50% or a maximum of $100,000 of the life
insurance coverage held by the insured. Not all insurers offer this benefit
for free. The need has resulted in specific stand alone living benefit/critical
illness policies coming into existence. Look under "Different types
of Life Insurance" for further information. You might have heard of
"Viatical Settlements", the practice of seriously ill people
selling the rights to their life insurance policies to third parties. This
practice is common in the United States but has not caught on in Canada.
This is a will which specifically expresses the testator's desire not to be kept alive on life support machines, should the occasion arise.
This is the process by which "dirty money" generated by criminal activities is converted through legitimate businesses into assets that cannot be easily traced back to their illegal origins.
This is a statistical table used by life insurance companies showing
the probability of death of male and females at all ages.
These are statistical tables used by life insurance companies showing the probability of disease of male and females at all ages.
Medical Information Bureau:
This organization was established in 1902. The Medical Information Bureau (M.I.B.) is a non-profit association of life insurance companies. Its purpose is to detect and deter fraud by providing warnings called, alerts, to member companies. For example, if an insurance applicant advised one insurance company of a heart attack and then applied to another insurance company omitting this history, codes, reported by the first insurance company, indicating a heart attack would alert the second insurance company to the undisclosed history. It is a rarity, however, that the alert is the only notice of a specific medical impairement as most applicants completely disclose their history.
Commonly sold in the form of reducing term life insurance by lending institutions, this is life insurance with a death benefit reducing to zero over a specific period of time, usually 20 to 25 years. In most instances, the cost of coverage remains level, while the death benefit continues to decline. Restated, the cost of this kind of insurance is actually increasing because less death benefit is paid as the outstanding mortgage balance decreases and the cost remains the same. While lending institutions are the most popular sources for this kind of coverage, it can also be purchased directly from life insurance companies, accompanied with lower cost and flexibility. Another issue to be considered with reducing term insurance, no matter where it is purchased, is the fact that coverage reduces over a set period of years. Most people are up-sizing their residences, not down-sizing, so it is likely that more coverage is required, rather than less coverage, as years pass.
The cost of mortgage lender's insurance group coverage is bases on a blended smoker rate, not giving any advantage to either male or female. Mortgage lender's group insurance specifies that it is the sole beneficiary entitled to receive the death benefit. Mortgage lender's group insurance is not portable and is not guaranteed. Generally speaking, your coverage is void if you do not occupy the house for a period of time, rent the home, fall into arrears on the mortgage, and there are a few others which vary by institution. If, for example, you sell your home and buy another, your current mortgage insurance coverage ends and you will have to qualify for new coverage when you purchase your next home. Maybe you won't be able to qualify. Not being guaranteed means that it is possible for the lending institution's group insurance carrier to cancel all policy holder's coverage if they are experiencing too many death benefit claims.
Mortgage insurance purchased from a life insurance company, is priced, based on gender, smoking status, health and lifestyle of the purchaser. Once obtained, it is a unilateral contract in your favour, which cannot be cancelled by the insurance company unless you say so or unless you stop paying for it. It pays upon the death of the life insured to any "named beneficiary" you choose, tax free. If, instead of reducing term life insurance, you have purchased enough level or increasing life insurance coverage based on your projection of future need, you can buy as many new homes in the future as you want and you won't have to worry about coverage you might loose by renewing or increasing your mortgage.
It is worth mentioning mortgage creditor protection insurance since it is many times mistakenly referred to simply as mortgage insurance. If a home buyer has a limited amount of down payment towards a substantial home purchase price, he/she may qualify for a high ratio mortgage on the home if a lump sum fee is paid for mortgage creditor protection insurance. The only Canadian mortgage lenders currently known to offer this option through the distribution system of banks and trust companies, are General Electric Capital [GE Capital] and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation [CMHC]. The lump sum fee is mandatory when the mortgage is more than 75% of the value of the property being purchased. The lump sum fee is usually added onto the mortgage. It's important to realize that the only beneficiary of this type of coverage is the morgage lender, which is the bank or trust company through which the buyer arranged their mortgage. If the buyer for some reason defaults on this kind of high ratio mortgage and the value of the property has dropped since being purchased, the mortgage creditor protection insurance makes certain that the bank or trust company gets paid. However, this is not the end of the story, because whatever the difference is, between the disposition value of the property and whatever sum of unpaid mortgage money is outstanding to either GE Capital or CMHC will be the subject of collection procedures against the defaulting home buyer. Therefore, one should conclude that this kind of insurance offers protection only to the bank or trust company and absolutely no protection to the home buyer.
In October 1996 it was announced in the international news that scientists had finally located the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. In the early 1980's, some Canadian Life Insurance Companies had already started recognizing that non-smokers had a better life expectancy than smokers so commenced offering premium discounts for life insurance to new applicants who have been
non-smokers for at least 12 months before applying for coverage. Today, most life insurance companies offer these discounts.
Savings to non-smokers can be up to 50% of regular premium depending
on age and insurance company. Most life insurance companies offering non-smoker
rates insist that the person applying for coverage have abstained from
any form of tobacco or marijuana for at least twelve months, some companies
insist on longer periods, up to 15 years.
Tobacco use is generally considered to be cigarettes, cigarillos,
cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, nicorette gum, snuff, marijuana and nicotine
patches. In addition to these, if anyone tests positive to cotinine, a by-product
of nicotine, they are also considered a smoker. There are some insurance companies
which allow moderate or occasional use of cigars, cigarillos or pipes as acceptable
for non-smoker status. Experienced brokers are aware of how to locate these insurance companies and save you money.
Special care should be taken by applicants for coverage who qualify for non-smoker rates by virtue of having ceased a smoking habit for the required period before application, but for some reason, fall back into the smoking habit some time after obtaining coverage. While contractually, the insurance company is still bound to a non-smoking rate, the facts of the applicant's smoking hiatus may become vague over the subsequent years of the resumed habit and at time of death claim, the insurance company may decide to contest the original non-smoking declaration. The consequence is not simply a need to back pay the difference between non-smoker and smoker rates but in reality the possibility of denial of death claim. It is therefore, important to advise the servicing broker as well as the insurance company of the change in smoking habits to make certain that sufficient evidence is documented to track the non-smoking period.
This is the maximum value of a policy that an insurance company will
issue without the applicant taking a medical examination, although medical
questions are invariably asked during the application process. When a non-medical
issue is made through group insurance, in most cases, medical data is not
requested at all.
This is the person who owns the insurance policy. It is usually the
same person as the insured but it could be someone else who has the permission
of the insured to be the owner, like a spouse, a common-law-spouse, an
offspring, a parent, a corporation with insurable interest or a business
partner with insurable interest. In order for someone else to be an owner
of your policy, they have to have a legitimate insurable interest in you.
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