People spend a lot of money on complicated financial products and it is sometimes difficult to keep track of what products perform what tasks. Many people are not aware of all the financial products that are available or they only know of them vaguely. They may not know how much they cost or the potential benefits they offer. How can consumers make informed decisions on what products they would be willing to buy if they do not have this basic information? This problem can often lead to consumers buying unsuitable of overpriced products simply because they feel they should have some financial protections available but don’t have the details to make an informed choice.
One of the common questions many consumers have is regarding the difference between insurance policies and assurance policies. Put simply, insurance policies cover the costs of an event that might happen while assurance policies will pay out on the occurrence of an event that is certain to happen. Insurance policies only last for a specific period of time. If the event occurs within that time, they pay out, otherwise they are finished. Therefore, if no claim can be made within the term of the policy, they have no remaining value.
An assurance policy is different. Assurance policies always pay out. For example, a life assurance policy will generally pay out upon death or upon reaching the age of 65. How does this policy work? Well, they combine two elements; an insurance element, which will pay out if, the person dies early. This will then be used to pay for the funeral or support his family. But then there is another payment made every year and this is the investment portion. The insurance company invests this part of the premium on behalf of the policyholder and when they reach the age of 65, they pay this out. Life assurance policies are therefore often used both as a method of life insurance and as a method of saving for retirement.
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If you wish to cash in the investment portion of a life assurance policy early this is generally possible. However, there will usually be hefty penalties added to this so it is unadvisable to cash in early if you don’t have to. The distinction between insurance and assurance is also becoming more blurred as more companies offer both types of policy or add features of one type of policy to their other type to make them more attractive. The distinction is still important so that you know what to ask for and know what kinds of facilities are available for insuring your life and providing for your future.