Thursday, August 10, 2006

Life Insurance for geeks

When we bought our little house, we invited also a bunch of spam mail looking to lure us into a 1% ARM (ha!) or trying to sells us mortage protection insurance. Little did we know about mortgage protection insurance. My dad mentioned that, at home in Belgium, the bank obliges you to take out mortgage protection insurance, prior to agreeing to loan you money.

A year after we moved in, we started looking into mortgage protection insurance. It became quickly clear that this is a form of life insurance in a sheep skin. For one, the death benefit often decreases over time (as your mortgage decreases). When you compare with a regular life insurance, the rates are quiet similar and your death benefit does not decrease.

I remember having read several articles at the time about the different types of life insurance. I took away that simple term life insurance is the best value. We shopped around with several big companies for 30 year term life insurance: AAA, AIG, Farmers, Metlife, Prudential, State Farm, NY Life, All State, and Forresters. For $500K, prices varied between $100-$150/month premium for both my wife and I. We were close to going with AAA or Forresters, until a friend of ours mentioned the IEEE insurance program. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a non-profit organization for geeks. They organize conferences, publish several publications, create engineering standards, etc. IEEE has over 350,000 members. This gives them great cloud when offering benefits such as term life insurance.

I do have life term insurance through my employer, but since my employment is at will, things can change rather quickly. As an engineer, so long as I pay my IEEE dues ($156/year), I'll am eligible for life insurance. And with that many members, they aren't going away anytime soon. Life insurance is offered through NY Life and came out to be about $250/year. Per year! That is big difference for in essence a better term life insurance. For example: until 65 years of age the death benefit remained the same ($500K) and then decreases gradually until the age of 100. Your spouse can participate as well, even if he/she is not an IEEE member.

If you are an engineer, or know of organizations for your profession, do check out if they offer life insurance of health care benefits. You can save a bundle.

1 comment:

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