Q: We are excited to be joined today by Cameron Cook of New York Life Insurance Company (“NYL”) to answer FAQs many of our clients have regarding life insurance products and life insurance in general. Can you start by telling us a little about NYL and what attracted you to this company compared to the numerous alternative options out there? 

Hey Ryan, great to see you again. Yes, New York life is an Insurance based, Mutual, Financial Services company. We were founded in 1845 – that means we’ve been around for 175 years. To put that into perspective, the state of Florida was founded that same year. 

NYL is one of the few remaining major Financial Services companies that is still Mutual, meaning it is dedicated solely to serving the needs of our policyholders. Every decision we make and every action we take has one overriding purpose: to be here when our clients need us.

This philosophy along with our exceptional financial strength has earned us the highest ratings from the four major third-party financial ratings companies. No other financial services company is rated higher than NYL.

These qualities and many others are what really attracted me to NYL

Q: The most common question we are asked is how does a person determine whether or not they need life insurance?

The reason why someone needs life insurance is in the question I believe. What is their “need” is something that is determined for each of our clients as no two clients have the same exact needs. 

For some, it’s to protect the standard of living that their family has become accustomed to, college tuition, end-of-life expenses, to set aside assets for their financial future during retirement, and many more. As your agent, I am a problem solver.

My job is to help you meet your long term financial goals. Everyone has a different “need” and I’ll be there so help them find their own personal need for life insurance

Q: Are there any restrictions on what life insurance covers?

There are no restrictions on what a beneficiary can use life insurance proceeds on as the beneficiary can use the cash wherever they choose.

However, there are certain restrictions on payment from the insurer for instances such as fraud or suicide, but I recommend going over that with your agent as every company has different guidelines 

Q: Can you briefly explain the difference between “term policies” and “whole life policies?”

Yes, one way to describe the difference between the two is like this: “Term policies” are similar to renting a house. You have the protection over your head in case it starts to rain but you do not own it. Whereas “Whole life policies” are like owning the whole house.

You have the protection over your head for when it rains but you also have what’s similar to equity in the home that you can use yourself.  A “Term policy” will stay at the same face amount for a determined number of years until you either renew or stop. “Whole life” will grow for the rest of your life with the premium staying the same.

Many people often choose to get a blend of the two. Basically “Term” equals renting, “Whole Life” equals owning. 

Q: Many clients are provided with life insurance complimentary from their employer, can you discuss how these types of policies work and whether that is sufficient coverage for a typical family with a median household income?

Most people who receive life insurance through their company have either one or two times their salary and some can elect for higher amounts if their employer allows it. This can come in a couple of ways but most either have it deducted from their paycheck or the company provides it for them.

Most of these are year-to-year Term Policies, meaning that if it is payroll deducted the price will slightly go up every year, and if you leave your job your coverage ends with your employment. 

To figure out if it is sufficient coverage for an average family with a median household income one tool you can use is to go to our website Newyorklife.com, go to learn and compare, and there we an insurance need calculator for everyone to look at.

For a typical family earning $65,000 per year with two kids and a mortgage, the one or two times salary would not be sufficient to cover the needs of the family.  

Q: While we are on this topic, discuss how you evaluate how much life insurance your clients need when you meet with them?

As I said before, we have an insurance needs calculator on our website NewYorklife.com.

When I meet with my clients, we go over their goals, finances, and their wishes for their family members. Everyone is different and it is important to see a licensed professional to help you navigate your goals to reach the right solution. 

Q: If I name my children or grandchildren as beneficiary of my life insurance policy, is there any way to delay distribution if they are not yet financially mature enough to handle the money directly?

Having a minor child as a beneficiary will typically require a guardian, for that reason we always recommend meeting with an estate planning attorney to ensure minor children will not be life insurance beneficiaries.  

Q: For clients who are concerned with the cost of a life insurance policy, are there any low-cost options available and approximately what would they cost a middle-aged client per month with average health?

Absolutely! For a year-to-year Term Policy for a 35-year-old male in average health would only be $17.25 a month for $250,000 worth of coverage. 

Q: After the death of the policyholder, what is the average turnaround time for payments to be distributed to the beneficiaries at NYL?

I cannot speak for any other company, but here at New York Life we pride ourselves on having payment tendered within two business days after receiving a death certificate. 

Q: As a life insurance agent, do you prefer your clients to name individuals or a trust as their beneficiary? 

Normally people name individuals but this can change from person to person. I recommend talking to your agent and your estate planning attorney for additional information on naming your beneficiaries.

Q: On behalf of everyone at the Finity Law Firm, we thank you so much for taking the time to lend our readers your expertise in the life insurance industry. Can you tell us the best ways to reach you in case any of our clients or potential clients want to reach out to you or have any additional questions?

Yes, the best way to reach me is to call my phone at (407) 760-5601 or to email me at Ccook03@ft.Newyorklife.com. My office is located in Orlando at 495 N Keller Road, Suite 150, Maitland, Florida, 32751 for anyone who wishes to meet with me in person. 

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