In my area, whenever somebody closes on a home mortgage, or even when they refinance, they usually get lots of offers for a product called mortgage insurance. People do not always understand this offer, and it is important to look at the various products that might cover a home, or a home mortgage.
Mortgage life insurance is the product that is usually presented on postcards and letters that offer to cover a mortgage in case the owner dies. Sometimes the offer also states that the owner can be covered in case of a disability or critical illness, and that their are options to cover the policy in case of unemployment. Well, this is really a term life insurance policy that has a face value set to cover the balance owed. Riders, or additional terms, can provide cash during a critical illness or disability. The unemployment rider usually only pays the premium during a job loss, but does not cover the home payments.
One of the most popular things about mortgage life insurance is the cash back option. This is called Return of Premium, and it means the insured person will have all premiums refunded at the end of the policy term if they survive the policy. This can be a great option because it provides a cash benefit if the insured person dies, and it returns all of the premiums if the insured person survives.
However, it is more likely that a homeowner will become unemployed than pass away. In fact most of us will suffer a job loss a time or two during our working lives. Another product, alltogether, is unemployment mortgage protection. It is also called job loss protection or layoff protection, because a person does not have to own a home in order to collect the cash benefit. The terms of collecting the benefit are clearly stated, and in general, they follow the sort of rules that state unemployment benefits follow.
But state unemployment benefits are usually not enough to keep a mortgage paid, credit cards paid, and to put food on the table. So this product offers extra cash, from $1,000 - $2,000, which gives a homeowner extra security during a layoff. These products have been very popular in the UK, but are just being introduced in the US market.
Of course, some people will also associate mortgage insurance with the type of credit protection that lenders sell, and some may require. However these plans pay the lender, and not the insured person or beneficiaries. So they are designed to protect the loan company, and not to protect the consumer.
Of course, most homeowners will also need homeowners insurance. These insurance policies cover the property, and not the insured person's life or income. They cover a home and property against damage or liability. If a homeowner carries a mortgage, the lender will probably require homeowners insurance. Even if the mortgage is paid off, it is probably prudent to have a home covered. If your home is damaged, or if somebody is hurt on your property, you will have an insurance company behind you.
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