Protection Products

Life Insurance

You are your family's most valuable asset.

Our life, annuity, disability income and long term care insurance products are second-to-none.  There is no more highly rated insurer in North America.  We annually earn the highest possible ratings from two outside ratings sources.  Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping the Knights of Columbus to fund such things as vocations, the rosary programs, scholarships, pro-life groups, the Fraternal Family Programs, including the Accidental Death Benefit that all active members and their wives have, as well as many others.

Life insurance serves many purposes and there are several types of life insurance to consider. First, let’s look at the WHY of life insurance. 

Financial Needs in the Event of Death

It’s important to know what the survivor financial needs are in the event of your death or the death of a family member. The best way to determine this is with a personal evaluation. These are some of the common needs of surviving family members in the event of the death of a family member:

Cash needs:

  • A Final Expenses fund for medical, legal, funeral, and other expenses
  • A Debt Payment Fund to pay off your debts, including your mortgage
  • An Emergency Reserve Fund for unexpected bills not readily payable from current income
  • An Education Fund to provide for your children's education

Income needs:

Just how much doe a surviving spouse need in the event of a spouse's death? The Holy See recommends that each individual ensures that upon his or death, the surviving family will still have 70% of original total household income while there are children at home, and 50% thereafter.

After a death, income generally comes from four different sources:

  • Social Security
  • Savings and Investments
  • Life Insurance Proceeds
  • Survivor's Earnings

The amount of life insurance needed for cash needs and income needs for survivors is different for everyone. Our advisors can help you determine the right amount and type of life insurance you need. 

Types of Life Insurance

What types of life insurances are available?

  • Decreasing Term

    Level premiums and decreasing death benefit. No cash accumulation. Frequently used for short-term decreasing financial liabilities, like a mortgage.

  • Annual Renewable Term

    Increasing premiums with level death benefit. No cash accumulation. The strength of term is its low cost for large death benefits, particularly beneficial to younger families with limited resources and the need for maximum protection.

  • Level Term

    Premiums stay level for stated term. Usually 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Level death benefit. No cash value. Frequently used to cover short or intermediate-term obligations.

  • Cash Value - Ordinary Life or Whole Life

    Premiums and death benefit are level. Cash accumulation. Provides for long-term needs, such as survivor income for a spouse or minor children. Other uses could include paying off debt and paying estate taxes.

  • Universal Life

    Premiums and death benefit are flexible. The monthly cost of insurance and administrative charges are deducted, the balance of the premium goes to cash values. The benefits and uses are very similar to Whole Life. Cash values can increase based on current interest rates.

  • Variable Life

    Premiums and death benefit may be flexible. Cash accumulation is directly affected by the performance of the separate accounts selected. Clients allocate their cash values among various types of investment options such as stock funds, bond funds, money market funds, etc. Cash values may increase or decrease depending on account performance.

  • Single Premium Life

    A single premium paid up front. Level minimum death benefit. Cash accumulation. Provides long-term security. Different tax rules generally apply.

  • First To Die

    May have flexible premiums and death benefits. Provides death benefits at the death of the first of two or more parties covered by the policy. Most often used in business insurance situations.

  • Survivorship Life

    May have flexible premium with a level minimum death benefit. Most often used to pay death taxes and expenses due at second death.

  • NOTE: Mutual funds and Variable Products are sold through registered representatives only and must be accompanied by a prospectus. Read the prospectus carefully prior to investing or sending money.

Another way to look at the types of life insurance

There are a number of types of policies, each with a different approach to fulfilling one’s needs for life insurance. Key considerations are the duration of the need, premium budget, and the purpose for the need. You will also want to take into consideration your own attitude about buying policies with underlying guarantees versus policies which shift more risk to the policy owner, and issues surrounding finding the best “short-term price” versus considerations of lowest “long-term cost.” Your age and your general health may also affect your policy choices.

Tax advantages, liquidity at death, family benefits… these are a few of the attributes of life insurance. And, life insurance is a product that can provide a known sum at an unknown time.

How long will you live?

Of course, no one can give you an exact answer. This life expectancy table shows the average life expectancy in years for men and women in America. 

Basic Life Insurance Policy Terms

Life insurance is an important component of estate planning for those with dependents or a spouse who will need continued financial support. When it comes to choosing a policy, you have options. This glossary will help you understand the basic types of life insurance coverage available along with the general terms included in a policy.

Policy participants

Policy owner: The individual or entity that maintains the policy. The policy owner is typically responsible for policy maintenance (changes, renewal, etc.) and premium payments.

Insured life: The person on whose life the policy is issued.

Beneficiary: The person or party chosen by the owner of the life insurance policy to receive the policy benefit.

Contingent beneficiary: The party designated to receive proceeds of a life insurance policy if the primary beneficiary of the policy is deceased.

Irrevocable beneficiary: A designated beneficiary of a life insurance policy that cannot be changed unless consent is given by the beneficiary themself. This may also be called an “absolute beneficiary.”

Policy types

Convertible term insurance policy: A term life insurance policy that gives the policy owner the right to convert the policy to a permanent plan of insurance.

Permanent life insurance: Life insurance that provides coverage throughout the insured’s lifetime and also provides a savings element.

Renewable term life insurance: A term life insurance policy that can be renewed at the end of the policy term.

Term life insurance: A life insurance policy which provides a stated benefit upon the holder’s death, provided that the death occurs within a specifically stated time period. Unlike a permanent life insurance policy, a term life insurance policy does not build up a cash value.

Universal life insurance: A form of life insurance that combines a term policy with a savings element that is invested in a tax-deferred account. The cash value of this account may become available to the policyholder. The death benefit, savings element and premiums can be reviewed and altered as a policyholder’s circumstances change.

Variable life insurance: A life insurance policy in which the policy owner decides how the cash value of the policy will be invested. The amount of the death benefit depends on the level of success or failure the investment has.

Whole life insurance: A basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and also builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.

Variable life insurance is sold by registered representatives only, and by way of a prospectus. For more complete information, please request a prospectus from your registered representative or call the investment company offering the variable life insurance directly. Please read it and consider carefully the variable product’s objectives, risks, charges and expenses before you invest or send money. The prospectus contains this and other information about the variable life insurance.

Policy terms

Cash value: The savings element that accumulates over the lifetime of an insurance policy. The amount of money that becomes available to the policy owner in the event of cancellation of a life insurance policy. This may also be called “cash surrender value,” or simply “surrender value.”

Dividend: A return of part of the premium.

Face amount: The amount that is specified on an insurance policy that is to be paid in the event of death or maturity.

Original age conversion: A conversion of a term life insurance policy to a permanent plan of insurance at a premium rate, based on the insured’s age when the original term policy was purchased.

Policy anniversary: As a general rule, the date on which coverage under an insurance policy became effective.

Premiums: Amount paid to the insurance company to buy a policy and keep it in force.

Permanent Life Insurance

What is it?

Permanent life insurance is our signature product. It provides money to your family when you die, and builds cash value while you live. It’s guaranteed. It’s secure. It’s dynamic.

Who needs it? 

Permanent life insurance is a great way to provide security for your family. It may be an ideal solution for people who are interested in:

  • Providing money for final expenses so your family doesn’t have to.
  • Replacing income so that your family’s financial life doesn’t have to change in case you pass away suddenly.
  • Providing college funds for your children in case of an untimely death.
  • Protecting your spouse from the burden of a mortgage in the event of the unexpected.
  • Giving a donation to a charity or special interest.
  • Supplementing an estate or mitigating estate taxes.

How does it work?

Permanent life insurance – like all life insurance – is designed primarily to provide money (also known as a death benefit) to your designated beneficiary when you pass away – guaranteed.

All Knights of Columbus permanent life insurance policies (with the exception of Graded Premium – see below) have premiums that are guaranteed not to increase, so you won’t have to worry about any surprises. 

Our permanent life insurance policies also accrue cash value over time. Should the policy be eligible for any dividends (which are not guaranteed), you can also elect to put those proceeds back into your policy by purchasing additional paid-up insurance. Additional paid-up insurance increases your policy’s death benefit and cash value. Your policy’s cash value can be used as cash, either through a partial loan or a full surrender of the policy*, or as collateral.

What options do I have?

Knights of Columbus permanent life insurance products are flexible to fit your needs.

Policy Options

  • Single Premium Whole Life – Secure protection and start your legacy with one, single payment.
  • 10-Pay Life – Pay your premiums in just ten years, and your death benefit is guaranteed for life.
  • 20-Pay Life – Pay your premiums in just twenty years, and your death benefit is guaranteed for life.
  • Life Paid-Up at 65 – Pay your premiums until 65, so that you don’t have to worry about additional expenses in retirement.
  • Life Paid-Up at 100 – Pay level, guaranteed premiums until your 100th birthday.
  • Graded Premium Whole Life – Enjoy lower premiums for your first few years to help you get started. Premiums will then gradually increase before leveling off.

The Knights of Columbus also offers several specialty products including:

  • Discoverer – a unique blend of the best features of both permanent and term insurance.
  • Graded Death Benefit – a guaranteed issue final expenses product.
  • Survivorship Universal Life – a second-to-die policy for couples, families, or business partners.

Beneficiary Options

You decide who you want your death benefit to go to: a spouse, children, family, a trust, or even charity. You can have more than one beneficiary, and can divide up the proceeds proportionally.

Additional Features and Benefits

There are a number of special features and benefits – often called riders – that are available on Knights of Columbus products, such as the spousal waiver of premium, which pays for your spouse’s Knights of Columbus premiums when you pass away.

*Loan and surrender charges apply

Term Life Insurance

What is it?

Term life insurance provides affordable protection to your loved ones for temporary needs. It’s simple and straightforward.

Who needs it?

Knights of Columbus term life insurance may be an ideal solution for people with time-bound financial obligations who are interested in:

  • Protecting your young family on a tight budget.
  • Shielding your family against the remaining payments on your mortgage, so that they aren’t drowning in debt or forced to move if you die unexpectedly.
  • Supplementing or replacing your income in case you die, so that your family can continue to live with the same level of financial comfort that they did when you were alive.
  • Providing funds for your children’s college education in case of the unexpected.
  • Enabling your loved ones to pay off your personal debt – like credit card or auto loan debt – should you pass away suddenly.

How does it work?

Knights of Columbus term insurance is designed to provide you with a maximum amount of coverage at affordable and competitive rates.

Unlike permanent insurance, term insurance is temporary, and is designed to expire as your financial obligations expire. Our term insurance rates are guaranteed for the life of your policy, as is the amount of money that would be paid to your family should you pass away.

Term insurance is also convertible. Depending on how you and your Knights of Columbus field agent customize your term insurance policy, you can convert some or all of your insurance to permanent coverage at a later date, without providing further proof of insurability. So, if your health changes and you have an active term policy, you can secure permanent coverage that you may have otherwise have been denied.

What options do I have?

Policy Options

  • 10 Year Term – Cover your family for 10 years, with our Accelerator Term Insurance series, which includes a unique opportunity to increase your coverage amount by 25%, to keep up with inflation and salary increases, for an extremely low cost.
  • 15 Year Term – Cover your family for 15 years, with our Accelerator Term Insurance series, which includes a unique opportunity to increase your coverage amount by 25%, to keep up with inflation and salary increases, for an extremely low cost.
  • 20 Year Term – Cover your family for 20 years, with our Accelerator Term Insurance series, which includes a unique opportunity to increase your coverage amount by 25%, to keep up with inflation and salary increases, for an extremely low cost.
  • Annual Renewable Term – Review and renew your coverage annually, with adjusted premiums and a level death benefit.