Credit Life Insurance

Many banks and credit card companies urge their cardholders to buy protection for losses that occur if their cards are lost or stolen and used by someone else for about $25-$100 a year. Many don’t know, however, that federal law limits cardholders’ liability for unauthorized charges to $50 and then only for charges made before notifying the card issuer. The protection is a waste of money.


Many lenders require borrowers to get credit life or disability insurance. It protects the lender if the borrower dies or becomes disabled before repaying a loan. For the borrower, however, it’s no bargain. According to the Wall Street Journal, insurers collect over $2 billion a year in premiums, but pay out only $900 million a year.


If a lender wants you to buy this insurance, explain that your other assets or life insurance will cover the loan if you cannot pay. For example, a term life insurance policy that will pay enough to cover the loan, should you die, is much cheaper. If the lender insists, watch your balance carefully and ask your lender to let you drop the insurance when you’ve repaid 25 percent of the loan.


Content © Rich Brott, 2011

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