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Mortgage Protection Insurance: Is It Beneficial to Homeowners?

There is a lot of money involved in buying a home. Your loan might require you to make payments for 30 years or more, depending on its terms. If you suddenly die or become unable to work, what will happen to your home?

You can avoid foreclosure  if you cannot work to pay your mortgage by purchasing mortgage protection insurance (MPI). Taking a closer look at MPI gives us a better understanding of what it is, what it covers, and for whom it may be appropriate.

Mortgage Protection Insurance

The purpose of mortgage payment insurance is to assist your family in paying your mortgage if you die before the loan is fully repaid. A limited period of MPI coverage may be available if you lose your job or become disabled after a car accident. Since most of these insurance policies only pay out when the policyholder dies, some insurance companies call it mortgage life insurance.

In what ways does mortgage protection insurance work?

A mortgage protection insurance (also called mortgage life insurance or mortgage protection life insurance) pays off the balance of your mortgage if you die. If you are paying off your mortgage, you typically see a decrease in the death benefit from an MPI policy while your premiums remain the same.

Banks and mortgage lenders are often the ones who sell this type of insurance, as opposed to insurance companies that sell life insurance directly to consumers. Mortgage life insurance is popular with lenders because they are the ones who get paid if you die. A normal policy delivers the death benefit to your chosen beneficiaries. In an MPI policy, your lender will receive your remaining mortgage balance as the beneficiary.

Mortgage Protection vs. Life Insurance: Similarities and Differences

In most cases, MPI policies work like traditional life insurance policies. Payments are made to the insurer every month. By paying this premium, you ensure your coverage is current and protected. The insurer pays out a death benefit based on the number of mortgage payments you made during your policy term. Depending on the terms of your policy, your policy may have limitations. It will cover a certain number of monthly payments. Many policies cover the remaining term of the mortgage, but this varies from insurer to insurer. Purchasing an insurance policy is no different from buying any other type of insurance. You can shop around and compare insurers before making your purchase.

A few significant differences exist between MPI and traditional life insurance.

Policy Beneficiaries

Typically, your mortgage company is the beneficiary of an MPI policy rather than your family. As opposed to a traditional term life policy, your family will not receive a lump sum of cash if you die. Your lender receives the money directly. With a term life insurance policy, your family can decide how to spend the lump sum payment.

A large payout may be difficult to budget, but MPI guarantees that the money will be used to keep your family in the house. This is viewed positively by some homeowners. However, this also means your family must rely on something other than your insurance for other expenses. An MPI policy cannot cover expenses like funerals and property taxes.

It's a good idea to get quotes on other types of insurance if you want coverage beyond your mortgage.

Insurance Premiums and Acceptance Rates

Additionally, MPI policies are guaranteed to be accepted by insurers. You pay a monthly premium for term life insurance based on your health and occupation. Most MPI policies don't require policyholders to take a medical exam so that you can skip the underwriting process . Having this kind of insurance can be very beneficial if you are sick or work in a dangerous or high-risk field. However, it does mean that the average MPI premium is higher than a life insurance premium. When adults are healthy and work in low-risk jobs, this can mean more money for less coverage.

Rules And Regulations

A final difference between MPI and traditional life insurance lies in the applicable regulations. Several strings attached to MPI policies may affect the benefits you receive. According to most MPI policies, your death benefit follows your mortgage balance when you die. Keeping up with your loan payments will reduce the amount of your outstanding balance. As your policy ages, its value decreases. It differs from life insurance policies, which typically maintain their balance throughout their term.

There are some companies. In addition, many MPI companies have strict policy time limits. Most insurance companies require you to purchase your policy within 24 months of closing. However, that may allow you to purchase a policy up to five years after your loan is closed. Older homebuyers are more likely to receive a payout than younger ones, so the MPI insurance company may reject your application based on your age.

Is Mortgage Protection Insurance Required for Homeowners?

Mortgage insurance isn't a requirement. You can buy a home without paying MPI, regardless of the loan type you choose. Even if your lender recommends a policy, the decision to purchase is entirely up to you.

Difference between MPI and PMI

It is important to remember that MPI and private mortgage insurance are different types. If you were not consistent in making payments on your mortgage loan, PMI protects the owners of your home. Often, homeowners assume their PMI  will cover their mortgage payments after they pass away. There is a problem with this assumption. Unlike a mortgage insurance policy, PMI gives you no protection as a borrower. Even with PMI, your home will likely go into foreclosure if you can't pay your mortgage. When you take out a conventional loan with a down payment of less than 20%, you will typically be required to pay PMI. Your PMI can only be canceled once you reach 20% equity.

Difference between MPI and FHA Mortgage Insurance

The MPI also differs from the mortgage insurance you pay on FHA loans. It is necessary to pay both an upfront and a monthly mortgage insurance premium when you take out an FHA loan. In a similar way to PMI, FHA insurance protects lenders against mortgage default. The FHA mortgage insurance, however, does not offer you any protection as a homeowner.

Suppose you cannot afford a traditional life insurance policy  and want your home to pass to your heirs. In that case, consider an MPI policy, regardless of whether your loan has PMI or FHA insurance. It can be challenging to budget for unexpected costs, but they can take over the payment.

Buying Mortgage Protection Insurance

Is MPI suitable for you? You can purchase a policy in several ways, including:

A mortgage lender . If your mortgage lender offers an MPI policy as part of your closing, you might consider it. If your lender does not provide an MPI policy, you can request a referral from a company that does.

A private insurance company. MPI policies can be purchased from several private insurance companies. Your state may determine which companies you'll be able to access.

A life insurance provider.  Life insurance companies often offer MPI policies as well. Bundling insurance coverage with a nationwide provider also saves you money if you have other insurance with the company.

After closing on your loan, you should make finding an MPI policy your top priority, no matter where you buy it. There is usually a limited time frame during which you can purchase a policy with most insurance providers. You might be unable to find an MPI policy if you miss your window. If your loan has already closed and you won't qualify for MPI, consider term life insurance.

Mortgage Protection Insurance: Is It Worth It?

Based on your circumstances, you should consider whether or not to buy mortgage protection insurance. You may find MPI to be a great way to provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones if you are a homeowner with underlying health conditions that can affect your long-term well-being, if you work at a high-risk job, or if you are a young person having trouble getting a life insurance policy approved.

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