What is an MEC?
MEC stands for Modified Endowment Contract. An MEC is a life insurance policy with premium payments exceeding federal tax limitations in the ﬁrst seven years after issue or a change in beneﬁts. The cash value of an MEC will accumulate income tax free. In addition, death beneﬁts will still be income tax free to the beneﬁciary. Any pre-death distributions, such as full or partial surrenders, policy loans, and policy assignments, are taxable to the extent there is a gain in the policy. In addition to regular income tax, a 10% federal tax penalty is imposed on the taxable portion of the distribution. The penalty tax is waived only if the taxpayer is over 59½ or disabled, or if the distribution is paid out as a life annuity.1
1Catholic Order of Foresters nor its agents offer tax advice; consult a tax professional regarding your specific situation.
Can the death benefit of my policy be advanced if I am diagnosed as terminally ill?
If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can access up to 50% of the death benefit amount in advance. Subject to terms and conditions.
Can I use my dividends to pay my premium?
Yes! If the policy is a participating policy, the owner can choose to apply the earned dividends towards the policy premium.
What is the Fraternal Legacy Rider?
The Fraternal Legacy Rider (FLR) is a rider that can be added to certain life insurance policies. When you purchase a COF life insurance policy with a death benefit of $50,000 or more, you can add the FLR to your policy. It provides an additional five percent death benefit to a Catholic organization of your choice at no additional cost to you. The rider's flexibility allows you to name multiple charitable beneficiaries. For more information, visit this page!
In the future, can I add to my insurance without having to provide additional medical information?
When you purchase the Guaranteed Purchase Option (GPO) Rider, you can choose a variety of dates to purchase additional insurance without providing any medical information. You also have an option to purchase a Level Paid-Up Additions Rider, which allows you to make additional premium payments that go directly to purchasing additional paid-up insurance. This can be set up for the life of your policy.
Does my policy allow me to take a loan on it?
If you have a whole or universal life insurance policy with accumulated cash value, the policy owner can borrow against the cash value.
How do I make a death claim?
Call the Home Office at 800-552-0145 and ask for the Claims Department.
Please have the following information available when you call:
- Insured's name and date of death
- Certificate or policy number
- Contact person's information, including phone number and address
Once you provide this information, we will mail the claimant forms to the policy's beneficiary(ies) that we have on file.
The information the beneficiary returns to the Home Office must include:
- Completed claimant forms (completed by each beneficiary)
- Certified copy of the Insured's death certificate
- Original policy or contract, if available
What is the cash value versus the death benefit of my policy?
Cash value (also known as the cash surrender value) is the cash amount offered to the policy owner upon cancellation of the policy. Any outstanding loans or unpaid premium will be deducted from the cash value before the policy is cancelled.
The death benefit is the amount paid to the beneficiaries upon the death of the insured.
Why would I purchase a whole life insurance policy if I have no dependents?
The main purpose of life insurance is to provide loved ones security and peace of mind in the event of your death. Whole life insurance offers the insured living benefits from accessing the accumulated cash value that can be used towards:
- College expenses
- Paying off student loans
- Purchasing a home
- Paying off high interest credit card debt
- Leaving a legacy for a Catholic charity
I like want to build cash value with whole life insurance, but it is expensive. Why shouldn’t I just purchase term insurance?
Term insurance serves a valuable purpose, and in many situations it should be purchased in conjunction with whole life insurance. Your situation will determine the proper balance between term and whole life insurance. We recommend meeting with an agent to find the proper balance for your financial plan.
I am a grandparent and would like to purchase a “starter” policy for my grandchildren. Does COF have an option?
COF offers COF Basic Value Whole Life for smaller amounts of insurance. Because whole life builds guaranteed values, the accumulated cash value can be used to purchase a larger policy amount when your grandchild gets older. It’s a great way to help him or her grow a positive financial future.
How does premium payment flexibility work on Genesis Life?
A minimum required premium must be paid. However, you can elect to pay an amount in excess of the minimum amount. The amount you elect to pay in excess can be calculated so you are guaranteed your policy will no longer require additional premium payments at a particular age or a given number of years. Your COF Agent can work with you to structure a Genesis Life policy for your own situation.