Where the expectation of life is a long one, the assured will pass as a first-class life paying an ordinary premium; but where the expectation is not so good, the company may still be willing to accept the risk as a second-class life, which means that a slightly increased premium will be payable by the assured. If, however, the assured is disposed to back his opinion against that of the medical officer, some companies will accept him at the ordinary rate, provided that if he fails in his expectation they may deduct a certain percentage from the amount payable. To give an illustration, a man of thirty whose parents are both living is constitutionally sound, but suffers from occasional attacks of asthma. His expectation is thirty-five years, but the office will only insure him on a premium payable by a man of thirty-seven. He insures his life for £1,000, with profits, pays the premium on his real age, and if he dies before sixty-five his policy is worth only £900 odd; whereas if he attains that age, the £1,000 is payable in full. And in any event, if he lives for fifteen or twenty years, being insured with profits, the bonuses will probably make the deficiency up to £1,000.
A policy for a life assurance may be effected with profits or without profits. When effected with profits, it is called a bonus policy, and in this case the premium is a little larger than in the case of a policy effected without profits. It is generally advisable to insure with profits, and thus acquire the benefit of the bonus, which i sum of money paid out to the policy-holders by the company from time to time. Bonuses are usually declared every five years, and are payable in cash, or may be applied in reduction of the premiums or added to the sum insured.
When the age has not been admitted, a birth or a baptismal certificate should be produced, and if neither of these are obtainable, a certified extract from an entry in the family Bible may satisfy the company. or an affidavit of the widow or some near relation who can state their belief in the age of the assured.
The burden of proving the death of the assured falls on the party who is entitled to receive payment; a certificate of the doctor who attended the deceased will be sufficient when procurable, or a copy of the registrar's certificate of death.
Persons applying for the insurance-money must establish their claim by producing a copy of the probate of the will, or by showing their letters of administration, or any other deeds or documents relating
Law to the policy and to the disposition of the amount insured.
Thirty days are usually allowed on a life policy for payment of the premiums after they "fall due, but to these thirty days the three days of grace must not be added. If application is made to the company within the thirty days, the period may generally be extended by payment of a small tine.
In the old days, if the premiums were not paid when due the policy lapsed, and became valueless; but now, in most companies, after a certain number of payments have been made - for example, under ordinary whole life assurance after the payment of three years' premiums - the policy acquires a certain value, called a surrender value, which, on the death of the assured, would still be payable.