For many people, life insurance is an essential part of their financial plan. It’s a simple way to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of in the event that tragedy strikes.
If you’re yet to consider it, now is a great time to start. Who knows what might happen tomorrow? And the last thing you want is to leave your loved ones without any financial security if something were to happen.
What is family life insurance?
Put simply, family life insurance refers to any type of life cover used to protect your family. It’s usually taken out by the main breadwinner of a family. You pay the insurer a set amount of money and in return, they’ll pay out a lump sum in the event of your death.
Why buy family life insurance?
Family life insurance protects your family from having to struggle financially should you pass away unexpectedly. It can be used to pay off mortgages, clear any debts, and help keep the family maintain a comfortable lifestyle in your absence. It can also help cover funeral costs, which can be expensive and difficult to pay for during a time of grief.
Who needs family life insurance?
Here are some situations where family life insurance cover may be essential:
- Breadwinners: If you are the primary income earner in your family, it can help replace your income and ensure that your loved ones can maintain their standard of living if something were to happen to you.
- Dual-Income Families: Both partners contribute to the family’s finances, and the loss of one income could be challenging to manage. Your policy can help replace the income of the deceased spouse and provide financial stability during a difficult time.
- Single Parents: As a single parent, you are solely responsible for your child’s financial well-being. Cover can help ensure that your child will be taken care of if something unfortunate were to happen to you.
- Homeowners with a mortgage: If you have a mortgage or any other significant debts, life insurance can help ensure that your family can continue making payments and stay in their home even after your death.
Understanding the different types of life insurance
Life insurance typically consists of two types of policy: term life and whole life.
Term life insurance pays out a lump sum if you die within a certain period of time, e.g., 10 years. It’s usually the cheaper option and you can get cover for large sums of money.
It has 3 distinct levels of cover:
- Level term cover – this pays out the same sum of money regardless of when you die.
- Decreasing term cover – this pays out less and less the longer you live. It’s usually used to match mortgage payments, which decrease as you pay them off.
- Increasing term cover – this pays out more money the longer you live. It keeps up with inflation but can be more expensive than other levels.
Whole life insurance, however, is more expensive but it also offers your family financial security for as long as you live. It also has an investment element, where your monthly premiums are placed in an investment fund, potentially building value over time.
One benefit of whole cover is that the policy pays out regardless of when you die, unlike term cover. Basically your family is guaranteed a payout so long as you keep making payments.
Another option is joint life insurance , which pays out when either you or your partner passes away. It’s a good way to save money if you’re married and don’t want separate policies.
How much cover do I need?
This can often be difficult as who really knows what the future holds? However, a good rule of thumb is to calculate your family’s basic living expenses per year. This should include things like rent or mortgage payments, bills, food and clothing costs.
Once you have those numbers, add any debt repayments that need to be made and finally, add an additional amount to cover larger items like funeral costs or education fees.
If you’re looking for long-term cover, then consider a whole life policy. Or, if you only require cover for a shorter period, a term life policy should suffice.
Factors that affect life insurance premiums
The cost of life insurance depends on a few factors, such as your age and lifestyle. Generally speaking, the younger you are, the cheaper your premiums will be. The amount you’re insured for also makes a difference – the larger the sum insured, the higher your premiums will be.
Your lifestyle also plays a role in the price of your life insurance premiums. Smokers will usually pay more than non-smokers, due to the increased risk of developing health issues.
Other risk factors such as occupation, medical history as well as the type of policy can also have an impact on your premiums.
Common misconceptions about life insurance
Despite the importance of life insurance in helping to protect families and loved ones, there are still some misconceptions about it that can prevent people from getting the cover they need. Here are some of the most common ones:
Myth 1: I don’t need life insurance because I’m young and healthy
Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, so it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Life insurance is an important tool for ensuring that your family is taken care of financially should anything happen to you.
Myth 2: I can’t afford life insurance
Life insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are plenty of options available for those on a tight budget. Shop around to find the best policy and coverage for your needs.
Myth 3: Life insurance is only for married people with kids
Single people and those without children can also benefit from life insurance. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single, have kids or not; everyone should consider life insurance to protect their loved ones.
If you’re thinking of getting life insurance cover, it’s important to do your research and compare policies to make sure you get the best coverage for your needs. Thankfully there’s plenty of support online to help make an informed decision.
You can also get in touch with your local financial adviser or insurance broker for more information on how to find the right policy.