Life insurance pays out a benefit when the person insured dies during the time that the policy is in force. It can provide the cash needed to pay for burial, pay off mortgages and loans and give your family a financial cushion while they get back on their feet. When you're young or have little discretionary income, it's easy to tell yourself that life insurance is just for the well-off, but the truth is that life insurance is far more necessary for those who have no monetary cushion against life's rougher times.
You should consider life insurance if:
- you have dependents
The moment you are responsible for another person in your life, you need life insurance. Whether it's your children, a spouse or employees, if someone counts on your ability to earn an income, then life insurance is a necessity.
- you have a mortgage or other detbs
If you have a mortgage, you need life insurance to pay off the remainder of the mortgage if you should die before the mortgage is paid off. If you don't have some sort of insurance to pay off your mortgage when you die, your heirs will have to deal with the debt.
- you own a business or are a key employee in a business
If you own a business, are partners in a business or are a key employee in a business, a life insurance policy can keep your business afloat while your employees or partners make arrangements to replace you or dissolve the business according to your wishes. If this is your reason for investing in life insurance, it could possibly be charged off as a business expense.
There are several types of life insurance available to you, and the type that's best for you will depend on a number of factors. If your main concern is to ensure that your family is not saddled with a capital and interest mortgage in case of your death, then decreasing term life may be your most economical option. With decreasing term life, you pay for just the amount of coverage that you need. For example, if you take out a 150,000 capital and interest mortgage on your home, you can protect it with a decreasing term life policy that starts out with a payout of 150,000. That payout will decrease over the years as you pay off the mortgage loan.
Level term life insurance is the next tier of life insurance policy. Like decreasing term life, it pays out a benefit if you die under the terms of the policy - but rather than decreasing as your mortgage is paid off, it remains level. Generally, term life insurance is available in terms from one to forty years, and often comes with a range of options which can extend the policy at an additional cost.
Whichever type of life cover you need, it's important to know exactly what's right for your needs and what the various different companies and policies provide. If you are in any doubt about this you should consult an independent financial adviser who can look at your circumstances and match the best policy to your needs.