“Whatever excuses you may have for not buying life insurance now will only sound ridiculous to your widow.”
This anonymous saying comes from a different time, but the sentiment still rings true today: the only time you really wish you or your partner had life insurance is when it’s too late.
It may be difficult to think about what would happen to your partner or family if you were to die suddenly, have an accident, or develop a serious illness that would mean giving up work for a long time or even for the rest of your life. It may be even worse thinking about those things happening to your partner. However, it’s important to plan ahead for the possibility that you might one day face those difficult circumstances.
Aside from the emotional impact, these circumstances may also put serious financial strain on a family. Who will pay the mortgage or rent? Who will provide the money to raise or care for your children? Life insurance can provide a financial safety net if the worst happens and protect against some of these concerns.
Who might consider life insurance?
If you have a partner, children, or any kind of dependant relative, or you have a joint mortgage or other debts you wouldn’t want your family to be left with when you die, you might want to consider purchasing life insurance.
The amount you need and the type of cover you choose depends on what financial obligations you have—such as a mortgage. You may also want to consider the amount of money you’d like to leave behind to help your partner or dependants.
One way to go about gauging this is to think about how your family would manage if you couldn’t work for a long time. This can include mortgage or rent and living expenses for monthly bills. If your children are very young or still in full-time education, you should also consider school fees and related expenses. Talking to a life insurance adviser or protection specialist can be helpful in identifying and prioritising what you need to insure and how much cover you should arrange.
When many people think about purchasing life insurance, they tend to only think about the breadwinners. However, the value of a ‘stay at home’ parent should not be underestimated. If the main carer in a family dies, the main earner may not be able to work as much as they did before, or they may need to find additional help. Life insurance can help pay for childcare, a cleaner, or housekeeper and lessen the impact on a family’s finances.