Three things on the top of nobody’s can’t-wait-to talk-about list: life insurance, wills and funerals. Even though none of us wants to think about not being here one day, it’s super-important, whether you’re in your 20s, 90s or somewhere in between. We talked to two experts at Protective who gave us the rundown on what you need to know.
1. Life insurance helps you protect who + what you are responsible for
Kathryn Cox, Senior Vice President over life insurance, first bought her own life insurance in her 20s. Because she was healthy, she was able to lock in a preferred rate, which means she pays less over the course of her policy than she would have otherwise.
Decades later, she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and then breast cancer, which made her even more grateful that she purchased insurance early—both for the lower rates and the peace of mind. (Luckily, she’s feeling and doing great now).
Now that Cox’s kids are grown, she likes knowing she’ll have something to leave to her adult children, her grandkids and great grandkids when the time comes, thanks to the permanent life insurance she bought.
Here’s some of what you can cover with life insurance in the event that you’re no longer here:
- everyday needs and education expenses for your children
- everyday expenses like food, utilities + the mortgage for your spouse or partner—all these can present more challenges without a second wage-earner
- student loans—if you have them, life insurance can ensure no one else has to take on that debt
The bottom line: if you are responsible for a major someone or something, life insurance makes sure that person or thing is protected when you die.
2. It’s never too soon to buy life insurance—in fact, there’s a good case for parents to buy it for children
When I asked Wade Harrison, Executive Vice President over Protective’s retail business, who needs life insurance, he joked “everybody.” When I said “surely not a 10-year-old,” he pushed back and explained that he actually took out small policies on each of his children when they were young.
Here’s why: you can lock in preferred rates for children by buying even a small amount of life insurance when they are young. This is smart, because it protects them if an accident or illness affects their insurability down the road.
3. Life insurance is more affordable than you may think
According to LIMRA‘s 2022 Insurance Barometer Study, “The top reason people give for not owning life insurance is that it is too expensive. Yet, three quarters of Americans think it’s three times more expensive than it actually is.”
The same study said that “four in 10 families would face financial hardship within six months should the primary wage earner die unexpectedly—a quarter would struggle financially within a month.”
4. It’s easier than you think to buy life insurance
All you have to do is check an online life insurance calculator, stop by Costco or chat with a licensed agent to discuss what you want to protect and why. After you apply, the agent will you know how much it will cost you monthly.
You’ll be surprised that it’s not as difficult or as costly as you think it will be.
5. You need to know the difference between term + permanent life insurance
When you start looking into life insurance, you’re going to need to look at what and who you want to protect, why and at what level. You’ll also need to know a couple of helpful definitions that will help you make good choices for your current stage of life:
- Term life: this guarantees payment of a stated death benefit if you die within a specific term, usually 10-40 years.
- Permanent life: this type of insurance remains in effect for the insured’s whole life.
- Conversion option: this means you can convert part or all of your term life to permanent life insurance at a later date.
You’ll also want to ask about the financial health of the company. It’s important to know if they’ll be around when it’s time to pay benefits.
6. Life insurance can make all the difference in the world to the people you leave behind
Wade Harrison shared a personal story that illustrated this point:
“I have a female family member who passed away unexpectedly several months ago, who had a young family. Now that the dad is a single parent, children’s care needs have made it challenging for him to return to work full time. His life was really turned upside down, but fortunately, they had adequate life insurance in place, which has allowed him to be there for the children, pay the bills, and focus on taking care of the family.
For families that have life insurance and a well thought-out plan, it makes the loss and the grief bearable in a way that they can stay together as a family.”Wade Harrison, Executive Vice President over retail at Protective
7. Even if you live a long, healthy life, life insurance gives you peace of mind
Reflecting on her recent breast cancer journey, Kathryn Cox stated:
“I’m not expecting that I’ll die anytime soon, but with two unexpected health events, you never know. It’s comforting that the life insurance is there if I need it. And if I live a long and healthy life, which I hope that I do, it’s great that I’m able to pass on to my family and to different charities that I’m interested in, to really be able to make a difference and protect others after I’m gone.”Kathryn Cox, Senior Vice President over life insurance, Protective
Protective refers to Protective Life Insurance Company (PLICO), Nashville, TN, and its affiliates, including Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company (PLAIC), Birmingham, AL. Life insurance is issued by PLICO in all states except New York where it is issued by PLAIC. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues. Product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing company.
Protective(R) is a registered trademark of PLICO. The Protective trademarks logos and service marks are property of PLICO and are protected by copyright, trademark, and/or other proprietary rights and laws.