By Diana Wiley
Sitting at the kitchen table to talk to a family about life insurance, I am always fascinated by the excuses they have for being uninsured: I simply can’t afford insurance; I don’t need insurance for my wife because she is a stay-at-home mom; we don’t have an insurable need because we don’t have kids; my spouse will remarry when I die, so I don’t see a reason to leave money; I don’t like thinking about death. The excuses go on and on, and as a life insurance agent it is my job to explain why those excuses ultimately are not good reasons to be uninsured.
Let me give you some statistics that will make you rethink your decision to not have life insurance. According to the US Census Bureau, about 2.5 million people die every year in this country; that is an average of about 6850 deaths a day. According to LIMRA, 41% of adults have no life insurance, which means that 95 million US adults have no life insurance of any kind.
When you think about the fact that death is just another part of living, you have to wonder why people don’t think insuring a life is more important than insuring a cell phone. We have car insurance because it is the law; we have insurance for our home, in order to secure a mortgage; we insure our valuables against theft or damage. Shouldn’t insuring our lives be a priority, or even a law? Requiring life insurance would absolutely change the lives of the loved ones we leave behind.
Let’s consider some of the facts about life insurance that might help you reconsider your excuses:
- The cost of insurance has been declining as life expectancy continues to increase. Term life insurance is very affordable, sometimes less than $1 a day.
- Just because a stay-at-home parent doesn’t earn a salary does not mean that he or she doesn’t contribute financially to the family. How much would it cost to pay a replacement to perform all the important household activities? $30,000 to $40,000 a year maybe. Without life insurance, could the surviving spouse afford that?
- Buying life insurance before having kids is an important piece of a couple’s financial security. If you put off buying life insurance until you have kids, what makes you think you won’t continue to put it off after you’ve had them? In the event of one spouse’s death, life insurance can be used to replace the lost income of that spouse so the other can maintain the same standard of living. You don’t want to leave your spouse with the burden of all the debts, whether you have children or not. If you and your spouse have purchased a home, you most definitely want to have life insurance to cover the mortgage in the event of tragedy. Remember that the younger you are when you apply for insurance, the lower the cost and the easier the approval process; acting early on in your relationship makes the process that much smoother.
- If you are worried that your spouse will remarry, there is no guarantee that he or she will find a financially stable partner. But whether your spouse remarries or not, do you really want to leave his or her future to chance? For spouses who don’t remarry, life insurance provides the means to support themselves. For spouses who do remarry, life insurance is a testament to the love of their deceased partner; it is a gift that will be cherished, honored, and put to good use during their remaining years.
- Nobody likes to think about death, but having life insurance provides the peace of mind that your family won’t face financial problems if you die prematurely. That peace of mind is worth thinking about death while taking care of your insurance needs. Think about the financial burden of a funeral alone: According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) the cost of a funeral in 1960 was $708 compared to $6560 in 2009, not including cemetery fees, a grave marker, or flowers.
The bottom line is that losing a loved one will always be a struggle. But if you find yourself dealing with financial problems in the wake of a death, those emotional struggles are infinitely multiplied. Though life insurance can’t completely ease the pain of loss, it can absolutely lighten the financial burden that such a loss leaves behind. Whether you are young or old, single or married, a parent or not, you should consider getting life insurance.