Choosing the amount of cover you need and how long you need it for
None of us want to think about not being around for our loved ones but life-changing events can occur at any time. The thought of not being around to protect and provide for your loved ones can be a worry.
If you were no longer around, you’d want to make sure those you leave behind don’t face financial worries. That’s why making sure you have the correct life insurance policy in place is essential for the future financial well-being of your family.
Everyday money worries
Most life insurance policies are designed to pay out a cash sum to your loved ones if you die while covered by the policy. It can help them deal with everyday money worries such as household bills, childcare costs or mortgage payments.
You choose the amount of cover you need and how long you need it for. You can take out life insurance under joint or single names and you can pay your premiums monthly or annually.
Considering the options
‘Single life’ policies cover just one person. A ‘joint life’ policy covers two people, and when one person on the policy dies, the money is paid out and the policy ends. You will need to decide whether the joint policy pays out on first or second death, as this will determine when the policy ends.
When choosing between these options, think about:
Affordability – a joint life policy is usually more affordable than two separate single policies
Cover needs – do you both have the same life insurance needs, or would separate policies with different levels of cover be more appropriate?
Work benefits – if one of you has work ‘deathin service’ benefit, you might only need one plan
Health – if your joint policy is with someone in poor health, this may increase your monthly payments
Huge financial impact
Some people may think it makes sense for the sole breadwinner of the family to take out a single life insurance policy in their name to protect their family from the possibility of financial hardship if they died. Of course, this ignores the fact that the loss of someone who takes care of the children and the household can also have a huge financial impact on a family.
Nowadays, there are often two breadwinners in the family, so if you decide to take out life insurance it’s even more likely that both partners will need cover. You have two options available – two single life policies or a joint life policy.
When life changes
Your needs may change in the future, so it may be a good idea to review your cover from time to time in order to make sure that you have the correct level of protection in place. If a relationship breaks down, it’s possible that an insurance provider would not be able to divide a joint life policy into two single policies.
If you claimed against a joint life policy, the surviving person would be left without life cover under that policy. Applying for life insurance later in life can be expensive because premiums increase with age. If health deteriorates it may become more difficult to obtain cover.