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Do I need life insurance?

Life insurance is necessary in more cases than you might think. Here’s how to know when you need life insurance and the protection it can provide for your loved ones.

It’s a simple question: Do I need life insurance? You’ve probably asked yourself that question before (or else you wouldn’t be reading this). But even though it’s a simple question, the answer is pretty complic- … actually, wait. The answer is simple, too.

You probably need life insurance — a type of insurance coverage that provides a financial payout to your beneficiary, surviving spouse, or loved ones if you should die prematurely — if any or all of the following six things apply to you:

In this article:

You’re married

With marriage comes many shared responsibilities, including of course your finances. Even if you don’t merge bank accounts with your partner and/or you have equal income, you may rely on their salary to cover regular day-to-day expenses or longer-term financial plans you may have made together.

The payout (also known as a death benefit) from a life insurance policy can help your surviving partner have some financial comfort to navigate what would undoubtedly be a difficult time. (And, yes, both of you should have a policy.) That payout can go toward the many cash needs that may arise upon death — including funeral costs or final expenses — as well as providing support for those we love in the years that follow.Fortunately, buying a term policy is probably a lot more affordable than you think. A healthy 33-year-old man can purchase a 20-year, $600,000 Haven Term life insurance policy issued by MassMutual for about $26 per month.

You have kids

Growing your family is rewarding. Also: expensive. And it seems like the price keeps going up — the USDA estimates it costs $233,610 to raise a child in the US from birth through age 17. And, that’s not including expenses like IVF, hiring a lactation consultant, or sending your kids to college.

When you have kids, it becomes even more important to have life insurance. After all, they’re called dependents because they depend on you for their well-being. Having life insurance coverage in place can help your partner or the guardian of your kids to pay day-to-day expenses and can be put toward educational or college expenses (if that’s your intent). Your life insurance policy is a financial safety net.

Regardless of their job status today, parents are wise to consider providing that safety net for their children. While most understand that working parents need life insurance to replace lost income, stay-at-home parents’ need for life insurance is often overlooked. Stay-at-home parents provide significant financial support to the family in the form of childcare and other duties, and a death benefit can offset the cost of replacing that care.A 29-year-old, non-smoking mom in excellent health can purchase a 30-year, $1 million Haven Term life insurance policy for as little as $52 per month, providing a layer of financial protection for her little one(s).

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You have a mortgage

A mortgage is a significant debt that does not go away when you die. Once you own a house, it’s a wise financial move to purchase at least enough life insurance coverage to pay the mortgage in full, so that your dependents can use the death benefit to alleviate that financial pressure point. It’s also worth considering property taxes, utilities, and other upkeep expenses while your beneficiaries determine whether to keep the house or prepare to sell it.

The national average mortgage balance is $201,811. You may want to consider purchasing a  term life policy with a coverage amount that could fully pay off the average mortgage, and thus significantly reduce monthly spending and financial stress for your family.

You have privately funded co-signed debt

Did a parent or family member help you get the best rate on a loan by cosigning? A generous act on their part. But unless it’s a federal student loan that is forgiven on death, the full responsibility to repay this debt is almost certainly going to fall on your cosigner. Luckily, a life insurance policy can help provide the funds to help handle that debt for your beneficiary. That way, you might not have to leave your loved ones stuck paying a bill that was really your responsibility.

A male 25-year-old recent grad in excellent health with co-signed private student loans can get a 30-year, $500,000 Haven Term life insurance policy for about $34 a month, which the loan cosigner, if he or she is the beneficiary of the term life policy, could use to help repay the loan if the individual that took out the loan passes away before it is paid off.

Your elderly parents depend on you

We hear all the time how Americans have under-saved for retirement. And we see it in life as more parents move in with their kids or depend on them for financial support as they age. (Again, that’s why the life insurance industry uses the term dependents — because it’s not just your kids and your partner who might depend on you for their well-being.) This is a huge responsibility for grown children.

If your parent depends on you (or might in the future) to support him or her during retirement, and if something were to happen to you during that time, the death benefit could be used to help cover your loved ones’ living expenses or long-term care.

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You own a business

Estate planning as an entrepreneur requires extra careful thought. How do you want your business to be handled after you’re gone? Will your children take it over or will a business partner buy out your shares? Is the business profitable enough to stay running profitably while preparing for a sale?

In addition to the financial benefits to your family, the death benefit from a life insurance policy can provide your beneficiaries with a cash buffer while they make arrangements for your business. If you pass away suddenly, life insurance proceeds might help with business interruptions or unexpected expenses.

Policies with coverage amounts that could be used for family or your business in the event of your death can still be cost-effective. For instance, a 43-year-old female entrepreneur in excellent health is quoted $97 per month for a 20-year, $1.5 million Haven Term life insurance policy.

When it comes to life insurance, it pays to take action as soon as possible. Not only are your rates lower when you’re younger, but you don’t want to end up needing coverage while you’re still thinking, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Luckily, you can get an instant quote for term life insurance from Haven Life today.

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About Louis Wilson

Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.

Read more by Louis Wilson

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit:

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