Life insurance isn’t exactly Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster or the Chupacabras, but it has still managed to generate plenty of myths over time. That is inconvenient when all you want to do is make sure your family will be financially protected if the worst should happen.
In the spirit of making life insurance simple, we’ve decided to tackle six of the tallest tales that relate to it.
Myth No. 1: Everybody needs life insurance
The main purpose of life insurance is to make sure your dependents are financially protected if you die and your income is no longer available to them. (Because you have no income anymore. Because you’re dead). So if don’t have dependents – no spouse, children, aging parents, unusually needy pets – you may not need life insurance.
But of course, it’s not that simple. Even without dependents, you could still need life insurance if you have debts (credit card, student loans, unregulated poker game) that could be passed on to your family in the event of your demise.
Also, if you’re currently young but not that young, and might have dependents soon (perhaps you’re thinking of marrying or having/adopting a child), you might consider getting life insurance now to lock in a lower premium, based on your current age and health.
Myth No. 2: Life insurance is expensive
Life insurance can be expensive depending upon the type of insurance you buy, your age and health, for example, but generally, term life insurance is more affordable than you might think. In fact, term life insurance is more affordable now than it has ever been. For example, a healthy 35-year-old man could get a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term life insurance policy issued by MassMutual for as little as $24 a month. Also, for you, personally, life insurance may be more affordable now than it will be in the future because premium costs rise as you get older.
Myth No. 3: To buy life insurance, you need to use an agent
Not only do you not need an agent to get term life insurance, you don’t even need to put on pants to get life insurance. With Haven Life, the process happens online, whenever it’s convenient for you.
If you need a medical exam as part of your application process, you can schedule that at your home or office when it’s convenient for you.
Myth No. 4: Your health disqualifies you from getting life insurance
While it’s true that a person in poor health may not qualify for life insurance coverage, being in less than perfect health often doesn’t automatically mean you won’t get coverage.
A life insurance company will make an assessment of your health and other factors, and make a coverage decision based on that. You’ll pay more if you smoke or have other health problems, but most insurers work out a policy that fits you, Also, if you’re wondering about this, you can get a term life insurance quote from an online life insurance cost calculator.
Myth No. 5: If you’re young and healthy, you don’t need life insurance
It would be nice if life worked like that, but it doesn’t. If you’re young and healthy you are less likely to die unexpectedly, but “less likely” is very different from “ain’t gonna happen.”
Do you wear a seatbelt when you’re driving? Being young and healthy can’t protect you from everything. But what it can protect you from is high life insurance costs. The younger and healthier you are, the less you will pay for life insurance, so if it’s something you’re thinking of buying, it’s in your financial self-interest to do so sooner rather than later.
Myth No. 6: If you already have life insurance from your employer, that’s all you need
That is very probably not the case. Group life insurance that comes from your job as part of a benefits package is often affordable and worth having, but it has two limitations:
The first is the amount of coverage it provides: there’s a good chance the coverage amount of the policy from your job wouldn’t be enough to meet your family’s financial needs in the event that you die unexpectedly.
The second limitation of employer-provided group life insurance is that, like the fancy chair at your office, you probably can’t take the policy with you if you leave your job, or if you can, it might be prohibitively expensive to do so.
Move beyond the myths
Now that we’ve debunked the six tallest tales about life insurance, you can decide about the life insurance coverage that’s right for you.
Fortunately, it’s simple to apply online with Haven Life and get your personalized-to-you rate.
Michael Davis is a freelance writer and editor who has covered everything from fashion and music to parenting, work, and finance. He has been a chef, restaurateur and record label owner. Opinions are his own.