Many of us start the new year with noble intentions, expressed in the form of checklists that will improve our lives and maybe our very selves: a new diet, an exercise regime, perhaps a career change, a salary negotiation, or setting and sticking to a budget. The problem with these plans is that they’re quick and easy to make, but following through on them can be long and arduous, requiring constant action (or inaction, for those saying “no” to forbidden foods.)
Life insurance is different from many resolutions. Once you’ve got it, that’s it – you set up autopay for your premiums, and it requires no more effort from you than your monthly phone bill. But the result is far more peace of mind and far less emails to upgrade your device. If ‘buy life insurance’ is on your new year checklist, here are some things to know about it.
Despite the name, coverage doesn’t have to be for life
If you purchase whole life insurance, you get a policy – and premium payments – that last forever, along with a cash value feature that accumulates over time. With term life insurance, you can choose a coverage term that corresponds to the amount of time you need coverage. For example, if you have children and want the costs of raising them to be covered until they’re financially independent in case you die unexpectedly, a term life insurance policy allows you to do that without having to go on paying for it long after they’ve left home. (They may still be on your cell phone plan at that point, but at least it’s a start.) Not only does this mean you pay for your insurance for fewer years, but it also means you pay a lot less per month since you’re less likely to die during the term (which is good news for your life insurance company, and good news for you).
If you’re looking for lifetime coverage and a cash accumulation component, permanent life insurance meets those needs, but for a significantly higher premium as it’s 100% likely to require a payout to your beneficiaries.
It’s cheaper than ever before…
In addition to being cheaper than whole life insurance, term life insurance is also cheaper than ever before, period. Much of this is to do with technological advances and changes to the law that have allowed insurers to lower their costs and do more with the cash they have on hand. Those benefits are now being felt by life insurance buyers, not just life insurance providers, in the form of lower prices.
A sample term life insurance premium for a healthy 35-year-old woman purchasing a 20-year, $500,000 policy is as little as $24 per month.
And for you, personally, it will never be this cheap again
While the price of life insurance has come down and may continue to fall, the price of a premium for an individual rises about 10% with each year that they get older. With life insurance, the younger and healthier you are, the less you pay for coverage. So for you (and anyone reading this over your shoulder), the prices you’ll be offered in 2019 are likely the lowest you’ll be offered. There’s no better time than the present.
It’s simple to buy a term life insurance policy
If you know someone who bought life insurance 5 or more years ago, ask them about the process of getting it. Chances are it took a couple months, involved written paperwork, a fax machine, and several phone calls and emails, but those days are over. In 2019 (and since 2015), you can easily get a quote in less than a minute and apply online for dependable coverage thanks to innovators like Haven Life, a MassMutual backed online life insurance agency. If approved and you like what you see, you can get started without even having to leave the house. You may not even need a medical exam, and if you do, they’ll come to you.
[Keep in mind that with any no medical exam life insurance policy, it’s very important to be honest when completing the application. The issuance of the policy or payment of benefits may depend upon the answers given in the application and their truthfulness.]
It reduces stress
Any spouse, parent or financial caregiver can relate to the nagging feeling that you don’t know what would happen to your loved ones if you died unexpectedly. Buying life insurance is a quick, easy way to feel virtuous and relieve stress. The payout from a policy (called the death benefit) can be used by your loved ones for expenses like the mortgage, childcare, shared debts and the many other day-to-day bills we all have.
You may not have much stashed away for an emergency
Research has shown that nowadays many Americans don’t even have $400 saved for an emergency. Even if you have more, you’re probably keeping it for retirement, college tuition, a house, or something else instead of an emergency. The death benefit from a life insurance policy means that if you die unexpectedly, your financial plans aren’t lost with you.
It protects your family
Admittedly, this is not a 2019-specific reason to buy life insurance, but it’s still the best reason. When it comes to getting life insurance in 2019, many things have changed – price, convenience, being able to get a policy without even getting dressed – but the thing that has remained the same is that it’s still one of the best things you can do for your family. In 2019, it’s just much easier to achieve.
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.