Life insurance is one of those subjects that can make many of us pretty uncomfortable. We try to wiggle our way around it, duck underneath it, or let it get buried in our ever-growing stacks of priorities. Be honest with yourself…have you ever:
1. Tried to convince yourself that you don’t really need to consider life insurance, even though you think it’s a good idea for other people?
2. Purchased life insurance without completing follow-through steps, such as reviewing the policy and claims process with your partner/beneficiary?
If so, this blog post is for you! We’re here to share some statistics about how life insurance can help alleviate financial distress and why it could be such an important component of helping to protect your family’s financial future. We’ll also go over a few of the ways you can help make it easier for your loved ones to make a claim in the event that something happens to you.
Numbers that don’t add up
How important do YOU think life insurance is as part of a strong financial management strategy? Most people agree that it makes sense to have life insurance. According to the 2018 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA, 90% of Americans say that the primary wage earner in a family should have life insurance. However, of those same respondents, only 68% said that they needed life insurance, and only 59% said they actually have life insurance.
What this tells us, besides the troubling truth that 41% of Americans do not have life insurance protection, is that our emotions don’t always agree with our logic. While the risk levels associated with our daily lives can vary significantly, the fact is, every single one of us is just as mortal as the next human being…and just as unable to predict the future.
Closer than we think
If you were to experience an unexpected financial crisis, how prepared would you be? Would you be able to maintain your current lifestyle indefinitely, or would you have to start making sacrifices pretty quickly? The 2018 Insurance Barometer Study also revealed that 35% of Americans would feel the financial impact of losing their family’s primary wage earner in one month or less. If a loved one were to pass away suddenly, life insurance could help replace some of that lost income, which in turn may reduce the financial stress on those left behind.
If your head and your heart are having trouble arriving at the same answer when you add up the pros and cons of life insurance, take a moment to think about all the ways that your paycheck helps make life better for the people you love. Maybe it helps your family live in a comfortable home. Maybe it helps provide your children access to good education, and the promise of continuing that education through college. Maybe it helps put healthy food on the table. Maybe it allows you to share inspiring experiences, like concerts, art shows, and world travel. Life insurance could help you continue to provide all those things for your family even if something tragic were to happen to you, and that’s an amazing feeling no matter how you look at it.
OK, so you’ve done all the math, and you bought a reliable, affordable life insurance policy. That’s great news! While getting covered is definitely a big step in the right direction, there are a few more things you should consider to ensure you maximize the protection your life insurance plan can offer to your family.
1. Inform your beneficiary
Naming a life insurance beneficiary is the first step, but you should also TELL that person that he or she is the beneficiary. That may seem like common sense, but there are numerous life insurance benefits that go unclaimed simply because the intended recipient was unaware the policy even existed. If your beneficiary changes (e.g., due to divorce), you’ll need to update your policy to reflect that (and of course let the new beneficiary know).
2. Leave instructions
Once you’ve let someone know that they’re listed as a beneficiary on your policy, you should also let them know where any relevant paperwork is stored and give them specific instructions on how to make a life insurance claim if the time should come. If you work with a financial advisor, be sure your partner (or whoever your beneficiary is) has their contact information.
3. Keep your policy current
If you forget to pay your electric bill, the lights could eventually go out. If you forget to pay your water bill, water may eventually stop coming out of your faucet. If you forget to pay your life insurance premiums, your day-to-day life may not be affected much at all, but if a fatal accident were to occur while your policy has lapsed, your family may not receive a benefit payout. So stay on top of monthly payments, and if you have term life insurance, remember that you may need to renew it or purchase a different policy at the end of the term in order for you to continue having coverage.
Does your brain feel like it’s on the spin cycle? Don’t worry! Our Life Covered℠ is here to help answer your questions, address your concerns, and guide you in the direction of a life insurance policy that fits your budget and your family’s needs. Visit us today to get a free, no-strings-attached quote, and then come back often for more information and inspiration about life and life insurance!