Yay! You finally did it. You faced your fears, got a quote, did your research, filled out an application, and—voila—now you have life insurance. You’re probably ready to just toss that policy in a drawer and let it do its thing…and by “thing,” of course, you mean “provide increased financial security for the people you love in case your life should take a turn for the tragic.” You’re done now, right?
Well…not exactly. Remember when you designated a beneficiary (or maybe several beneficiaries) on your life insurance policy? Putting their name(s) on the dotted line took care of the legal part, but there’s a logistical component to the process, too.
You have to TELL your beneficiary about the life insurance policy sitting in that drawer.
If you were to pass away without sharing that information, there wouldn’t be an automated text notification or a telltale beam of light shooting from your IKEA desk to let your family know you have life insurance. And if they don’t know about it, the benefit you lovingly intended to provide for them may go unclaimed.
Sure, it can be a tough conversation, but it’s one that should follow the purchase of every life insurance policy. If you need a little help getting started, check out these three tips.
Talking about life insurance means talking about death, so some difficult feelings are inevitably going to be felt. However, it’s easy to end up on a slip-n-slide of sadness and find yourself at the bottom before you’ve said what you need to say.
You can absolutely have a healthy-but-emotional conversation about love and loss, but make it a separate conversation. When you’re talking to your beneficiary about life insurance, try to stick to business as much as possible. Let them know where your policy information can be found, whom to contact, and any special instructions that may be involved.
Keep in mind that as hard as it is to initiate a conversation about life insurance benefits, you’ve at least had some time to mentally prepare for it. Your beneficiary doesn’t know what’s coming, so be mindful about timing. It’s not something you really want to drop on someone you love as they’re getting ready to walk out the door to give a big presentation, when you’re getting ready to host a dinner party together, or when your kids are screaming about whose turn it is to use the purple cup.
Choosing a time when distractions and stress levels are minimal means you can both focus on the task at hand, and that increases the chances of a conversation that’s short and (bitter)sweet.
Come to the conversation prepared for any questions your beneficiary may have, especially if it’s the first time you’ve discussed life insurance. Take the time to explain the answers you do have, and then research the rest of them together.
It’s also possible that the person you’ve designated as your life insurance beneficiary may not have the reaction you were expecting. Telling someone that you’re paying a monthly premium to help make sure they can go on living a financially secure life if you die is pretty heavy. It could evoke gratitude, but it could also evoke guilt, or any number of other emotional responses that are more difficult to navigate than gratitude. Try to take it in stride.
At Our Life Covered, we’re happy to provide support at every stage of the life insurance shopping journey. If you don’t have coverage yet, get started with a quote (it literally takes a few seconds). If you’ve purchased coverage from us, and you or your beneficiary still have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out, whether it’s by phone (888-828-9760), text (636-590-7416), email, or live chat.