According to a recent Harris Interactive study, 47% of American adults own no life insurance at all. While some may not need it, many are putting their loved ones at great financial risk by going without.
If you’ve decided you don’t need life insurance, make sure your decision didn’t rest on any of these seven shaky foundations.
1. “I’m a stay-at-home mom.”
Many families wisely buy life insurance to replace the income that would be lost if a family breadwinner died — but choose not to insure stay-at-home parents.
“They’re making a big mistake,” says June Walbert, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner with USAA. “Families need to consider what it would cost to replace a stay-at-home parent’s contribution, including things like child care and home maintenance.”
2. “We don’t have kids yet.”
Even if you don’t have children, you should consider buying life insurance. When you are ready to start your family you’ll have an important piece of your family’s financial security in place. Couples should also consider what would happen if one of them was burdened with all of the debts and obligations they have as a couple. “If nothing else,” says Walbert, “couples who own homes should consider buying at least enough to pay off their mortgage.”
3. “I can’t afford it.”
“Life insurance is a critical part of any family’s financial safety net,” says Walbert, “so you can’t afford not to buy it.” Fortunately, life insurance prices have been falling as life expectancies continue to increase, so it probably costs a lot less than you think. It’s better to have a small amount of insurance than none at all.
4. “Children don’t earn money, so there’s no reason to insure them.”
“Children won’t thank you for buying them life insurance today,” says Walbert, “but they may when they become adults.” As we age, insurance premiums rise and we also run the increasing risk of encountering medical problems that prevent us from qualifying for insurance when we need it. Buying coverage for a child can help provide a firmer foundation when they start their own families.
5. “My spouse will re-marry.”
There are no guarantees that your spouse would find a financially secure partner to carry on with. For example, five years after the September 11 attack on New York City took the lives of hundreds of firefighters, only 15% of their widows had remarried, according to Columbia University’s School of Social Work.
6. “I don’t like thinking about death.”
Few people do. But buying life insurance can at least give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family won’t face financial devastation when you or your spouse dies.
7. “I don’t want to deal with an agent who’s making a commission.”
You don’t have to. We can help you determine how much life insurance you need, compare options and apply — all on usaa.com. Of course, if you have questions, you can also speak with one of our our licensed, salaried life insurance representatives.