Life insurance can be a valuable asset to your mix of insurance coverage, especially if you have loved ones who depend on your income. At the very least, life insurance can cover outstanding debts and funeral costs, which can be significant.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is an agreement between you (the insured) and an insurer. Under the terms of a life insurance contract, the insurer promises to pay a certain sum to someone (a beneficiary) when you die, in exchange for your premium payments.
Why would you need life insurance?
The most common reason for buying life insurance is to replace the income lost when you die. For example, say that you work, and that your income is used to support yourself and your family. When you die, and your paychecks stop, the life insurance proceeds can be used to continue to support the family members you’ve left behind. Another common use of life insurance proceeds is to pay off any debts you leave behind.
For example, mortgages, car loans, medical bills, and credit card debts are often left unpaid when someone dies. These obligations must be paid from the assets left behind. This can deplete the resources that your family needs. Life insurance can be used to pay off these debts, leaving your other assets intact for your family to use.
Life insurance creates an estate for your heirs. After your debts and expenses are paid, there may not be much left over for your family. Life insurance can automatically provide assets for them after your death.
Life insurance is a great way to give to charity when you die. You may have always had a great philanthropic desire, but not the means to make it a reality. Life insurance can do that for you.
Life insurance can be a critical component for specialized business applications, such as funding a buy-sell agreement. Under a buy-sell agreement, life insurance can be used to provide cash for the purchase of a deceased owner’s interest in the business.
Finally, life insurance can be an investment vehicle. Some types of life insurance policies may actually make money for you, as well as provide the benefits described above. This can help you with long-term financial goals.