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Review Insurance

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Reviewing your life and disability insurance can give you the peace of mind that your family would be protected from hardship and could live their dreams, even if you could not provide for them.

Resources to Help

Top Three Things to Know

  1. You and your loved ones may need life and disability insurance to replace income if you die or can no longer work, enabling you to meet your financial obligations to dependents.
  2. Your insurance needs are highest when you have obligations such as dependent children, kids’ education expenses, long-term care of other, or a home mortgage. You should review your insurance needs at least once a year and whenever you have a major life change to see if you need more or less coverage.
  3. You may have life or disability coverage through your job, but it may not be enough to cover your family's needs, and you would likely lose this coverage if you left your job. And it may be easier and less expensive to get coverage now than when you are older.

Guides & Videos

Our Guides

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How to Buy Life and Disability Insurance

Articleicon title

How to Buy Life and Disability Insurance

Why You Need Life Insurance (LIFE Foundation)

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? (USAA)

Disability Insurance 101 (LIFE Foundation)

Key Questions

Does this apply to me?

As long as you have assets and loved ones you want to protect, you need insurance.

Life and disability insurance protects your family from hardship if you cannot earn income. Health insurance protects your finances if you get sick. And you may need other types of insurance, depending on your situation.

We know what you're thinking:

  • "I already have life insurance.": If your life has changed since you last did that review - e.g., had a baby, bought a house or car, got married or divorced - you should ensure that your current policies still meet your needs.
  • "I have insurance through work.": If you lose that job, you'll lose the coverage, and depending on your age and health, it may be difficult to get affordable insurance.
  • "Doesn't Social Security provide disability insurance?": Yes, but these benefits may or may not meet your family's needs.
What types of life insurance are there?

Insurance can come in many forms, but the main types are:

  • Term Life: A term life policy has a specific end date (the end of the term) and can be most helpful to support financial obligations that also have an expected end date (e.g., your kids finishing college, paying off your mortgage, reaching your retirement savings goal). For most people buying insurance at a relatively young age, term life policies may be the most cost effective.
  • Whole Life: This type of policy pays a fixed benefit to beneficiaries, and coverage remains in place as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

Some policies have a cash value, but we recommend that you view the cash value portion of the insurance as part of your savings and investment decisions, not part of your calculation of insurance needs.

When should I consider buying long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance provides a fixed payment to cover in-home aides or nurses, nursing homes, and other long-term healthcare needs. Consumer Reports recommends late 50s and early 60s as the ideal age to buy this type of insurance. Medicaid will pay for some long-term care expenses for low-income individuals.

How often should I review my insurance needs?

Talk to your agent at least once per year to ensure that your policies are appropriate for your current situation. In particular, review your insurance needs:

  • after major life events like births, deaths, marriage, divorce, switching jobs
  • after the purchase or sale of large assets like a house or a car
  • any time your financial situation changes substantially

Good insurance agents should reach out to you periodically. They will view this as a sales opportunity, but you should use it for education purposes and make your own decisions.

Insurance Calculators

There are many calculators out there; the ones below are the fastest and most simple. You should consult an insurance agent or broker for a better estimate and quotes.

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Does this apply to me?

As long as you have assets and loved ones you want to protect, you need insurance.

Life and disability insurance protects your family from hardship if you cannot earn income. Health insurance protects your finances if you get sick. And you may need other types of insurance, depending on your situation.

We know what you're thinking:

  • "I already have life insurance.": If your life has changed since you last did that review - e.g., had a baby, bought a house or car, got married or divorced - you should ensure that your current policies still meet your needs.
  • "I have insurance through work.": If you lose that job, you'll lose the coverage, and depending on your age and health, it may be difficult to get affordable insurance.
  • "Doesn't Social Security provide disability insurance?": Yes, but these benefits may or may not meet your family's needs.
×

What types of life insurance are there?

Insurance can come in many forms, but the main types are:

  • Term Life: A term life policy has a specific end date (the end of the term) and can be most helpful to support financial obligations that also have an expected end date (e.g., your kids finishing college, paying off your mortgage, reaching your retirement savings goal). For most people buying insurance at a relatively young age, term life policies may be the most cost effective.
  • Whole Life: This type of policy pays a fixed benefit to beneficiaries, and coverage remains in place as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

Some policies have a cash value, but we recommend that you view the cash value portion of the insurance as part of your savings and investment decisions, not part of your calculation of insurance needs.

×

When should I consider buying long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance provides a fixed payment to cover in-home aides or nurses, nursing homes, and other long-term healthcare needs. Consumer Reports recommends late 50s and early 60s as the ideal age to buy this type of insurance. Medicaid will pay for some long-term care expenses for low-income individuals.

×

How often should I review my insurance needs?

Talk to your agent at least once per year to ensure that your policies are appropriate for your current situation. In particular, review your insurance needs:

  • after major life events like births, deaths, marriage, divorce, switching jobs
  • after the purchase or sale of large assets like a house or a car
  • any time your financial situation changes substantially

Good insurance agents should reach out to you periodically. They will view this as a sales opportunity, but you should use it for education purposes and make your own decisions.

Top ↑