When is the Right Time to Buy Life Insurance?

Posted on July 31, 2013

Many people could benefit by having life insurance.  When someone else is depending on your income, that is when you need to ensure you have a policy.

You may already have life insurance coverage through your employer.  Even so, it’s usually a good idea to consider purchasing additional coverage independently, because policies you buy outside an employer’s plan are portable, meaning your coverage continues even if you lose or leave your job.  Also, your employer’s coverage may not meet your financial obligations for adequately protecting your family.

It’s a good idea to review your need for life insurance whenever a major life event occurs.  Consider the following events and the ways in which life insurance might help protect your family in each scenario:

  • New home purchase or major home improvements.  Life insurance can cover your mortgage or home equity obligations in the event of your death.
  • Marriage. A wedding should prompt you to review your entire financial situation, including your income needs, debt, and other liabilities, and to add a layer of protection for both spouses.
  • Birth or adoption of a child. A life insurance policy can provide protections for your family’s increased income needs as well as any debt you may have taken on, including college expenses.
  • New job.  A term insurance policy can replace any group coverage you may have had from a former employer, and allow you to increase your coverage amount in accordance with you new salary.

As you consider purchasing life insurance, bear in mind that you’ll generally have to provide “evidence of insurability.”  This means that before an insurer issues a policy, the company will typically require you to undergo a basic medical screening, often scheduled at your home or workplace.  Usually the way it works is that the healthier you are the lower your premium will be.

It’s usually easier and less expensive to buy life insurance in your twenties and thirties than in your forties and up.  Sometimes health issues arise later in life that can make insurance difficult or costly to obtain.

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