Why buying life insurance is easier than you think

Turning Points 4 min read

In the market for life insurance? Getting covered is easier—and more affordable—than you might think. No-hassle online tools make the process of researching options, finding a plan that works for you, and confidently making your decision simpler than ever before.

Nonetheless, it’s normal to have questions about whether you’ve selected the right plan or if now is the right time to buy a policy. These questions are important to ask, and the answers should help you feel good about the financial protection you’re putting in place for your family.

Let’s review some of the most common reasons people avoid buying life insurance, along with tips to make the process simple and straightforward.

Common reasons people avoid buying life insurance

There are too many options.

Regardless of whether they’re employed, married, or caring for kids, most adults should have some type of life insurance to protect their loved ones financially if they pass away. Yet only about half of Americans currently have life insurance.

The sheer number of life insurance plans out there can cause confusion for potential buyers. But while every life insurance company puts its own spin on its products, there are just a handful of basic plan types. Life insurance policies generally fall into three categories:

  • Term policies that expire after a predetermined number of years (often 10, 15, 20, or 30 years).
  • Permanent policies that build cash value over time and last until you pass away.
  • Final expense policies that provide a smaller payout to loved ones to help cover a funeral, outstanding medical expenses, and other costs in the event of your death.

Knowing which type you’d like to buy can help you narrow down options more quickly and compare similar kinds of plans. There are also other types of policies that serve people with specific needs. Learn more about different types of life insurance here.

I’m not ready to commit.

Buying life insurance can feel like a big commitment. Plus, many of us put off planning for the future. Unfortunately, the same reason you might give for not getting engaged doesn’t really work with life insurance. There are many policies that can help your loved ones cover the costs of a funeral and settle your affairs or provide financial support if you pass away. These policies may not require a significant commitment and often cost less than you’d expect.

It costs too much.

If your budget is a concern, you’re not alone. The good news is that those concerns are unfounded in many cases. In fact, over half of all Americans think that life insurance costs more than it actually does.

Admittedly, life insurance pricing can feel confusing at first glance. After all, how can you afford a policy worth $250,000? Doesn’t that cost hundreds of dollars a month? The simple answer is usually no. Some policies start at as little as $14 per month. Life insurance companies use precise and proven pricing methods based on factors like age, health, lifestyle, and more to help them provide low-cost policies.

You might also feel like preventive financial expenses are harder to swallow than bills for current expenses, including student loans, car payments, and rent. However, if you were to pass away suddenly, who would help your family handle those expenses and pay for your funeral costs and medical bills? The low monthly payments required for most policies are an easy way to ensure that your family is provided for if you pass away.

I’m worried about taking a medical exam.

It’s a common misperception that all life insurance policies require a health exam. While some policies do require basic health information and a physical, many people don’t know that there are highly convenient options that don’t require a medical exam. There are also specific plans designed to accommodate people with pre-existing health conditions, including chronic issues. That said, if you’re in relatively good health, it’s worth it to buy life insurance that requires a medical exam. The test is quick, free, and virtually painless and can help you qualify for the lowest possible rates.

I don’t need it because I have savings, investments, or employer-sponsored coverage.

Any financial professional will tell you that saving for the future is a smart move. However, it’s not always simple for family members to collect this money after a death. There are tax implications for estates and problems with liquidity (i.e., how easily assets like investments can be converted to cash). Plus, it’s tough for most families to save up hundreds of thousands of dollars, let alone millions—the level of protection a life insurance plan can provide.

And though employer-sponsored life insurance plans can be a helpful supplement, many of these policies don’t offer much coverage. After your family settles the expenses from your death, they may only have enough left for a few months of financial support.

It’s a lot of work.

Actually, researching and buying life insurance has only gotten easier over time. The days of listening to agent pitches and faxing cumbersome documents are over. It’s incredibly easy to review coverage options, get quotes, and choose a plan online or by phone in a matter of minutes.

I don’t have kids or a spouse.

Even if you’re not planning to help support children or a spouse with a life insurance policy, the cost of a funeral can easily total $10,000 or more. Your loved ones can use your death benefit to help cover these expenses, pay off student loans or other debts you leave behind, or even make a donation to a charity in your name if you pass away sooner than expected.

The easiest way to buy life insurance for the first time

Know you need life insurance, but don’t know where to start? A one-year term life insurance policy can help first-time buyers or people seeking an “in-between” policy that provides short-term coverage for as little as $7 a month.

Unlike long-term policies that can provide coverage for decades, the one-year term policy expires after just 12 months. This policy allows you to choose another option more often than other plans while still staying financially secure.

The one-year term policy is a great choice for people who:

  • Want short-term coverage to provide a death benefit for family members until they choose a longer-term policy.
  • Don’t have a lot of significant expenses they need to cover if they pass away (like a mortgage).
  • Are looking for coverage after just starting a job or while they’re between jobs.
  • Need a low-cost option due to financial constraints or concerns.
  • Want to skip a health exam.

It’s understandable to have reservations about life insurance. However, the widespread availability and low cost of many policies (in addition to easy price comparison tools) mean it’s easier than ever to secure a better financial future for your family.

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