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  • Writer's pictureMark Roberts

Insure Your Love

What do love and life insurance have in common? More than you might realize. February, the month of love, brings with it a unique opportunity to express your deepest affections in the most meaningful way possible. The life insurance industry has designated February as "Insure your Love" month in partnership with the Life Happens organization.

The basic motivation behind the purchase of life insurance is love. People want to protect their loved ones, and one of the best ways to do that financially is with life insurance. Do you love someone? If the answer is clear, then so is the answer to whether you need life insurance. Because the truth is, life insurance is for anyone who loves. Preparing a romantic dinner. Planning a surprise weekend getaway. These expressions of love are sure to be appreciated. But why not consider giving your loved one a more enduring gift of love: life insurance. What can say “I love you” better than a promise to provide for the ones you love, even after you’re gone.

Whether you love your spouse or partner, your children or grandchildren, your parents or a favorite charity, life insurance means they're protected financially if something happens to you. Getting life insurance protection is often easier and more affordable than you think. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about life insurance. Consider these facts.

Myth: It’s too expensive.

Truth: Not really. Many people can be insured for the price of a daily cup of coffee.

Myth: I’m too young.

Truth: No one’s too young for life insurance. In fact, the younger and healthier you are, the easier it is to lock in coverage at a great rate – and stay covered. It’s called insurability.

Myth: I can always get it later.

Truth: Famous last words, and too often untrue. Age and health can make it tough to get the coverage you want. You may develop a condition that makes you uninsurable – or worse, you may fall victim to a tragic accident.

Myth: I don’t need life insurance.

Truth: Life insurance has many, many uses – uses that could benefit most people. It can cover bills, pay for funeral costs, replace income in a household, serve as an inheritance for a loved one, fund education goals for a child, provide an important and sizable donation to a charitable organization, and so much more.

The most inexpensive type of life insurance is term life insurance coverage. For a certain period of time (term), you are purchasing a certain amount of coverage that would be paid only upon your death. There is also a form of term insurance called cash value term which accumulates cash value over the life of the policy, and if you do not utilize the policy over the term, you can receive the cash value at the end of the policy term.

There are also more permanent life insurance policies, such as whole life insurance, indexed universal life insurance (IUL), universal life insurance (UL) and variable universal life insurance (VUL). While these can be more expensive than term policies, they provide other financial benefits and flexibility, and they can also provide additional death benefits.

However, many families find it awkward to talk about life insurance, primarily because of perceived opinions about it. People don't usually like to talk about the primary reason to have the product, namely money provided on the death of a loved one. In fact, 17% of people who report that they need life insurance but don’t have it say one reason is that they don’t like thinking about death. 

But, one of the easiest ways to do that is to talk about life goals:

  • What kinds of careers or important pursuits do your loved ones envision?

  • What educational, professional or personal achievements matter most?

  • What steps are needed to make sure your family is protected financially?

  • What positive steps can be taken to anticipate and overcome likely obstacles?

  • What type of coverage do family members need and how much?

By starting the conversation off on a positive note, you establish a “can-do” spirit that keeps everyone focused on life over the horizon. Here are three valuable tips:

1.) Discuss the benefits of your insurance coverage. Benefits like mortgage protection, student loan protection and funeral cost coverage safeguard your family’s dreams. By associating benefits with common goals, it becomes easier to focus on the practical, nuts-and-bolts aspects of your coverage than on the dispiriting reason it’s needed in the first place.

2.) Share the practical aspects before they are needed. There are some things that everyone should know, like where your life insurance documents are stored, and how the claims process works. What is your policy number and insurance agent's information. This information is crucial when it comes time to file a claim.

3.) Know Your Options. Exploring and understanding your life insurance options is an important part of establishing the kind of security your family needs. Make sure you’ve discussed your coverage options with your agent as you plan the protection you’ll be discussing with your family. You are not just insuring your life; you’re insuring your family’s future and peace of mind.

People have so many things to consider these days, and it’s easy for them to lose sight of just how important risk-protection products are in a comprehensive financial plan. Yet the consequences of overlooking this base of a solid financial program are all too real. You may have seen or heard unfortunate and sometimes tragic situations involving families who lacked life insurance.

They suffer financially because of the loss of a primary bread winner in the family, like a parent. Or, there are incredible medical bills to pay if someone had a major healthcare issue leading up to loss of life which could then lead to bankruptcy. Or, there is no money to pay for the funeral. Can you say, "Go Fund Me"? It's too common.

Deep down, they know. Around 30% of adults ages 18 to 75 who lack life insurance say they need it, representing about 74 million people. More than 10% of those who own life insurance say they need more. That’s another 27 million people. These numbers come from the annual Insurance Barometer Study conducted by LIMRA and Life Happens, and they represent a profound life insurance “need gap.” The survey shows that many people have the right instincts. People understand loss, but they often balk at the process to prevent it.

Life insurance is important. Rather than being an expense people can’t afford or that forces them to scale back other priorities, life insurance is the foundation that allows individuals and families to achieve their goals. Frequently, one leading reason people give for not having life insurance or not having enough is that they don’t know what they need or they don’t understand the product.

There are many reasons life insurance is the perfect gift for those you love:

Just starting out: If you’re not married, you probably don’t think you need life insurance yet. But, if you have student loans to pay off and your parents co-signed any of them, they may be responsible for them if something happens to you. Life insurance can help provide the funds to finance repayment or pay them off.

Saying “I do”: Starting a life together comes with a tremendous amount of excitement – and financial changes. Car payments, mortgage payments – and remember those student loans? You’ll want to make sure your spouse is able to handle the expenses, both the ones you brought with you and the ones you’re planning together, if the unexpected happens.

Car seats, little league, scouting, football games, and more: Raising a family is unimaginable joy. But the expenses are unimaginable, as well. According to the USDA, it costs $245,340 to raise a child to age 18, and that’s before he or she goes to college. The home and life you’ve made together are precious. Making sure that the hopes and dreams you have for your family can happen if you aren’t with them could be considered the truest form of love you can show.

The next stage as empty nesters: Even though you no longer have the financial concerns of raising a family, you’re now moving into a time of new ones. Make sure your loved ones aren’t impacted if something happens to you – for instance, if pensions stop, or if there could be many final medical bills or expenses to cover. You wouldn’t want concerns and worries to trouble your spouse at a time when his or her ability to cover expenses could be compromised by age or situation.

Enhance coverage through work: You may have some coverage through work and think it’s enough. But coverage you have through your employer isn’t portable – it doesn’t come with you if you switch firms. You should have coverage independent of your employer as part of your complete financial plan.

The overriding theme of the month, though, is that buying life insurance is ultimately an act of love. The organization Life Happens, for example, found that 59% of people would feel more secure in their relationships if getting life insurance were something they discussed with their partner. And 40% of men and 33% of women say that purchasing a life insurance policy is a financial way to demonstrate their love for each other.

You go to great lengths for your loved ones. You work hard to provide them with a life filled with happiness, comfort and opportunity. In fact, there’s almost nothing you wouldn’t do for your loved ones. You re-arrange your schedules to never miss your kids’ sporting events. You put in extra time at work to save up for that special family vacation. You rush out of the office to make sure you’re home in time for dinner with your family.

But what if you died tomorrow and you were no longer around to provide for your family? Without your income and all the other things you do for your loved ones, would they be able to maintain their current lifestyle and keep future plans on track? That’s where life insurance comes in. It can’t restore your family’s life back to how it was, but the right life insurance program can keep your loved ones in the world they’ve always known.

So if you think you need life insurance (or more than you currently have), now is the time to do something about it. Knowing you are protecting your loved ones’ security if anything happens to you can help free you of stress and worry. Plus, you get on with the best part of life. Living it.

As a licensed life insurance agent, I have multiple options for your consideration. More information is available on this website: Contact me soon to have a conversation about insuring your love.

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