Life Insurance Guide

Do you need life insurance?

Basically, if you have dependents or a mortgage then YES.

Consider what would happen if you die today. Would your family be able to cope financially if you have insufficient life insurance or no cover at all? Just spend a few moments thinking about the income your family will lose if you die, and the amount they will receive if you die from any existing cover.

The only people who don't need cover are those with no dependants at all. However some mortgage lenders will insist that you take insurance even if you have no dependants.

How much cover do I need?

A good rule of thumb is to take life insurance for 20 x your annual net income plus the amount of any mortgages or loans. This will mean that on your death any debts can be cleared, and the residual lump sum can be invested producing a regular income that will replace the income you were bringing in to the household.

If you can't afford to pay for the amount of cover you should ideally have then set a budget and ask us how much life insurance that will buy.

What term should I select for my insurance ?

To answer this question you simply need to ask yourself why you are taking the cover in the first place.

If you are protecting a mortgage loan, it would be sensible to choose the same term for your life insurance as your mortgage.

If you have children, then consider taking life insurance until your youngest child will reach an age where you would expect them to be financially independent. Alternatively, if your spouse would suffer financially, you must consider having life insurance until retirement age.

What is life insurance ?

You may also see life insurance referred to as 'term insurance', 'life cover' or 'life assurance' - all these terms mean the same thing. Life insurance is financial protection for your dependants in the event of your untimely death.

You pay premiums to the life insurance company in return for being covered for the 'sum assured', which is the amount that will be paid out on death.

The cost of cover will vary depending on the size of the 'sum assured', your age, occupation, gender, whether you smoke and the term of the policy. The application form will also ask you certain medical questions. Pre existing medical conditions can also affect the price you pay for insurance.

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