No one likes to think about the consequences of death and its affects on those that we leave behind. It is however an indisputable fact that sooner or later we will all shuffle off our mortal coils, often without warning. When that time comes a life insurance policy will ensure the financial security of our loved ones in their grief, and will ultimately give each of us the peace of mind that our mortgage is paid off and our families taken care of when we die.
Life insurance these days is in fact fairly cheap to maintain. Increased competition in the life insurance marketplace, coupled with its ease of purchase over the Internet has bought premiums down to record low levels. You can now obtain a life insurance policy that pays a lump sum of 100,000 upon your death for as little as 5 per month.
How Much Insurance Do I Need?
Those that do decide to take the plunge and sign up for a life insurance policy though often struggle to decide how much insurance they should take out. As life premiums go up in line with increases in the sum insured, the ultimate insurance amount is often dictated by how much the person taking out the life insurance can afford to pay each month.
Then there is the thought of the mortgage. If we are still owing money on the mortgage when we depart this world, many of us would not want to see our loved ones struggle to meet the mortgage repayments each month. The amount of insurance taken out therefore should at least cover the cost of our mortgage, or what is left on the mortgage as it would be if a reducing term life product is purchased.
Protect Your Mortgage
In fact, many mortgage lenders these days insist that life cover is taken out to protect the mortgage repayments in the event of the owner’s death. On joint mortgage applications, a joint life policy is strongly recommended by lenders, and in some instances mortgage lenders will include a basic life policy in with their mortgage products that reduces in line with the outstanding amount to pay. However, life cover issued direct by mortgage lenders may not always be the cheapest insurance policy available. It therefore pays to shop around for life cover on the Internet as you may be able to save 15 or 20 on your insurance premiums each month.
Deciding on the amount of insurance coverage
So, how is it best to decide on the amount of insurance coverage? It varies for each family / individual, but in general you should take out a life policy not only to cover the cost of your mortgage but also to provide your family and dependants with a lump sum after you’ve gone. What lump sum you decide upon will depend on many factors, but it should at least cover the cost of your monthly household expenses minus the mortgage payments.