Why Get Life Insurance?

Learn about the benefits of having life insurance

Although the benefit of protection may seem obvious, many people don't fully realize why they should have life insurance and the protection it can provide until they're presented with the facts. While each person's situation is different, below are some answers to common questions that you may have as you're considering life insurance.

Life insurance should be an essential part of every person's life plan. When you die, it provides income to your beneficiaries – and, this income is not subject to federal income tax. It may provide the needed funds to pay off your personal debt so that your loved ones aren't burdened with additional financial obligations. Finally, it's beneficial for your family in case you die unexpectedly.

You should base the amount of life insurance you might need on you and your family's current financial needs. How much current financial obligation do you have? How much do you want to protect them in case of your death?

To start, consider:

  • Immediate financial obligations once you die – final medical expenses, funeral costs, and estate taxes.
  • Funds to cover life adjustments for survivors – previous debt, cost and time of job search and/or possible relocation.
  • Ongoing expenses – monthly bills, rent, mortgage, school tuition, daycare, medication, day-to-day basics and retirement needs for your loved ones.

Evaluating these items should help you gauge the amount of coverage you need. An often-used general guideline is that your life insurance should cover five to seven times your annual income. It's a good idea to review your needs on a regular basis so if you need to make adjustments, your policy can be reviewed accordingly.

The "best time" to buy life insurance is different for everyone. Once you think you have people you want to protect, or significant debt that you want to avoid burdening them with, you should consider some type of life insurance. Although, it's never too early to plan for the unexpected!

Depending on the type of policy you choose, it may be a good way to contribute toward a fund you can borrow from later. When you do consider life insurance, your current needs will likely help you decide what type of plan you should choose.

It depends on what the illness or medical condition is. Today, it's often likely that illnesses and conditions may be controlled with treatment, prescriptions and diet. Any good life insurance company will take these factors into consideration. A Columbus Life representative can talk with you about your situation to determine what type of life insurance may be right for you.

We offer a variety of products that all have their own separate maximum ages to purchase. Typically, you can purchase life insurance up until your 79th birthday. (Please consult with your Columbus Life representative for details.)

The policy owner is the person who owns the insurance policy. The insured is the person whose life is insured. In some cases, the policy owner and the insured may be the same person, or different people (for example, the policy owner could be a parent, while the insured could be a child.)

The beneficiary is the person or other party designated to receive the money from the life insurance policy when the insured dies.

A rider is an additional benefit to an insurance policy that becomes part of the insurance contract and either expands or limits the benefits. These options help make your policy more specific to your insurance needs.

Not all life insurance requires a medical exam to qualify for coverage. Your need for a medical exam will vary based on the type of insurance you've applied for, your age, and the face amount of the policy. If a medical exam is required, the insurance company will cover all expenses incurred in the exam and will provide all necessary documentation. Visit our Underwriting page for more information on how underwriting works, and what you can expect during underwriting.

The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, www.lifehappens.org, is an industry organization that provides even more information to consumers about the benefits of life insurance. For a practical look at how life insurance protects you, check out the real-life stories of others like you who have realized the true value of life insurance.

The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. This material is not intended to be used, nor can it be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. federal, state or local tax penalties. This material is written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) addressed by this material. This material is being provided for informational purposes only. Columbus Life does not provide legal or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Consult an attorney or tax advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation. There are insurance related costs to a life insurance policy. Premiums paid must produce sufficient cash value to pay insurance charges.
Columbus Life Insurance Company is licensed in the District of Columbia and all states except New York.