Financial Education Blog

Choosing a Life Insurance Policy: Five Factors to Consider



Few people would list life insurance policy shopping as one of their favorite activities. But while this process may be boring and even a bit morbid, it could be a financial game-changer if you or someone in your family passes away.


Choosing life insurance isn’t always a straightforward process. Policies can come in several different forms with different structures that offer their own strengths and limitations. In addition, your own personal circumstances and sense of financial stability should also be accounted for when choosing coverage amounts.


As you shop around for policies, here are five things you need to keep in mind:

1. The Amount of Time You Want To Be Covered

Do you want a long-lasting policy to protect you at any age? Or are you looking for coverage to get you through a fixed period of time? In general, term life insurance is much more affordable than whole policies, and it can offer more flexibility by letting you adjust coverage as your needs change between terms.


Whole policies are more expensive, but offer broader coverage to give you long-term peace of mind. Typically, whole life insurance is more preferable for older individuals, but there are pros and cons to each type of policy at any age.


2. How Much You Are Willing To Spend on Life Insurance

Your budget will affect how much coverage you can ultimately afford as well as the type of policy that offers the greatest value.


Even by spending just a few dollars a month, you can safeguard yourself with life insurance that will provide survivors and dependents with money to cover basic funeral costs and lost income for a period of time. While some consumers avoid life insurance because of the added cost, it’s worth getting a quote to see just how much you would be paying for a policy.


3. Concerns You Have About Your Family’s Medical History

While a checkered medical history may cost you more on your premium, this might increase your perceived value of life insurance. 


By taking out a life insurance policy, you can offer your loved ones some additional financial security if any of those inherited medical issues — or any other type of fatal injury or illness — were to afflict you at some point when you’re covered by the policy.


4. What Will Happen to Your Family if You Pass Away

Your need for life insurance may be largely dependent on the circumstances your passing would leave for others.


If you’re single or don’t have children, for example, you may not be overly concerned about life insurance. If you’re leaving behind dependents, though, higher coverage may be of great value. In this case, life insurance could supplement the potential loss of income created by your death, helping cover not only funeral costs, but also living costs for months or even years as your loved ones rebuild their lives in your absence.


5. Lifestyle Factors You Could Change To Lower the Cost of Insurance

Worried about the cost of life insurance? While certain factors affecting cost, such as your age and medical history, may be fixed and unable to be amended, lifestyle and other changes could help you score a lower premium.


Smoking, hobbies and your driving record can all impact cost, so certain behavioral changes could net you a lower life insurance premium as a result. And, even better, a healthier lifestyle could reduce the likelihood that you will need a life insurance policy anytime soon.


In the course of shoring up your long-term financial planning and improving financial security for you and any partners or dependents, a life insurance policy can be a great, cost-effective safeguard against financial disaster. 

Discover more benefits of life insurance and other important aspects of financial planning—become a member at your local credit union by opening a checking account today.


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