Do I need life insurance?

Everyone’s circumstances are different but getting life cover can protect you and your loved ones when they need it most. But who should get life insurance and when? In this guide, we’ll explore what types of life insurance can be useful depending on your age, work status and family factors, and ultimately, whether you really need it.

Life cover explained

Before we can help you decide whether you need life insurance, we should settle any confusion about what it is.

Life cover can refer to various types of life insurance, where in exchange for your premiums, your loved ones can claim a cash sum in the event of your death (if that happens during a defined policy term).

This is sometimes called ‘level cover life insurance’, as the amount of cover stays fixed for the duration of the policy. Life cover can also refer to decreasing life insurance – otherwise known as mortgage life insurance – where the cash sum decreases roughly in line with the way repayment mortgages decrease. And finally, life cover can also mean critical illness cover – an add-on to a life insurance policy that can help minimise the financial impact on you and your family if you become critically ill.

Please remember that life insurance is not a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.

So, now that we’ve explained what it is, do you need life insurance?

Who should get life insurance?

You should consider getting life insurance especially if you have loved ones who are financially dependent on you. So if you have a spouse, children, have a civil partner, or any other financial dependants such as elderly relatives, the pay-out from a life insurance policy could prove invaluable in helping them meet ongoing living costs, from covering the mortgage to paying for school fees and utilities.

When do you need life insurance?

There is no exact age when you might need life insurance – though the minimum age you can take out a policy is 18. Typically, you might start thinking about applying for a life insurance policy when the following events happen:

  • You take out a mortgage.
  • You have children or assume financial responsibility for other dependants.
  • You’re in a relationship with a partner who depends on your income.

Who doesn’t need life insurance?

There are some circumstances where you may decide that you don’t need life insurance. For example, life insurance as a single person may not be necessary if you have no financial dependants.

Putting your life insurance policy in trust involves a legal arrangement that helps to ensure that the money from that policy is used exactly as you intended, regardless of the value of your estate. It also means that your beneficiaries will receive the money much quicker.

Some homeowners may no longer feel they need life insurance if they’ve paid off the mortgage. However, if you no longer need to protect a mortgage with life insurance, a cash sum from a valid claim could help your family with other costs, such as household bills and any other ongoing expenses.

Learn more about life cover

Ultimately, life insurance is about giving peace of mind to you and your loved ones; you'll be safe in the knowledge that they'll be financially protected should the worst happen.

Read more about the different types of life insurance available or speak to a member of our team to discover how Legal & General can help.