Many people usually only contemplate taking out life insurance when they reach one of life’s milestones, such as getting married and starting a family. However, even if you do not yet have any dependents, there still good reasons to consider life insurance. Prefer to speak to someone?
It covers your outstanding debts
You may already have a mortgage to pay. You may also have credit card debt, student fees and a car loan … all of which could fall on your family members if you unexpectedly die or are injured and unable to work. Debts don’t disappear if you die or become disabled. Someone still has to pay them and taking out life insurance can help ease this burden.
Cover for yourself if an accident happens
While young people statistically tend to have less health issues than older people, the saying “accidents do happen” is unfortunately as true as ever. If you become disabled or have your ability to earn an income seriously compromised, there are consequences you need to consider. How would you pay the rent? Would your health insurance cover all ongoing medical and rehabilitation expenses? This is where the right life insurance can help you.
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Maurice Thach, life insurance publisher at Finder, recently interviewed life advisor Andrew Kennedy to find out what kind of insurance is best for young people and when to get in. Here's what he suggests.
Income Protection Insurance & Trauma Cover
While it depends on your personal situation, Andrew Kennedy emphasises the importance of income protection insurance and trauma cover in particular. That's because almost everyone is dependent on his or her income to get by. It makes sense then, that as soon as you can afford to take out insurance and lock it in on level premiums, the more affordable it'll continue to be for the rest of your life.
Kennedy says that 'if you can get it - particularly trauma insurance and income protection insurance, when you are young, on a level premium - the long term savings of doing that are amazing'.
In other words, the earlier you get income protection and trauma insurance cover, you'll save money in the long run for important coverage.
Why trauma cover?
Should you need to claim, trauma cover supplements your income protection insurance with a helpful one-off payment that can cover medical costs and debts like a mortgage. It's worth getting above trauma earlier in life because you're more likely to claim on trauma. It can cover you for many different issues including heart attacks, cancer and intensive care.
When should I add in death cover
Death cover makes sense when you actually have dependents (e.g. a spouse or kids) and debts like a mortgage that would cause your dependants to struggle if you're gone.
The best insurance for you depends on your circumstances. The advice expressed in this case study are not the views of finder.com.au and to be taken as a general opinion.
5 benefits of purchasing life Insurance when young and single
As most young people live with the feeling of invincibility – living life to the fullest without thinking of the consequences, it should be wise to remind yourself as a young person that no one lives forever or is invulnerable to illness or injury. Some interesting reasons why you should get cover when younger:
Health makes it easier to get cover. It is a given that most young people are healthy and active. Life insurance companies acknowledge this and take this into account when assessing your policy. As you get older, on the other hand, you might find it harder to get life insurance cover especially if there is any evidence of cancer or heart related diseases within your family.
Cheaper premiums. The younger you are when you take out a life insurance policy the less premium you will have to pay. This is because you have a much longer time to pay your premiums and a lesser risk for dying – two ideal situations for insurance companies.
Your income can be protected. Life insurance also offers additional types of cover such as income protection. This gives you financial security against a freak accident or a serious illness putting you out of work.
Business protection. Life insurance can be used to pay any outstanding debts you will leave behind that could be a threat to your business partner and loved ones when you die. If you want to transition your ownership out of your business once you die to your business partner, the payout from your life insurance policy can help compensate your family financially for your share.
Charitable Causes. If you have a pet charitable cause like animal rescue or breast cancer research, life insurance is a great way to make sure that the work you do in supporting that charity carries on after you’re gone. You can name your favourite cause as a beneficiary to your life insurance policy.
Types of cover to consider when you’re young and single
There are several types of life insurance to consider when taking out cover as a young adult;
Life insurance. Pays a lump sum to your beneficiaries in the event of your death
Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance. Covers your regular income if you are never able to work again due to illness or injury
Income protection. Pays either a lump sum or regular payment while you recover from an illness or injury which prevents you from earning an income.
What’s the cost of waiting to buy cover?
If all this talk has failed to convince you of the need to buy life insurance at a young age, then here’s the real clincher. It’s much more easily obtainable and a lot more affordable when you are young rather than when you are older. As you age it becomes proportionately more difficult to get life insurance because you are gradually accumulating a history of personal illnesses and pre-existing medical conditions, all of which equate to greater risk to the insurer and higher premiums for you. The best time to take out life insurance is during early adulthood when you’re in tip-top shape because premium rates are drastically cheaper. Plus, if you’re able to lock in a cheaper fixed rate premium now, it will pay big dividends down the track in comparison to a stepped premium which gets more expensive every year you celebrate another birthday. Not only is life insurance cheaper when you are young and single, it is also more affordable. Without a family to support and a mortgage to pay, you will never be in a better position financially to cover yourself for the future. Further, depending on your circumstances, income protection can be tax deductible, making life insurance an even more attractive proposition for single young adults.
When do most people take out life insurance?
There are several key life events when people normally consider taking out Life Insurance;
Getting married. Suddenly you have shared responsibilities, one of which is to ensure the other person’s security if you are not around.
Having a family. You now not only have other mouths to feed, but other people who must be cared for in the event of your absence.
Buying a home. As one of your biggest investments in life, the mortgage must continue to be paid so your family has a roof over their heads.
Illness or trauma in your network. Seeing family or a friend fall seriously ill or being involved in an accident can make us reassess our priorities and our need for financial protection.
Is life insurance important for single women?
Just like most other single people, women need to consider the same factors. Whilst sex alone shouldn't be the sole factor when deciding on whether life insurance is important for you, there are advantage of taking out cover as a women. The main reasons being the fact that it's usually cheaper.
Maurice Thach is the publisher for life insurance and business insurance at Finder and has been writing about insurance for 3+ years. His is favourite question is "Am I covered for _____?". Maurice has completed a Tier 1 Life Insurance Certification and a Tier 2 General Insurance Certification under ASIC's Regulatory Guide 146. This means he can confidently provide general advice for life insurance and non-life insurance products to Aussie readers everywhere. Outside of work, you'll probably find Maurice hitting up the nearest basketball court.
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