Life insurance is a way for you to leave money for people you care about in the event of your death. It's an agreement between you and a life insurance company where you pay a premium, and in turn they provide you with insurance coverage based on your needs.
Maybe you need to make sure your spouse will be able to pay the mortgage or the day-to-day bills if you’re no longer around. No matter what your needs are, the right kind of life insurance should be simple and affordable.
There are two main types of life insurance, term life and whole of life insurance. If you’re looking for simple life insurance to protect your family without an investment option, stick with term life insurance. If you’re looking to receive a cash value and want a lifetime solution, whole of life will suit you.
There are many online resources available out there to help you determine how much life insurance you need. You can even use our life insurance calculator. A safe cover amount usually works out to at least 10-15 times your annual salary; a close assessment can ensure you and your family are well protected should the worst happen.
Follow these three steps to consider your needs in more detail:
1. Define the goals you need to protect
Write down which and how many life goals your family will need to achieve on their own if you’re no longer around. Our customers usually share these goals:
- paying off bank, car or home loans
- maintaining daily expenses such as food and rent
- funding children’s education
- having enough in retirement
- being able to afford travel or other leisure pursuits
2. Quantify your goals
Understand how much each goal would cost as well as the time frame. Here are a couple of examples:
Pay off mortgage
over 15 years
Pay for expenses
every year for 15 years until you retire
3. Work out how much you can afford
Consider this cost as part of your monthly budget. When it comes to life insurance, something is always better than nothing.
The cost of life insurance is calculated based on your mortality risk, or how likely you are to die in a given period.
The main risk factors include:
- Age: Simply put, the younger you are, the lower the risk and the cheaper your premiums are likely to be.
- Gender: With women having longer life expectancy than men on average, life insurance would cost them less.
- Health and lifestyle: The better your overall health and family health history, the lower your premiums are likely to be. If you participate in any high-risk hobbies or have a dangerous occupation, it can impact your premiums as well.
- Coverage and term: The higher the coverage, the higher the cost. Longer term life insurance also costs more as we commit to maintaining the same price over a sustained period of time, during which your mortality risk rises.
To give you an idea, term life insurance is generally not a big expense. It can cost as little as AED 3 per day for a female non-smoker in her 30s to get 15 years of life coverage.
To find out if you need life insurance, ask yourself if your absence would cause anyone financial stress. If the answer is yes, you need life insurance. Let's take a closer look at why that might be.
1. You’re the main contributor of your family's income
Life insurance can replace your income if you die during your policy term. If you support children, a spouse, parents or other family members, and the loss of your income would affect how they pay for essentials such as food, childcare or rent, you need life insurance.
2. You have children
Anyone with children should consider getting life insurance, whether they earn a salary or not. Even if you don't have lost income to replace, you might be providing support that your children would have to cover in your absence, such as university fees.
3. You run a business
As a business owner, you might’ve taken a business loan using personal assets such as your home as collateral. Life insurance can help settle such debts that your family might otherwise have to repay in your absence. If you’re a co-owner, a life insurance policy with your business partner as the beneficiary can help him or her repay your business shares, so that your family is not left without income from the business proceeds.
4. Your life insurance through work isn't enough
If any of the above scenarios apply to you, the death benefit included in your policy at work probably won't be enough to adequately cover your dependents’ needs. Group life insurance schemes through an employer usually equates to 1-2 times your annual salary, as opposed to 10-15 times, as recommended by financial experts.
5. What if none of the above apply?
If none of this applies to you, then you may not need life insurance right now. However, make sure to reexamine your situation as major life changes happen, including when you take on debt. Also, keep in mind that buying life insurance when you're younger and healthy can be cheaper.
A dictionary of key life insurance terms, simplified.