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Life Insurance 101.

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When someone in your immediate family dies, the emotional toll can be almost unbearable. And the financial toll can make it even worse.

Today, one-third of all families would be impacted by the loss of their primary wage earner in just one month — meaning the effect would be almost instantaneous. But luckily, there’s a way to make sure your family has all they need to move on without you. And while it may seem too soon to start thinking about the unthinkable, it’s never too soon to start living with peace of mind — the peace of mind that comes only from knowing your family will be taken care of.

Have questions about life insurance? We have answers. Let’s get started:

What is life insurance?

In the simplest terms, life insurance is a way to plan for your family after you die. It’s a contract with an insurance company, in which you pay a premium, and in exchange, they agree to pay your family a set amount upon your death.

Why do I need life insurance?

Life insurance can cover your medical, funeral and burial expenses. It can pay off any outstanding debts you may have. It can replace your income so your family doesn’t experience any financial stress. And it can help them pursue their dreams even after you’re gone — dreams of going to college, dreams of opening a business or dreams of buying a house. It can help them do all of the things you planned to take care of.

Are there different types of life insurance?

Yes. You can be covered by term or whole life insurance, or you may be offered life insurance through your employer.

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance gives you protection for a specific amount of time. You can choose to have coverage for a term of 10, 20 or 30 years.

What is whole life insurance?

As the name implies, whole life insurance is life insurance coverage that lasts for your whole life — starting on the day you purchase a policy.

I have life insurance through my work. Is that enough?

In some cases, yes. In other cases, no. If you need more life insurance coverage than your employer is able to provide, you may want supplemental protection to make sure your family has all they need to face the future without you.

How much life insurance do I need?

The amount of life insurance needed will vary from person to person. Professional financial planners estimate that you should have between seven and 10 times your income as a rule of thumb. But, ultimately, it depends on the amount of money you’d like your family to receive in the event of your passing. To easily determine how much that is, you can calculate the cost of your life insurance needs with our calculator.

Is life insurance expensive?

Life insurance is much more affordable than most people think. On average, coverage can cost between $30 to $60 a month.

When should I start considering life insurance?

It’s never too soon. Even if no one is financially dependent on you right now, if you’re young, healthy and have a good family health history, you could be rewarded with the best rates. But if you wait, and then find yourself affected by an illness or disease, you won’t be eligible for life insurance for quite some time, possibly never. That’s why it makes sense to make the decision early, so you can live with one less worry.

Who should I talk to about life insurance?

When it comes to life insurance, nothing beats a conversation with a local, independent agent. They’ll get to know you and your needs, and they’ll help you determine the type and the amount that’s right for you.

To start a conversation about life insurance, find an agent near you.

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