4 Things to Consider Before Investing in Affordable Life Insurance in California

life insurance policy document

You know you want life insurance. Or you have a sneaking suspicion that it’s something you should look into. Or maybe loved ones are after you to reach out to a life insurance agent in California. 

Whatever your motivation, you feel that affordable life insurance is the right move for the future financial security of your loved ones. We’ve come up with four key questions you should ask yourself before signing any documents. Your insurance agent can help you answer any of the following questions and determine how much and what kind of life insurance coverage might be right for you. 

1. Who Are Your Beneficiaries and What Are Their Financial Needs? 

Your beneficiaries are the individuals you select as the recipients of the death benefit. Often, this is a spouse or children, but it can be whoever you think should benefit financially. 

Take a close look at those you’re considering as beneficiaries. Do they have secure jobs or careers? How much will they rely on your death benefit for their financial security once you’re gone? If it’s your well-educated and well-paid spouse, the need for proceeds might be less than if your spouse hasn’t worked outside of the home or your kids don’t have significant job skills training. 

Don’t let your pursuit of an affordable life insurance policy end if you’re single and without a current companion. Ask yourself whether you intend to be married or in a long-term relationship in the future. Do you want to have kids? 

You don’t know exactly how your future will play out, but if you think there’s any chance of having loved ones dependent on your finances, the time couldn’t be better than when you’re presumably young and healthy to secure a life insurance policy.  

2. How Much Should You Invest in Affordable Life Insurance? 

There is no hard and fast rule on this, and the real question might be: How much can you afford? One thumbnail estimate says that you should carry 10 to 15 times your salary in life insurance. By that estimation, if you earn $50,000 a year, you’d get a policy with a face value of somewhere around $500,000 to $750,000. 

However, there are several other factors to be considered in addition to the cost of the policy’s premiums. As mentioned before, ask yourself how dependent your loved ones will be on the death benefit. 

Another factor worth consideration is your debt load. If you have thousands of dollars in debt that your estate must pay off, you’ll want to be well insured so as not to leave your family with financial worries. If, on the other hand, you’re nearly debt-free and have significant equity in your home and a portfolio of outside investments, your family might be much less reliant on your policy proceeds. 

3. What Is Your Age and State of Health? 

This is another factor impacting the cost of your coverage. It’s also why we strongly recommend obtaining an affordable life insurance policy at as young an age as possible— even if you don’t have beneficiaries on the horizon. 

You can get a life insurance policy in California at most any age and even with many adverse health conditions — but you’ll pay for it. 

Consider it from the underwriter’s point of view. Their goal is to sell insurance to individuals who are likely to be able to pay premiums into the account for a long time before they die and there’s a payout. So if you’re young and healthy, your premiums will likely cost less because your insurer is assuming a long premium payout period. 

But don’t fail to explore affordable life insurance because you think you’re too old or in poor health. While your policy premiums will be likely higher than a customer who’s decades younger and in good health, it’s likely that you can still leave a death benefit for loved ones. 

young family kissing child

4. Should You Explore Term or Whole Life Coverage? 

When we think of California life insurance policies, we imagine the inevitability of there being a death benefit. After all, this is perhaps the only sure thing in life. But the truth is, an automatic death benefit is only a primary feature of one of the two major forms of life insurance coverage: whole life. 

The other main form is called term. A term life insurance policy, much as it sounds, only covers a term of time in the policyholder’s life. For instance, if your kids are young, maybe you take out a 20-year term policy that will get the kids through their childhood and college years. 

The idea here is that your children will be most vulnerable financially in their young years. Even if you have a living spouse, he or she might be unable to make enough money to support your kids if you should prematurely die. 

Assuming you’re still alive at the end of that 20-year term, your coverage will end. There will be no death benefit since there was obviously no death. 

Term policies generally cost less than whole life policies because of this lack of an automatic payout. Let’s say you’re a 30-year-old parent in good health when you take out that 20-year term policy. The expectation is that you’ll probably still be alive once the 20-year term ends, and there will be no payout, so your policy will cost less than a whole life policy. The trade-off, of course, is that you get no guaranteed death benefit. 

To determine which approach is best for you, consider your budgetary reality and how much financial support you think your loved ones will need in the long run. Do you wish to leave them a death benefit as an inheritance? Or do you most want to offer financial protection during their most vulnerable years? 

Contact Your Cost-U-Less Independent Life Insurance Agent 

The value of working with an independent insurance agent in California is that they can help you find the best coverage from a selection of major life insurance carriers. 

Call Cost-U-Less at (800) 390-4071 to discuss affordable life insurance with an independent insurance agent. You can also get a quick quote online or find a Cost-U-Less California location near you for a face-to-face meeting.