If you’re like most people, “get life insurance” probably hasn’t made it onto your calendar. Let’s face it, we don’t usually think about items such as life insurance until someone asks about it, or worse, someone we know experiences a life crisis that puts things in a new light.
“No one gets out of bed and says, ‘It’s Life Insurance Day,’” concedes ERIE agent Steve Faus of The Hess Agency in Manheim, Pa.
Yet almost everyone can think of a family who lost a parent and provider prematurely and wondered how they would get along afterward. How would they maintain the standard of living they had before that unexpected loss? Time to push all those excuses aside and talk to your insurance company.
Making the Decision
A business partnership is what prompted Bob Rush and Shaun Haines to see their ERIE agent about life insurance. Bob and Shaun are owners of Ram Development, a construction company in Mooresville, N.C. Protecting that investment, they say, was an easy decision to make.
“Being in construction, a more dangerous line of work, Shaun and I figured we didn’t want to leave the burden on our business partner or our families if something happened to one of us,” says Bob, 46. “It wasn’t an issue about if we’re going to get life insurance, but to what extent.”
“With the life insurance policy, my family is protected and my wife has options if something should happen to me. She’ll be able to provide for our 1-year-old daughter,” agrees Shaun, 35. “It’s also a good business decision—it gives the opportunity for our company to carry on even if one of us isn’t around.”
But when ERIE agents such as Steve Faus do bring up life insurance,* many people pull out one of five common excuses. Some of them actually seem like good reasons, until you look a little closer.
1) “I’m covered through work.”
Employer-sponsored life insurance is a great benefit to have. But work benefits are usually limited. What’s more, they don’t go with you if you change jobs. And that’s more likely to happen than not. The U.S. Department of Labor says people between the ages of 18 and 38 change jobs an average of 10 times.
Also, the group rate offered through your company could be a negative. “If you’re young and healthy, you could be subsidizing premiums for older workers,” says ERIE agent Chip Dimmick of Partners Insurance Agency in Cornelius, N.C. That means you might get more coverage for your dollar if you had a policy outside of work.
2) “I’m healthy.”
The fact is, the best time to buy life insurance is when you’re in good health.
“Health situations can change so quickly,” says agent Greg Aldridge of Aldridge Insurance in South Bend, Ind., “and life insurance prices are contingent on good health.”
Agent Steve Faus compares it to deciding when to get auto or homeowners insurance. “The time to buy car insurance is not right before impact. The time to insure your house is not right before the fire starts,” he says. “That’s the whole reason behind insurance—to get it now to protect a future concern.”
3) “I’m not insurable.”
Let’s face it, many of us aren’t as healthy as we used to be. The beefcake chest has morphed into a beer belly, and we’re now forced to vigilantly monitor our medical metrics. But you might be surprised to find out that you are, in fact, insurable, regardless of age or health. “
Life insurance requirements are more flexible than people realize,” says Steve. “It’s a matter of finding the right fit for someone.” The best idea is to ask what the requirements are by talking to your ERIE agent. You might be surprised.
4) “It’s too expensive.”
“If someone tells me that they think life insurance is expensive, it tells me they don’t know or understand the product very well,” says Steve. “There are many types of life insurance available, and there’s usually something that will fit in everyone’s budget.” Once you break it down, life insurance is basically a dollars-a-day expense.
“It’s a great value for not all that high of a cost,” says agent Chip Dimmick. And the peace of mind and financial security those dollars offer will mean a lot to your family. You can’t put a high enough value on that.”
5) “I’m single and don’t have children.”
Not being married or having little ones around now doesn’t mean there aren’t other plans in store for you in the future.
“Even if you’re single without children, you don’t want to burden the person who is going to oversee your estate,” says Chip. “If you’re 55 and everything’s paid off, that’s a different matter. But if you are in your 20s or 30s and have debts such as a car and a home, it’s good to get insured now while the cost is the most reasonable.”
Is today the day?
When is the best time to get life insurance? When you can. We live in a busy society with lots competing for our attention. Take care of life insurance when the opportunity presents itself.
“People only think about it when I bring it up to them—or someone realizes that they should have gotten it sooner,” says Steve Faus. “I know life is busy. But I’ll keep asking because ‘I don’t need life insurance’ is very rarely a good answer.”
If you’re an ERIE auto and homeowners Policyholder, you can save on your premiums when you add a life policy from Erie Family Life*. Talk to your ERIE agent to find out how.
*Erie Family Life insurance not available in New York