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What Are Your Biggest Questions About Life Insurance? (We Answered Nine)

What Are Your Biggest Questions About Life Insurance? (We Answered Nine)

As we’ve discussed, life insurance is incredibly important to many people, but it can be a confusing (not to mention all around difficult) topic. So, we invited Laura McKiernan Boylan from Haven Life to our office, and she was happy to answer nine of the most-asked questions our readers have about life insurance…

The Most-Asked Questions About Life Insurance

First off, Haven Life is an online life insurance agency that was founded by a new dad who thought the process for purchasing life insurance should be made much easier. They’ve modernized the process of applying for term life insurance, so it’s now simple and affordable. Laura Boylan, who met with us, leads Haven Life’s underwriting solutions team — she’s basically a math genius. And she is also warm and lovely. (We talked about everything from nail polish colors to favorite lunch sandwiches to TV shows, as well as insurance.) She also raved about her smart, driven, kind team at Haven Life. It’s an insurance innovator with a real heart and desire to help people.

Here are Laura’s answers to common reader questions (and some of our own!):

Reader question: How much life insurance do I really need?
Laura: It depends on the situation, but one rule of thumb is that your policy should be for five to 10 times your annual income, which creates a cushion should the unexpected happen. If you are young, don’t have kids, and/or don’t have financial responsibilities, you may not need coverage at all. But if you’re married, have or are planning to have children, or have a mortgage, then you may want life insurance. If bad things happen, the last thing you want is for your loved ones to be worried about how to make the rent or mortgage payment.

What’s the difference between term and whole life insurance? Which one should I get?
Laura: Term life insurance provides you with coverage for a set period of time — typically, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. For example, you could buy coverage for the length of your 30-year mortgage, or the amount of time your kids will be in the house. You pay the same premium each month, and if you die within that term length, you will get the payout. If you don’t die within that term length, you won’t get the payout. It’s pure insurance. For most people, term life insurance is a sound choice.

Whole life insurance is exactly what it sounds like — coverage for your entire life. It’s generally much more expensive than term policies because of the coverage timeline and because it has a cash value component that can grow over time. This makes sense for people in certain scenarios, like if you have a child with special needs and you want to make sure they will always be covered, or you have a desire for both life insurance coverage and a product that can be part of your long-term financial planning strategy.

As an example of the cost difference, a healthy 35-year-old-woman can buy term life insurance, for a 30-year term, for $500,000 of coverage, for $36/month. That will cover her until she’s 65. The same amount of coverage under a whole life policy would cost $400 to $500/month. If you’re interested in how much a term life insurance policy would be for you, Haven Life has a quote tool that gives you a quick estimate. You can learn more about the pros and cons of term versus whole life insurance on our blog, too.

The Most-Asked Questions About Life Insurance

I have life insurance through my employer — aren’t I adequately covered?
Laura: Typically, no. The usual amount of coverage offered with benefits is one times your annual income, which wouldn’t be enough to provide a real cushion if something were to happen. Plus, the unfortunate reality is that since benefits given through an employer only continue through the time you’re employed, there is a chance that if something happens to your job, you may lose your coverage when you need it most. If you buy your own individual policy, it’s yours to keep, which ensures you will have it when you need it.

Should I bother with life insurance if I don’t have kids?
Laura: If you’re young, single and don’t have children, or if you aren’t planning on having kids, then you may not need or want life insurance.

Life insurance really becomes necessary when you have people who rely on your income in some way. For example, if you’re single and have a mortgage and would want your parents to have that house as an asset if you were to die. If you have a partner who relies on you financially, if you have a mortgage, if you have kids, if you have co-signed debt — then it’s time to consider buying life insurance.

Here’s another thing to think about: If you don’t have kids but you’re planning on having them, you may want to get life insurance in place beforehand. The younger and healthier you are, the cheaper it is. Plus, there are some scenarios, like gestational diabetes while you’re pregnant, that can make it more expensive post birth.

As always, if you’re not sure if life insurance is right for you or if you need it, try using an online calculator. Ours will tell you if you don’t need coverage at all.

My partner works but I stay home with our daughter. Should we just get life insurance for him right now?
Laura: Our recommendation is that the stay-at-home partner always needs coverage. Even if they don’t provide a financial contribution, they provide a significant amount of resources to the household. If something happens to the stay-at-home parent, the working spouse has to either hire someone to take over the childcare, cooking, cleaning and house management, or they have to leave or step back from work to do those things themselves. Either way, having a cushion is just as important for both partners.

haven life insurance — your top insurance questions answered

Honestly, I get overwhelmed by how many policies I’m told I SHOULD have. I don’t make a huge salary and I have credit card debt, too. How do I prioritize all the policies/savings/debt I should be putting money toward?
Laura: First of all, I must add the necessary disclaimer that I am not a financial adviser, so I am not licensed to offer advice. Everyone’s financial situation is different, but, general financial guidance supports that one of the most important things is to have an emergency cushion for any unforeseen things that pop up. For example, you can start with a goal of $1,000 in a savings account separate from your general checking, and then eventually build up to at least 3 to 6 times your monthly income in emergency savings. We all have to start somewhere, and $1,000 is a good start.

Once you have an adequate cushion, you can focus on three financial priorities: paying off high-interest debt (like credit cards), saving for retirement, and continuing to build your emergency fund.

When it comes to debt, consider starting with the credit card with the highest interest rate first since you’ll ultimately pay the most on that balance (but make sure to pay the minimum on all of your cards!). Generally student loans are a lower interest rate and from a prioritization standpoint, come after credit card debt.

If you have a 401k for retirement savings, you should try to contribute at least enough to get your full employer match (it’s free money!). If you’re a freelancer, open a traditional or Roth IRA, which also have tax advantages, and start with small auto transfers. Over time, you can increase your contributions little by little.

It can be difficult to balance savings and debt repayment at the same time, but it’s important to keep building up that emergency fund. For example, 3 to 6 times your monthly income as we mentioned earlier, or more if you’re a freelancer or member of the gig economy.

As you’re building your financial foundation, it can still be good to have a little bit of life insurance coverage (especially if you have financial dependents; if you don’t, skip it!) — say one to three times your annual income. When you’re young and healthy, a small term policy like that can be very affordable, and it will help provide a financial cushion to your beneficiaries if something happens to you.

Then, as you get financially stable, you can start thinking about other goals like saving to buy a home or contributing to your child’s college education fund, and, of course, if you’ll need life insurance to protect those assets or intended plans.

haven life insurance — your top insurance questions answered

What is the process like when applying for life insurance? I’ve heard horror stories about how long it takes.
Laura: Here’s a story about my two very different experiences applying for a term life insurance policy. Years ago, I applied for a policy through a digital broker, which shall remain nameless. I had to go through an agent, filled out many forms, and then had an hour-long phone call to answer questions about my health and lifestyle, many of which I had already answered on the application. Then, a phlebotomist came to my home to draw blood and take my medical history and asked the same medical questions for a third time. From start to finish, it took about three hours of phone calls and an 18-week review process to get approved for coverage. And when it finally went through, there were many errors. They spelled my last name wrong and my husband was listed as my brother!

When I applied for a policy through Haven Life, with coverage issued by our parent company MassMutual, I applied online and had to speak to only one human (the phlebotomist), and I got my final offer in only 18 days. If a medical exam is needed for your Haven Term policy, you can take it at a time and place of your choosing. Most customers choose to have it at home — I personally chose to take the medical exam at a Quest facility down the street from our office. It took about 15 minutes from start to finish.

When someone applies for life insurance, how do you assess risk? What kinds of things are you looking at?
Laura: Pricing life insurance for each individual is fundamentally a risk assessment. (I’m one of few people who can actually say they use what they learned in college statistics courses!) While it might be a bit weird to think about, this is ultimately a good thing because it means the insurer is pricing coverage for you and your individual situation. For most people, this makes your coverage more affordable.

In the application process, an insurer will ask about personal and family health history, occupation, financial risks, lifestyle choices and hobbies (dangerous hobbies like skydiving or rock climbing, for example, can make the premium higher) to understand how to price your coverage.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
Laura: Definitely the people! I feel so unbelievably fortunate to work at such a cool company with such amazing people. Everyone is so enthusiastic and engaged with what we’re doing. When you are an actuary and work in an industry that’s grounded in understanding lifespan, there are naturally a lot of fun conversations about how we adapt as people live longer. What if modern medicine is able to extend life by hundreds of years? Right now, the mortality charts extend to 121, and only one French woman, Jeanne Calment, ever lived beyond that — to be 122 years and 164 days. Generally, life expectancy goes up with health advancements and that is interesting to see!

The Most-Asked Questions About Life Insurance


After meeting with Laura, we could see not only what a lovely person she is, but what a great company she’s part of. If you’re in the market for term life insurance, or just want to learn more about it, we highly recommend checking out Haven Life.

Do you have life insurance? Do you have any other questions? Please feel free to share in the comments below… Thank you, Laura!

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Haven Life, an online life insurance agency whose mission we believe in. Thanks for supporting the brands that help support Cup of Jo.)

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC17DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is 0K71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.

  1. Beth says...

    Life insurance is not very affordable if you have a mental illness, even if you are managing it well with therapy and medication. I was denied coverage competently through my employers policy. I did end up purchasing a policy through Haven, but it was about 5 times the cost mentioned in the article. It’s a necessity as a mom, but so frustrating to be discriminated against for having responsibilities sought treatment for mental illness.

  2. A says...

    Hi there, thank you for this post! I have a question: some family members have gotten genetic testing and found out they are positive for certain pathogenic gene mutations. I have not gotten testing done but want to in the future to see if I also have these mutations. I’ve heard that getting genetic testing can influence eligibility for life insurance policies. Could you provide more information about this? Would you always recommend someone getting life insurance before getting genetic testing done? Can genetic testing impact life insurance that someone already has?
    Thanks!

  3. Shira says...

    My husband and I have life insurance already, but I’d love to look into Haven Life. Is it possible to switch policies (I guess like refinancing a mortgage)? What would happen to the money we’ve already paid for our policies?

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Shira, I’m guessing you have a term life insurance policy with another carrier? With term life insurance, you pay for coverage just in case something were to happen to you. If you live to the end of the term (which is the plan!) coverage ends and you won’t receive the paid premiums back. It’s kind of like car insurance in that way.
      So, if you cancel your current term life insurance coverage, you probably wouldn’t get the paid premiums back. If you have a permanent life insurance policy (like whole or universal life), you would want to determine if you have cash value by contacting your life insurer or financial advisor.
      Additionally, if your main intention is to cancel existing coverage in order to replace with the Haven Term policy, we don’t support that yet. However, if you’re looking to add coverage/buy a new policy, you are always welcome to apply- ultimately, whatever you choose to do with your other policies, later on, is up to you.

  4. Sharon says...

    Excellent post. I work in health insurance and read this mostly wanting to make sure it wasn’t trying to scare/sell people into a huge whole life or universal life product. Very pleased to see Cup of Jo provide quality. Term is the way to go. But overall, really sound advice. I would just add, it’s always worth looking into what your employer offers as voluntary life over and above the employer paid. It’s a group policy, so the rates are normally very competitive. You can stack these policies with your individual and the enrollment process is EASY. It’s always Term Life, and normally age banded, so you will not lock in a low rate, but it’s a great add on if you want to get extra coverage. If you have young children, I think it’s one of the best things you can do. So much more important than saving for college. If my spouse lost me, I would want them to have as much money as possible to be able to focus on family and raising the kids.

  5. Lidia says...

    I would like to add that a single/childless person might still want to consider having a small life insurance policy. If you die, will your family struggle to pay for your funeral? If so, even a 10-20k life policy would be super helpful. Also, if you have loans that your family cosigned for, you might want to find out if they would still be responsible for them if you died. If your family is not in the best financial situation, you could leave them in a tough spot. I know this is definitely true for many of us who come from very low income families. Most term/supplemental policies through your employer are super easy to enroll in and incredibly cheap so I would encourage everyone to sign up for at least 10k if you don’t want to bother getting your own policy.

  6. Sara says...

    Thank you so much for having a professional willing to say if you’re single/childless, you may well not need life insurance. So many people still try to push purchase of life insurance for people who don’t truly need it. Thanks for always writing with integrity!

  7. Cynthia says...

    Thank you for this article. We have always had life insurance of our own besides what our jobs offer, and your insurance needs change throughout life. If a family has a stay-at-home parent, that parent definitely needs life insurance.

  8. Alaina says...

    What a great, helpful post. Insurance can be so confusing & overwhelming and I love how Meredith broke everything down really clearly . This is why I love Cup of Jo :)

  9. C says...

    She went to my high school! I just did a double take when I saw the first picture. Wonderful woman.

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      That’s so fun! feel free to say hi on facebook. :)

  10. michelle says...

    this year two people at my company died tragically and unexpectedly. both had young kids and non-working spouses. my husband and i applied for life insurance immediately. it’s been a sad year in my circle and a massive reminder that each day is not promised. it was a wake up and reminder that we’ve actually been irresponsible not having coverage (we have 3 little littles). it’s only $50ish for $1 mill coverage (in our case) and we EASILY carved that out of our existing budget (i think of it as one less meal out a month). we use haven life and it really was a super easy process (but then again we are very healthy and 35). anyway, if you have kids just do it. even if it’s whatever you can covered for for like $20 a month or another amount, you can always up it later if you want (i think).

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Michelle, I am so sorry to hear about that. It’s such a hard topic to think about, but coverage is so important if you end up needing it.
      I’m glad that you had such a good experience with haven life! We’re happy we were able to help you protect your family and make your life a little less hard.

  11. Extremely helpful! Thank you for putting together a post so simple and concise to understand about something so important and easy to put off because of its tedious nature <3

  12. Emily says...

    My husband and I went through the process with Haven Life to get a quote after reading an earlier promotion about them here. I have to say, it was disappointing. Not only did it take a very long time to go back and forth through the process, jumping through hoops with paperwork and medical exams, but in the end they ruled that my husband had a pre-existing medical condition and the insurance was not affordable at all. I feel like we all could have saved ourselves some time with a clearer questionnaire up front. Please do something to help your future customers avoid this frustrating process instead of spending so much time marketing your company as so quick, easy and affordable when clearly it’s not for everyone. Back to square one for us.

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Emily, thanks for sharing your feedback, and we regret that we let you down. We’re not perfect, and sometimes we fall short on providing a completely streamlined experience for all applicants, especially when more complicated medical histories and the need for any medical records occurs. We’re constantly looking to improve, and I can promise you that any frustrating experience is one too many for us. We’ve worked hard to simplify the application questions as much as possible so if you have specific feedback on it, we’d love to hear from you more. Please note: it’s highly likely that your husband can use the medical exam results to apply with another life insurance company. If you reach out to our customer success team, we’d be happy to provide that information and direct you to other options. https://havenlife.com/contact.html

  13. Catherine says...

    My husband and I have a two year old and are about to have a second child. We both work full-time and are fortunate enough to not carry any debt and have a healthy amount of savings. We have debated getting life insurance, but we ultimately decided we have enough in savings where we don’t need life insurance. Am I missing something?

    • Christine says...

      My husband and I are in a similar situation. We both have life insurance. We tried to think about what would happen if one of us were to die, from a financial point of view. Because with the loss of one income we would still need to pay all of the same expenses (mortgage, utilities, child care etc). We figured the stress on the family of losing one of us would be enough, without having to throw in financial worries as well. But it’s a different situation for everyone!

    • Anne says...

      Yes. We were in the same situation, but we both got small policies right after our second child was born. It was a hassle and then seemed silly to pay the monthlies. Ten years later, my very fit and health conscious husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He died less than two years later – leaving me to raise two sons who loved their father so. Money does not solve all problems, but it can help. On the first anniversary of his passing, I let them choose anywhere in the world to visit. They chose Iceland. We’ve taken a lot of fun trips that I would never have done if it were not for the bit of extra money we got from his life insurance policy. And now my sons are both in college. They have not had to touch their 529s yet because I have the money to pay for them. Anyway, life insurance insurance was worth it for us. I never knew I’d be a widow at 40.

    • Adrienne says...

      If you both die in, for instance, a car accident, do you have enough money saved so that the guardians of your children can raise them, buy a new (bigger) house if necessary, and send them to college? If not, you need life insurance.
      If your husband (or you) die, and your income is slashed by that amount, is there enough to cover the bills? To continue to save? We decided on our “worst case” scenario which would be that one of us dies when we have small children, leaving 20 years to raise children on a single salary. We got life insurance. We also have it in case my sister ends up becoming guardian for our four kids–going from 2 kids to 6 kids is almost guaranteed to warrant a bigger house, bigger vehicle, etc.

    • Nope. If you don’t work a dangerous job, chances are you’ll be fine. My husband and I are in the same boat, and are willing to chance it.

    • shannon says...

      Maybe? I’d recommend thinking through what your day to day life would be like if one of you passed away. Would you want to stay home with your kids, or would you have enough in savings to pay for child care? Would you still be able to pay all bills and put away savings for retirement and college funds? Might you need a cushion of funds to give the surviving spouse time to take off of work to grieve? Maybe you could have a smaller policy size since you are financially sound, but I think it’s worth exploring the options.

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Catherine, it is possible for people to be self-insured if they have enough assets or little enough debt that they wouldn’t face financial hardship by the loss of a spouse. For example, they could continue to afford the mortgage, expenses like child care and healthcare, and save for future expenses like college without both incomes. The reality is that few young families are in that situation.

    • Timothy says...

      I commend everyone for thinking about the future and making an early financial decision to protect their family for the next 20 to 30 years, but do anyone of you thinking about your health from age 60 and beyond. Long-term care is a significant cost and with proper planning, those costs (if required) do not have to become a burden to your family, especially during a time when they are beginning their financial planning for themselves and their family. Please see the following link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/10/health/assisted-living-costs-elderly.html
      When I was in my mid-twenties, my father opened an Indexed Universal Life (IUL) account for me and paid for the first year’s premium, after the first year I began paying for the annual premium. For a while, I was skeptical of how these policies functioned and increased in value, but after further research, I decided to open a second IUL, this time with Long Term Care (LTC). After about five years, my original policy had a cash value 10% higher than projected and at that point, I converted it to an IUL with LTC and increased the policy coverage amount. A year later, after further review and prioritization of my financial obligations, I opened a third IUL with LTC. I am 35 and I have three IUL policies with LTC valued at $1.5M. When I turn 66, I anticipate that I will be able to withdraw/loan approximately $90K per year for the remainder of my life tax-free. In the event that I do not withdraw/loan the full amount, my family will benefit from the remainder of the policy value. I also have a 401k type of retirement account.
      Note: I am not a financial adviser and I am just a normal working individual like you guys.

  14. Lisa says...

    So interesting – I get life insurance through my employer (I’m in the UK so it’s a pretax benefit that they can offer) and I honestly didn’t think of what would happen if I was no longer employed by them.
    I agree with another poster that I really wish that there was more emphasis on financial literacy in schools. I only learnt about different pension types when I was at law school! My mother (in her 70s) is still relatively clueless about financial matters. For eg in the UK you can get savings accounts where a certain amount is exempt from tax. She refused to open one because she thought it was investing in a hedge fund. 🤦🏼‍♀️

  15. James says...

    Check with your state whether you need living trust to avoid probate.

    • Emmie says...

      Yes! This too. Wish the article would have mentioned!

  16. Maggie says...

    I love that coj has more serious articles like these mixed in to their everyday posts! I am newly married (2.5 yrs) in my early twenties, and learning LOTS about how to run a household. Side note: my husband and I were living our years while dating and first years of marriage in Mexico while he waited to gets his VISA approved – he’s now been here for a year, this being his first time EVER in the U.S.)

    I have a sort of unique situation where, currently, a lot of financial planning falls on me. Like I mentioned before My husband is a new immigrant to this country and grew up with little to no money at times. I grew up in a middle-class household where my parents were very good about planning for the future and all the “what ifs.” My husband, however, was on his own at 13 when he went to play soccer professionally. His parents weren’t very involved in his life – at least a lot less than mine were in my life. I love him very much and I see so many strong features in him that I have never seen in others that I’ve met (incredibly independent, resourceful, street smart, etc.) It does, however, seem to be a BIG cultural difference how we view money. I’m noticing more and more how he views life as to be lived in the present vs. planning for the future. He doesn’t agree/understand why people are so worried about saving money, having insurance, etc.

    I say all this because I think it’s interesting talking about cultural differences that go beyond language, food, festivals, etc. and looking deeper into aspects of our life that are so common amongst one culture yet so foreign to another.

    Anyways, I love coj!!!

    • Adrienne says...

      There is a book called A Framework for Understanding Poverty that researched how people from different socioeconomic backgrounds view money, spending, saving, etc., from the “poor” to the super-rich. It was interesting, and might help you navigate some of these differences.

    • Maggie says...

      Yes, I’ve read some of her books! Very insightful!

  17. Denise says...

    These financial health posts are so helpful and I wish there had been some education about financial health so much earlier on in my life. I remember Economics in Jr. High (1980’s) where we learned about budget and writing checks, and then…… nothing. Is that because I’m female? Is that because I come from a low income neighborhood and school system? Why wasn’t there education about finance? Why didn’t I seek it out? In any case, I’m mid-life now and I’m just finding out about a lot of things that would’ve been helpful to know 25 years ago. It’s never too late so thanks again for posting about this stuff! Young ladies pay attention, you won’t regret the time it takes to learn about your financial options and smart practices earlier in life.

  18. AE says...

    Hi! If I get a term life policy now (its just myself, my partner, and our mortgage/debt right now) and it ends at 65. Do I apply for another term life policy at that time to cover the next (anticipated, hopefully) 20 years?

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      With term life insurance, the expectation is that by the time you are at or near retirement (or the end of the term), you are no longer protecting against substantial financial responsibilities like a mortgage, shared debts or young children. The plan is that by age 65, you have substantial savings and paid off assets, and there’s no need to protect against that “what if” scenario of dying too young when you have a lot of financial responsibilities and few assets. Once the term is up, you can consider buying another policy, but in an ideal world, you wouldn’t need coverage any longer.

  19. This was great, many thanks!

    Wondering if Whole Life Insurance can be unpacked/demystified a bit? We have a financial adviser who has been encouraging us convert our term to whole life as a strategy for retirement saving, and I would love to get the perspective of a neutral party. We are fortunate enough to be able to afford the higher monthly premiums, but I’m not convinced it’s the best route for us. Thanks!

    • Elle says...

      Our financial advisor encouraged us too, and we are doing it! We have both short term (20 year $600k policy) if something where to happen to one of us when the kids are still at home or in college and Life term ($200k + whatever that will earn though the Market rate, in the last 3 years, the investment made about $1k a year). Even if I had to pay the $1700/ year premium until i’m 100, it is more interesting than if I was saving and investing that money on my own (because the perm insurance has no negative market risk). So I see it as a savings account on steroid for my children to receive after we die.

    • Laura’s article is point on with the fact that term life insurance is appropriate for almost everyone. With other forms of insurance, there is no expectation of any type of cash value or return of premiums. For example, if you purchase homeowners insurance and your home does not burn down, you are perfectly happy to have paid the premium and not received anything back.

      What’s missed in the conversation of term life vs. whole life (universal, indexed, etc.) is that life insurance is insurance – risk protection. When you add in a cash value component, you are combining another type of product – accumulation/investment, what have you. If you are protecting against a specific risk, you only need coverage for a specified time. As Laura’s article points out, this need for coverage will decline as your other assets grow.

      When you combine cash accumulation, you get an opaque financial product where you cannot break out fees & expenses. The fees and expenses on whole life & other cash value products are expensive. Especially when compared to fees on an ETF or Mutual Fund that are .5% or less annually. There are many other reasons why cash value life insurance is not a prudent purchase.

      You should always think of your needs first and then how you can purchase your insurance with the lowest premium – making sure that you are with a financially stable insurance company. Tony Steuer, Author, Questions & Answers on Life Insurance.

  20. Summer says...

    My husband and I just got life insurance! We found a financial advisor and he is amazing. I always thought only the “rich” should have an advisor, but he has set up a plan for us including creating an emergency fund, life insurance, disability insurance, help with our retirement – he let us know that we are on track with our current retirement funds. It is such a relief knowing that we now have a set plan :)

  21. C. says...

    you give suggestions for people who are relatively young, but what about those who are older? Any tips for those who are in the 50-65 year old range?

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Thanks for your question! Medically underwritten term life insurance can be a great option for people across a wide range of ages and backgrounds especially if they have financial dependents. The Haven Term policy is available to eligible applicants up to age 64. A great place to start is with our life insurance calculator. It’ll help you understand your needs for both a coverage amount and term length. We also have a a customer success team that would be happy to answer any of your questions. They’re available via phone, email and chat: https://havenlife.com/contact.html

  22. Sherrie says...

    Ok, the important things….where is your beautiful blouse from?

  23. Libby says...

    Great post! Life insurance is confusing and intimidating. When I was single, I did the cheap monthly premium through my job that would basically cover a funeral, etc. if I died. Once I got married, my husband and I, being healthy and knowing we wanted children in the future, immediately signed up for a 20 year Term Life policy (I think for a million dollars?). It is a reasonable monthly payment.
    Our insurance agent always tries to push Whole Life… but we remain skeptical. It is SO much more expensive with not as much coverage. We personally do not see life insurance as a savings investment; we see it as what it is – insurance. Yes, you “lose” money if you’re healthy just like with health insurance, but it’s one thing you feel grateful to never have to claim.

  24. Denise says...

    I’d like to just add, for everyone here, please just DO IT. Yes, it may be a pain and something you just don’t want to adult about right now. I felt the same way but thankfully my husband insisted. So when he died at exactly 50-1/2, and in the best shape of his adult life, our family was provided for. You don’t think it will happen to you, but it happens to someone, or several someones, every day. Life insurance will not bring them back, but it will ease your mind from at least one thing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry for your loss, denise. thank you so much for this advice. xoxo

    • Maureen G says...

      I completely agree…same happened to me. My 44 yr old husband was killed in an accident about a year after we updated our policies. Ironically, I was the one who was complaining about the extra monthly expense. (Yikes, glad I was over-ruled on that decision.) Our long-time insurance agent cried when he and I did the paperwork… As Denise said, at least one bit of my crazed-out mind was eased.

    • James says...

      Totally agreed. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. This is to protect the family when something happen.

    • Sam says...

      Yes! I lost my parents when I was 19. My father had no life insurance but my mother had a small policy. That little bit of money helped me pay off student loans and set me up for a more comfortable future. Please please think of your children even though it’s hard to imagine you may pass before they grow up.

  25. Christine says...

    When shopping around for life insurance, what are the key criteria to examine in order to determine which company offers the best policy (other than the lowest price)?

    • Erica Scott says...

      things like their financial rating by am best and others and their how fast they settle claims historically

    • James says...

      Agree with what Erica said. I want to add the post service. Also how much you trust the agent.

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Christine, at a high level: 1. You can look at company ratings from a third party like A.M. Best. The ratings consider factors like financial strength and claims-paying ability. Our parent company, MassMutual, has the highest rating possible from AM Best, and has received high rating from other insurance rating companies. 2. Of course, try to get the best policy for your situation in terms of affordability and coverage amount. 3. Make sure you’re buying the type of insurance that’s right for you, and understand any limitations on what a policy will and won’t cover. For instance, some policies only cover deaths from certain illnesses or accidents. 4. Consider your preferred purchasing experience (i.e. online versus through an agent)

  26. Hilary says...

    Thanks so much for this article! I saved it so I can talk to my husband about it tonight. Do you also remember that site/program where you can store account #s/passwords/etc in case your spouse dies? I swear I read about it on CofJ. Now that we have a baby it’s extra important that our financial life is in order!

    • E says...

      I use LastPass and highly recommend it.

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Hilary, we’re so glad this prompted a life insurance discussion with your husband. FWIW: the Haven Term policy comes with a no-cost rider called Haven Life Plus that gives our customers access to benefits beyond life insurance. It includes a membership to LifeSite, a secure online vault for storing, sharing and managing your family’s most important documents. You can read more about Plus partners here: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

    • janee says...

      Yes to finding the password site, I remember reading that here too but I somehow forgot to bookmark it. It’s not lastpass, it’s an organizational tool in case of death. I’d really like to know what that was!

  27. Lucy says...

    Can I ask what happened to the Ask Paco posts? I loved them!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we took a quick break because she got nutty with work projects/personal things, but we’ll be back with one very soon! we love her, too! xoxo

  28. Tracy says...

    What’s the best way to go about this if you now have a pre-existing condition (an autoimmune but are otherwise healthy)? My husband and I have a 20 year term that expires in 4 years, but we now also have a 2 year old to consider.

    • RBC says...

      I am not an expert, but I’m in the same boat (congenital heart condition that doesn’t really affect my life or life expectancy) but I just went the same route as my husband. Some insurers may reject you outright. Some people are eligible for group insurance I think (example, member of the Canadian medical association) in which case you might be guaranteed acceptance. Anyway, long story short, I would just start the process same as anyone else. I pay about the same amount annually for half the coverage my husband has ($470 for 0.5M for a 25 year term policy – but that’s in Canada…). Annoying that it’s so much more expensive, but we have 4 kids, so I had to get something! Good luck!

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Tracy, I wish I could give you a more direct answer, but it really all depends on the individual. If you do have a medical condition, it is likely that you’ll pay more than the very best rate—but there are also conditions that wouldn’t impact rates at all. If you’re considering buying more coverage, the best way to find out about pricing and eligibility is to submit an application online. In regards to your existing policy … most term policies allow you to renew the policy without a medical exam but pricing is substantially higher. Additionally, when it comes to medical conditions, that can be a time where employer-provided life insurance, although not portable, can be the right choice to have that extra coverage in place until your child is an adult.

    • Rebekah Harper says...

      I have a benign pituitary tumor which unfortunately still counts as a tumor. I’m otherwise healthy and it made the policy cost about $15 more a month but it is still under $50 for a $500 000 25 year policy. Definitely still worth it.

    • Catherine says...

      Tracy, I have an autoimmune disease, too, and my husband and I got life insurance for both of us when we were trying to conceive our oldest son 11 years ago. I had the regular medical tests done and, in my case, my premiums were the same as my husband’s, or actually lower because I’m a woman and we tend to live longer.

      My husband updated his insurance once he turned 40, and he’s actually in better physical shape now than when we were in our 20s. I’m a SAHM and haven’t updated my policy. I wonder if I need to…

  29. Roxana says...

    Thank you for this! So timely.

    We’re in the process of buying/”renting” (haven’t yet pulled the trigger on either) policies for both my husband and myself. My husband has a term policy through work, but I am not covered as I’m mostly a SAHM. Our youngest son has special needs so this is a big priority for us. We’re in planning to set-up our finances so that the policy will pay-out into a trust that can be used for his care when we’re not around. After reading so much about all this, I strongly urge any other special needs parents to go this route!

    And special needs aside, term life insurance is really important to have, especially if you have children. Definitely a wise and worthwhile investment!

    Thanks so much!

  30. Courtney says...

    Great post! Reminded me of the financial series COJ had started with a specific finance expert (I can’t recall her name right now.) Is that still happening?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, coming up soon!

  31. Cooper says...

    Since weight seems to be a factor, would it be worth it to wait to get coverage after you lose a little weight, or would it not make that much difference?

    • Erica Scott says...

      You can ask beforehand what the weight requirements are for each rate class

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Cooper, medically underwritten term life insurance (which is what we sell) takes into consideration a variety of factors, one of which includes weight/BMI, to get a pretty complete picture of your health. Without knowing your specific situation, I can say that coverage is generally more affordable when you’re younger AND healthier. Why not lock in coverage now if you know you need it? You can always take another medical exam later and go through medical underwriting again to see if you can improve your price once you get to your ideal weight.

    • Adrienne says...

      I got my first policy when I was pregnant with my first and did not get the best rate because, apparently, cholesterol gets high when pregnant. But I locked into the not-best rate. Then I had the baby, waited about six months, and redid the health exam and was given the better rate. Don’t wait for when you lose the weight. Do it now, and if you lose the weight, retake the medical.

  32. I like that some let you borrow against them.

  33. Joy says...

    Really nice post. I purchased (term) life and disability insurance 2 years ago inspired by a facebook group (!) of women physicians interested in helping other women physicians understand finance and be smart about money. I refinanced my crazy student loans to a lower rate. I learned about saving for retirement and started contributing to my kids’ college fund. It was so empowering for me to be able to ask questions and take small steps. So glad to see this series on cup of jo.

  34. Candice says...

    What is the point of term life insurance? Am I missing something? If I’m 30 and get a 30 year term policy, what happens in my 60s and beyond, when I am actually likely to die?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Good question! You buy another policy at that point. It’s just straight up “pure” insurance — not as a money making tool, but as a protector for your loved ones if something happens to you. So you pay as you go. Does that make sense?

    • Sandra says...

      The point (if you have kids) is to protect them and your surviving spouse during those years when the kids are still dependent on you. You most likely won’t die in your 30s or 40s, which is why insurance is cheaper then. Many of the guys in my husband’s group of friends didn’t see the point of life insurance…until one of the guys died unexpectedly. His wife had to sell the house and move…it was a huge financial mess. They are all insured now. Fast-forward 20 or 30 years and the kids are out of the house, your mortgage is most likely paid off, and you have some assets in the bank you can use for funeral planning…at that point you don’t NEED insurance as much, and it becomes really expensive because you are more likely to die. We recently bought policies through Prudential since my husband’s new job doesn’t offer life insurance. It is for 20 years (long enough for my son to be out of college). We will have the option to continue our policies after the 20 years is up, but the premiums will go up a lot and it probably won’t be worth it.

    • Lauren says...

      My husband and I have term life insurance just because if we live into our 60s and beyond we’ll have inherited enough money to live on, and there’d always be our house to mortgage, and our savings. The insurance is so that if something happened sooner than it should, the other person wouldn’t have to worry about money or having to change anything.

    • Rachel says...

      Hopefully your net worth will go up over the next 30 years, too.
      For example, if you pass away in your 30s or 40s you may leave a spouse or child behind who depends on your income (mortgage, childcare, college, wedding, etc.)
      If you pass away in your 60s hopefully your children will no longer be financially dependent on you, your home will be paid off and your spouse or whoever depends on you will have your assets or estate (property, retirement accounts, etc.) to help support themselves over time in the future.
      You can always buy another policy but in an ideal world you won’t need one because your assets will cover any upcoming needs. That’s my understanding of the idea behind the term.

    • Kate says...

      The idea behind term insurance is that you can pay for higher coverage amounts while you have higher financial responsibilities to protect (kids still in school or college, mortgage, a spouse too young to get Social Security, retirement savings that are still in building and not withdrawal mode). And then you can step down or eliminate how much insurance coverage you need as those financial obligations roll off in your 60s or 50s or 70s (i.e. you pay off your mortgage or no longer have financially dependent kids) or you have sufficient other assets to provide for your family.

      My husband purchased a 20 year term policy on the advice of a financial planner last year (we are both 40). I buy supplemental life insurance coverage annually through my employer but need to switch to a term policy now that a high risk pregnancy is behind me. Though our kids won’t be through college by age 60, we are saving for their education and our retirement separately. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but we hope we can save enough money to not need term insurance by then. Otherwise we can buy a shorter term policy that matches our needs at that time, as Joanna says. Definitely gives peace of mind. :)

    • Rose says...

      The point of term life insurance is that, generally, your financial responsibilities are greater when you’re younger. Right now, I have a mortgage and a small kid whose college I want to pay for and who needs to be taken care of by two people —me and my husband or, if one of us were to die, the surviving parent and a professional.
      If one of us were to die now, without insurance it would be catastrophic. Neither of us can afford to support our life without the other.
      If I were to die in my sixties, my House will be most likely paid for, my kid will be an adult who doesn’t need me (or a nanny) to look after him and his college will be paid for. Thus, it’s much more important for us to have that safety network now than later.

    • H says...

      Just like any insurance, you hope you never have to use it. For example, I pay for homeowner insurance in case of fire, etc., but hope I never have to use it (hope my house never burns down). So you may end up “wasting” the money you pay for your insurance premiums, but it’s important to have in the (hopefully) unlikely chance something does happen to you / your partner.

    • H says...

      Also, the thought behind term life insurance is that after the term ends (say in 30 years), your kids should be grown up and out of the house and your mortgage will likely be paid off, so there isn’t the same financial burden as having young kids to raise/support and a full mortgage to pay. At least that’s how we thought of it. And that’s why most people don’t buy life insurance until they have kids.

    • Hilary says...

      The idea is that by age 60 you will have paid off your debts and accumulated savings, and your kids will have become self sufficient, so that your death wouldn’t leave your loved ones in the lurch financially. It would be cost prohibitive to buy term life insurance at age 60 because, as you mentioned, the risk of dying gets higher as you age and you accumulate more health problems. If you think you will need coverage beyond age 60 I would build that into your policy now by buying a longer term (eg 40 years) or by getting whole life insurance.

    • Mara says...

      Usually you don’t need life insurance after your term expires at 60 years old. Most likely: your kids will be adults and live outside your house, your house will be paid for and you will have a sizable chuck of money in your retirement account. At that point you are self-insured. What that means is that if you die your spouse (or whomever your beneficiary is) can use your assets to continue living the same quality of life.
      What you should consider once you hit 60 is long-term care insurance. This way, if you go into a nursing home and have to stay there for 2-3 years, you won’t use up all your assets and leave nothing for your spouse.
      You wouldn’t drive a car without car insurance, right? Don’t go through the bulk of your life thinking accidents never happen! Protect your family! Plus, it’s cheap.
      I got coverage for 20 years at $500,000 for $25 a month. And my stay at home husband? He’s covered too! I would never be able to go through life without him but if I had to, his coverage will go a long way to helping me raise our daughter.

    • Francine says...

      You may not need it anymore: Your house may be paid off, your children may be independent, and your retirement savings or widow(er)’s pension enough for your partner to live on.
      At least, that’s the theory.
      TLDR: As term life insurance is more or less intended to replace the earning power of the deceased person, someone who is retired will need it less.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great points, francine!

    • Mari says...

      Candice, the point of any insurance is to provide a safety net in the case of a financially devastating situation. It’s not for bad stuff that WILL definitely happen, but for really bad stuff that MIGHT happen. When you buy car insurance, you don’t buy insurance for oil changes or transmission repairs that will definitely happen– you buy insurance for the big accidents and expensive ambulance bills that might happen.

      Think of term life insurance like a period of health insurance. If I buy a one-year health insurance policy but the year goes by without any major medical catastrophies, the insurance wasn’t “wasted.” I was protected from the (small) possibility of cancer or some other major crisis that could have cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      Similarly with life insurance, the purpose is to protect your dependents (primarily your children) in case you die while they still rely on you. Say you’re 30 and have two young kids– you might buy a 20 year term policy for $1 million. This is not because you think you WILL die in the next 20 years and you want a payout; it’s because, in the relatively unlikely scenario where you do die unexpectedly, the resulting financial burden to your partner or family of raising your kids alone would be really difficult. My husband is the primary breadwinner for our family, and if something were to happen to him, it would be really hard for me to pay our mortgage and put my kids through college without his income. Life insurance protects against that (again, unlikely but possible) scenario.

      When you’re in your 60s and beyond, it usually doesn’t make sense to buy life insurance, for several reasons:
      1) At that point, your children are likely grown and independent, so if you died, no one would be left in dire financial straits.
      2) Death at that age is less devastating financially, because at that point you’ve hopefully built up savings and don’t have as many financial obligations (large mortgage, debt, etc.).
      3) Life insurance gets extremely expensive as you get older. Death is no longer a very unlikely event but a real possibility.

      As Paco says, “Pure insurance is a tool to minimize loss, it is not for gain.”

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Candice, it’s kind of like car insurance. You pay a premium every year, and if you don’t get into an accident, you don’t have any claims or benefits paid. With term life insurance, the expectation is that by the time you reach retirement, you no longer have a financial need since your family wouldn’t be relying on your income, and you would have built up a financial cushion in retirement savings. For people with more complicated financial situations, like if you expect significant estate taxes, a permanent policy may be more appropriate.

    • Katie says...

      it’s insurance for catastrophe. we rely on my husband’s income completely, so if he were to die, his life insurance would pay for our house and several years of income while i got my head on straight. if i died now, my life insurance would cover the mortgage and a few years of childcare that my husband would need to care for our girls. in 30 years, my husband will be retired and we’ll be living off our retirement savings, our kids will be out of college and our home paid off, so the large life insurance isn’t needed. (not a financial advisor but looked into this for our family needs) :)

    • Erica Scott says...

      theoretically you buy term insurace for the length of time you expect to have significant debt. So if you are 30 with a 30 year mortgage, your term policy will pay for the mortgage in the event of your death (and other debt you may have). and if you have a kid at 30 your child will be age of majority by the time youre sixty, so youre not leaving behind a trail of expenses to them if you pass by 60. After 60, you’re mortgage free and hopefully free of other debt so your only expense is funeral cost

    • Adrienne says...

      Most people use life insurance to help pay to raise children, or to pay off the mortgage, etc. By the time you are 60, your children are grown (or nearly) and you have retirement savings, which your partner could use to live on even if you don’t have life-insurance.

    • wg says...

      I would get insurance if I had children but as a single woman I feel like payments in my case are better spent in long-term diversified investments.

  35. Alissa M says...

    I have a question for Laura. My husband has only one very modest life insurance policy through his employer. I desperately want to have more coverage, but we haven’t been able to get coverage for him because he’s a cancer survivor. Does Haven have any options for us?

    He was such a young man–in his third year of a surgical residency–when he was diagnosed that he didn’t have life insurance yet. He had a very aggressive type of lymphoma, but he’s been in remission since a bone marrow transplant in 2008. We now have two eight-year-olds and a mortgage I couldn’t cover on my salary if he died. But try as we might, we haven’t found any insurance companies willing to underwrite a t-cell lymphoma survivor.

    I am grateful to have this problem, because in 2008 neither of us thought that he would survive to live a happy, healthy, and vibrant life in 2019. But I would be so much more comfortable if we had more life insurance coverage for him.

    • Deanna says...

      I would love to know this, too! I’m 30 and a three-time cancer survivor, so I fear what my coverage cost would be.

    • Francine says...

      There’s “guaranteed issue life insurance”, but that is most often capped, and more expensive, of course.

    • RH says...

      Also need help with this as a cancer survivor. Anything beyond what Francine (thank you!) suggested?

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Alissa, we’re so glad to hear that your husband is doing well, and congratulations on his remission! Please bear with me on this lengthy reply…

      Unfortunately, from an underwriting perspective, it will likely be difficult to get individual medically underwritten coverage with a history of t-cell lymphoma, but it’s not impossible. It will depend on a variety of factors including current health, remission time, stage it was caught at down to even an individual insurer’s underwriting rules for specific types of cancers. It will also be a bit time consuming since the approval process will require a medical exam, medical records and likely quite a bit of back and forth with the underwriters to answer questions. But, you have a few options.

      In your search for medically underwritten term life insurance, if you are interested, you can work with an advisor who is an “impaired risk” life insurance specialist. These individuals have a deep understanding across insurers and their specific underwriting guidelines and can match you with the company most likely to offer you coverage at the best rate.

      If medically underwritten coverage ends up not being an option, consider some of the following paths:
      1. As Francine mentioned, guaranteed issue coverage is an option but admittedly offers lower coverage amounts ($50,000 face amount or less) and comes at a higher price.

      2. Accidental death insurance wouldn’t cover medically-related deaths, but it would provide protection against accidents. Though coverage is very limited (as risk of death due to health-related issues increases as we age), but it would provide some protection for your family. The approval process is usually pretty simple and premiums are generally affordable.

      3. Start considering the need to self insure. A financial advisor can help you create a path toward having the savings and assets needed where term life insurance protection can’t be present.

  36. Liz says...

    I believe when this company was featured in the past this policy could only be an add on to an existing policy, not a replacement. Is that still the case?

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Liz, unfortunately, if your main intention is to cancel existing coverage in order to replace with the Haven Term policy, we don’t support that yet. However, if you’re looking to add coverage/buy a new policy, you are always welcome to apply- ultimately, whatever you choose to do with your other policies later on is up to you.

  37. Sofia says...

    For most people, term life insurance is BY FAR the way to go. It’s straightforward and you can easily compare offers from different companies. My husband has Haven but they quoted me a higher rate than another company that I ultimately went with. My advice is — shop around. As long as you are purchasing from a company with a good rating (meaning that they’re likely to be in business when you need them) go with the best price you get.

    • Ah!!! I still have so many things to do on my Adulting Checklist (even though I’m 41). I need life insurance and I need a will!

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Sofia, we agree that’s it’s always smart to shop around for the best price. We’re glad you both found the right coverage!

  38. Ashley says...

    Such a helpful and straightforward post, I felt empowered after reading it.

    As a side note: Joanna (and team!), thanks for continuing to be so thoughtful with your sponsored posts. It’s rare to read a #ad that’s more than fluff and I appreciate the effort that goes into it. You guys raise the bar!

    • Some great information but keep in mind a term policy runs out (or gets very expensive at the end of the term).

      Saying at age 60 or 65 you’ll simply get a new policy may be unrealistic due to cost (age) or health status.

      I have never met a widow who turns down a tax-free check at any age. Seniors have living expenses as well.

      I would also point out that most permanent policies “break even” around year 10. This makes “cost” a matter of definition and cash flow not simply which premium is bigger (smaller).

      Finally it isnt all or nothing. You can ladder term policies buying a new one every few years. You can also have 90% of your life insurance in term and 10% (for example) in permanent. The death benefit on a permanent policy can grow so over time it represents a larger percentage of the total since the term face is static (and loses to inflation).

  39. This was v timely – one of those (many) things that I keep meaning to address, and yet keep shuffling to the bottom of my to-do list…thanks for the info and prompt!

  40. Debby says...

    Thanks so much for posting things like this and somehow making it sound less scary, but still very important!

  41. Amy says...

    I understand this is a important post but am I allowed to ask where Lauras dress and Joanna shirts are from? ;-)

  42. Rachel says...

    Can this policy be started by US citizens who currently live outside of the US? I tried applying for a big name provider and was rejected for this reason.

    • Katie says...

      Ha! I was just coming to ask this same question. Any information from someone who lives abroad and has gotten a US policy would be great. Especially if they’ve lived somewhere outside of Western Europe, so technically more “risky.”

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Unfortunately you have to live in the U.S in order to apply for the Haven Term policy. Most US companies will have similar restrictions. It might be best to work with a financial advisor locally who can help with the complexity of your situation.

    • Daisy says...

      In our research we found out if you obtain a policy when you are in US and then move out of the US, you will not get the same benefits. Maybe because life expectancy and risks differs from country to country. We have a life insurance policy but might eventually move out of the US and it might not be useful for us.

    • James says...

      We have client died oversea and the family still receive death claim. The application and the paramedic exam have to be completed in the US.

    • Marisa says...

      Oh man, me too! I’m an American expat in a developing country and just starting to look into this stuff.

  43. Daniela says...

    I have two questions. If I die, how does my partner get the money? Also, if I have kids in the future and want to increase my coverage amount, can I do so? Thanks for this informative post!

    • Alyce says...

      You can’t increase the existing policy – but you can get a second term policy. My husband and I got life insurance through Haven after we bought our house three years ago. We thought we’d have a kid, and thought we bought enough insurance to cover a kid too. However, while pregnant earlier this year, we met with a financial planner who was able to do a projection that incorporated inflation(!) and recommended that we get waaaay more life insurance. We tried to go back to Haven for a second policy, since it truly was great working with them the first time around. At the time, they did allow people to hold two policies. We wound up getting a second life insurance policy through policy genius. The process wasn’t as seamless, but it was still quite easy and we got better rates through policy genius than Haven this time around (last time, Haven was cheaper). We also staggered the policies (one is a 30-year policy and the other is 20 years). In 20 years, hopefully we’ll have built up significant assets and won’t need as much insurance, so the smaller policy that continues on will be enough to bridge the gap between our higher assets and our need if something happens to either of us. Plus having now had the kid, she’ll be out of the house in 20 years, so our money needs will be much lower.

    • Daniela says...

      Thank you, Alyce! Very good to know.

    • Lynette Nicole BROWN says...

      Your Partner would be named as the beneficiary on your policy, so the insurance company would make payment at that time.
      Yes, you can increase your coverage, when children are in the picture.

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      Hi Daniela, very good and important questions. Thanks for asking them. 1. It’s important to let your partner or beneficiary know about your policy details, including issuing company. In the unfortunate event of a death, they can reach out to customer support (with us, via phone, email or chat) to initiate a claim. They’ll need to send in a death certificate and some paperwork. Once a claim is verified, typically within 7-10 business days, a check is mailed out. 2. If down the road, you have a need for more coverage, you’ll usually apply for an additional policy. We hope to have the capabilities in the near future to make it as seamless as possible for people to increase or purchase more coverage.

    • Daniela says...

      Thank you so much! I have signed up and am going to ask my fiance to do the same, as our jobs don’t provide much in the way of life insurance. So glad to have learned about this.

  44. Meredith says...

    Yaaasssss! Get life insurance! Make sure you have a will! No one wants to think about the worst case scenario, but if you look at it through the lens of easing the burden on loved ones, it’s actually such an empowering process. If anything happened to me, I know my parents will be able to pay back the home equity line of credit they took out to pay for my college education. Being as young as I am, my policy costs me less than $100 a year, which is such a small price to pay to protect my parent’s financial security as they approach retirement.

    • Laura at Haven Life says...

      You rock, Meredith, and we couldn’t agree more. The Haven Term policy even comes with a no-cost rider called Haven Life Plus that gives our customers access to benefits beyond life insurance, including a free will through Trust & Will.