Life insurance is one of those things people forget about once they’ve bought it. However, you need to review it occasionally as your situation and your commitments change.
Here are 10 instances when a life cover review is essential:
1 Buying a house
Your mortgage will be the biggest debt you ever take on. You need to be sure it will be paid off should you die early, especially if you’re the main breadwinner.Banks and lenders often try to sell you life insurance when you start on the property ladder, but you should always compare prices before going ahead as there could be better and cheaper cover elsewhere.
2 Getting Married
Once all the fun of your wedding is over, you need to think about your new responsibilities. How would your partner cope alone with all the financial commitments you’ve taken on if they can’t rely on your salary too?
3 Having your first child
If you haven’t already bought life cover, it’s vital to buy it once you start a family. And if you have only insured for a small amount, you definitely need to review it now. Food, clothing, child care, schooling and even holidays all cost more once you have a little one.
4 Adding to your family
A second, third or more children all put a strain on your household budget. You’ve probably already noticed how much more salary you need to keep the family going. Is your life cover enough to pay for their needs should the worst happen and you are no longer there to provide for them?
5 Moving home
A larger home is likely to mean a bigger mortgage. Make sure your life insurance is enough to pay it off and, if you’ve increased the term of your home loan, that it runs for long enough.
6 Inheritance planning
Life insurance isn’t just about paying off large debts such as your mortgage should you die. It’s also about providing for your family’s day-to-day bills once you are no longer bringing in a salary.
7 Moving job
Many employers offer a perk known as ‘death in service’ benefit. This provides a lump sum to your named beneficiaries should you die while working for the firm. The amount is typically set at four times your annual salary.
If you move job, check the terms of your new employment. If you no longer have this benefit, you could need to increase the amount of life cover you have.
Depending on your pension, it may mean that once you die your pension stops or at the very least your widow or widower will receive a smaller amount. If you’re worried they won’t have enough to live on without your pension, you could continue your life insurance.
9 Getting healthier
If you give up smoking, tell your insurer. Your premiums may come down. If not, you can look around for another insurer to see if it will be cheaper.
You must have given up smoking for at least 12 months before it counts and you can’t still be using nicotine replacement products such as inhalers, patches or chewing gum.
10 Dangerous activities
Those who take part in dangerous sports and hobbies such as flying, climbing, scuba diving and parachuting, will be considered a higher risk than normal and will no doubt have to pay a higher premium. Alternatively, your cover will exclude death as a result of one of these activities. If the company didn’t know about these activities and you die as a result, the claim is unlikely to be paid