Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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The Facts of Life

  • Whether or not you need life insurance depends on your circumstances
  • Some people may not benefit from paying into a policy
  • Some workplaces offer more affordable life insurance coverage

Who needs life insurance? Well, it turns out that many people can benefit from a customized life insurance policy. With advanced planning, you can ensure that those depending on you aren’t left to fend for themselves if you were to pass away suddenly.

Who needs life insurance rates? Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see how affordable your rates could be.

Do I need life insurance?

Whether or not you need life insurance will largely depend on the circumstances in your life. Life insurance comes at a monthly or yearly cost that will quickly add up to a substantial amount. So the first thing you should consider is the cost and whether it’s financially feasible for you.

Term life insurance is regarded as the most straightforward and affordable type of life insurance. In addition, because it only lasts for a defined period of time in your life, it’s much less risky than a policy that will require a life insurance payout no matter what.

Below are the average term life insurance rates for non-smokers, with smokers paying a little bit more due to the health risk.

Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates for Non-Smokers
Age$100,000/10-year Average Monthly Rates$100,000/10-year Average Monthly Rates$100,000/20-year Average Monthly Rates$100,000/20-year Average Monthly Rates$100,000/30-year Average Monthly Rates$100,000/30-year Average Monthly Rates
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As you can see, depending on your age, you can get a decent death benefit for under $10 a month. With this affordable coverage option, most people can get life insurance to protect a part of their life.

How much life insurance do I need?

How much life insurance should you have? According to the Insurance Information Institute, how much life insurance you need will depend on who or what you have, depending on your survival needs and living expenses.

Should I get life insurance? If you have family, a business, or someone else you’d like to support, then you can likely benefit from some form of life insurance.

When determining an amount, you should consider that the higher the death benefit, the more you’ll have to pay each time. Some of the circumstances that could affect the amount you need include:

  • Family’s income status
  • Assets they can draw from
  • Potential medical bills
  • Funeral costs

If the last two are your primary concern, you can get a very affordable burial and final expense policy that will provide enough coverage for the end of your life.

What life insurance do I need?

Many different life insurance policies types can help you, depending on your needs. However, the two main types of life insurance coverage are the previously mentioned term life, which lasts for a designated period, and permanent life insurance, which is a type of policy that lasts for your whole life.

These can further be split into some of the following policy types, which have variations between insurance companies:

  • Return of Premium Term Life – If you don’t like the idea of losing out entirely on your investment, you can have a portion of your premiums returned if you outlive the policy.
  • Whole Life – Like it sounds, this policy lasts for your entire life and may accrue a portion of your premiums into a savings account you can loan against in retirement.
  • Variable Life – The majority of the premium are invested in one or more of any number of stock, mutual funds, bonds, or otherwise.

These are just a few examples, and many life insurance companies offer riders to help further customize your coverage. In addition, discussing your needs with a financial advisor can help you figure out which policy will best suit you.

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Why Life Insurance is Important

When you die, you’ll likely leave behind people you care about and who care about you. You’ll want to make sure that they’re taken care of no matter what happens to you. Life insurance can be an essential tool if you know how to use it the right way. 

With a good life insurance policy, you can guarantee that your loved ones will be cared for. They can use the death benefit for almost anything they need, including medical bills, funeral costs, or any income replacement they may need after your pass.

How can I tell if I need life insurance?

Whether or not you need life insurance depends on whether or not you have anyone you want to protect financially in the future. This reasoning can also apply to a small business or a financial contribution to your favorite charity.

With a comprehensive life insurance policy customized to your needs, you can ensure that you have the coverage you need. As a result, your loved ones won’t have to worry about their financial security no matter what happens to you.

How much life insurance should I have? Of course, how much is a personal decision, but it’s wise to understand your loved ones’ needs and how to best provide for them.

Who doesn’t need life insurance?

If you don’t have anyone that depends on you, you likely won’t benefit from a life insurance policy.

Another instance will be if your estate is financially able to pay for any medical and burial costs while also leaving enough to pass on as inheritance. In that case, you’ll likely not find a lot of use in life insurance other than to bolster the estate payout.

Does work pay for life insurance?

Some workplaces will help their employees get life insurance, but it’s usually a type of coverage that they have to opt in to. The premiums can be more affordable than if the individual went to a private insurer.

Group life insurance is an excellent option for those who work in dangerous fields. Because the insurer underwrites all the employees as a group, they can provide savings on rates.

Some of the most dangerous jobs that could benefit from group life insurance include:

  • Loggers
  • Commercial Fishers
  • Commercial Pilots
  • Roofers

Any jobs that have you working with heavy equipment or above the ground will likely cost you more at a private insurer due to the foreseeable risk. While you may be a professional, your insurance company doesn’t want to take that risk.

Instead, finding out if your insurer offers any group coverage is a great way to make sure your loved ones are cared for without breaking your bank.

Life Insurance Need: The Bottom Line

Whether or not you need life insurance will likely come down to who or what you have depending on you. If you want comprehensive coverage or just a simple burial plan, there is something available from various life insurance companies on the market.

Who needs life insurance quotes? Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to get an idea of what your rates could be.