The room is painted, the crib is assembled and the changing station is fully stocked. But while you may think you have all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted for your new baby while balancing play dates and meals for your other children, have you put any thought into updating your life insurance coverage?
With the cost of raising a child to the age of 17 totaling well over $230,000,1 welcoming a new child may require reviewing your life insurance policy to make sure everyone is protected.
“As soon as your baby is born, you think of a thousand different things,” says Frank Muscat, assistant vice president at Amica Life. “If something tragic happens and you’re no longer there, life insurance can help fill that financial gap.”
“As soon as your baby is born, you think of a thousand different things. If something tragic happens and you’re no longer there, life insurance can help fill that financial gap.” – Frank Muscat, assistant vice president at Amica Life
What to expect (from your life insurance) when you’re expecting
Much like buying a home or changing jobs, welcoming a new baby – be it a first, second or third child – is among the life events that should lead you to reassess your life insurance coverage. Taking the time to review your current policy and financial situation is the best way to make sure that your life insurance is doing what it’s intended to do: help provide financial security for your family.
“Whenever you have these life events, or at least every two years, you should reassess what your life insurance needs are compared to what you have,” Muscat says.
Is your policy type up to date?
While passing away ranks as the number two fear for 68 percent of the U.S. population, choosing to not discuss the situation today could lead to some long-term issues.2 Financially preparing for the unexpected and creating a financial safety net while your children are still young may help them through each milestone of growing up, and that preparation begins with choosing the correct policy type.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I anticipate my children living with me beyond their 20s?
- Do I think my children will need financial assistance with a college education?
- Do I have any outstanding debts, like a mortgage?
- Do I have a financial plan to cover my final expenses?
Whether you already own a policy and are looking to update it or are thinking of purchasing life insurance, a 20-, 25- or 30-year term policy can help financially protect your children while they may still be under your roof. Similarly, parents with a home mortgage or long-term loan should consider matching the length of the loan to the term of the policy when considering their needs.
For those seeking a permanent type of coverage, a whole life policy is a good option because it can be in place for the rest of your life, as long as premiums are paid.
What if you’re a parent with no life insurance?
As your family grows, so will your financial responsibilities. With all the expenses of having a baby, it’s easy for new and established parents to let life insurance fall through the cracks.
“When you’re planning a family … you absolutely should look into getting life insurance,” Muscat says. “There’s no need to wait. There’s no value in waiting. And the biggest obstacle to getting life insurance is procrastination.”
Urgency, Muscat stresses, is what parents without life insurance should be feeling.
“If life insurance is something that you [and your partner] think you should have eventually or at some point, take the words ‘eventually’ or ‘at some point’ out of your lexicon and make the decision to take care of it today.”
1 Expenditures on Children by Families, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), March 2017.
2 Fear/Phobia Statistics, Statistic Brain, 2016.
ALIC35118 (exp. 12/19)