Figuring out the amount of life cover that is desirable to your needs is a tricky question. Let us address the question of "What is life insurance" first.
What is life insurance cover?
Life cover is a financial cover provided by an insurance company to the life assured based on a contract as per which the insurance company is liable to pay a pre-fixed amount in the event of the life assured’s death. The life cover is paid to the nominee who is preselected by the policyholder at the time of buying the life insurance. The core benefit of life insurance is Death Benefit. All life insurance policies offer a "Death Benefit" pay-out to the nominee after the death of the life assured while in some cases they may also offer a maturity benefit if the insured outlives the duration of the policy.
Steps To Determine Your Life Insurance Cover
When it comes to predicting how much cover is suitable for your needs, the calculation needs to be based on many factors. Here are key things to consider.
1. Future Milestones and Goals
Milestones in your life can be both ambitious and could cause financial drains like, Marriage, having children, providing them with the best overseas education and many more life goals, which could be examples of these milestones that require adequate funding by building up a corpus early on in your financial life cycle. Your life cover should be large enough to account for some future milestones that you plan to accomplish.
One of the benefits of life insurance is that you can optimize your plan to hit these goals without any financial hardships. So definitely keep a rough sketch of these life milestones and the finances necessary to make these a possibility before choosing a life insurance policy.
2. Family Expenses
Another big determinant in the size of your life cover is your family’s overall expenditure. This is the amount that you and your family spend on a monthly basis. An annual aggregate can be taken from your current monthly expenditure. Adjust this number for inflation, a growing family, and more life milestones and you can estimate how much your annual expenses will look like in the future. The Sum Assured by your life insurance policy should be more than enough to cover your family’s basic necessities while also accounting for the occasional vacation or discretionary expenditure.
3. Retirement Needs
For many individuals, one of the benefits of life insurance is that the Maturity Benefit and Death Benefit from their plan serve to become an income replacer. Like a pension plan, one plans to make use of this policy’s pay-out as a retirement corpus. Hence, similar to planning for any pension plan, determining the size of your retirement savings that you would need in the future also comes in handy as you would be well prepared if you have planned in advance. You will need to estimate what you or your spouse needs as a basic retirement amount to live comfortably. Your spouse may be partially or completely dependent on you for finances. Factors like your children’s support in addition to the occupational status of your spouse will also affect the size of your corpus.
4. Debt Repayments
Your annual expenditures may or may not include hefty debt repayments. In your absence, in case there are any debts, these debts can become a huge burden on your family. Taking out loans for buying a new house or car is commonplace today. However, leaving the loan repayment to your family can become incredibly stressful and trying for them, depending upon the occupational status of your spouse. Hence, ensure that your life cover is large enough to cover for any debt repayments that your family might have to take care of in your absence. Another option is to simply prioritize your debt repayments and get them over with as quickly as possible.
5. Your Age and Health
Some of the factors that determine your life cover includes taking age and physical health markers into consideration. Normally, younger policyholders can get away with paying lower premiums as they have more years to amass a large corpus. Another benefit of life insurance is that when you buy young you can get an equivalent, if not larger, corpus by the end of thirty years by paying a much smaller premium than somebody who buys a life insurance policy in his or her forties. The older you are, the more expensive premiums tend to become. Another health factor that is often considered with life insurance is your smoking habits. If you are a non-smoker, policies tend to be cheaper with comprehensive protection, but these benefits may not be available to a heavy smoker.
All kinds of factors need to be taken into consideration when purchasing a life insurance cover. Your age and health play an important role in determining the premium you would have to pay for your life insurance policy. Any expenditures and debt repayments should be accounted for in your life cover. Your spouse’s retirement needs, your family’s future milestones, and any financial goals you may have should be accounted for when choosing a life cover.