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Estimating Life Insurance Needs

Publication Number: P2295
Updated: September 16, 2016
View as PDF: P2295.pdf

Life insurance is the safety net that provides for dependents when a family breadwinner dies prematurely. It can also perform functions in a family estate plan and in a business plan. Unfortunately, most families don’t shop for life insurance even as systematically as they shop for groceries. Instead, many people wait until a salesperson or employer offers them life insurance.

Employees tend to receive favorable group rates on employer-sponsored insurance policies. But they may not get advice on the type or amount of insurance best suited to family needs. Insurance salespersons also may fail to explain exactly how to calculate insurance needs or the variety of options available. Therefore, it is the family members’ responsibility to make sure they have a plan to meet their insurance needs. Families may employ someone, such as a financial planner, or they may do their own calculations.

This publication guides you through the process of estimating life insurance needs. It gives tips on shopping for the most basic type of life insurance, term life. It also includes a life insurance record form to organize your family’s insurance policies. Download the entire document above.


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