Life Insurance: Is it for you?

It’s too expensive. I really don’t need it. It’s difficult to obtain. I can’t figure out what’s best for me. I don’t want to think about this subject at all.

These are some of the most common concerns about life insurance. Combined Insurance sells life insurance, but we also pride ourselves on selling the right products to the right customers. That means life insurance—an insurance policy that pays a sum of money upon the death of an insured person or after a specified period—may or may not be right for everyone.

Customer education and insurance gaps

It’s not fun to think about, but if a family’s bread winner passed away, a little over 1/3 of households would feel the effects in one month.1

A 2018 New York Life Study showed that 90% of millennials say they don’t have the life insurance coverage they need.  Their gap is 60% higher than the general population’s gap, covering only 20% of their self-reported coverage needs.2 The general population has better coverage, but they’re still only covering an average of 49% of their coverage needs.1  

Why the gaps? One reason millennials are lacking adequate coverage could be because they’re more focused on paying off their student loans. This generation has the one of the highest student loan balances compared to other generations.3 Another reason could just be lack of understanding or knowledge of the role of life insurance in financial planning, as well as competing priorities such as saving for their children’s educations and their own retirement.   A general lack of understanding about the different types of insurance products and how they work is resulting in a whole generation of under-insured people.

Our agents take pride in helping customers make good choices, recognizing that each customer has unique needs and life circumstances. They realize that not everyone needs life insurance, but often share stories about how many people they run into who do not have it but could possibly benefit from having it in case the unexpected were to occur. 

While it’s always advisable to discuss your unique needs with a qualified life insurance agent, here’s the bottom line on who should consider coverage and what the various options entail.

Do you need it?

If you have dependents, life insurance likely makes sense for you. Securing a policy gives peace of mind that should you need it, the coverage will be there to assist your family members maintain their quality of life after you’re gone. It also allows you to guarantee your insurability, as long as you continue to pay your premiums. Starting young means you may pay a lower rate, but you’ll also pay more premiums over time.

For those without dependents, or whose children are old enough to care for themselves, life insurance may not be needed.  Or, if you and your spouse have earned and saved enough to provide for yourselves in the event one of you passes away, you may not need to purchase life insurance. Just like you don’t need car insurance when you stop driving, eventually, some people outlive their need for life insurance, too.

There are two main types of life insurance, term and whole life or permanent.

Term life is the simplest and most common, paying a benefit should the death of policyholder occur during the term of the policy. Terms can range from one to 30 years and rarely include other benefit provisions.

Level term policies have the same death benefit at any point during the term, while decreasing term policies decrease, usually annually, over the life of the term.

Whole life or permanent insurance lasts your entire life, no matter how long you live. The cost per $1000 of benefit amount increases as the policyholder ages. In order to offset later in life costs, younger policyholders overpay premium amounts early in their policies. Overpaid funds must be refundable should the policy be cancelled before it’s used. 

  • Whole or ordinary life insurance involves a death benefit with a savings account filled with dividends the company pays to you.
  • Universal or adjustable life insurance offers possible flexibility in terms of the amount of the death benefit and the option to alter monthly payments based on how much money has accrued in your related savings account. This flexibility can be helpful if your financial situation changes, but caution must be exercised. If the savings account overages are used, the associated policy could lapse.
  • Variable life insurance combines a death benefit with a savings account that can be invested in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Interest-earning potential may increase the value of your policy more quickly, but is tied to the health of investments. The associated death benefit may decrease if investment performance is poor.
  • Variable-universal life insurance offers the investment risks and rewards of variable life combined with the ability to change premium amounts of universal life.

Combined Insurance has life insurance products that may fit your needs.  To learn more about them, visit our Family Life Protector site.

Product  issued by Combined Insurance Company of America in all states, except New York. In New York, products  issued by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY). Combined Insurance Company of America is not licensed and does not solicit business in New York.


1-(2018, April 10). Key Findings for the 2018 Insurance Barometer Study. Retrieved from

2-“New Study Says Millennials Most ‘at Risk’ Generation When It Comes to Life Insurance.” New Study Says Millennials Most "at Risk" Generation When It Comes to Life Insurance | Business Wire, 13 Nov. 2018,“at-Risk”-Generation-Lifelink opens in a new window.

3-(2019, July 18). Millennials' Student Loan Debt Continues to Rise. Retrieved from opens in a new window

4- “What Are the Different Types of Permanent Life Insurance Policies?” Facts Statistics: Auto Insurance | III, opens in a new window.

5-“What Are the Principal Types of Life Insurance?” Facts Statistics: Auto Insurance | III, opens in a new window.