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4 times adults should have life insurance

When you have kids, you add more dependents to the mix, making life insurance an important necessity. Miljan Lakic/Getty Images

A life insurance policy can help both you and your loved ones. It can be a wealth-building and savings tool, a way to provide financial support for your family, a debt payoff solution, or, in some cases, even a source of funds in a pinch.  

Generally speaking, life insurance can be a smart investment for any adult but there are some scenarios when it's particularly important. If you think you would benefit from having a life insurance policy then start by getting a free price quote so you know exactly what to expect.

4 times adults should have life insurance

Do you have a life insurance policy? Should you? Below are four times when you should definitely buy life insurance protection (or consider increasing what you have).

1. When getting married 

Life insurance is typically recommended whenever you're making a big life move — and tying the knot is definitely one of these moments. 

First, life insurance ensures your spouse has the funds they need to cover your funeral, burial and end-of-life expenses (including any medical bills you leave behind) should you pass away. They can also extend to unpaid debts that might remain.

"We find that the time people are most likely to purchase is during the transition from 'me to we," says Sahang-Hee Hahn, head of strategy and planning at Haven Life. "It financially protects your loved ones if something happens to you."

Having a life insurance policy is especially important if your spouse relies on your income, as it gives them funds they can use to support themselves in your absence.

"If anyone depends on your income, you should consider purchasing life insurance," says Amanda Kuhl, senior vice president, head of life products at New York Life Insurance. 

If you recently got married, or are planning to soon, then get a free life insurance price estimate now.

2. When having children

When you have kids, you add more dependents to the mix — more people who depend on your earnings for food, shelter and basic necessities. 

A life insurance policy could cover these, as well as provide funds for your kids' college tuition or future weddings, should you pass away. It can also help pay off the mortgage, credit cards and other debts that might be a burden once you're gone.

"My father passed unexpectedly when I was 11 years old, leaving my family facing an uncertain future in the face of tragedy," says Jamie Hale, founder of Ladder Life Insurance. "Thankfully, my father's life insurance policy offered financial stability at the most needed time, allowing my family to stay in our house and eventually helping me fund my college education. Because of that early life experience, I have come to see life insurance as an act of love."

3. When you own a business

If you're a business owner, having a life insurance policy can also be smart. Not only can it pay off your business debts or compensate your family if you unexpectedly pass, but it can also protect you if you have partners in the company. 

"If a business owner has a 50% stake in the business and dies, the portion of that business does not end. Typically the company will have a buy-sell agreement that says the other partner has the right to buy the business from the partner's heirs," says Mike Raines, owner of Raines Insurance Group. "Life insurance works beautifully in this instance, as it provides immediate cash to buy the share of the business."

Life insurance can also offer what's called "key person coverage," which gives the business money should a vital employee pass away. "It can help fund the business until another employee is found or hired," Raines says.  

4. When you want to grow your wealth

If you want to increase your wealth over time, life insurance can also help there, Kuhl says.

"A life insurance policy is extremely versatile and can also help you grow your family's wealth," she says. "It can enable your mindset to shift from, 'What will my family do if something happens to me?' to 'How can I grow our family's wealth for a more prosperous future while leaving a legacy for the next generation?'"

The key is in choosing the right life insurance type. With some options — like whole, variable or universal life insurance, for example, your policy has a cash value that grows or, in many cases, you can even borrow against it.

"Whole life insurance provides lifelong security for those you love and provides versatile benefits, including the accumulation of cash value that can be accessed and used for things like funding an education or providing an inheritance," Kuhl says. "You also may be eligible for dividends from the insurer each year that can be received as cash and/or applied to lower your annual costs or reinvested into the policy."

Get a free life insurance price quote now so you know exactly what it will cost.

Make plans to reevaluate

Life insurance needs can change over time, so it's important to reevaluate your policy occasionally to ensure it still offers adequate protection. 

"It is important to understand what priorities would need to be covered in the case of death — and what the real costs are for those left behind," says Chris Orestis, president at The Retirement Genius. "Those costs are going to evolve over time as a person's insurable interests evolve. What they need will be different if they buy a life insurance policy when they first marry before having children, and then it will change when having a first child, and then maybe a second, and on it goes."

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