3 Big Downsides of Waiting to Buy Life Insurance

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Waiting to buy life insurance has some big downsides.
  • Those who wait could end up not being able to get their desired policy.
  • Policy costs can also climb over time.

Anyone who doesn't have life insurance yet should read this.

Anyone who is currently putting off the purchase of life insurance may be making a big mistake. While it may not seem like a fun purchase to make or an enjoyable thing to spend money on, it's best to take action and get covered ASAP.

Why is that the case? Check out these three big downsides of waiting to purchase life insurance.

1. The desired coverage may not be available later

The single biggest reason not to wait to buy life insurance is because purchasing the desired coverage may become impossible over time.

To be clear, anyone can buy life insurance. For those who are old and sick, there are guaranteed issue policies that can provide a limited death benefit large enough to cover burial expenses and a few other costs for surviving family members.

But not everyone can buy the most desirable type of term life insurance. That's because medical underwriting is required. Insurers consider health status and age when deciding whether to issue a policy.

Waiting to buy life insurance increases the risk that age or illness will make purchasing the best policy to protect loved ones impossible. No one wants this to happen, and this downside can't be ignored.

2. Premium costs may climb a lot higher

Life insurance policies get more expensive for older people. Delaying means premiums go up in the future. If a policy isn't affordable, then it may be impossible to purchase one or a policyholder may need to get a reduced death benefit if they can't afford the amount of coverage they want.

To get the most affordable coverage, it's best to purchase life insurance as early as possible when coverage becomes necessary or when future coverage needs can be anticipated. For example, someone who isn't married yet but who plans to get married and have children may want to buy coverage even before they find a spouse, so they have protections in place when they become necessary.

3. A tragedy could happen before coverage is obtained

Finally, the last and most obvious downside of waiting to buy life insurance is that a tragedy could happen before a policy can actually be purchased. If someone dies, life insurance should be there to provide for surviving family members. The policy can pay for funeral expenses and give surviving loved ones the funds they need to maintain their quality of life.

In many cases, a life insurance policy will also have a terminal illness rider. This can provide money to cover medical care expenses and end-of-life costs when someone is dying. It essentially allows the policyholder to access part of the death benefit early if it is needed.

This money, in case of a terminal illness or after a death, can save policyholders and their families from significant financial hardship during a difficult time. But, it won't be available if someone waited too long to buy life insurance and got sick or died before they could act.

In light of these three big downsides, it should be clear that waiting to buy life insurance just isn't worth it. Get covered today.

Our picks for best life insurance companies

Life insurance is essential if you have people depending on you. We’ve combed through the options and developed a best-in-class list for life insurance coverage. This guide will help you find the best life insurance companies and the right type of policy for your needs. Read our free review today.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow