3 Signs You Need to Apply for Life Insurance ASAP

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Here's when you may want to get the ball rolling immediately.

Key points

  • Life insurance can protect your loved ones from financial ruin.
  • You may want to expedite your application under certain circumstances.

One of the biggest myths surrounding life insurance is that it's something you don't need when you're young. In reality, you might need life insurance at age 20 or at age 40. In fact, it's not your age that matters so much when it comes to buying insurance as it is your life circumstances.

Here are three situations where you should really get moving on life insurance if you don't have a policy in place already.

1. You're having a baby

Having children isn't the only circumstance for needing life insurance. Or, to put it another way, many childless people can still benefit from putting a policy in place. But if you have a baby on the way, then you should absolutely make a point to apply for life insurance soon, since there's no question that the child will become reliant on you financially once they enter the world.

2. You have joint expenses with a spouse that your partner can't cover solo

Maybe you're married and you and your spouse each earn a decent income. But what if you have expenses you've taken on jointly based on your combined earnings, like a mortgage? It may be the case that while you can cover your mortgage payments comfortably on two incomes, your spouse wouldn't be able to manage those payments on one. If you already have expenses you're on the hook for, it pays to get life insurance as soon as you can.

3. You support an older family member

Some people provide financial support for adult children, adult siblings, or aging parents. If that's something you do, then it definitely pays to make applying for life insurance a priority. If you were to pass away, the family member who counts on you could be left in the lurch.

Keep in mind that even if you don't support an older family member financially, but rather, logistically, it could still pay to get insurance. Say you're a part-time caregiver for your aging father, which helps him avoid having to pay for a home health aide. If you were to pass away, your father might need that aide -- but he may not be able to afford one. And so if you put a life insurance policy into place and designate your father as your beneficiary, the lump sum he receives may be enough to pay for the assistance he needs.

Don't delay getting life insurance

Applying for life insurance can be a time-consuming and -- let's face it -- sobering experience. It's for this reason that people tend to put it off, the same way many people avoid creating a will.

But in reality, life insurance can be an extremely important thing to have. This especially holds true if you have a child on the way, you're already liable for joint expenses with someone else, or you have people in your life you support in one way or another. If you've yet to get the application process started, it's time to get moving immediately.

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