3 Things 40-Somethings Need to Know About Life Insurance

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  • Coverage from an employer may not be enough, and it could go away with a job loss.
  • A lot of people in their 40s and 50s can still buy a policy.
  • Term life insurance policies are often more affordable than we think.

It's not too late for many people to get covered.

Life insurance is an important purchase for people of all ages who want their surviving family members to be provided for in the event of their death.

But it can be especially essential for people in their 40s to make sure they are covered since many people in this demographic have lots of financial commitments and start to develop health conditions.

Here are three things people in their 40s need to know about getting covered.

1. Coverage through work may not be enough

Many employers provide workplace benefits that include life insurance. Unfortunately, these policies may not provide all the protection people need. For example, the death benefit might not be large enough to replace all of the deceased person's income nor big enough to make sure surviving family members can meet their financial obligations.

What's more, it's possible that a job loss could lead to a loss of coverage. If that's the case, it could be a disaster if their family is relying on their income.

Rather than depending solely on workplace life insurance, those who are in their 40s may want to look into buying a separate term life plan from an insurer that offers a death benefit large enough to take care of surviving dependents -- and that won't be lost if a job change happens.

2. It's likely not too late to get covered

Many people in or near their 40s assume it's too late to buy life insurance. But that's not the reality.

Many insurers will sell coverage to people who are well into their 40s and even into their 50s. And these are standard term life insurance policies -- not guaranteed issue coverage, which is available to anyone regardless of health status but provides much more limited protection.

Even for those who have medical conditions, standard coverage can still be obtained in many cases. While premiums may be higher, people generally aren't precluded from buying a life insurance policy unless they have a fairly serious health concern.

For those who can't get standard coverage because of major health problems, guaranteed issue coverage should still be an option. And it can offer at least some money to help surviving family members pay for funeral costs and other expenses after a death.

Read more: Buying Life Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions

3. Term policies can be affordable for many

Finally, many people assume life insurance will no longer be affordable once they are in their 40s -- but that's also not true. Premiums on a standard term life policy could still be within many people's budgets.

Remember, though, that the longer a person waits, the higher premiums go and the more likely it is they will develop a condition that makes them uninsurable. To avoid this undesirable outcome, anyone in their 40s who doesn't already have life insurance coverage should consider buying a policy sooner rather than later.

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.

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