Do I Need Life Insurance if I'm Single?

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KEY POINTS

  • A life insurance policy helps protect people who would suffer financially if the policyholder were to pass away.
  • If people in your life depend on you financially, then getting a policy could make sense.


Being single doesn't necessarily mean you don't need a life insurance policy.

As a general rule, it's a good idea to purchase a life insurance policy if people depend on you financially, or might get hurt financially if you were to pass away. If you're single, you may be wondering if you should bother getting a policy. But when it comes to life insurance, your marital status isn't the only factor to take into account.

The purpose of life insurance

A life insurance policy can protect the people who might suffer financially if a policyholder dies. So someone who has no dependents and no family members who rely on them may not need a policy just yet.

But being single doesn't mean you don't have children or people in your life you help support. It's often a good idea for people with dependents to look into getting life insurance -- and to designate those dependents as beneficiaries on their policy.

Even if you don't have children and are single, here's a scenario to consider. Imagine you have a younger sibling in college who lives with you for free during their studies. If you were to pass away suddenly, your sibling would, conceivably, be unable to pay the rent. In this type of situation, having a life insurance policy could offer that sibling some financial protection.

What's more, a single person who has a joint loan with someone else may want to consider life insurance. Imagine a brother and sister own a home together. If the brother were to pass, the sister would be responsible for the entire mortgage, and she may not be able to manage that expense alone. But if the brother had a life insurance policy in place, the sister could use the money from the policy's payout to cover those mortgage payments -- or even pay off the home in its entirety.

What kind of life insurance should you get?

When it comes to buying life insurance, you have choices. You could buy term life insurance, which covers a policyholder for a specific period of time. Or you could buy whole life insurance, which offers coverage for the rest of your life.

The upside of term life insurance is that it can be a lot less expensive than whole life insurance. However, once the term on a policy expires, the policyholder will no longer have coverage, and the policy won't accumulate any sort of cash value.

With whole life insurance, the policyholder will spend more for coverage, but it'll remain in place permanently. The policy will also accumulate a cash value that the policyholder can withdraw or borrow against.

No matter which type of policy you land on, it's a good idea to shop around for quotes from several life insurance companies. You may find that one insurer has much better premium rates to offer than another. But either way, don't let the fact that you're single stop you from buying insurance. You may not have a spouse or partner to worry about, but you still might want to take steps to protect the other people in your life that you care about.

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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