No Dependents? Here's Why You Still Need Life Insurance

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Buying coverage before having dependents could pay off later.

Life insurance is an important type of insurance coverage that is generally promoted as a way to provide protection for loved ones after the policyholder's death.

But what about people who don't have anyone depending on their income? Should they still buy this type of coverage? In many cases, it actually does make sense for people without dependents to get life insurance protection even if no one would need the death benefit immediately.

Here's why.

Life -- and who depends on you -- can change

Often, people don't buy life insurance when they are young because no one is reliant on their income. It may seem silly to get an insurance policy with a death benefit that pays out to beneficiaries if no one would need the money after the policyholder passes.

The thing is, however, that most people do end up with someone who is dependent on them at some point in their lives. This could be a spouse or a partner who needs their income to help cover a joint mortgage. Or it could be children they have later who need support and funds for their education. Or it could even be aging parents, who might need to pay someone for care and services if their adult child isn't there to provide it. And unfortunately, a savings account isn't always enough to get them through.

When someone waits until people are depending on them, it could make it more expensive to buy life insurance. And in some cases, it could actually make it impossible to get term life insurance.

That's because life insurance premium costs go up with age. It's usually a lot cheaper for someone to buy insurance when they are in their mid-20s rather than when they are in their mid-30s. So it can make sense for younger people to get covered so they can be prepared for those future possibilities that would make having life insurance more important.

Changing medical conditions

There's also the issue of pre-existing conditions, which may develop more frequently as people get older. Life insurers aren't required to provide affordable coverage to anyone who wants it. Someone who develops a serious or chronic illness could be denied a life insurance policy -- or might be offered a policy with low death benefits and high premiums. And developing the kind of illness that affects life insurance eligibility can happen sooner than expected.

People who are young and in good health may want to buy life insurance protection now so they have coverage in place later when they need it -- rather than taking the chance they'll definitely be able to get covered later. If they end up developing a medical condition down the road, they'll already have life insurance so their family can get the money they need if the worst occurs.

While it may not be fun to think about getting sick or about getting older, these things happen to everyone. Those who plan ahead and buy coverage before they have dependents will have the peace of mind of knowing that they'll have affordable protection in place for loved ones who come to rely on them 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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