Insurance Blog

Finance Blogs » Insurance Blog » Life insurance: Beyond breadwinners

Life insurance: Beyond breadwinners

By JeffRose ·
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Life insurance is something most people would prefer not to think about or discuss. That's not surprising since most people don't like talking about money or mortality anyway. But these are precisely the reasons life insurance is so important. Particularly (but not only) if you are the breadwinner for your family, life insurance is a critical means to make certain your loved ones are taken care of should anything happen to you.

The unfortunate reality

While no one wants to think that something tragic will befall them, the fact is no one knows what tomorrow will bring. Unfortunately, there is no recourse should a worst-case scenario crop up. For many families, the only fallback in the event of the unexpected death of a provider is adequate life insurance.

Beyond the primary breadwinner

In today's world, many families can't get by on a single income. For two-income families, the loss of one income earner can be devastating. For those families, obtaining life insurance on both income earners is a must to protect the family's future in the event of a tragedy.

Even for one-income families, multiple policies may be a good idea. Many people have a tendency to massively undervalue a stay-at-home parent. When you take into account child care, tutoring, housework and transportation, to name a few, hiring someone to provide these services alone to replace the parent is a sobering experience for many families.

Tangible benefits

If a tragedy takes place, the tangible financial benefits of a good life insurance policy are numerous and substantial.  They include:

  • Replacement of income. This is the most obvious benefit. Loss of future income can be huge, running well into the millions of dollars in some cases.  This loss, on top of the emotional grief of death, can be devastating to families, who may find themselves unable to cover basic expenses they previously took for granted. This is the reason why it's so important to select a policy with sufficient coverage.
  • Liquidation of debt. Any debts held at time of death are transferred to that person's estate.  Life insurance with adequate coverage can help dependents pay that debt.
  • Funeral costs. Many people who go through this unfortunate process are shocked at the expenses related to funerals. Life insurance benefits can cover these costs, at a time when no one is interested in dealing with bills.
  • Education costs. Loss of income may make it impossible for a surviving spouse to pay for a child's college expenses. The benefits from a good policy can address this headache.

Peace of mind

For many people, the single biggest advantage of adequate life insurance coverage is the peace of mind obtained by knowing their dependents won't face a host of financial problems should something happen to them. It's impossible to place a value on the relief people feel when they know that, by having a good policy with adequate coverage, they can put this worry behind them.

Life Insurance Awareness Month is just around the corner.

Do your part: Help spread the word about the importance of life insurance. Tweet this post, pin it on Pinterest, or blog about life insurance yourself.

Use the Rafflecopter widget to let us know you've done this, and you'll be entered to win one of three prizes: the new iPad, a Kindle Fire or a Google Nexus 7.

Winners will be chosen at random. Check out the Official Rules here.


We have winners of the #lifeaware contest!

Congratulations to Tim of who won the Kindle Fire. Kudos to Elizabeth of who won the Google Nexus. And congrats to Denise from Ohio who won the iPad!

Thanks to everyone for participating, and thank you to and who sponsored this giveaway with us.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
Emily Bushnell
August 27, 2012 at 8:25 am

This would be a great early birthday present for myself.

Michel H
August 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm


Randy Clendenin
August 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I hope I'm fortunate enough to be chosen, all I have is a smartphone! Thank you.

Donna Bivens
August 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I believe in life insurance. I have had to depend on it before and hope not to have to again. It is tax free which you cannot say about any other investment.

Don Black
August 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Really need an iPad

August 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm


mike ricotta
August 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm

If you like to gamble, you'll LOVE life insurance (ANY insurance for that matter...

Life Insurance: You are spending YOUR money to bet the insurance company that you will drop dead-and that you are worth more to your family dead than alive. The insurance company, on the other hand, is betting that you'll stay alive-and for the privilege of living, they charge you MORE in premiums the older you get. So you idiots that want to get sucked into this game-PLAY THE LOTTERY!!!

bruce spearman
August 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

i have entering theses for an ipad to no success

Victor M
August 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Need some lady luck

Michael Low
August 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm