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HERE’S the dilemma — should you pay for something that you know you have absolutely no chance of ever directly benefiting from? The logical answer is ‘No’. However, if we said that the money was to pay for life cover, would that change your reply? Only you know the answer to this, but in many cases people would still say ‘No’.

Excuses, apathy or both
The two most common reasons given by people without any life cover or insufficient levels of cover are that they can’t afford it or they don’t need it. However, almost all of us need life cover, regardless of how wealthy we are. The simple fact is that most of us live up to our means. Therefore, the more we have, the more we have to lose! As for the argument that it is not affordable — well, in most cases we can’t afford not to have it. In reality, the true reason for individuals not having enough life cover is apathy.

Financial hardship
It is estimated that many families have no life cover or are under-insured, putting dependants in a potentially very vulnerable position. Couples with families (especially young families) have the most need for life cover. If the main wage earner dies and has no protection or insufficient cover in place for the remaining members of the family, then severe financial hardship could be just around the corner.

Who will pay the bills?
Even if the mortgage is fully protected, the family will still require an income following the death of a breadwinner. They will still need to pay the household bills and find money for family holidays, running the family car, school fees and the usual day-to-day living expenses. Would any of us really want our loved ones to take a dramatic reduction in lifestyle for the sake of a few pounds a day?

So, looking at it logically, if we can find the money to pay for our car, and our contents and building insurance, then does it not make sense that we should find the money to protect the one asset that funds everything else — our own life?

How much cover do I need?
This varies depending on your circumstances and your dependants. There are many ways to calculate what is sufficient cover to protect your loved ones, however the easiest method as a rough rule of thumb is ten times your current earnings. If you own property with a mortgage on it this should be covered in addition.

Is my cover still valid?
Life assurance premiums have fallen considerably over the last eight years. So now is a perfect time to give your protection portfolio an overhaul. You may even find that you can increase the amount of cover without increasing premiums, especially if your policy is several years old.

Whatever you do — don’t leave it to chance.