HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Thursday, officials discussed the importance of life insurance, and why you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Whether we like to think about it or not, life can change in the blink of an eye.
“What a lot of folks don’t necessarily think about is the possibility that they could be gone,” said Dave Buono, the Pennsylvania Deputy Insurance Commissioner. “If you aren’t thinking about life insurance, you should,” Buono added.
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month and officials and industry leaders are using the opportunity to encourage Pennsylvanians to prepare and ensure loved ones are taken care of.
“For those folks that think that bad things can’t or won’t happen, please understand that life insurance isn’t about you. It’s about your loved ones and the folks that you care about,” said Buono.
“The death of a family member can present some very difficult and unexpected challenges that can be both mentally and emotionally disorienting,” said Jonathan Greer, President and CEO of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania. “At such a time, life insurance provides a welcome level of financial stability and ensures the financial future of loved ones,” he added.
Greer says life insurance is an important tool that should be part of everyone’s financial planning.
“Along with savings and retirements, life insurance is a smart and affordable way for individuals to obtain financial security for themselves and future generations,” said Greer, who added that it’s important to occasionally reevaluate financials to consider the expected and unexpected. “Things change over time. Your needs will change over time,” he added.
Officials say anybody without life insurance should consider it, whether they’re young adults just starting their careers, families with young children or even older adults to ensure their family will be ok when they pass.
Talking about life insurance can be difficult, but officials say a good way to get the conversation started is after a major life event, such as the birth of a child.
“A good time to think about life insurance is after a life event like having a baby. Here, you can look at the future and how you will provide for the child if something happens,” said Buono. “Understand that this can be a topic that makes someone feel uncomfortable. If the conversation is with your spouse, make it part of your financial planning. If it is with a parent, ask about the details of potential expenses and debts they have, and how they will be paid for when they’re gone,” Buono added.
Officials say it’s a good idea to discuss life insurance and different options available with a licensed agent or insurance company. Life insurance coverage can be used for several things, including income replacement, estate planning, as well as paying off outstanding debts, most importantly, it can help maintain the lifestyle of family and dependents.
For more information and advice on life insurance, you can find it on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website here.