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One of the joys of my job is when I become really good friends with a client. That was the case with Nicholas. I met him at a local coffee shop a couple of years ago and we really got to know one another. He had a grown son, lived alone, rented a house, and dedicated his extra time to the arts. He was a nice, easy-going guy. He approached me one day for auto and renters insurance.

After talking with him in my office, I asked him if he had ever planned for the future and if he had any life insurance. He told me no, but that he always wanted life insurance that would at least cover his final expenses. He just always thought that he couldn’t afford it.

This is one of the biggest mistakes that most people make; just like Nicholas, they don’t adequately plan for the future.

After review, Nicholas and I discovered that his final expenses would cost about $10,000. He was 65 and relatively healthy so I suggested a Simplified Life Issue Whole Life policy because it would be affordable (less than $50 a month) and also because he didn’t want to have to go through all of the medical exams required for some policies. He agreed to move forward with a $10,000 whole life policy.

A year later I got a call. It was Nicholas. He wanted to make sure that his life insurance policy was in order. I told him that it was fine, and then he told me the news: He had been diagnosed with cancer just a couple months after writing the policy and had been in the hospital ever since. He had to seek treatment at an out-of-state hospital for several months and there had been times the doctors weren’t sure if he would make it.

The good news is that Nicholas is in recovery and doing well. Every time I talk to him, he thanks me for asking about life insurance that day. He knows that now it would be nearly impossible for him to get a policy started. He has the peace of mind in knowing that if something were to happen, he wouldn’t have to worry. His family would be able to handle his final expenses.

So how much life insurance should you get? Ask yourself this question: “If I were to die today, would my family be okay?” Would they be able to afford the mortgage, the car payments, the student loans, the cost of living? Would they be able to live comfortably without YOUR income? Would they be able to afford your funeral costs? Unfortunately, these are things that most people don’t think about until it too late, if at all.

If you have an insurance agent, now is the time to talk about life insurance. If you don't, start doing some research. The longer you wait, the bigger the risk of leaving your loved ones without help.

If you would like us to review your life insurance needs, please click on the link below.

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Written by Matthew Perry, who is an agent and partner at EW Smith Agency in Wyandotte, Mi. They are independent offering home, auto, life and business insurance. EW Smith Agency is the leading provider of personal lines property and casualty insurance in the state of Michigan for Auto-owners Insurance Company.

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