NewsMy big regret will make you think twice before scrapping life insurance

My big regret will make you think twice before scrapping life insurance


Life Insurance has got to be the most boring subject known to man… unless you count paint drying, in which case it comes in a close second. 

Life Insurance is one of those things that we all know we probably should have but, like retirement, somewhere in the future we’ll sort that out.

When I turned 18, my father (God rest his soul) encouraged me to take out private health cover and life insurance. One I still have, the other I cashed in to take an overseas trip in 1982. Back then you could cash your policy in and let’s face it, what 18-year-old wouldn’t when it’s a decision between $2,000 cash and monthly premium payments?

In 1988, my dad passed away at age 56, from brain cancer. Luckily, he had a life insurance policy that enabled my mother to buy her first house at age 53, and have a small amount of cash left over. It was a modest dwelling that served its purpose for 20 years when my mum (now aged 73) sold that home and moved in with me, following my divorce, as I was unable to purchase a home on my own.

Listen to my story here: 

As a single parent, with three children and a mortgage, I had to reconsider all of our bills. One bill we let go was Mum’s life insurance as we were struggling to pay the monthly premium. Now, as I sit here writing this, my mum (now aged 83) faces an uncertain future following a cancer diagnosis.

While my father’s forethought of life insurance 40 years ago continues to benefit me, I regret letting Mum’s go. The whole idea of life insurance is to provide financial security after your death to those you leave behind. In my case, Mum is leaving behind a joint mortgage with me that I will now have to service alone.

Having said that, life insurance premiums above age 65 can become extremely expensive and most insurers will not allow you to take out new cover after the age of 70. However, existing cover can often be maintained beyond that.

I have life insurance through my superannuation policy that covers the remaining mortgage on the house, which will benefit my children in the event of death.

It is especially difficult to pin a numerical value on a person, but that is precisely what we do with life insurance. It is not there to ‘buy off’ someone’s pain and suffering after the loss of a loved one; it’s to provide financial stability so that survivors don’t have to worry about money and can instead properly grieve and begin to build a new life.  

I’d love you to share your stories in the feedback section below with how life insurance has impacted your family.

Any advice contained in this article is general in nature, it does not take account of your individual circumstances or needs.

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My big regret will make you think twice before scrapping life insurance

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Gertraud from ACT commented:

Something to remember is that life insurance through super usually ends when you turn either 65 or 70. 

Tim from NSW commented:

If you can't afford the premiums you can always make the policy paid up, i.e. you pay no more premiums but the sum insure does reduce. 

margaret from NSW commented:

One thing you should consider with any type of insurance is what happens if you are not in a situation where you are able to claim, however can no longer afford the payments. Depending on your circumstances, a large increase in rent or going into a nursing home can mean the repayments are unaffordable. This can mean losing decade of payments and some insurance companies rely on a percentage of payments vanishing into their bank account and not ever having to return a cent to anyone. With funeral insurance it is laughable that well groomed couples shown in lovely homes would not, in most cases, have the cost of a reasonable funeral available. This is one you should really think about as anyone with a few thousand behind them and capable of controlling their spending is usually better off simply banking the money. Always remember that 9th wonder of the world... compound interest... Amazing how much money 'grows' over a decade or more. 

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