When you get the opportunity to catch up with your partner after a long day, chances are the conversation naturally drifts towards the children: “How have the kids been today?”, “What did they get up to in school?”, “Are you ok to drop them off tomorrow?”…all perfectly mundane topics of conversations between parents.
“How are you planning to look after the kids if I die before you?” is less likely to crop up, but it’s something you need to discuss.
Nobody likes to think about what might happen to their family when they die, but just as house insurance, car insurance and even pet insurance are all recognised as vital elements of your family’s protection plan, life insurance needs to be prioritised – no matter how much you want to avoid the conversation.
It’s important to acknowledge that pretty much everyone feels awkward discussing death, but there are things you can do to make the discussion, and the process of applying for life insurance, a little less daunting.
Find The Motivation
The conversations that come most easily are those that we are motivated to have. While nobody feels particularly motivated to discuss end-of-life-plans, the bigger picture of what those plans will mean for the people you love will push you towards having that discussion.
What does life insurance mean for your family? It would allow your partner to grieve without the added stress of financial strain; it would mean your kids could carry on sleeping in their own beds in a house they know and love without having to sell up; it would let your children continue to carry on going to the same private childcare they are settled in; it would give your partner and kids the financial means to carry on living the lifestyle they currently have and gradually rebuild their lives without financial insecurity…when you start to think about what life insurance actually means in practical terms, the motivation to initiate that conversation is easy to find.
Think About What To Discuss
So, you’ve made the decision to sort out life insurance, you’ve raised the topic with your partner and you’re ready to get stuck in to the conversation…but what do you need to cover in the discussion?
- What is the cover for? The most important thing you’ll need to decide is what you want to use the cover for. Will one partner need help to pay the mortgage if the other dies? Will you need money to keep the children in childcare? Do you want money to use for their education? What are your other monthly outgoings? Do you have debts you need to clear? Answering these questions will help you come up with a figure for the amount of life insurance cover you need.
- What is your current financial situation? If one of you takes controls of the finances, you need to make sure you’re both on the same page. You’ll need to understand what the other person earns and what their outgoings are and you’ll need to get a clear picture on how much you pay on your mortgage, childcare, credit card, loans and so on. Money can be an emotive subject and easy to avoid but you need to know where you stand so force yourself to ask and answer those questions.
- How much can you afford? You’ll need to work out how much you can afford to pay for a life insurance policy each month. Our customers regularly tell us how surprised they are at the affordability of life insurance so it might be less than you were expecting. Take stock of your personal finances – perhaps use this as an opportunity to look through your bank statements and see where your money is being spent – and decide how much you can afford to set aside for insurance.
- What type of policy do you need? It’s worth spending some time researching and discussing the different types of policy available and there’s plenty of information on the Moneyworld website to help you make an informed and impartial decision – Do you want a joint policy or two individual ones? Do you want to put your life insurance policy in trust? What do different insurers offer? Grab your laptop and conduct some research as a couple to decide which product you want to go for.
- When are you going to apply? Make a note in your diary of when you’ll actually fill in the forms for your life insurance, perhaps making use of a website like Moneyworld.com to make the process as hassle-free as possible. You only need to allocate around half an hour to fill in the forms you need, but if you put it in your diary you’re less likely to continue procrastinating.
Don't Overthink It
You’re nearly there. You’ve had the chat with your partner and now you just need to apply. The key here is not to overthink it. With a topic like what will happen after your death, the magnitude of the subject matter can sometimes be paralysing.
Actually applying for insurance isn’t a daunting process and if you do have any questions, there are plenty of sources of friendly help – at Moneyworld, we’re always at the end of a phone if you need us – but the process itself is actually really straightforward.
Make sure you answer the questions accurately and carefully, but at the end of the day it could be as simple as filling out a form. Once it’s done, you’ll have the security and peace of mind of knowing that your family will be looked after if anything should happen to you.
It’ll be a weight off your mind to know you’ve had the difficult discussion and got your life insurance sorted, leaving you free to just enjoy the more lighthearted conversations about your kids: “Who did they see for a play date today?”, “Which one caused the most fuss at bedtime?” and “Who was responsible for the blue crayon all over the walls in the living room?!”….now, that’s a whole other difficult conversation to tackle! I’m afraid we can’t help you with that one.