Life insurance protects those that depend on your paycheck. If you die prematurely, life insurance provides your dependents with ongoing income to replace yours. It can also provide a timely emergency fund for medical, legal, and funeral costs, should family savings not be adequate to cover them.
If someone depends on you financially, chances are you need life insurance. Life insurance provides cash to your family after your death. This cash (known as the death benefit) replaces your income and can help your family meet many important financial needs like daily living expenses, mortgage payments and college savings. What's more, there is no federal income tax on life insurance benefits.
Most Americans need life insurance. To figure out if you need life insurance, you need to think through the worst-case scenario. If you died tomorrow, how would your loved ones fare financially? Would they have the money to pay for your final expenses (e.g., funeral costs, medical bills, taxes, debts, lawyer's fees, and etc.)? Would they be able to meet ongoing living expenses like the rent or mortgage, food, clothing, transportation costs, healthcare, etc? What about long-range financial goals? Without your contribution to the household, would your surviving spouse be able to save enough money to put the kids through college or retire comfortably?
The truth is, it's always a struggle when you lose someone you love. But your emotional struggles don't need to be compounded by financial difficulties. Life insurance helps make sure that the people you care about will be provided for financially, even if you're not there to care for them yourself.