With rising inflation, fill the gap with life insurance, analyst says

| 27 Dec 2022

Inflation has increased budget costs, which should be taken into consideration when evaluating life insurance coverage.

This was the advice given by an analyst who said being underinsured means that loved ones would not be able to cover expenses incurring debt or maybe loss of the family home. 

“Life insurance helps provide resources to cover in the event of an untimely death…to care for and support family,” Ms Sandi Bragar, Chief Client Officer and Partner at Aspiriant, told Yahoo Finance Live.

“In this rising inflation environment, those costs have gotten a lot higher and, because there is a gap, we are filling it with life insurance.”

The rule of thumb is to have 10 times your annual income in life insurance, according to insurance non-profit Life Happens, to cover expenses beyond the funeral like housing, mortgage, childcare, healthcare, and education, so your family won't go into debt. 

Because the costs of food, gas, and housing have increased, consumers should evaluate their life insurance coverage to make sure it is enough, which is why, while 10 times your salary is recommended, your coverage amount should increase with the cost of living. 

Some financial planners recommend a combination of term life and permanent life insurance policies. Because term life insurance expires, a permanent life insurance policy offers lifetime coverage and earns cash value that can be used during the policyholder’s lifetime in the form of a loan or withdrawal.

More people are tapping their permanent life insurance policies to help them weather inflation and avoid drawing on retirement accounts battered by the stock market’s volatility this year. 

“You want to look at all the different types of policies that are out there and find the one that best fits your needs,” Ms Bragar said.

“One thing we like to do with clients is stack life insurance policies. That allows the client to reduce the overall cost of that life insurance package, but meet their expected needs for funding for their survivors if there were an untimely event, [if] an untimely death were to occur.” 

"For example, if a client needs $1.5 million of insurance, rather than buying one $1.5 million policy," Ms Bragar said, "we're buying three $500,000 policies, maybe with different terms."