What kind of life insurance should your husband get?

This is a very broad question, the answer to which depends upon many factors.

1. His age and health will determine, in part, the type(s) and amounts of life insurance for which he can qualify.

2. If you and he are raising a family and are primarily concerned with protection during the child-expense years, term insurance may be indicated. All other factors being equal, it is generally less costly than whole life, because there is no value accumulating within the insurance--it is death benefits only. If he dies with the policy in force, benefits are paid. If the policy expires prior to his death, nothing gets paid. In that regard, term insurance can be had for various terms (periods of time), such as 10-15-20 years.

3. While insurance is intended as protection and not as an investment, whole life coverage does accumulate value ("cash value") because a portion of the premium pays for the insurance and a portion goes into something similar to a savings account. Therefore, there is a store of money that slowly accumulates that can be borrowed for future needs. If not repaid, it is debited against the death benefit.

4. When purchasing life insurance, you will likely be offered certain add-on benefits.

One is a disability waiver of premium benefit. For an additional premium, this will waive the obligation to make future premium payments if the person responsible for paying premiums becomes disabled according to the terms of the waiver provision. While not all disabilities qualify, it is a potentially valuable benefit.

Another is an option to purchase additional amounts of insurance at various points in his life. This, too, is valuable because the option to purchase the additional insurance is generally without regard to his then-current state of health.

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