I got a $1 million life insurance policy before having a family. Here’s why

Josh Wishnick

Josh Wishnick

Published July 26, 2019

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Buying life insurance might not be the first thing you think of when you’re a young newlywed with no children on the horizon, but it should be on your to-do list.

Josh Wishnick, a 30-something living and working for Policygenius in Manhattan, decided to purchase a $1 million life insurance policy before starting a family. Wondering how he went about it and what he learned along the way? Read on.

Why I decided to buy life insurance

After getting married, it was just the two of us, but for the first time in my life I felt like I was making financial decisions for more than just myself. I knew people typically buy life insurance when they have kids, but given that we relied on each other to cover monthly expenses and accumulate savings, I wanted to make sure my wife wasn’t put in a stressful position if I was no longer around.

I was also relatively healthy and knew that pricing was based on age and health so it was important to lock in some coverage at a competitive price. In the end, we both ended up buying a policy and I’m really glad we did.

Choosing the right type of life insurance

Since life insurance is not a one-size-fits-all purchase, I had to look into the different options and decide which one is right for me. I was debating between whole life insurance and term life insurance, but I chose term life since it’s the most affordable and provided enough coverage for my needs.

I was initially intrigued by the investment component that whole life insurance provides, but after some deliberation, I decided I’m better off not mixing the two since permanent policies can get complicated and expensive and it might not be the most effective way to grow my savings.

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Calculating the coverage amount

Figuring out how much coverage I needed required some research. Fortunately, I work at Policygenius, an online insurance marketplace, so I was able to walk across our office and ask for guidance. Our experts generally recommend people buy coverage in an amount up to 10x their income with a term long enough to get them to retirement.

I used this recommendation to estimate how much coverage I needed. Along with factoring in my salary, I considered my monthly living expenses and current debts. Once I added that together, I subtracted my current assets. That got me to the amount of money my family would need to be OK if I wasn’t there to support them anymore.

Policygenius’ life insurance calculator can help you easily estimate how much coverage your family needs.

Picking a carrier

Policygenius lets you compare quotes from over a dozen companies within a couple of minutes. After I selected a policy, I had a phone interview and took my medical exam. A lot of the process took place over text or email and was surprisingly easy. After a few short weeks, I was fully covered.

Not sure how much life insurance you need? Our licensed experts can help. Policygenius makes it easy to compare and buy life insurance online.