A single mother's real life insurance story

People buy life insurance for a variety of reasons. Here's a case study of a single mother looking for an affordable term life insurance policy.

Real Stories

Brenna's life insurance story


Brenna, 42 HR manager for a large financial company

Meet Brenna

  • Single

  • One daughter in high school

  • Enjoys spending time with her church community of friends

Brenna's financial situation:

  • Salary: $95,000

  • Retirement savings: $75,000

  • Mortgage: $175,000

  • Auto loan: $33,000

Brenna first thinks of buying life insurance when her daughter is born, after a family member talks to her about it. She goes to an agent who's been recommended to her but is discouraged by how he keeps trying to push her into a whole policy even though everyone else has told her to avoid it. Plus, the whole life premiums she's being shown are far too expensive for her budget. After that experience, she stops looking.

Years later, as her daughter is starting high school, Brenna decides to buy a house closer to the high school that they both want her to attend. Now Brenna is in a much stronger financial place than she was fifteen years ago, and she and her daughter are already talking about college now that it's only a few years away.

Suddenly the idea of life insurance seems a lot more important to Brenna—after all, if she were gone tomorrow, her daughter would end up homeless and unable to afford any of the universities she's got her eye on.

What should she buy?

  • Brenna's mortgage is $175,000.

  • Her auto loan is $33,000, but it's likely to grow in the next year or two when her daughter will need a car.

  • She wants to be able to pay for her daughter's college education.

Brenna starts shopping for life insurance on sites like Accuquote and Selectquote because she's heard of them in the past, but she dislikes the way their sites look and finds them difficult to navigate. In particular, she feels tricked that they don't immediately provide a quote after asking for her information. After an internet search, she finds Policygenius and falls in love with its simple, anonymous, streamlined flow, and how it explains why each type of information is being asked for (which is to provide the most accurate quotes in the industry). She's also able to look at reviews of the carriers and see detailed breakdowns of various riders and plan terms, which helps her get up to speed so she can comparison-shop with confidence.

Brenna decides to buy a 10-year term policy for $250,000

The term is shorter than the mortgage on the house, but Brenna plans on selling the house after her daughter graduates high school, and anyway her daughter wouldn't be affected by the mortgage. Brenna is more concerned with making sure there's plenty of money to pay for her daughter's housing and tuition in college—and this policy will make sure that's taken care of over the next decade.