• Life insurance is easy to put off, but there are some situations where it's impossible to ignore.
  • Life events, like getting married or starting a family , are things people wait for to get coverage. A change in your career could also send you searching for coverage that was once available through work.
  • Outside events like a death in the family can also prompt people to look for coverage. Even the coronavirus sent people to insurance agencies.
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Life insurance is easily put off, and many people simply go without it until something changes.

"People typically buy life by life insurance at a certain life event," says Melbourne O'Banion, cofounder of online life insurance agency Bestow . Getting married, making a career move, or facing some sort of outside event, like a death in the family, often gets people thinking about their life insurance coverage.

For most people, getting a term life insurance policy is the best way to make sure expenses are covered and dependents are taken care of if someone dies unexpectedly. Term life insurance provides coverage for a set number of years at a fixed monthly price, which then expires if not paid out. And, it's affordable term policies can cost as little as $20 per month, depending on factors like your health history and risk level.

But, you don't have to wait for something to change in your life to get coverage. In fact, it's probably cheaper not to. Life insurance gets more expensive with each year you wait. If you think you'll need it in the future, there's no reason to wait.

We asked O'Banion for some of the life events he's seen inspire people to take the plunge and sign up just in case you want to get ahead of the curve.

1. Having a baby or getting married means shopping for life insurance

Big life events often prompt new parents, newlyweds, or new homeowners to look for life insurance coverage. For anyone with dependents, life insurance is critical, and these big changes prompt life insurance shopping.

"If anybody is depending on your income and you do not have a stockpile of money, which is 90% of everybody who has dependents today, you should have some form of life insurance," O'Banion says. For many, these new responsibilities mean looking into life insurance for the first time.

"That, by and large, is the No. 1 life event that causes somebody to purchase life insurance," O'Banion says.

2. A professional change means you need new coverage, or can finally afford it

Term life insurance policies are sometimes offered through employers . But when leaving a job, the coverage doesn't carry over. After a career move or job change, it might be time to search for new coverage.

"We see a lot of people who move into independent worker status, where they had group life insurance policies and now they don't. They come and buy an individual policy with us because of a change in employment status," O'Banion says.

Raises or new jobs could also provide a salary increase, allowing for some extra room in the budget, he says. While a life insurance policy may not have been in the budget before, it may be within reach now.

3. A death or many deaths prompts people to think about coverage

One situation O'Banion says is particularly motivating is a death in the family. When something happens close to home, it can be a reminder of just how important term life insurance is for settling final expenses, taking care of family members, and paying off debt.

World events can also prompt people to look for coverage and to buy. "The pandemic is obviously motivating a lot of people to buy today," he says. "We're getting a massive increase in traffic literally week over week." Other life insurance agency experts seen similar patterns, with the coronavirus spread acting as a catalyst for those who had been putting off coverage to finally sign up.

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