September has long been Life Insurance Awareness month.

Before Harvey and Irma, before September 11. There has always been a need for families to review their financial portfolios, establish and periodically check their last will, and determine just how much life insurance is appropriate for their family. Paying monthly life insurance premiums cannot overshadow the value of having a policy in place. Life insurance is a vehicle of protection for your family and a vital tool for every household. It will pay out a large sum of money to the designated beneficiaries after you die, providing a great measure of financial security to those you leave behind after an unexpected demise.

When choosing what type of life insurance to buy or how much insurance to get, there are many factors to consider. You want to determine how much your family will need without your income. How long do you think they will be grieving and what is their standard of living? Will daycare be necessary without you around? Do you have children that will go to college? Will you need to provide enough funds to care for your spouse in retirement? Consider paying off your home so your family won’t have to move if you pass away, or if you should take out a policy to protect your business. Would you like to leave an endowment to your alma mater or donate a large amount to your favorite charity? In the very least you will want to make sure all funeral and final expenses will be covered with your life insurance policy. The most important thing you want to avoid is leaving behind a grief stricken family that would need to start fundraising in order to pay for your funeral.

When buying life insurance you want to be aware that you are entering into a contract with the life insurance company. They will collect a monthly premium from you, inheriting the risk involved and in the event of a premature death, they will pay the agreed upon sum of monies to the beneficiary; or designated person receiving the assistance after you die.

When applying for life insurance there are many questions involved and various underwriting concerns. Your premium will depend upon factors such as your age, family medical history, and even your lifestyle. For example the younger you are, the lower the premium. Your family medical history can increase your premium if you have a high occurrence of cancer or if you currently have medical problems such as crohn’s disease or a high depression rate. On the other hand, if you frequently go skydiving or bungee jumping; your premiums will also be higher because there is more of a RISK that you will die while participating in these activities.

There are multiples options when choosing the right life insurance policy. Term life insurance is a basic insurance policy where you pay a set premium for a set amount of time and at the end of the agreed upon timeframe (typically 30 years) the insurance ends and your premium monies are not paid back in any way. A whole life policy is a long term policy which will continue to protect you for the rest of your life. Premiums are typically higher for a whole life policy but in this scenario your family is guaranteed a payout when you die. Some whole life policies also offer the option of cash value. This means that a portion of the premiums you have paid into the account will allow you to access or ‘take a loan’ out on your life insurance policy. If not paid back, the amount of funds taken in time of need will be deducted from any final payout made when the insured (person being insured) finally passes away.

So stop avoiding the inevitable, we are all going to die at some point. Facing our own mortality, overcoming our fears and setting up the right protection for your family is a responsibility you owe your loved ones. So setup an appointment to determine your needs today and protect the ones you love tomorrow.