It is a subject that no one likes to talk about, but the consequences of not planning for this are even more frightening. When talking with clients I often hear the response ‘I don’t need this’ or ‘this is a waste of money.’ I certainly hope it is a waste of money, but what if it is needed? Then it becomes the most valuable financial product that you will ever implement.

Life insurance is about being able to put money in the right place at the right time. To help understand how life insurance might apply to your particular situation, there are outlined a number of different scenarios below.

You are single

Most single people don’t need life insurance because no one depends on them financially. But there are exceptions. For instance, some single people provide financial support for ageing parents or a sibling with special needs. It is also worth noting that the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper the cover is likely to be, so it can be the best time to take out the cover.

You are married

Many people mistakenly believe that they don’t need to think about life insurance until they have children. But, what it one of you died tomorrow? Even with your surviving spouse’s income, would that be enough to pay off debts like credit card balances and car loans, let alone cover the monthly rent and utility bills?

You are married, and have children

Most families depend on two incomes. If one of you died suddenly, could your family continue to meet all their financial obligations — from paying rent or the mortgage to daily living expenses? Could your family continue their standard of living on your spouse’s income alone? Would their plans for the future — like university stay intact? Life insurance makes sure that your plans for the future don’t die when you do.

You are a single parent

As a single parent, you’re the caregiver, breadwinner, cook, chauffeur and so much more. With so much responsibility resting on your shoulders, you need to make doubly sure that you have enough life insurance to safeguard your children’s financial future.

You are a stay-at-home parent

Just because you don’t earn a salary doesn’t mean you don’t make a financial contribution to your family. Childcare, transportation, cleaning cooking, and other household activities are all important tasks, the replacement value of which is often severely underestimated. With life insurance, your family can afford to make the choice that best preserves their quality of life.

You have grown children

Just because your children are through college and the mortgage is paid off doesn’t necessarily mean that you no longer need life insurance. If you died today, your spouse will still be faced with daily living expenses. Would your financial plan, without life insurance, enable your spouse to maintain the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to achieve now and into retirement?

You are retired

Depending on the size of your estate, your heirs could be hit with inheritance tax after you die. The proceeds of a life insurance policy are payable immediately, allowing heirs to take care of these taxes, funeral costs and other debts without having to hastily liquidate other assets, often at a fraction of their true value.

You are a small-business owner

Besides taking care of your family, life insurance can also protect your business. What would happen to your business if you, one of your fellow owners or a key employee died tomorrow? Life insurance can help protect you and the business in a number of ways.

As you can see, almost everyone needs life insurance, we all hope that it will not be needed, but do you want to take that chance?

James Thomas is Managing Partner at deVere Acuma.