6 reasons to buy life insurance

Reasons to buy insurance are different for everyone. But the decision to purchase insurance is, at its core, all about providing financial security for yourself and the ones you care about. Learn why life insurance is important, and who needs it.

Young women looking at paperwork.

Why is life insurance important?

Buying life insurance protects your spouse and children from the potentially devastating financial losses that could result if something happened to you. It provides financial security, helps to pay off debts, helps to pay living expenses, and helps to pay any medical or final expenses. 

Life insurance provides cash when you need it most.

Your life insurance policy can deliver a specified sum of money when you need it. Upon your death, your family will receive your policy payout immediately. And that death benefit is generally not subject to federal income taxes. For example, a $500,000 policy provides $500,000 in death benefit proceeds directly to your beneficiary.

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Steps in the insurance buying process:

  1. Determine your goals, determine how much insurance you need to meet your goals over time, and determine what you can afford to pay.
  2. Learn what types of insurance can help you meet your needs.
  3. After considering initial premium payments, any possible increases in premiums over time, any additional death benefits,1 and any living benefits2 that can be utilized before you die, choose the type of insurance policy (or combination of types) that best meets your needs.

Remember, working with a financial professional can help make this whole process easier. A financial professional can help explain the differences between types of policies, help you calculate the amount you need, and present potential options that may best suit your needs.

6 reasons to buy life insurance.

Life insurance can give you lasting peace of mind in terms of the assurance that you have provided a legacy. That’s because the right coverage can offer a valuable combination of benefits, many guaranteed by the claims-paying ability of New York Life—so that you and your loved ones know exactly what you’re getting.3 Of course, you have to make a long-term commitment to paying premiums and keeping the policy in force.  Some of the most common reasons for buying life insurance include: 

  1. Guaranteed protection
    If you have a family, a business, or others who depend on you, the life insurance benefit of a whole life policy acts as a financial safety net. When you die, your beneficiaries will receive a lump-sum payment that is guaranteed to be paid in full (provided all premiums are paid and there are no outstanding loans). It’s essential protection that you can count on to be there for your loved ones when needed.
  2. Income replacement
    Imagine what would happen to your family if the income you provide suddenly disappeared. With whole life insurance, you can help make sure that your loved ones have the money they need to help:
  • Pay the mortgage
  • Afford childcare, health care, or other services 
  • Cover tuition or other college expenses 
  • Eliminate household debt
  • Preserve a family business

3. Tax-free benefit
Your beneficiaries will be able to enjoy every penny you leave them. That’s because the benefit of a life insurance policy is generally passed along federal income tax free.

4. Guaranteed cash value growth
As you pay your premiums, your Whole Life policy builds cash value that is guaranteed to grow—tax deferred—and can help meet a variety of financial goals: 

  • Supplement retirement income 
  • Fund a child or grandchild’s education 
  • Pay off a mortgage 
  • Protect existing assets 
  • Establish an emergency fund 

5. Dividend potential
One of the benefits of purchasing whole life insurance from New York Life is that you will be eligible to receive dividends.4 Although they are not guaranteed, when dividends are awarded, you can take them in cash, use them to offset your premiums, or use them to buy paid-up additional insurance that increases your coverage and cash value, use them to offset your premiums, or take them in cash.

6. Optional riders
There are several ways to tailor a whole life policy to meet your individual needs. For an additional cost, you can use riders to purchase additional protection without further underwriting, to pay your premiums if you become disabled, to use some of your face amount to pay for chronic illnesses, or to purchase coverage for your children. Your agent can help you decide if any of these riders are right for you.

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Want to learn more about life insurance?

A New York Life financial professional can help determine what’s right for you.


1The life insurance death benefit is the amount that is paid when the policy is in effect and the insured dies. The insured is the person whose life is covered under the policy. Accessing the cash value of a Whole Life policy for special expenditures will reduce the available cash surrender value and the death benefit.
2A living benefit is any benefit the policy owner can access while the insured is still living. Not all life insurance policies are designed to offer living benefits.
3All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer
4While dividends are not guaranteed, eligible policy owners have received them for more than 160 years. Some policies are participating but are not expected to receive dividends.

Oregon Policy Form Numbers for New York Life Whole Life: New York Life Insurance Company is the issuer of New York Life Whole Life. In Oregon, the Whole Life policy form number is ICC18217-50P (4/18). SMRU # 1891275