Why You Haven’t Bought Life Insurance Yet



Unlike car insurance and health insurance, there is no legal requirement to buy a life insurance policy. And given that you have a lot of other things to spend your money on, you’re probably in no hurry to rush out there and commit to monthly life insurance premiums. But lack of cash or unwillingness to part with the cash they have aren’t the only reasons 56% of Americans don’t have an individual life insurance policy[1]. Understanding your lack of motivation may be just the nudge you need to shop for life insurance quotes or at least learn more about the types of policies available.

In addition to the fact that you don’t have to buy it, one of these may be the reason you don’t:

  • It has an instant gratification factor of zip

If you buy a car or even an ice cream cone, you get to enjoy it immediately. When you buy a life insurance policy, you may never enjoy it. Your beneficiaries, however, will appreciate the fact that you kept paying those premiums and didn’t leave them saddled with a mortgage, car payments and a mountain of debt. Of course there are life insurance policies that accrue cash value, which you can eventually cash out or draw against to pay for other stuff that will provide instant gratification. But that’s only after years of paying premiums. Your willingness to overcome this obstacle will be directly tied to your sense of personal responsibility or your susceptibility to guilt.

  • Immortality is an option

The younger you are, the more certain you are of your own immortality. You walk through life convinced that you have all the time in the world. You may even secretly harbor a belief that they will find a cure for death in your lifetime. Get beyond this level of life insurance resistance by hoping for the best but planning for the possibility that they may not find that cure soon enough. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that the younger and healthier you are when you purchase it, the cheaper your life insurance premiums will be.

  • Thinking about dying is a definite downer

You accept that nobody gets out of this world alive, but you fear that thinking about your own demise or, heaven forbid, planning for it will hasten it. Appeal to your better self and think about the pickle you’d leave your loved ones in if you died uninsured. If writing the monthly premium checks causes you genuine discomfort, sign up for auto deductions or ask your spouse to handle the payments. 

  • It’s a left brain/right brain thing

Maybe you’re an analytical left-brain type and emotion-based reasons for buying life insurance don’t move you. In that case, look at it from a sensible, retirement-planning point of view. Ask a financial advisor to explain the kinds of life insurance policies that work with your budget and your goals. On the other lobe, if you’re a high-touch right-brain type, focus on how good you’ll feel knowing you’re doing something to protect the people who love and depend on you. Here again, talk to a trusted advisor to learn the most affordable, effective life insurance policies to meet their needs.

[1] Kevin Mercadante, “Why More People Don’t Buy Life Insurance,”


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