Q: What sort of insurance is best for a single person? I hear continually about life insurance to take care of your family, but what if you don't have a family?
My advice to most people is that long term disability is the most critical coverage to maintain during your working years. Statistics show that 70% of people will face a disability of three months or more before the age of 65. Since most of us live by our paychecks, disability is really paycheck insurance. A policy can commence typically after a 90 or 180 day waiting period once the disability has started. These choices, along with other policy design features, are selected by the insured at the time of application with assistance from a professional advisor. Although this coverage is not inexpensive, it is valuable to have and can easily pay for itself with a single incident. Assuming the policy is paid with after tax dollars, the benefits the policy provides are also tax free. Finally, one can usually insure about 60% to 70% of one's annual reportable income. Most policies require financial documentation to prove earnings, along with an application and medical exam.
The other important coverage that you should consider depending on your age is long term care. Long term care will provide reimbursement for nursing home, assisted living or professional home care expenses. Many of my clients who have seen these expenses within their own family understand the valuable protection a long term care policy provides, as many of these institutions charge multiple thousands of dollars a month. As a reminder, health insurance does not pay for these services and most government plans will only pay for people who are basically destitute. In many instances there is no medical examination associated with the application when acquiring long term care coverage.
As for your question regarding life insurance, I think if the person has any debt at all, a life policy might make some sense even if you don’t have a family. It would also cover all final expenses including a funeral and burial. In the event of your passing, would you want your estate to have any debt or estate taxes due? Term insurance is a very inexpensive life insurance alternative, but the negative is that it will typically not cover you for more than thirty years. There are a variety of life insurance products to choose from depending on your budget and objectives. Most policies require an application, medical exam and phone interview.
I hope this helps!