I just started my first job. Is life insurance necessary?

For many new graduates entering the workforce, purchasing life insurance is important to consider. Getting basic life insurance can be a smart financial move for new graduates as they start their post-graduation journey.

If you are a new grad and your employer offers subsidized group life insurance, definitely take advantage of it. It’s usually free coverage provided to everyone at the company, and it can provide some financial support to those that care about you should something unexpected happen to you. However, life insurance coverage through work is often only a few times your annual salary and may not be enough for your needs. (You can find your estimated coverage needs by using a life insurance calculator.)

Your employer might also offer you access to supplemental or voluntary term life insurance—that is, life insurance beyond the guaranteed amount that comes as a benefit of being an employee of your company. But how do you know if you need supplemental insurance? Here are a few scenarios that might speak to your situation and where additional term life insurance might make sense. 

Supplemental or voluntary term life insurance

First, let’s establish some common terms: 

Supplemental or voluntary term life insurance is insurance you pay for on top of the amount you’re given for free through your employer for a certain period of a predetermined time, called a term, such as a 30-year term, 15-year term, etc. 

Premiums are the monthly amount you pay to the insurance carrier in exchange for providing coverage. You are locked into that premium price—or the price you pay monthly—for the length of that term, which is a good thing when you are young and healthy as your premiums are generally lower. 

Portability means that you can take it with you. In life insurance, the group life insurance you are offered is not portable, but supplemental or voluntary term life insurance, even if you get it through your employer, is. That means that you can take it with you after you leave this current job, so long as you are within the term of the policy. If you leave, get laid off, take a sabbatical, or take a leave of absence, you still have life insurance coverage. 

Scenarios to consider getting life insurance in your twenties 


You have student loan debt

If you have a private student loan and your parents were co-signers on that loan, they may get stuck paying off your debt if you unexpectedly pass away. Some federal student loans are forgiven if the graduate passes away, but private loans don’t follow the same protocol. No one likes to think about that happening of course, but by having term life insurance coverage in place, you can help make sure your parents won’t be burdened by debt if something happens to you. 


You are responsible for others’ financial security

If you have a spouse or children, aging parents who financially rely on you, or a mortgage, you need to consider if your dependents can be financially self-sufficient if something happens to you. 


You’re ready to make a smart money move 

With term life insurance,  the price stays fixed once you commit to a policy. If you get a policy when you are young and healthy, your rates will be lower—and stay at that low rate for the term—than if you wait until you are older and have more financial responsibilities such as a mortgage, a partner or spouse, or kids. One additional thing to note: If you develop a chronic illness or disability and do not have life insurance when diagnosed, your premiums may be much more expensive. Getting locked in at a low rate while you’re young can be a smart financial move.

Making a decision about independent term life insurance in your twenties is one only you can decide, but knowing these factors can help aid you in your decision-making. 

Ready to explore how much coverage you need? Head to our coverage calculator.



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