talk about life insurance with family

To talk about life insurance with family and people you love can be a difficult conversation to start. It forces us to confront our least favorite subjects, such as dying, finances, taxes, estate planning, powers of attorney, debt owed, and medical conditions. Obtaining protection in the form of life insurance, on the other hand, is an expression of love that goes beyond words. It demonstrates to your loved ones that you are concerned about their future and want to protect them. 

3 ways to begin a discussion about insurance coverage with your family:

1. Start by Asking Questions—and Then Listen

To begin a beneficial discussion, be genuine and compassionate. A good place to start is by asking meaningful questions and then listening carefully to your loved one’s answers.  If you’re not used to having these conversations, it just takes a little courage on your part. Here are a couple of examples:

  • With your Parent: “Hey dad, your kids all love you and mom very much and want to make sure you’re taken care of. That includes handling everything for you after you pass away. With that said, we need to understand more about your specific plans. Do you have any kind of life insurance coverage? Have you made a plan for final arrangements and expenses?”
  • With your Spouse: “I know we don’t like to think about either of us passing away. However, whether we like it or not, we must have an honest discussion about what will happen to our family and assets when we die. We must specifically discuss how much life insurance we might need. I jotted down some pertinent questions for us to discuss together. Could we take a look at them together?”

Asking questions about life insurance is just a start. Then, use your active listening skills to create a safe environment for a candid conversation. Make it clear to your loved one that you are listening to their responses without passing judgment. You may believe that your loved one is falling behind in their planning, but keep in mind that any amount of life insurance coverage is preferable to none at all.

2: Share a Story about someone you know

If you think a less direct approach will yield better results, then begin the conversation about life insurance with a real-life example. It could be a story about someone you actually know or someone you’ve just heard or read about.

You could, for instance, tell a story about a friend’s dad who died and how your friend was so grateful that their dad had planned for his death. You could explain how all of their final expenses were covered by a life insurance policy.

From the other perspective, you could give a specific example of someone who died unprepared and left debt and their final expenses for their loved ones to pay. Maybe you’ve seen someone on social media start a goFund me account to help pay for their loved one’s memorial service, funeral or final healthcare costs.

First, consider whether sharing a positive or negative story will give rise to a more open dialogue. If you don’t have a personal example, share one from a story you find online. Then ask your loved one to share their thoughts with you.

3: Bring Up the Pandemic or Other Recent Events

You can also start this conversation by bringing up recent news. According to a recent Life Happens and LIMRA survey, 31% of Americans believe “COVID-19 has made it more likely that they will obtain life insurance within the next 12 months.”

Clearly, the pandemic has made many of us somewhat more comfortable with having difficult conversations about death planning, which you can use to your advantage. Simply be thoughtful and start by bringing up how the pandemic, or another current event, has affected you. Then, before diving into your life insurance questions, ask your loved one how this all makes them feel.

These types of conversations are often hard to initiate but are absolutely essential. Furthermore, we need to talk about these matters sooner rather than later. Develop a Make plan to discuss life insurance with your loved ones.

First, if necessary, spend a few minutes reviewing the basic concepts of life insurance.

Next, make a list of the questions to ask. Use the above list to help you make your list.

Finally, once you understand current plans, take action by speaking with a life insurance professional. We can assist you with customizing a plan based on your family member’s situation.