Life Insurance

8 things holding you back from buying life insurance

Jun 20, 2023
family together cooking in kitchen
Life insurance is a vital financial safety net that can help take care of your loved ones when you're no longer around. However, despite its advantages, many people find themselves without it for a variety of reasons. From misconceptions about cost to the fear of confronting one's own mortality, most of the barriers that hold people back from purchasing a life insurance policy can be easily overcome.

See below as we shed light on the most common roadblocks to getting life insurance… and why you shouldn’t let them stop you.

1. “Life insurance costs too much.”

In the 2022 Insurance Barometer Study by LIMRA, 49% of non-insured people surveyed said they didn’t have a policy because they thought it was too expensive. In fact, it was the most common obstacle cited. Many potential policyholders believe that life insurance is prohibitively expensive, however, this isn't necessarily the case. There are various life insurance options to cater to different budget ranges. And if you have age and good health on your side, that can help you pay an even lower premium.

2. “I have no idea what type of life insurance I should get.”

Nearly one-third of people in the same LIMRA study said the fact that they didn’t know what type to get or how much coverage they needed is what kept them from getting life insurance. With a variety of options available, it can be daunting to figure out which policy is best for your needs. What’s more, some insurance contracts tend to be dense and filled with industry jargon, leading to further confusion about the policy's coverage, benefits, and terms. This complexity can be intimidating for first-time buyers and lead to postponement or outright avoidance of purchasing a policy. A reputable insurance producer will take the time to go over your coverage needs and options, and keep things as simple as possible.

3. “I don’t have the time to dedicate to finding life insurance right now.”

Just over a quarter of people who are not insured said they just haven’t gotten around to figuring out their life insurance needs. Many believe they're too young to think about such matters or that it can be dealt with later. Unfortunately, as age increases, the cost of insurance also rises, often deterring older individuals from purchasing a policy they previously put off. In other words, the best advice when it comes to getting life insurance is to try not to delay it for too long. Previously traditional life insurance would take weeks, if not months to secure. Fortunately, now there’s many companies out there that have self-guided processes (with agents available if needed) that can help you determine what amount of coverage and term length is best for you. Often, you may even qualify for same-day coverage.

Ready to get started?
Get a personalized quote in seconds.

4. “I have other bills to take care of, so life insurance needs to wait.”

The LIMRA survey found that 47% of people blamed more pressing financial priorities for not being insured. In general, short-term needs like mortgage payments and the costs associated with raising kids do tend to overshadow long-term financial planning items like life insurance. But not preparing for the worst – just in case – can end up causing much worse financial strain later on.

5. “I don’t think I’ll qualify for life insurance because of pre-existing conditions.”

For those with pre-existing health conditions, securing certain life insurance policies can be a challenge with some carriers, but there are options that you may qualify for. The fact is many Americans have pre-existing conditions, so you shouldn’t assume that you’d be automatically disqualified from getting life insurance just because you have an illness.

6. “I don’t really need life insurance.”

Many people don't fully understand the purpose and benefits of life insurance. They might view it as unnecessary, especially if they are young and healthy, or if they get a minimal amount of coverage through their employer. It’s a good idea to work with a financial advisor to discuss your unique needs and crunch some numbers to see if you have appropriate coverage. Considerations to keep in mind are expenses like a mortgage, income-replacement, and education costs.

7. “I don’t want to think about morbid things like dying.”

As many as  4 in 10 people cited discomfort with end-of-life discussions as a deterrent to getting life insurance. We get it. Thinking about your own mortality can be a downer, which is why you want to reframe the discussion to focus on helping safeguard your family’s finances. Think of it this way – you don’t want to imagine getting into a horrible car wreck or your house burning down, but you still carry auto and home insurance.

8. “I don’t have time for a long, drawn out process.”

The application process for life insurance can take time and even require extensive medical tests and underwriting depending on the carrier you use. This often discourages potential policyholders, especially those who value convenience and speed in transactions. If you choose an insurer that uses technology to streamline the process, however, you’ll realize that getting life insurance can be a lot easier and faster than you thought. Getting a quote can sometimes take less than 10 minutes. There are options where medical exams or blood tests aren’t required. You’ll just need to answer some health and lifestyle questions to get a personalized quote.

Get it done and you’ll be glad you did

If any of the above barriers have prevented you from purchasing a life insurance policy, the good news is they are fairly easy to overcome. Despite its seemingly complex nature, life insurance is a worthwhile component of long-term financial planning and providing for your family's future. 

Learn how Ethos can help you obtain life insurance coverage before you’re done drinking your morning cup of coffee.

ChatGPT was used for idea generation, but the author made significant modifications and takes ultimate responsibility for the content.

Get your estimate in seconds.

Nicotine Use?
Adjust the coverage amount and term length to find a plan you like. Then apply online (with no obligations) and get your real rate.

The estimated monthly rate for this policy is:

Coverage amount
Term length
10 years
Please note that all prices quoted are subject to change, including due to underwriting.