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How Life Insurance Helps Protect a Mortgage

Life Insurance
family meets real estate agent in front of house and considers mortgage protection with life insurance

What makes a house a home? Some would say that a house is not a home until it is filled with family and other loved ones.

Of course, you want to protect your home and the people within it — and life insurance could help by providing mortgage protection through a death benefit.

Why Buy Life Insurance?

The most basic reason many people buy life insurance is to help provide financial protection for their loved ones in case the worst-case scenario occurs: death. What would happen to your spouse or other dependents if you passed away unexpectedly? Would they be financially secure? Would they be able to continue to make the mortgage payments?

One of the many benefits that life insurance offers is mortgage protection, which could help your loved ones stay in your home and help avoid additional financial burden.

How Does Life Insurance Protect a Mortgage?

All life insurance plans are designed to help fill financial gaps that would open up if the primary provider passed away unexpectedly. Life insurance provides money to cover immediate and future expenses, which could include paying off your mortgage. This would allow your family to continue living in the home you created together. While all life insurance policies pay a death benefit to the beneficiary — money that could be used to pay the mortgage — there are many other variables to consider when it comes to choosing the right policy for your needs.

Which Types of Life Insurance Can Help Protect Your Mortgage?

Term Life Insurance

A term life insurance policy offers protection for a set period, such as 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, as long as you pay the fixed premium. Depending on when you purchase a term life policy, it could offer protection for the period in your life when you have the most household expenses for your family. Also, many people choose term life insurance to coincide with the length of their mortgage payoff.

Permanent Life Insurance

A permanent life insurance policy offers protection for your whole life and comes in many variations. One is whole life insurance, which remains in place with a guaranteed premium as long as you continue making payments. A whole life policy also builds tax-deferred cash value.

If you would also like the flexibility to adjust your premium and death benefit as your life circumstances change, while still building tax-deferred cash value, universal life insurance could be a good choice. For example, let's say you decide later in life that you want to invest in a business or more real estate — or you want to leave a large gift to a charitable organization in your will — universal life could give you the flexibility you want in raising the policy benefit to cover these additional outlays.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

You might now be asking: How much life insurance coverage is enough?

There are many factors that go into deciding on the amount for your needs, including your current expenses (and debts), household income and more. 

Consider speaking with a financial representative who could help you run the numbers and decide on the right coverage amount for your needs.

How Much Does Life Insurance for a Mortgage Cost?

While whole life and universal life insurance can be used to help pay mortgage expenses, many people choose term life insurance instead because it is often the most affordable option. Plus, term life allows you to choose the length of your coverage based on how many years you have left on your mortgage. For example, if you have 20 years remaining on your mortgage, you can select a 20-year term life policy, which can be less expensive than buying a whole or universal life policy, which require you to make premium payments for the rest of your life rather than just 20 years. 

You also may want to consider whether you want a traditional term life policy that offers your family one lump sum or decreasing term life insurance that provides your loved ones with monthly payouts for the life of the policy. With a decreasing term life insurance policy, your coverage decreases monthly until the last 5 years of the policy, and your premiums are guaranteed to never increase. While pricing varies based on your coverage amount, policy term and underwriting results, here are a couple of examples to illustrate: 

  • A 30-year-old male could ensure monthly payouts of $2,500 for 30 years (with a starting coverage of $900,000) for as little as $39 per month.
  • A 45-year-old female could ensure monthly payouts of $3,000 for 20 years (with a starting coverage of $720,000) for as little as $44 per month.

Mortgage Insurance vs. Life Insurance

Even if you have mortgage insurance through your bank or mortgage loan, you could still need life insurance. That's because bank mortgage protection only provides mortgage payoff, and the beneficiary of that policy is usually the bank that would receive the funds.

The death benefit received from your life insurance policy could pay more than just the mortgage. It could help pay immediate expenses and provide mortgage protection. It could also help your loved ones repay debts, cover education costs and more. You may even be able to replace the bank mortgage insurance policy with one purchased from a life insurance company, which would let you choose your beneficiary.

A life insurance policy could provide mortgage protection and help keep your loved ones where they belong: at home. Think about building a strong financial foundation for your family and their future.

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Information provided is general and educational in nature. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal or tax advice. Western & Southern Financial Group and its member companies (“the Company”) does not provide legal or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. The Company makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use. The Company disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, the information. Consult an attorney or tax advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation.