How your life insurance needs change with your life stage

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19 March 2019

Diverse group

At different stages of your life, you’ll need different amounts and types of life insurance – and it’s important you have the right cover at the right time. After all, you don’t want to be paying too much in premiums for cover you can do without – and you certainly don’t want to find yourself underinsured if you ever need to make a claim.

Here, we look at the typical different life insurance needs at key stages of your life, to help you make sure you have the right amount, at the right time.

Post-education, child-free

You’ve finished your studies, you’re single or with a partner but have no kids. You’re living away from home in rented accommodation and are in your first job. Cover-wise you need enough to pay-out any debt or meet repayments on the debt – education, car, credit cards, for example – but if you don’t have dependants, you should only need a small payment on death.

However, your earning potential is enormous at this early stage of your career, so income protection is essential to keep money coming in, should anything happen that prevents you from working. Also, total permanent disability (TPD) and critical illness insurance can help cover the right level of care should you need it.

Homeowner, childfree

You have a stable job and purchase a home, either by yourself, with friends or with a partner. When you take on a mortgage, your life insurance should, at a minimum, cover the cost of your share of the mortgage. If you have bought a home with your partner, you may wish to be able to pay out the mortgage entirely in the event of your death, so they don’t need to worry about the roof over their head. Also, if you’re in a relationship, you may wish to provide some money in the event of your death to cover your partner’s living expenses for a period of time.

You may have also accumulated other debt – car finance or investment loans – and will need to account for those. Again, income protection, critical illness and TPD are vitally important to keep money coming in, and to provide appropriate levels of care, should illness or injury prevent you from working.

Parents, with children

A home, a partner… and kids. This is the stage of life where your life insurance needs and so your cover should peak. If you were to pass away, you’d likely want your life insurance to pay the mortgage, cover your partner’s living expenses for a period of time, and leave a lump sum for your kids, to cover education fees or give them a good financial start in life. The level of cover provided by your TPD and income protection policies will need to be increased where possible, as you now have dependants.


The kids leave home, and there are fewer years left on the mortgage – if you still have one –  you can review your policies to consider reducing some of your cover. Your liabilities and dependants’ needs aren’t as high as they once were so you can reduce the level of cover if you wish. Of course, you may want to contribute to your grandchildren’s education or wish to leave a lump sum if you have children or grandchildren.

Remember to view your policies in relation to your spouse or partner’s. The older you get the less you may need to provide money for your partner. However, between you, you may want to leave an inheritance. Depending on your working circumstances, income protection can reduce, however, TPD remains important.


These pages contain general information only and do not take into account your personal circumstances, objectives or needs. This information is provided in good faith and believed to be accurate at the time it was placed on the MLC Life Insurance website, however we make no representation or warranty as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of this information.

The information provided is not intended to constitute financial, legal or medical advice, or to substitute for the need to consult with your advisers or treating practitioners. Before acting on any information in these pages, you should consider whether it is right for you and consult with your financial, legal and/or medical advisers.

Any views or opinions expressed or referenced here (including in any video content) or in any webpages to which hyperlinks are provided do not represent the opinion of MLC Limited, unless we say otherwise.


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