Tailoring your protection through each life stage

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22 June 2023

Grandmother, mother and daughter standing in backyard, embracing and smiling

At various 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 life stages 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 dependents, 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 provide the right level of care should you need it.

Homeowner, childfree

You have a stable job and purchase a home 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.

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 too 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 some time, and leave a lump sum for your kids, to cover education fees or give them a good financial start. 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 dependents' 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 with your spouse or partner. 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 be reduced; however, TPD may remain important.


MLC Life Insurance

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