The Insurance Question I’m Still Not Sure I’ve Answered Correctly

Cedar Rapids

When Ben suggested we get life insurance, I balked. Couldn’t we just take the money we would spend on a policy and save it, instead of paying a monthly fee to a company for an eventual, theoretical payout we may never — hopefully will never — need?

Ben won the argument, although since that happened more than six months ago now, I honestly can’t remember the conversation-ending logic. Being responsible parents entered into it, sure. There must have been something else too though. Something that broke through my knee-jerk resistance. Maybe being $30 poorer each month has made me stupider, because I cannot recall.

In any event, I agreed to go Term, not Whole, for coverage until the kid(s) hit roughly eighteen. Because I am, sigh, a Millennial, I turned to the Internets first and found Efinancial, a site that sifts through various policies and hooks you up with the best option for you.

A nice man named Bryan arranged for an in-home health check up by a medical examiner. Although he was good about reminding me in advance, and although I set up various reminders for myself via Google calendars, I still managed to be caught off-guard when the doorbell rang early one weekday morning. The toddler was half-dressed, the husband barely showered, and I didn’t have even have a bra on yet.

I apologized profusely to everyone for the chaotic state of things: the toddler, the husband, and the medical examiner, who turned out to be a Hasidic Jewish man from deepest Brooklyn. Needless to say, my blood pressure was a lot higher when he first took it than it was when he took it again an hour later. (“I must have a calming effect on you,” he said.)

The examiner administered a battery of tests, the priorities of which seemed pretty bizarre. He asked me if I smoked over and over again but never asked if I go to the gym. He wanted to know what I weighed but showed no curiosity about what I eat.

So it goes. My blood, blood pressure, weight and I all passed the test(s) and qualified for relatively affordable Term Life Insurance from TransAmerica: $30 a month for a 15 year plan valued at $850,000.

Frankly, the whole thing still feels like kind of a racket to me, and I don’t have a lot of confidence that I’ve made the best decision. $30 a month has not bought me peace of mind. But I suppose it is comforting to know that if something should happen to me, Ben, as a widower and single parent of two, won’t have to add immediate destitution to his list of concerns.

How have you approached, or solved, this problem?