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How this single mother's return to work transformed her family's future

As a single mum at 30, Gemma Holloway found herself wanting to make sure her daughter Isla would be protected if the worst were to happen to her.

Working for the UK’s largest life insurance broker, Reassured, Gemma shares her perspective on life insurance, why it’s important and how, even on a restrictive budget, it is possible to obtain cover.

“I had never expected to become a single mum. I was privileged enough to be able to take extended leave when my daughter was born, but when I unexpectedly found myself single at the age of 29, I had to return to work just to get by.

I began to question how my daughter would afford to live if I was no longer around to provide

The job I took was within the life insurance industry, so the importance of having such cover had never been more evident.

I began to question how my daughter would afford to live if I was no longer around to provide, how would the mortgage be paid, would the cost of my debts and funeral cause further distress at an already stressful time?

These were all things life insurance would help cover. The mortgage could be paid in full allowing her to stay in her home, and I would know my daughter would have all the funds she needed to continue her existing lifestyle.

The problem was cost. On a single household income, taking on another monthly outgoing was a serious concern of mine.

However, something I had learned from working in the industry was that life insurers can vary significantly on price, so to be certain I was receiving the best deal I used a broker who was able to compare policies on my behalf and help me find one I could afford with my limited budget.

There was also the option to use of a comparison website, however I wanted additional support on the application process and writing my policy in trust which the broker provided.

It is possible to get life insurance cover to suit any budget

The cost of life insurance is based on the level of risk you pose to the insurer, taking into account your age, health, smoking status and cover required.

I personally was able to get my life cover for 43p a day, although premiums do start from as little as 20p.

It is possible to get life insurance cover to suit any budget, and there are a few things you can do to make sure you are paying the lowest premium possible.

The type of life insurance you choose will dramatically impact the amount you will pay in premiums. Decreasing term life insurance is usually the cheapest form of life protection because the pay out sum reduces throughout the life of the policy.

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Whereas whole of life insurance tends to be the most expensive because cover lasts for the rest of your life and a pay out is guaranteed.

Whilst individual types of life insurance tend to be best suited to covering certain aspects within your life, it is usually better to have some form of cover in place than none at all.

Therefore, instances when something such as level term life insurance is too expensive, it may be worth arranging decreasing term life insurance even if the cover isn’t being used to settle the balance of your mortgage.

Regardless of how small the pay out is, if the worst were to happen to you, some financial support for your loved ones is better than none.

Secondly, is the amount of cover you arrange. Whilst it can be tempting to take out as much cover as possible, this again is going to inflate the cost of your premiums.

To determine how much life insurance cover you require, you should take into account the various aspects of your life you are looking to protect (mortgage, funeral, children etc.) and calculate how much would be required to meet such needs.

If this level of cover is still too expensive for your budget, you may be required to drop the cover amount to achieve a premium within your budget – But again, some financial support upon your passing is better than none at all.

Next is smoking. Due to the health risks associated with smoking, premiums can be inflated significantly. Life insurers class you as a smoker if you have used tobacco or nicotine replacement products in the past 12 months.

However, by changing your lifestyle and ditching the habit, you can benefit from lower premiums.

Even those on the tightest of budgets can ensure their loved ones are protected in the worst case scenario

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend putting off arranging life insurance until you quit (this can be a tricky task and slip ups could leave you without cover for longer than 12 months), but would suggest arranging some cover in the interim and then informing your insurer of your change in lifestyle.

These three things can help reduce the cost of life insurance, so that even those on the tightest of budgets can ensure their loved ones are protected in the worst case scenario.

When arranging my cover, I worked out what I could afford to pay on a monthly basis and discussed this with the insurance broker. Using the three aforementioned factors they then presented me with a selection of scenarios and I was able to select the best one to suit my needs.

It’s worth mentioning, that the broker service I used was completely free, again avoiding further strain on my finances.

So, as you can see, arranging life insurance is very possible even if you are on a tight budget. I can’t stress enough that having some cover in place is always going to be better for your loved ones than having no financial support at all.

If you don’t have life insurance, why not seize the day and secure the financial future of your loved ones.

This article was provided by FCA registered life insurance broker Reassured

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