Is It a Good Idea To Get Life Insurance Now? – Occupational Therapist’s Perspective

Disclaimer: Now, I am by no means an insurance expert, but I wanted to provide some insight into the current life insurance world. This post is for educational purposes and you should always consult with a professional for advice and recommendations.

Short answer: yes – if you can afford it.

Whether or not you should get life insurance depends on your current situation. Personally, I did not get life insurance until shortly after I got married and my wife got pregnant. In hindsight, I would have gotten it immediately after I started working a full-time job.

In short, if your partner, spouse, or family depends on your income for their quality of life and basic living expenses, it is probably a good idea to get life insurance.

Not only may it be a good idea to get life insurance for yourself, but if you have children, it may be worthwhile to get it for them too. Why is that?

If your child died unexpectedly, do you think you would go right back to work? Or would you probably want to spend some time with your family for grieving and processing the event? Life insurance for your dependents may be able to cover your time off from work for this purpose. And it is not very expensive and many insurance plans may be ‘gifted’ to your child when they are no longer a minor and can act as a kind of savings account.

Another major factor to consider now is COVID-19. Some insurance companies may exclude or raise the cost of premiums if you have had or currently have COVID-19 and are trying to purchase a life insurance plan. This is similar to how if someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they are likely to pay more for life insurance because they are likely to have a shorter lifespan than someone who is non-diabetic.

Thankfully, once you have a life insurance policy that is active, they cannot exclude you afterward for contracting COVID-19. It’s usually before you have a policy in place when you run into problems.

As many people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (and the numbers continue to rise until the pandemic is over) and the long-term effects are still not known, because COVID-19 is a new disease, life insurance policies may surely change as new research comes out.

My concern is that more life insurance policies that factor COVID-19 against you.

I had a family member who got offered ‘table rates’ (which are more expensive) despite being relatively young and healthy. But because she recovered from COVID-19 and had to disclose this information (you should always disclose this type of information — don’t lie), this was likely a factor that contributed to her high cost for a life insurance policy.

Being an occupational therapist comes with increased risks. You may contract diseases at work, have something happen at work, and of course outside of work too. Even if you work in pediatrics, because SARS-CoV-2 is so insidious and can be spread despite children being asymptomatic, everyone is at risk as long as they go out into the community.

So my advice to you (especially if you have not had COVID-19) is to call your local life insurance agent and ask for a quote. Personally, I like and have AAA as their service is top-notch and their rates are very competitive. If you are young, a good option are term policies such as 30 year terms. If you are a smoker, it might be a good time to quit. Look into coverage for about how much you make as a salary annually and factor in whether your family works (or will work) if something were to happen to you or your dependents.

My lesson learned: don’t delay and start calling around for quotes because if you caught COVID-19, your life insurance cost could go way up!

Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, culture, sociology, and philosophy. Consider supporting my continued free content by sending a tip.