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Life or death - what's in a name?

"Shouldn't life insurance be called ‘death insurance?", a consumer asked me recently.

You could call it that. But that would be like calling car insurance ‘accident insurance’... which we don't.

Just as 'car insurance' insures your car against the possibility of an accident… 'life insurance' insures your life against an untimely death. So I'd say 'life insurance' is the appropriate product name.

Actually, if you think about it, what you are buying with life insurance is ‘time’. Most people intend providing for their old age in one way or another through retirement funds and investments. But the problem you have preparing for your death (as opposed to retirement) is that you simply don’t know when it will occur - it could happen today... or maybe in 70 years or anywhere in between.

Life insurance buys you the assurance that if you die today, money you would normally have saved over a lifetime, will be available for your family today.

So.... “Lifetime insurance” maybe? Or how about “Time Life”?

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