life insurance coverage needs 

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all life insurance policy. You might need more — or less — life insurance than your neighbor down the road, depending on factors ranging from income and debt to family size.

Of the 60 percent of Americans who have life insurance, 1 in 4 felt they needed more coverage, according to one survey.

Before shopping for a policy — or purchasing additional life insurance protection — it’s important to understand the factors that affect how much life insurance you need. So, how do you determine how much life insurance you need? Here are six things to consider:

6 Things to Consider When Buying Life Insurance


The amount on your tax return plays a significant role in your life insurance calculations. The more you earn, the more coverage you need. Your Farm Bureau agent can help you determine how much life insurance you may need.


The proceeds from a life insurance policy need to take care of all of your debts, including mortgage balances, car loans, student loans, credit card balances or other debts that would be a burden to your family and will need to be paid in full. More debt necessitates more life insurance.


Review your existing assets. If you have significant savings and investments that can be used to cover burial/estate expenses, pay off debts and provide a financial cushion for your family, you’ll need less life insurance than someone with few assets.

Existing coverage

Do you have life insurance coverage through an employer? One 2016 survey found 19 percent of policyholders had life insurance through work. Depending on the amount of that coverage, having your own personally owned policy may be a good idea.

Family size

The more dependents you have, the more life insurance you need. In addition to thinking about the number of children depending on you for coverage, take their ages into consideration as well. You’ll need more life insurance to protect young children through adulthood than you would for college graduates with their own income.

Future needs

Life insurance helps protect your family, and that means purchasing enough coverage for their future needs, including educational expenses. When calculating your life insurance needs, determine how much it’ll cost to send your children to college.

To determine how much life insurance you need, our online calculator is a good place to start. And you’ll want to make an appointment with your Farm Bureau agent for a detailed analysis of your life insurance needs.