The £30,000 life insurance shortfall
Life insurance shortfall
Life insurance shortfall

Life insurance is one of the most important forms of protection around, yet many people don't have any cover in place.

Even worse, new research has revealed that even if we do have a policy in place, we probably don't have enough cover.

A £30,000+ shortfall

Research from SunLife has found that the average life insurance payout is £51,500 but the average outstanding mortgage is £83,000. As a result bereaved families would be left with a £31,500 shortfall.

Given that most people take out life insurance so that their families won't have to worry about bills if the main breadwinner dies, this shortfall could have a serious impact on family finances.

Dean Lamble, managing director at SunLife, pointed out that just eliminating that shortfall may not actually be enough.

He explained: "If for example the breadwinner in a family was to die, being able to pay off the mortgage would be a big help. But, while that would take a significant burden off the family, it wouldn't leave any money to pay the ongoing household bills, provide an income or mean the everyday things could carry on."

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Getting the right amount of life insurance

Working out just how much life insurance you need takes a little work. Clearly, as SunLife's research confirms, many of us err on the side of caution, plumping for an insufficient amount of cover.

Equally, you don't want to over-insure, getting more cover than you actually need as you'll face a higher monthly premium.

To help you work out the right level of cover for you and your circumstances, read Life insurance: how much do you really need?

Keeping the cost of your life cover down

One of the reasons people often give for not having life insurance is the perceived cost. But life insurance is actually incredibly cheap. For example, right now a non-smoking 30-year old can get a £150,000 decreasing cover policy over a 30-year term for less than £6 a month from Beagle Street. That's incredibly value for peace of mind.

More on AOL Money:

New life insurance policy helps cover the cost of care​

Why life insurance can cost under £5 a month​

How to get free life insurance

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