That’s an easy question to answer: if you love someone, the answer is probably yes. But it’s so much more than that.

Loving someone is easy. We love our partners, our children, our parents, our siblings, and so on. What about those we don’t know yet?

When my nephew was born, I was 30. I’d only had group life insurance through my employer (which I’d never given any thought to). Now that I had a new nephew, I wondered how I could give him a gift if something should happen to me before he grew up.

“Something should happen to me” is a euphemism for the fact that we are all mortal. That “something” of which we don’t speak… is death.

If I died before my nephew grew up, I wanted him to have a hunk of cash. That was really the best I could do. But I didn’t have a hunk of cash.

So, I bought the biggest policy I could afford – a $100,000 policy that cost me $50 per month.

Fast forward to now, and my nephew is 22. It goes without saying that I lived, but not without a health crisis 18 months after I bought the policy. A grand mal seizure, an ambulance ride to the ER, and a CT scan later, I learned I had a likely-benign tumor growing in my meninges. Not only was I facing a craniotomy, but I was suddenly uninsurable.

We are all insurable until we’re not. None of us knows when that will be.

If you’re reading this, take out a piece of paper and pencil. Go ahead and set the timer on your phone for five minutes. Write the names of people you love.

Now look back at your LOVE list. Be sure to add any non-profit entities that you love too, like the local nonprofit food co-op or your favorite art institute or your local public broadcasting channel.

By now your timer has buzzed and I want you to think about what those people you love and care about are going to be feeling after you leave this earth.

What will they be facing when you pass away? Can you envision how they will handle their livelihood without you, without your income, without your input?

Insurance, by definition, is the transfer of risk. When we buy insurance on property, like our homes or cars, we are purchasing to cover an “in case” loss. When we buy insurance on our lives, we are purchasing to cover a no-two-ways-about-it, it’s-going-to-happen risk.

My hope is that we are all educated on the types of insurance out there to cover that certain risk. My second wish is that we are educated on the amount of coverage we need. Lastly, my desire is that we have confidence in the companies from which we are buying insurance.

Please share this with your friends and family members who are skeptical about life insurance. The answer to the question, “Do I need life insurance?” comes pretty quickly when we think of what those we love will be facing without us.

Catherine Greenspan, Agent, CA Ins. Lic. # 0N02048 New York Life Insurance Company and Registered Representative of NYLIFE Securities LLC (member FINRA/SIPC), a Licensed Insurance Agency and a New York Life Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Catherine Greenspan at (541) 840-1704 or or 149 Clear Creek Drive, Suite 105, Ashland, OR 97520.