How Much Term Insurance Do I Need

In the unpredictable landscape of life, term insurance acts as a protective barrier for your family, offering financial stability and peace of mind in case some mishappening occurs. As you journey through the maze of choices and insurance lingo, a crucial question emerges: how much term insurance do I truly need? The response to this question is far from random or universally applicable. That’s because your ideal coverage depends on a wide array of factors, including financial responsibilities, dependents, and lifestyle. To help you in untangling this complex web and make a well-informed choice, our carefully curated guide will explore the ins and outs of term insurance. We’ll dive deep into the foundational concepts to expert advice and tactics for determining the perfect coverage tailored to your specific situation. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Understanding Term Life Insurance

term insurance

Term life insurance represents a pure life cover, boasting an easily understandable structure. By paying an annual premium to the insurer for a designated number of years, the insurer commits to providing a sum assured to your loved ones in the event of your death during that period. Unlike other insurance products, term life insurance does not offer a maturity benefit. Nevertheless, it does supply more extensive coverage at lower premiums compared to alternative life insurance options on the market. Now that we’ve established foundational knowledge of term policies, let’s dive deeper into determining the coverage you may require.

How to Calculate Term Insurance Coverage

Term insurance coverage is essential to ensure your family’s financial stability in the event of your untimely demise. To demonstrate the calculation process, let’s examine the situation of Rahul, a 30-year-old professional supporting his spouse, two young kids, and parents. Their monthly expenses amount to Rs 40,000, and he has an outstanding Rs 50 lakh home loan. We’ll employ a five-step approach to determine Rahul’s necessary coverage.

Step 1: Account for the Dependent’s Monthly Expenditures

Start by determining your dependent’s yearly expenses. For Rahul, the family spends Rs 40,000 per month, totaling Rs 4.8 lakh annually. It’s generally advised to have coverage equal to 15 to 20 times the yearly expenses. In this scenario, we’ll use a 15x multiplier to account for rising inflation, increasing educational costs, and healthcare expenses. Thus, Rahul’s coverage based on future household expenses would amount to Rs 72 lakh.

Step 2: Examine Your Liabilities

Leaving your family with a mountain of debt is one of the toughest situations imaginable. Rahul’s outstanding Rs 50 lakh home loan is a significant liability that must be addressed.

Step 3: Evaluate Key Life Events and Objectives

With two young children, Rahul faces numerous upcoming milestones, such as their education and weddings. He’s established a monthly Rs 11,000 SIP to accumulate Rs 20 lakh over 15 years for their higher studies. His untimely passing would jeopardize these objectives, so including this sum in his term life insurance coverage is prudent.

Step 4: Account for Your Spouse’s Retirement Fund

Rahul also needs to provide a corpus for his wife, which will grow over time to help her handle her retirement expenses. He estimates she will require a minimum of Rs 70 lakh for her retirement.

Step 5: Weigh Your Existing Assets

When determining term insurance coverage, it’s vital to consider both liabilities and existing wealth. In Rahul’s case, he possesses a Rs 20 lakh mutual fund portfolio that his family could access in the event of his death. This sum can be subtracted from his life insurance coverage requirements.

Calculating Total Term Insurance Coverage

Considering all the factors discussed, let’s calculate how much term insurance Rahul needs:

  • Future household expenses: Rs 72 lakh
  • Liability (home loan): Rs 50 lakh
  • Future life event/goals (children’s education and marriage): Rs 20 lakh
  • Retirement corpus for spouse: Rs 70 lakh
  • Liquid asset (mutual fund portfolio): -Rs 20 lakh

The total term insurance cover Rahul needs: Rs 1.72 crore

Adjusting Coverage Based on Age and Wealth

Your age and current financial situation play significant roles in determining your term insurance needs. For instance, Rahul’s term insurance necessity was substantial due to his debts, elevated monthly expenditures, and five dependents, including young children with their entire futures ahead of them.

On the other hand, if you’re in your 20s and unmarried, your life insurance needs may not be as high as Rahul’s. Likewise, if you’re in your 50s with a solid investment portfolio, and your children are married and employed, your life insurance needs might not be as pressing. It’s essential to reassess your term insurance requirements every five years, as your circumstances and priorities can shift over time.


All in all, determining the appropriate term insurance coverage is a highly personalized process that depends on a bunch of key factors. By following a systematic approach, like the one illustrated in Rahul’s example, you can effectively evaluate your term insurance necessities and make educated choices. Remember that your circumstances will likely change over time, so it’s essential to reassess your term insurance requirements periodically, adjusting coverage accordingly.