it’s my story 

This article was written prior to 15 March 2021, before the launch of the new Financial Advice Regime, and was published for information purposes only. It is not being actively promoted by Momentum Life. Momentum Life does not provide financial advice about the suitability of their products and cannot take into account your personal situation or goals. Before you decide to take out a Momentum Life Policy, you should read the relevant Policy Wording document which contains the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the Policy, and seek independent financial advice, if required, to ensure the insurance policy is suitable for you.


For many Kiwis, planning for an uncertain future is something they tend to put off. Whilst nearly half of people in a recent survey said they thought about how certain events could impact their finances, only 25% have some type of plan in place to help protect their financial future.1

However, the unexpected can happen—as much as we hope it never will. A sudden death or terminal illness diagnosis could have a big impact on a family's finances in the future. 

Life insurance is designed to help ease the financial burden of your passing. 

Here are 10 things a life insurance benefit could be used for:

1. Cover medical expenses

Though life insurance and death often go hand-in-hand in many people’s minds, it may also help if you develop a terminal illness. Some insurers offer early payment if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. That way, your family could use the money to help pay for in-home care or other medical expenses.

2. Pay for the funeral

Did you know that the average funeral in New Zealand costs around $9,000? That’s a lot of money to come up with—often on short notice. But life insurance could help cover this expense. Many policies will pay a small portion of the total benefit amount in advance, so your family can plan your funeral service with less worry about paying these bills.

3. Travel to visit you or attend the funeral

A terminal illness diagnosis might mean that family living abroad or hundreds of kilometres away may want to come visit before you’re gone. And of course, these same people will probably want to be with your family during the funeral. Life insurance could help them get there, paying for petrol, airline tickets or whatever else they need to make the trip.

4. Take time off work

When a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, their partner often wants to take time off work to care for them. The early payout that comes with some life insurance policies, could help them do this with less worry about taking unpaid leave. It could also be used to take an extended period off work to grieve once you’ve passed away.

5. Replace lost income

If you’re the primary breadwinner, losing your income could potentially be devastating for your family. Life insurance could help protect their financial future by replacing this lost income. Even if you’re not the only earner in your household, life insurance could be helpful, particularly if your paycheque is needed to cover the bills.

6. Help eliminate debt

Unfortunately, your debts don’t disappear after you pass away. Your family could be left with a mortgage and car payments, not to mention any credit card debt or other loans you may leave behind. The money from your life insurance could help them repay any large or small debts.

7. Help cover school fees

Losing a parent can be tough, especially for young children. Often, keeping up their regular routine helps them manage this loss. Life insurance could help with this, providing money to keep paying school fees, so they don’t have to switch schools. The benefit could also be put towards university, allowing your children to pursue the future you’ve planned for them.

8. Take a special trip

You probably want your family to be happy, even if you’re not there to enjoy life with them. A life insurance policy could help your family take a special trip to remember you by. That could be your spouse revisiting your honeymoon spot or your kids recreating a favourite holiday with their own families.

9. Leave an inheritance

We’d all like to leave a little something behind for the ones we love when we pass away, and life insurance might help you do that. The benefit could be put towards a down payment on a house for your kids, set up savings accounts for your grandchildren or help them kickstart any other big dreams they may have.

10. Make a charity donation

A final donation to a worthy cause could be a wonderful way to create a legacy. Life insurance could be one way to do this. You might choose to earmark a portion of the benefit amount for a favourite charity or non-profit organisation. These plans can be written into a Will to let your family know your wishes when the time comes.  

1. Financial Services Council, Risking Everything: Insight Into How New Zealanders Manage Risk, June 2019

 About Author: Momentum Life is a leading provider of Life insurance and Funeral insurance in New Zealand.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal situation or goals. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and seek independent financial advice, if required, to ensure an insurance product is suitable for you.

Any product information is correct at the time this article was published. For current product information, please visit the Momentum Life website.