Do You Need Mortgage Life Insurance? Pros, Cons, & Alternatives


What would happen if you passed away today, tomorrow, or next year?

Would your family have enough money to get by, or would they struggle financially?

Would they be able to stay in your current home with the same standard of living, or would they need to downsize?

These are important questions to ask yourself as you determine whether your life insurance coverage is sufficient.

Mortgage Life Insurance Protects Your Largest Investment

With the average home price today, a mortgage tends to be one of the largest investments a family makes. It’s one that can lock you in for the next 30 years of your life or more.

Buying a life insurance policy is only part of what is required to protect your family.

If you want to leave them in a situation where they can continue to thrive in your absence, you have to buy enough life insurance to cover your income, pay for future expenses like college and retirement, and even pay for the home you live in (even if it’s not all at once).

Life insurance policies exist to help provide money for these situations, and there is one particular life insurance option that was created specifically to repay your mortgage in the event of your death, disability, or some life-altering disease.

Called mortgage life insurance, this type of insurance can pay off your mortgage if you meet an early death or your health impacts your ability to earn.

Keep reading to learn more about mortgage protection life insurance coverage, how it works, and what it could mean for you and your family.

As the name implies, mortgage life insurance, or mortgage protection insurance, is there to repay your mortgage in the event you die or become unable to work.

Most of the time, you are offered a mortgage insurance policy when you fill out loan papers for your house and sign the paperwork to begin your mortgage.

You can decline this insurance when it is offered, however, you may be required to sign several forms and waivers verifying your decision to opt out.

Why do you have to sign waivers to decline a mortgage life insurance policy?

Officially, this paperwork was created with the intent of proving you understand the risks associated with having a mortgage.

Mostly, however, the paperwork was created to give you a moment to stop and think about your situation – and potentially persuade you into buying the financial protection these policies offer.

Is mortgage protection life insurance worth the cost?

As with anything else, there are pros and cons to purchasing these types of policies. While it may be an ideal solution for some families, others don’t need mortgage protection at all.

Before we go any further, let’s discuss both the advantages and disadvantages which come with buying mortgage protection coverage.

Also, we’ll discuss some alternative types of insurance policies that might make even more sense to protect your loved ones.

Advantages of Buying Mortgage Life Insurance

Mortgage life insurance policies give your family peace of mind.

In the event of a terminal illness or your untimely death, your mortgage life insurance plan will cover your loan amount so your loved ones won’t have to continue paying without your income.

The biggest advantage of this protection is knowing your mortgage loan will be fully repaid no matter what happens with your health.

Key Advantages Which Come with Mortgage Life Insurance

One of the biggest advantages of buying a mortgage life policy is near-universal coverage with minimal underwriting – there is often no medical examination or blood sample required at the inception of your plan.

Thus, it can be a valuable insurance option for any high-risk homeowner with serious health problems or preexisting medical conditions that may prevent them from buying a traditional life insurance plan.

Here are a few of the other key advantages mortgage protection can offer:

1. The Payoff is a Mortgage-Free Home

Your family will have a mortgage-free home if you die or cannot work due to illness or injury. If your mortgage payment makes up a substantial part of your budget each month, it’s smart to consider how your family might cover the cost if you were to die or become incapacitated. With a mortgage insurance policy in place, you won’t have to worry or wonder what might happen. If you die or become gravely ill or unable to work, your insurance plan will become active and pay off your mortgage loan.

2. You Don’t Have to Die to take Advantage of this Coverage

With some exceptions, most traditional life insurance policies will not pay out unless you die within your coverage period. Most mortgage insurance policies, on the other hand, offer coverage that works if you become disabled or unable to work. This fact makes this coverage slightly more versatile than a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.

3. The Sleep-well Factor is Real

Buying a mortgage life policy can help you to sleep well at night knowing your family is protected. Like we said before, the biggest advantage this coverage offers is the fact you don’t have to worry about your family having a place to live if you die or cannot work. With your mortgage paid off, your family will always have a place to live provided they can afford the property taxes and insurance each year.


Disadvantages of Buying Mortgage Life Insurance

Generally speaking, there are four reasons why mortgage life insurance isn’t a good deal for everyone.

The most important of those factors is the fact you can get a comparable term life insurance policy that will cover the cost of your mortgage and provide cash death benefits for your family – and all for around the same price or even less in most cases.

Key Disadvantages of Mortgage Life Insurance

Here is a summary of each of the disadvantages which come with this type of coverage:

1. Mortgage life insurance is a decreasing benefit.

Mortgage life insurance features level premiums with a decreasing death benefit because the payout is generally fixed to your mortgage principle*. Because of this, the value of the policy decreases as you repay your mortgage loan. Buying a standard term life insurance policy, on the other hand, gives you a fixed premium and a fixed payout. You know exactly how much will be paid out in the event you or your loved one dies.

*Some newer mortgage protection insurance policies pay out at a fixed rate for the first few years, then decrease as time goes on, and some pay out at a fixed rate. Read the terms closely before making a purchase.

2. Mortgage life insurance policies benefit lenders more than the insured party.

It is important to note your family will not actually see any of this money from this insurance policy payout. The mortgage lender is the beneficiary and if you die the banking institution will receive the life insurance payout which will be used to repay the mortgage in full. Your family’s payoff is a house paid in full.

3. You have no control over where the life insurance settlement goes.

As mentioned in the above paragraph, the life insurance settlement is automatically sent to the bank to cover the terms of the mortgage. Not having a mortgage may give you peace of mind, but it may not actually be the best use of your funds at the time. A traditional term life insurance policy gives you better control over how to use your life insurance settlement. For example, if you have a lot of debt at a higher interest rate it may be more prudent to repay the debt before repaying your mortgage.

4. Mortgage life insurance premiums are expensive for the amount of coverage.

The premiums you pay at the beginning of your mortgage are probably in line with the amount of coverage you are receiving, but as time goes on, you receive much less coverage for the money. You are more than likely better off going with a term life insurance policy and getting sufficient coverage to pay off your house in full if it is your goal. Be sure to get multiple life insurance quotes before purchasing your life insurance policy.

Should You Buy Mortgage Life Insurance?

While any type of policy is better than nothing, mortgage life insurance doesn’t seem like a great idea for most families who need a life insurance policy.

Generally speaking, mortgage life insurance requires you to pay the same amount of money each month for a decreasing death benefit. Plus, you have no control over where the payout of the policy goes or how it is used.

For most people, a traditional term life insurance policy is a better option than mortgage protection insurance due to a potentially larger payout, lower premiums, and the flexibility of using your life insurance settlement how and when you want.

With that being said, there is still a handful of reasons why people would want mortgage life insurance. The primary advantage of mortgage life insurance is you can generally get a policy with minimal health screenings or underwriting.

Meanwhile, you may not be required to submit to a medical exam before purchasing a mortgage protection policy. If you have trouble purchasing a term life insurance policy, then applying for a mortgage life insurance policy when you buy your house is a good idea.

Whether or not you should buy a policy really depends upon the amount of your loan and the value of your house, your family’s assets, and your general health.

In addition to these factors, you must consider the term of your loan and the possibility that, if you rewrite your mortgage or the bank sells your loan, you’ll have to rewrite the mortgage insurance policy as well.

The most important thing to remember is you need to buy enough life insurance to meet all your financial needs – not just paying off your house.

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Pros & Cons of a Mortgage Life Policy


  • You may be able to obtain mortgage life insurance even if you have a difficult time getting coverage elsewhere. Some policies do not require an exam,
  • Your family will have a mortgage-free home if you die or cannot work due to illness or injury.
  • You can gain from this policy even if you don’t die.
  • You can sleep well at night knowing your family is protected.


  • Mortgage life insurance is a decreasing benefit.
  • Mortgage lenders are the biggest beneficiary, not the insured party.
  • You have no control over where the life insurance settlement goes.
  • Mortgage life insurance is expensive for the coverage amount purchased.
  • Term Life insurance is often a better life insurance policy for most families.

Why Most Families Would Gain from a Term Life Insurance Policy Instead

The idea of having a mortgage-free home if you die or cannot work may sound attractive, but it doesn’t mean mortgage protection insurance is the best way to achieve this.

By and large, most people would be better off purchasing a term life insurance policy big enough to cover their mortgage and provide for other financial needs.

Here are five reasons you should seriously consider term life insurance instead of mortgage life insurance:

1. Term Life insurance is usually cheaper

Most of the time, term life premiums are considerably less than the mortgage protection insurance premiums you’re offered when you take out a home loan. If you want to find out how much you might pay, fill out the form at the bottom of this page for an instant quote.

2. You’ll get a fixed payout

The face value of a traditional term life policy never changes. This means your beneficiaries will receive a fixed cash payout regardless of when your family files a claim. Since mortgage life insurance only pays off your mortgage, your benefit will naturally decline as you pay off your loan.

3. You can get much more coverage with a Term Life policy

Mortgage protection has a limited coverage amount. However, you can get a policy big enough to cover your mortgage, replace your income, and provide for your loved ones. This is especially valuable for young families who may have other loans or debts such as student loans, car payments, credit cards, and more. A larger payout and cash benefit can also provide money for a college education fund for your children, allowing them to avoid student loans.

If paying off the family mortgage is a priority, you can buy a term policy big enough to pay off your property and provide a cash benefit to your family.

4. You won’t be penalized for paying off your mortgage faster

With mortgage life insurance, your benefit goes down with each month you pay down your mortgage. In this respect, paying your house off early exacts a penalty that could cost you money. With traditional life insurance, on the other hand, you’ll get a set death benefit that won’t change if you decide to pay off your home early. Term life also covers you for a fixed period of time, unlike a mortgage protection plan, which is tied to your mortgage length.

5. Term Life policies pay your beneficiaries with cash

Term life insurance provides your beneficiaries with cash they can use in whatever way seems fit. This means your family will receive cash they can use as they wish. If they want to use the funds to pay off your mortgage, they can certainly do so. But since you may not know how your family’s needs might change in the next five, ten, or twenty years, it’s nice to provide your family with cash they can use as they please.

Get a Free Term Life Insurance Quote

Once you take a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks of mortgage life insurance, it becomes pretty apparent a larger, term life policy might be a smarter option for your family.

If you want to protect your family from the unknown, it’s smart to begin shopping for a policy as soon as you can.

Get a Free Life Insurance Quote from Haven Life: Visit the Haven Life website for more information or for free life insurance quotes from multiple companies. You can also fill out the form below.

The form will provide you with a general idea of how much you might pay depending on your general health, location, and the amount of coverage you need. The quote is free and there is no obligation.

Don’t wait to provide your family with the protection they’ll rely on in the event of your death; get instant life insurance quotes today. Your family will thank you for it!life insurance



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