Does Owning Insurance Reflect Lack of Faith in God?

Although life Insurance is not specifically addressed in Scripture, the principle of providing for one’s family is clearly taught in the bible.  

"Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."  I Timothy 5:8

When life insurance is wisely used as a tool for potential future provision of one’s family, I do not believe that it reflects a lack of faith in God, but instead represents responsible stewardship.

How much life insurance should I buy?
Life insurance needs will vary as family size, financial goals, needs, and resources change. Nevertheless, a wage earner should have enough life insurance to replace the financial value that he or she provides to the people who are dependent on him or her.

The following considerations should be evaluated when deciding how much insurance to buy:
  • The ages of the children. The younger the children are, the longer they'll need to be supported if the primary wage earner dies.
  • The income potential of the surviving spouse.
  • Existing debt, current income and lifestyle, and other sources of after-death income besides life insurance.
Of course the amount and affordability of insurance premiums must also be considered in view of the family budget and other current needs.  In general, life insurance needs are significantly less for single people and decrease significantly for married couples when children are grown.

If Married, Should Life Insurance be Purchased for Both Spouses?
An important principle to remember is that if insurance dollars are limited, families need to devote their insurance budget to covering the primary wage earner of the family.

If the husband is the family's primary wage earner, the wife should also carry at least enough insurance to provide funds for the cost of her burial. Unless a family has enough money in savings to cover the funeral costs, this expense could result in a  financial burden during a very difficult time. In addition, additional coverage on the wife could provide extra funds to give the husband a period of time to care for the children and meet their emotional needs and find a new caretaker for them, if necessary.

However, if a family depends on the wife's salary, she also needs to be insured, much like that of the primary family wage earner: A rule of thumb is at least five times her annual salary or the financial amount that she contributes to the family.

In conclusion, a life of faith does not mean that Christians should ignore the need to provide for family.  Owning a reasonable amount of life insurance does not necessarily reflect a lack of faith in God, when it is purchased with the biblical goal of ongoing provision for one's family.