There are many things in life that the average household can live without, but life insurance should not be one of those things. The importance of life insurance increases as the number of people in a household increases. A single person with few, if any, close relations can get by on a very little life insurance or perhaps no insurance at all. The same cannot be said for persons who have family members or other types of responsibilities. Life insurance is a way to protect your family against possible financial trouble or even ruin, depending on your circumstances. Life insurance is also a way to relieve some of the anxiety that family members may feel as they wonder how they will get by should a breadwinner in the family pass on. Some forms of life insurance can even be used as a means of saving money over the long term. It is important for consumers to understand that the term "life insurance" is a very broad term. There are various types of policies, and often one will be a far better option for a particular family or person than another might be for that same family or person. Because there are so many types of policies available, the consumer would do well to get a basic understanding of each before committing to one over another. The best way, of course, to do this is through a reputable life insurance agency or company agent. A reputable life insurance agency will normally be a state-licensed agent who carries different types of policies from different companies. There are life insurance agents, as well, who normally work for a particular insurance company and sell the products of that company. The main difference between working with an agency and working with a company agent is selection. An agency can offer many different types of policies at different price points because he or she carries more options from more sources. A company agent can only offer what his or her company has to offer. This can limit your choices. Aside from choosing the correct type of policy, consumers must also decide on the level of coverage they need. A common mistake that many consumers make is when they, more or less, pick a number out of the blue. A consumer might say: "I need $10,000 worth of life insurance" but when asked to justify that amount they are at a loss to do so. Is that amount too much; is it too little? Often they simply do not know. The amount of coverage needed will vary from one family to another. It can also vary depending on where in life a person is when he or she takes out the policy. A newly married couple, young in age, will normally need less life insurance coverage than a middle-aged couple with a home mortgage and student loans that need to be paid off. Then again, a high earning young couple may need more life insurance than a middle-aged couple if the high-earning couple needs to replace one of the incomes lost through death. As you can see, coverage is dependent on many issues and aspects, some of which are hard to explore without the aid of a qualified life insurance agent or broker. Invest the time and effort needed to speak with a reputable agency or agent, examine your options, choose your coverage wisely, and your family will be protected if the unforeseen should happen.