Your life insurance needs should be reviewed periodically and after important life events such as marriage, childbirth, or retirement. The idea is to make sure that your life insurance coverage is always up to the task of protecting your family against loss, and life events almost always change your needs, sometimes in dramatic ways.
Getting married is one of the most important life events you will have. Marriage combines the resources and expenses of two people, and often opens the door for new financial obligations that didn't exist for you as a single person. As one example, most people do not purchase their first home until they marry, and the home mortgage is a financial contract that carries responsibilities for many years.
If either spouse is not employed, the union means that the single income earner is taking on what is ostensibly a lifelong obligation for the welfare of the other. If the breadwinner passes away, the unemployed person may face immediate financial hardships that can last for many years. There are also emotional hardships to be considered, and those are difficult to calculate in a financial manner.
You also have to consider children in the life insurance equation, whether either partner already has kids or you plan to start a family farther down the line. Every child entails financial and emotional obligations for an average length of 20 years, during which time that child is entirely dependent on the financial income of the parents. Life insurance is the best way to provide for those needs when circumstances take one of the parents away.
You also have a responsibility of planning for your own inescapable demise. Without planning for your death with a life insurance policy, you face the possibility of leaving the surviving spouse with expensive final expense costs on top of any other financial or emotional costs. Even in a new family with limited income, a minimum amount of life insurance should be provided to cover funeral and interment costs.