Life insurance – Is it recommended?
I would like mekoros if possible.
The poskim say that taking out life insurance is a correct hishtadlus, and it is not considered a lack of emuna and bitachon and should prefferably be done. However one must be careful that the policy should be done in accordance to halacha, that there shouldn’t be any ribbis issues, (heter iska if it is being done with Jews) and that the person should not give consent to have an autopsy done in the event of an accident etc. See sources
Shu’t Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim 2:111; see also Orach Chayim 4:48), Emes L’yackov ftnt. 181, Shevet Halevi 4-1(2), Be’er Moshe 8-118, Yichave Daas 3-85, also see OHr Torah (5740 pg. 71)Shut Pri Hasadeh 2-44, Shut Lechem V’simla 2-Y:D 67, Olas Yitzchok CH:M 257, Divrei Ychezkel pg. 403 in the name of “The Shinover”, Oros Hamispat pg. 103, V’yivorech Davis pg. 175S. See Oz Nidberu 13-78, that a person should take out life insurance and that this is part of correct histadlus. He also says there that this that it is not a midas chasidus not to take out life insurance, and this that R’ Y. Levenstein zt”l wrote to someone that he should learn Chovos Halevavos instead, that is a private letter that was written to a specific individual, and it is referring to a higher level than even a midas chasidus. He also says that this level is only for people that will be able to live on the lofty level of bitachon regarding all aspects of their lives. There is a similar idea brought in Olas Yitzchok CH:M 257 regarding a story brough in sefer Bais Yechezkel 2-pg. 197, that there was a fire and the Chofetz Chaim still didn’t want to get fire insurance. He says there that this is a level for people in a very high level of bitachon.
Regarding the question that maybe it is “al tiftach pe l’satan” see Shut Lechm V’simla Y:D 67, that it is not a problem, and he brings proof for this from the Rivash 114 that a healthy person may prepare shrouds for himself or buy a burial plot and it isn’t “al tiftach”.
On the other hand, see Even Yisroel 9-162 that there is no obligation to do so. He also sites a reason not to take out life insurance, because it could be that the person has a zechus to live because he is supporting his wife and children, however if he has life insurance he won’t have that. This idea is also brought verbally in the name of the Chazon Ish, (See Hanhaga Beis Hazos pg. 6), It is also brought in the name of R’ C. Kanievsky shlit”a ( Alei Siach pg. 277) that it is not an obligation at all.