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Needs Approach


The Needs Approach is a method used in financial planning, primarily for determining appropriate life insurance coverage. It assesses an individual’s financial needs, considering factors such as income replacement, debt repayment, and future expenses. Based on this analysis, a suitable insurance coverage amount is then recommended to ensure financial security for the individual and their dependents.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Needs Approach” would be:Needs: /niːdz/Approach: /əˈprəʊtʃ/

Key Takeaways

  1. The Needs Approach focuses on identifying an individual’s or family’s financial needs in case of critical events. This method is predominantly used to assess the required amount of life insurance coverage by considering potential financial needs of the dependents after the insured’s death.
  2. There are various factors to take into account when applying the Needs Approach, such as income replacement, debt repayment, medical and funeral expenses, and funding for long-term goals like education and retirement. It involves a comprehensive analysis to make sure that the insurance coverage is sufficient to meet the financial requirements of the family in the absence of the primary earner.
  3. The Needs Approach is customizable and adaptable, as it considers the unique aspects of an individual’s personal and financial circumstances. This flexibility ensures that the coverage level will be tailored to the specific needs of the insured and their dependents, rather than solely relying on a predetermined calculation.


The Needs Approach is important in the realm of business and finance because it provides a comprehensive method of assessing an individual’s or a family’s financial requirements to maintain their desired standard of living. By considering various aspects such as income replacement, debt repayment, and future expenses, such as education or retirement, the Needs Approach enables financial planners to tailor financial strategies in a more personalized and effective manner. Ultimately, this approach ensures that individuals and families have adequate financial resources to meet their short-term and long-term needs, thereby securing financial stability and minimizing potential risks.


The primary purpose of the Needs Approach in finance and business is to assist individuals or businesses in determining the appropriate amount of resources, such as insurance coverage, savings or investments, to meet their specific financial goals. This method focuses on evaluating an individual’s or company’s present and future financial needs by taking into account various factors, such as income sources, expenses, liabilities, assets, and other financial obligations. By identifying these requirements, the Needs Approach helps in formulating a structured financial plan that caters to these essentials and ensures financial stability in the long run.

The Needs Approach functions as a vital tool for financial advisors and planners, allowing them to provide customized recommendations to clients based on their financial goals, risk tolerance, and life situations. This approach aids individuals and businesses in protecting themselves from potential financial risks by encouraging the creation of an emergency fund, safeguarding their loved ones through life insurance coverage, and planning for retirement or other significant life events. By highlighting the importance of tailored financial planning, the Needs Approach aims to improve overall financial security and promote proper resource allocation to maintain a healthy financial trajectory.


The “Needs Approach” is a method used in business and finance for determining the financial requirements or needs of a specific situation. It is commonly used in life insurance, financial planning, and budgeting. Here are three real-world examples of the Needs Approach being applied:

1. Life Insurance Planning: A financial adviser works with a couple to determine an appropriate amount of life insurance coverage. By using the Needs Approach, the adviser evaluates the couple’s financial obligations in the event of death, such as mortgage, children’s education, and living expenses for the surviving spouse, minus the couple’s existing resources (savings, investments, etc.). This allows the adviser to calculate the life insurance coverage needed to meet these financial responsibilities.

2. Setting a Family Budget: A family creates a monthly budget to manage their expenses and save for future goals, such as purchasing a home, vacations, or paying for education. By applying the Needs Approach, they prioritize essential expenses (housing, utilities, groceries) and differentiate them from nonessential or discretionary expenses (entertainment, dining out, etc.). This helps the family allocate their income effectively and develop a reasonable savings plan.

3. Business Expense Determination: A small business owner assesses whether to invest in new storefront signage. She uses the Needs Approach to identify her business’s financial obligations, like rent, utility bills, and payroll, as well as her growth objectives, such as marketing and equipment upgrades. The business owner then balances these needs with her current resources and projected revenue, enabling her to make an informed decision on whether to pursue the signage upgrade or allocate funds to other areas.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Needs Approach in finance and business?

The Needs Approach is a method used primarily in financial planning and insurance industries to determine the specific financial needs of an individual or business and tailor solutions to meet those requirements. This approach helps individuals and businesses achieve their financial goals by identifying gaps, prioritizing objectives, and recommending appropriate financial products or strategies.

Why is the Needs Approach important?

The Needs Approach is essential because it helps individuals and businesses make informed decisions about their financial planning. By thoroughly evaluating current financial situations and future goals, the Needs Approach ensures that the recommended financial solutions align with the unique circumstances of each person or business.

How is the Needs Approach applied in financial planning?

In financial planning, the Needs Approach typically involves a series of steps, including analyzing the financial situation of the individual or business, identifying specific financial goals and objectives, determining gaps in assets and liabilities, prioritizing the goals, and recommending suitable financial products or strategies to achieve the goals.

Can the Needs Approach be applied to insurance?

Yes, the Needs Approach is often applied in the insurance industry, particularly when determining the appropriate amount of life insurance coverage. This method considers various factors, such as income replacement, debt repayment, educational expenses, and estate planning purposes, to calculate the necessary life insurance coverage.

What is the difference between the Needs Approach and the Human Life Value Approach?

The Needs Approach focuses on evaluating specific financial needs and goals, while the Human Life Value (HLV) Approach calculates an individual’s economic worth based on their projected future income. Although both methods help determine financial planning recommendations, the Needs Approach is often considered more in-depth and tailored to individual circumstances, while the HLV Approach provides a general estimate.

What are some limitations of the Needs Approach?

The Needs Approach has some limitations, such as the reliance on accurate assumptions about income, expenses, and inflation. Additionally, the approach may not consider unpredictable life events or changes in financial circumstances. Furthermore, since the method requires a thorough assessment of financial information, individuals and businesses may need expert assistance to implement the Needs Approach effectively.

How often should individuals and businesses reassess their financial needs using the Needs Approach?

It’s recommended that individuals and businesses regularly reassess their financial needs using the Needs Approach, with a periodic review every 2-3 years or when significant life or financial changes occur. Such changes might include marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, retirement, a new business venture, or substantial changes in income or expenses.

Related Finance Terms

  • Life Insurance Needs Analysis
  • Income Replacement
  • Debt Repayment
  • Financial Dependents
  • Future Expense Planning

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