How to Shop for Life Insurance

February 23, 2017

Two things almost everyone fears are death and debilitation, both of which come with the unspoken fears of loss of income, or leaving loved ones without the means to support themselves. It’s not pleasant to think about, but it is for just these reasons that life insurance exists. As with health and auto insurance, it’s important to get the best possible life insurance coverage for the least possible cost. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Shop Around: Comparison shopping is the key to getting the best policy for you, especially since life insurance varies from company to company more than any other kind of insurance. Request quotes. Ask questions. But be warned: if you’re offered a “no exam” policy, you will be paying more.
  • Don’t Buy More than you Need: The goal with life insurance is to have enough coverage to meet your needs, no more and no less. You can work with a financial planner to figure out what the “magic number” is, but the rule of thumb is that your coverage should be enough to replace your salary.
  • Stay Healthy: Life insurance is less expensive for healthy people, although there are ways to work around most common medical issues. Still, in order to get the best prices on premiums, you’ll want to:
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • Get regular exercise.
    • If your employer, doctor, or community offers wellness programs – participate!
    • Have regular medical check-ups to catch emerging problems before they can’t be corrected.
    • Avoid dangerous habits like excessive alcohol and smoking.

As with any other kind of insurance, you’ll want to remember to reevaluate your life insurance coverage from time to time, especially if anything changes in your life, like your job, marital status, or the number of children you have.