When it comes to shopping, savvy shoppers get the most for their money. This stays true not only when shopping for groceries or food, but for life insurance as well. So to help you get the most bang for your buck, Insurance.com has compiled a list of ways you can save the most when you're in the market to buy a life insurance policy.
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- Is term life insurance for you? If most of your goals are short-term and you're not as interested in saving for the long run, term life insurance is for you. Term life insurance typically offers you the most coverage for the least amount of money, and is set up based around spans of time. For example, you may get a term life insurance plan that is set to pay out after five, ten or 20 years.
If your main goal is to save money, and you don't mind paying a higher premium, it would be wise to look into a whole life insurance policy. Whole life policies offer a "cash value" feature that helps you save money each time you make a payment on your premium. However, though you can withdraw funds from the cash value, your death benefit will decrease. If you take out a loan and it exceeds the amount you have already paid for on the premium of your whole life insurance policy, you will receive a tax bill. Also, it's good to note that as time moves on, the cost of insuring you will go up, and your cash value will begin to decrease.
- No-load policies. To find lower premiums for variable life insurance, be sure to keep an eye out for "no-load" or "low-load" life insurance policies. These policies have fewer added fees, such as agent commission or fees for marketing, which makes a higher percentage of your premium go to your cash value. To find theses policies, check with a financial advisor who doesn't collect commission from life insurance companies, or inquire around. Some insurance agencies even sell these directly to the customer!
- If you're healthy, stay away from guaranteed issue policies. Guaranteed issue policies, also know as "simplified" or "quick" policies, may sound too good to be true, because they really are. They do not require a medical exam, making them seemingly ideal, but ultimately much riskier for the insurer. If you are healthy, you will get much better rates by buying a life insurance policy that requires a medical test.
However, the problem for those who buy into guaranteed issue policies is that many may end up paying more in premiums than their beneficiaries receive from their death benefits. The National Association of Insurance Commissioner (NAIC) is trying to find a solution or way to put an end to this. Regulation of rates is not something they plan on doing, but a disclosure statement warning consumers is in the works.
- Check online. When shopping around for any kind of insurance, looking online is a great way to compare prices and see what different companies have to offer. The more information you give, the more accurate your insurance quote will be.
- Make a change for the better. If you are overweight, are a smoker, have heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes, finding affordable life insurance may be difficult. This is because the better your health is, the easier and more affordable it will be for you to buy life insurance. Insurance companies will issue lower premiums if the policyholder is in good health standing. The less things that may give you a risk of dying sooner, the more affordable your life insurance policy will be. Also, if you do have an outstanding medical condition, you are a smoker or overweight, and you are trying to better your health, be sure to document it. By showing the insurance company your medical files and that you have been trying to improve your health, you may save yourself some money in the long run.
Many life insurance companies have different categories for medical conditions or combinations of medical conditions, when it comes to issuing you a policy. They also have different tests and medical exams you may need to go through before they will issue you a policy. This may have a major impact if you're a smoker. Even if you quit the day you apply, you will still be considered a smoker, because to be completely "nicotine free," you would have had to quit smoking for two to five years prior. Smokers do generally pay at least three times more than nonsmokers for a life insurance policy, so by quitting, you're not just saving money from not buying tobacco, but also by bettering your standing.
Being overweight is another reason you may have a higher life insurance premium. Though you may not be obese, once your weigh reaches a certain level, you become more of a death-risk. So by taking the steps to lose weight and get healthier, you are not only helping yourself live longer and feel better, but also helping to get more affordable life insurance rates.
- Buy what you need. It's not a good idea to under-buy insurance, nor is it beneficial to over-buy, so when you're in the market for insurance, be sure to evaluate what your exact needs are and go from there. A good way of doing that is in the form of an equation: Short-term needs + long-term needs - resources = how much life insurance you will need.
- Rider policies are helpful. A rider policy is an extension to an insurance policy that helps you extend you coverage. If your needs change, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a rider policy for additional life insurance-it also doesn't affect your cash value. Be sure to shop around though, you may save more by actually buying a second policy.
- Buy early. Instead of waiting until there is a real problem with your health, buy life insurance early in life. As you age, the price of your life insurance will increase, so the younger you start, the more you will save. To keep your premium low, you may want to inquire about a "level premium" policy. Which keeps your premium rates the same for a set amount of time.
- Run your credit report. If there are problems with your credit, you may be denied for an insurance policy or your premiums will sky-rocket because you are considered high-risk. If your credit score is low, the insurance company's main concern is that you will let your policy lapse due to non-payment of premiums. So by rebuilding your credit, you are not only helping that financial aspect of your life, but also the one concerning your insurance.
- Fractional premiums. Some insurance agencies charge less depending on how you schedule your payments. By paying fractional payments-those are fewer payments over the year-you may pay less over all. For some life insurance companies the same also goes for electronic funds transfer (EFT), which is when they take out the amount of the premium directly from your checking account.
- Being responsible saves you money. This goes along with making a change for the better. If you are in an expensive rate class due to high cholesterol (for example), but make a point of going to your doctor regularly and establish a history of lowering your cholesterol, your life insurance company may be willing to lower your premium.
If you are interested in finding out more about life insurance, or getting a life insurance quote, log on to Insurance.com. Here you will be able to evaluate multiple rates from best-in-class life insurance providers - helping you find the best life insurance coverage that benefits you, as well as your beneficiaries, while still being within your budget.