Life insurance isn’t the most fun thing to talk about. First, you have to picture being dead; and second, you’ve got to pay money for a product that isn’t tangible, and won’t be used until you’re gone.
But life insurance is a necessity for people who want to leave behind sufficient resources for their loved ones, and if you need it for that purpose, we’ve got six rules of thumb for buying life insurance in today’s market.
1. Make sure you can commit to it
If you’ve got zero expendable dollars per month, now probably isn’t the time for life insurance. It’s a monthly contract in most instances, and you don’t want it to run out when you need it most!
2. Study the difference between term insurance and whole life insurance
Check out this primer on the differences between the two, because they’re very different policies with highly contrasting lengths and cost of benefits.
3. Ask about what happens if you become disabled
Some companies have extra benefits that will pay your premiums if you’re disabled. This is a really nice benefit to have, because in the case of sickness or serious injury, death may occur after several months of prolonged unemployment.
You do not want to lose your life insurance policy during that time!
4. Check the company’s ratings
Insurance companies are rated by third-party advisers, and you’ll want to take a look at those ratings. Even if the policy is cheap, you don’t want to go with a low-rated company, because it may not be solid enough to pay your benefits to your family when you’re gone.
5. Get your health results
If you’re buying a fairly large policy, you’ll likely have to undergo an underwriting process that includes blood work. Most companies will allow you to get a copy of your bloodwork upon request, and that’s a nice extra benefit if you live in a country where health care and diagnostics are expensive.
6. Compare rates and coverages online
You absolutely should take any quote you’re given and go online to compare it against other offers. Sometimes you’ll even find a better price from the same life insurance carrier, and in other cases you’ll discover a better carrier and policy altogether.
Every reputable life insurance company is online now, and there are comparison-focused sites that will help you weigh apples against apples when you wish to compare life insurance choices.