Of course you don’t want to think about leaving your loved ones behind…who does? But if your family depends upon your income, then it’s time to stop putting it off and start thinking life insurance.
10 tips for buying life insurance
- Compare side-by-side. Take the time to compare different types of coverage. Ask your agent for summaries of several plans, and review the advantages and disadvantages of each for your situation.
- Get comfortable. It’s important that you are confident in your final decision. There may be terms or parts of your policy that you don’t understand. Remember, you’re not the life insurance expert, your agent is, so don’t hesitate to have them explain every last detail to you. You shouldn’t purchase a policy if you are uncomfortable or have any doubts about the insurance company, your agent, or the actual insurance itself.
- Do a background check. Unfortunately not every insurance company is as reputable as they appear. Before you purchase your plan, contact your state insurance department and double check that the insurance company is licensed there. Your ideal life insurance company will have a good reputation, an excellent customer service record and a strong financial outlook. You can see how your prospective company stacks up through rating companies like A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, and more.
- Don’t lie. You will be asked about your medical history when purchasing life insurance. It’s important that you are completely honest: intentionally misrepresenting any significant health conditions you have is considered insurance fraud. Take care to fill out your application correctly, and once completed, contact your agent immediately to let them know if you’ve made a mistake, or have additional information to add.
- Proper paperwork. When you buy your life insurance policy, don’t pay in cash, and make the check out to the insurance company that handles the policy, not the actual agent. It’s important to get a receipt for your records, as well as your own copies of all the paperwork.
- Keep an eye on the time. You can expect your policy to show up within 60 days. If it doesn’t, call your agent right away.
- Take a good look. Many insurers offer policyholders a ‘free look’ period. The length of your free look can vary, but you typically have 10 days from when you received your policy to decide whether or not to keep it. Take advantage of your free look and review your new policy thoroughly. If you decide you don’t want it, you will need to notify the company during the free look period so they may cancel it and refund you.
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