One of the main reasons people don’t buy life insurance is because they don’t want to deal with the cost. However, a policy doesn’t have to be expensive. In many cases, getting the best life insurance rates is simply a matter of learning all your options.
If you’ve decided you need life insurance, these tips can help you cut your costs and help you get the best life insurance rates possible.
7 ways to get the best life insurance rates
The life insurance industry is complex. There are several different types and subtypes of life insurance products on the market. This means that the agent who sells the policies likely knows much more about how these products work than the consumers buying them.
Unfortunately, the imbalance of information can cause you to buy a policy that’s in the agent’s best interest rather than your own. To keep your monthly life insurance rates down, follow these tips:
1. Buy term
Life insurance agents may push whole life or other types of permanent insurance because of the products’ cash value feature. Over time, a portion of the premiums you pay can grow at a conservative rate and help complement your retirement savings. The policies are also good for life instead of for a set period.
The problem with permanent insurance is that it’s unduly expensive for most people – and more lucrative for the agent. Additionally, cash value accounts typically grow very slowly.
On the other hand, term insurance provides coverage for a specified amount of time.There are different types of term life insurance, but the most common is level term. For example, you can choose a 10-, 15-, 20-, or even 30-year term. During that time, your payments stay the same.
If you outlive your term policy or cancel it before the term is over, you get nothing in return. But costs for term insurance are significantly cheaper than for whole life insurance. They also provide more flexibility if you fall on hard times financially.
So if it’s an investment you’re looking for, it’s better to buy term life insurance and use an investment account.
2. Work with an independent agent
Life insurance agents who sell policies from just one company are called captive agents. If you buy from them, you may get the best life insurance rates – then again, maybe not.
An independent agent works with several different insurers. They’ll have a better network of rates to choose from and can help you shop around to find the right one for you.
The best way to find an independent agent is to ask around. Insurance agents are more likely to treat a referral well because they value their relationship with the person who referred you. You can also do a quick internet search and read reviews to get a good idea of which agent to choose.
3. Improve your health
The best life insurance rates are reserved for those who are young and healthy. For example, if you’re a bit overweight, it could trigger a higher premium. Losing just a few pounds may push you into a better health rating class, saving you money.
The same applies to blood pressure, cholesterol, or any other treatable condition. Even if you make only minor improvements, they could have a significant impact on your final rate.
Smoking can double your life insurance rate. Depending on the insurer, you may have to be smoke-free for a year or more to qualify for better rates.
4. Pay annually
Most life insurance rates are shown in a monthly format. However, some insurance companies charge extra fees if you pay monthly. If you pay annually – or even semi-annually or quarterly – you’ll get a discount. Discounts can be as high as eight percent, according to Policy Genius.
You may also get a multi-policy discount if you get your life insurance through your car or homeowners insurance agent. But keep in mind that they’re most likely a captive agent, so you may not get the best rate, even with the discount.
5. Submit to an exam
Part of the life insurance application process includes a medical questionnaire. Depending on how much insurance you’re applying for, you may need to undergo a medical exam. This can include a blood test, a urine test, or both.
Some people may shy away from the medical exam because they’re afraid of needles or don’t feel comfortable with the process. Some insurers allow you to forego the exam, but because they have less information about your health, they’ll charge you more.
If you’re healthy, taking the exam will get your life insurance rates at half the price of no-exam insurance.
6. Opt for the higher end of what you need
Like with any bulk purchase, life insurance rates get cheaper the more you buy. For example, buying $300,000 worth of coverage instead of $150,000 may only cost you a few extra bucks a month rather than double the cost.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should buy more insurance than you need. Be sure to keep your needs in mind rather than the price tag when deciding how much insurance to buy.
7. Ask for reconsideration
If you already have an insurance policy but are paying a high premium because of some health issues, all is not lost. Once you’ve made significant improvements to your health, you can contact your insurance company and apply for a rate reconsideration.
The process is similar to the initial application process. You’ll get a chance to show that you’ve solved – or at least improved – whatever problem that caused the lower medical rating the first time around. If satisfied, the insurance company can lower your premiums.
And if not, you can always shop around for a new policy.
The bottom line
Getting the best life insurance rates isn’t as hard as it sounds. For the most part, it’s simply a matter of knowing the factors that come into play when a company determines your rate. You can use Intelliquote to shop around and begin the process.
If you have a family, the sooner you get life insurance, the better. While it can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, being proactive about it now can provide protection when your family needs it most.
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