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Insurance Buying Tips 

  • This is an important decision, so don’t put it off. Get protection for your family as soon as you can.

  • After carefully reviewing your family’s needs, the agent will recommend a life insurance policy that will meet your needs. Look at the recommended policy with care to be sure it fits your personal goals.

  • If an agent wants you to cancel or replace your current policy with a new one, make sure you understand why. Will it save you money? Does it provide the same or more coverage? Have your insurance needs changed? Be sure you don’t cancel a policy without fully understanding why you are doing so. Also, NEVER cancel a policy that you are replacing until your new replacement policy is paid and in force. Canceling your policy to buy another could be costly if not done correctly.

  • If you are buying a term policy, make sure you know the term, whether you have the option to renew the policy until a certain age, and whether you will need a medical exam to renew. Also you should know whether or not it is convertible to a permanent policy.

  • Be sure you can afford the premiums. Will the premium remain the same throughout the policy? Will you have to pay more later? Will the coverage stay the same?

  • Ask an agent to review your insurance needs and circumstances and choose the type of policy that fits your needs. Ask your agent’s to go over your policy in detail, and make sure you understand all the parts of it. An insurance policy is a complicated document that need to understand to make certain that it is going to provide exactly what you want.

  • Compare several quotes for similar policies from different companies. Look at the company ratings such as AM best, Standard and Poors, and Comdex rating. Sometimes you may pay more to get covered by a more financially stable company. Many years down the line, that may be a very important decision if a smaller company is financially not sound.

  • Review your life insurance policy every few years, and every time there is a change in your life, in order to keep up with changes in your income and your needs. For more on this, see our Life Events page.

  • Usually you have a free-look period after you receive the policy, during which you can change your mind about buying it. Read and understand your policy, and if there is anything you don’t understand, talk to your agent. The law allows you not to keep it during this free look period, and the insurance company will give you a refund.

  • If you are buying a permanent policy, understand the difference in the premiums compared to a term policy. Is it really worth the extra payment every month? Is there a surrender charge on the policy if I don’t keep it for my whole life? Committing to anything for the duration of your lifetime is a big step, so be sure that you understand this policy before you buy it. Permanent insurance provides protection for your entire life, so if you don’t plan to keep the policy that long, consider term life insurance.

  • When paying for the policy, your check should be payable to the insurance company, not to the agent. For instance, American General, not John Smith, the agent.

  • Choose the policy that most closely fits your needs. Ask an agent or company to help you.
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