How to Buy Affordable Life Insurance

By Jeff Rose on 18 June 2013 (Updated 6 August 2013) 3 comments

If you've been following my video series, by now you've realized the importance of buying life insurance to make sure that your family is taken care of. Most people don't realize that they can save tons of money on life insurance as long as they go the right direction. Even I thought I was paying the cheapest amount, but by going online, I did a quick test, and realized I could save over four hundred dollars a year on life insurance.

How do you make sure that you're not paying too much? Here are a couple rules of thumb to follow.

Work With a Legitimate Independent Agent

What's a legitimate independent agent? I meet a lot of agents that call themselves independent but really they can only offer one or two different carriers.

A legitimate independent agent is an agent who works with over 30, 40, 50, 60 different carriers. That way if something comes up and we need to go through a different life insurance carrier, there are plenty of options. Whether it's a health condition, or your driving record, or your previous family history, a lot of factors will determine how much your life insurance costs, but many consumers don't realize that you can go to another carrier and potentially save money.

But if your independent agent is not actually independent, and only works with one or two different carriers, then you won't be able to find those savings.

With the quote engine here on Wise Bread, you can reach over 60 different and get a fast quote in less than a minute.

Develop Good Habits and Stay Healthy

If you have any bad habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco, maybe you drive a little bit too fast, and have more speeding tickets then you should, you might consider improving your habits. All these factors, believe it or not, will determine how much you pay for life insurance. If you're a tobacco user you can plan on paying two or three, sometimes four times, more than a non-smoker will pay for life insurance.

For example, I once had a young father who was looking to secure life insurance to take care of his wife and his young son, but I didn't realize that he chewed tobacco. He made sure to let me know before we went through the life insurance process, and sure enough, because he chewed tobacco, he had to spend three and a half times more than somebody that didn't chew tobacco. If you want to save money on your life insurance kick the bad habits and take care of yourself.

Shop Around

If you're using a legitimate, independent agent, this step is not really necessary, unless your independent agent isn't versed in high risk conditions. If you have diabetes, high cholesterol, or sometimes a pre-existing condition that could cause you to be denied, a qualified, independent agent that knows what they are doing, that knows the best carriers to approach, can help you. The independent agent that doesn't know what they are doing is going to waste your time and even worse, can cost you a lot of money.

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suzemagoo

Most insurance is oversold these days, given how often it takes shelling out to an attorney to be treated fairly come settlement time. Consider only that which is at risk to a potential loss and cannot be covered any other way. Insurance is not an investment, it's a gamble about IF that loss will occur time-wise in the context of whether its cost might be used in a more lucrative way. Self insuring as much as possible is far more frugal.

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Liran

All great tips - term life makes sense for most people and Jeff hits all the right points in this video.

Guest's picture

Term life insurance makes complete sense for any family that is looking for income protection.

Definitely agree regarding using an independent agent; especially one that is versed in all the different underwriting guidelines of all the different companies.