Insurance Shopping Tips - dummies

Insurance Shopping Tips

When it comes to shopping for life insurance, the Internet has leveled the playing field. You once would’ve had to work directly with an insurance agent to obtain life insurance. Nowadays, you can buy directly from an insurance company via many Internet-based comparison shopping Web sites. You can do your initial comparison shopping on the Web before contacting an agent or insurance company directly. Check out online quote services such as,, or SelectQuote for an estimate of the cost to obtain the type of life insurance policy that you need from a variety of competitive companies.

However, if you have any health problems or are taking any prescription medication, it’s in your best interest to work through an insurance agent rather than going directly to an insurance company. For example, an agent knows which companies may be more lenient regarding high blood pressure medication. You should apply only with companies who will be most amenable to your health considerations.

If you need or may benefit from permanent coverage, you should definitely work directly with an insurance agent because permanent life insurance is actually quite complex, and you’ll want to make sure that you get the professional guidance an insurance professional can provide.

Do your initial research and comparison shopping online to become better informed about competitive rates for various policies. Then contact at least three sources and allow each company to provide you with quotes on a few different policies that may be best for your situation.

As you question each company, be sure to consider the following:

  • How much life insurance you need

  • How long you will likely need this coverage

  • How much you can afford to pay in premiums

  • Special features or benefits, such as a waiver of premium, increasing death benefits, long-term care benefits, and so on

  • The A.M. Best Rating (A.M. Best is one of the insurance industries’ premier rating serves.)

    Don’t settle for anything less than an A.M. Best A+ rating, indicating an insurance company with excellent financial strength. You don’t want to risk wasting your premium dollars and your survivor’s financial future on a company that may not be around to pay your claim when needed.

After you’ve done your research, the only thing left to do is to file an application with the most attractive policy for your personal situation. Be completely honest on your application when you apply for new coverage. An insurance company isn’t about to pay out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a death claim without a very thorough investigation. If you fail to disclose any information asked for on your insurance application, your survivor’s claim may be rejected.