Shopping for life insurance can be a deeply personal experience. It is, after all, your family that you want to protect. We asked Robert Bland, chairman and founder of Life Quotes, Inc., a GEICO partner, for five questions to ask about life insurance before making one of the most important purchases of your life. Continue reading to learn life insurance tips and what you should consider asking.
1. Do I have debt or dependents? Who should be my beneficiary?
What would happen to your family without you? Their financial security is one of the first things you need to consider, and income replacement is one of the top reasons why people buy life insurance. “Life insurance is a very effective purchase to care for your loved ones or create an estate.” A life insurance beneficiary is who you select to receive the money from your policy’s death benefit if and when you pass away. Most commonly, this is a spouse or child.
2. How much coverage do I need?
How much life insurance you need can be a tough but crucial question to answer. The industry benchmark is 10 times your annual income, but that can vary depending on your personal circumstances. “How would your family make ends meet if your paychecks stopped coming in? Imagine what amount of money would be needed to replace your income each year for the next 20 to 30 years.”
Consider other outstanding large debts such as your mortgage; you’ll want to add that amount to your coverage as well. “It’s a good idea to have enough life insurance to cover any debts, like your home mortgage, and then add a little extra coverage to the policy that leaves your family a nest egg.”
3. What term should I get?
One way that term life insurance makes the whole process easier and less intimidating is how flexible (and affordable) it is. Term life insurance provides straightforward death benefit protection without any expensive “cash value” or investment component add-ons. “Discuss your general income needs with an agent who will help you calculate the best policy terms and limits within your time frame.” (Get info on Whole Life Insurance here.)
4. What’s my medical history?
You may be fit as a fiddle, but you’ll still need your health records for the initial assessment. “Get all the facts about your health history in order because you will be asked about them.” Don’t be discouraged, though; a standard term life policy will typically cover death by any cause at any time, except for death by suicide within the first two policy years (one year in some states).
5. How do I get the best price?
You can compare multiple quotes on life insurance right away through the GEICO Insurance Agency. “Prices vary significantly, and you can see that on our site in seconds.” When shopping for life insurance, you should look for companies that offer flexible payment options that allow you to pay on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis, which makes term life insurance even easier to afford.
By Sam Song
James Duke says,
You mentioned under your first tip that life insurance can help with both caring for your loved ones, and creating an estate. I would like to know how you choose which one you’d like for it to do. If for some reason I passed away, I’d want insurance to be there for me family. Do you know if there is certain coverage you need to have for either of those two things?
Kael Drake says,
Life insurance is so important. I liked that you mentioned how life insurance is really about protecting your family in case of an accident. I’m just starting my family, but I already feel the deep sense of responsibility that comes with being the provider for someone else. Your tips on how to select life insurance are great, especially because they explain some of the language associated with life insurance, like “term” and “coverage”. Thank you for the information!
Grace @ Insurance Premium says,
Knowing the coverage you can get in a life insurance is an important thing to know, to save a lot of money, get only what you need. Nice post.
Connor Adams says,
This is an awesome post! Thank you so much for outlining exactly what I need to ask myself and what I need to know to get the best coverage for the best price. Having good life insurance is so important to me because of my family. Do you have any tips for obtaining other types of insurance?
Jenkins Leroyson says,
I didn’t know that there was so much to consider when looking to get life insurance. With prices varying so much it sounds like it’s smart to shop around before just picking one. Knowing your needs and history is really important. Thanks for sharing this.
Eliza John says,
Thanks for sharing this and now i am not confused anymore and i can select the right life insurance for me and my family.
James Bay says,
I have decided that I should consider getting life insurance. I didn’t know that I needed to have all of my medical history prepared. I will make sure to get all of that in order before I go looking for quotes. Thank you for all of your help.
Casey Jones says,
Thanks for the advice on purchasing life insurance. I was wondering how much I should get. Ten times my annual income sounds like a fair amount. That should keep my family afloat for quite some time.
Alex Lane says,
Thanks for the tips. I am married and have two daughters, but still don’t have life insurance. With that in mind, your first point hits home with me. I believe that it is time to make a decision.
Not sure what kind to get.
Raylin Sutter says,
When is the best time for you to get life insurance? I am in college and recently consulted with my parents over it. They said to wait until I’ve been out in the real world and that I shouldn’t be thinking about it right now. It only crossed my mind because my best friend confronted me over it, telling me that he put me down to receive 20% of his life insurance if something were to happen and that I should consider getting it as well. How would you advise college students about getting one?
Alex Jennings says,
This is a well-written article, Sam! I’m glad that I stumbled upon your article because I’ve been thinking about getting a new insurance policy. I’m glad that you’ve shared some important questions with us regarding choosing a policy. I think I need to get a life insurance policy because I have dependents that need to be looked after. I’ll be sure to look through some different policies this week; thanks for sharing this with us!
Chris White says,
I’ve never shopped for life insurance before, so these five tips for selecting life insurance is going to help me out a lot. That way I can make sure that I have what is right for me. Probably the best tip in my opinion would have to be number five. Know how to get the best price is the best thing that anyone can do.
Zach Thalman says,
I have heard that most people get their life insurance taken out because they want to provide for their family still if something were to happen to them. I think that is a pretty good reason to get life insurance. My question would be when is the right time to get life insurance? Once I know a better time to get it then I will look into pricing options.
Deanna R. Jones says,
I agree, it’s important to ask yourself questions to know if you need a life insurance policy. My brother was wondering if he should get life insurance now that he’s married. He and his wife don’t have any children yet, so he wants to know if he should get a premium before they have kids. Would you advise he get insurance before they start a family, or should he wait until they have a kid? He wants to make sure that any kids that he has will be covered from the moment they’re born until the moment he passes away.