- Insurance

Buying Life Insurance – Tips For the Smart Buyer

Buying life insurance the right way

What are some things you can do to to make sure that your buying experience goes smoothly?

* Do not wait too long. Life insurance prices rise with age, and along with age, comes health issues. Health issues will also raise your pricing, and if you wait too long, life insurance may be unaffordable for you. Life insurance is always the cheapest right now, not later.

* ALWAYS be truthful with your life insurance agent. Disclose all medical history with him/her to the best of your knowledge. The insurance carriers will look at your records, and if they find any discrepancies (they will) it can significantly impact your cost. Being upfront and truthful on your application will instill confidence with the carrier you are applying with. This is the number one cause of over priced life insurance policies.

* Shop for you insurance with an independent brokerage, who has access to many carriers. Buying insurance from a captive agent can result in higher costs to you, because the agent is inclined to sell you only the product that he offers. Shopping with multiple carriers can save you up to 75% on your insurance costs.

* If you have a flexible budget, pay your premiums annually. This can save you up to 20% in your cost, versus paying monthly, quarterly or semi-annually.

* If you have cholesterol or blood pressure issues, make sure you treat them with medication. Life insurance carriers will look upon you favorably if they see that you treat your health with care.

* Insurance companies give price breaks generally at intervals of $100,000, $300,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000. If you are thinking of buying $275,000 in coverage, also get a quote at $300,000. It may turn out to be less!

* Be sure to read our tips on how to prepare for a Medical Exam. Eating fast food or drinking caffeine before an exam can result in less than desirable results, leading to a higher cost life insurance plan.

Additionally, prepare to be patient when applying for life insurance. Once you have completed a medical exam, and submitted your application to your agent, who then forwards to your insurance carrier of choice, the underwriting department of that carrier will order (in most cases) doctors records and check the RX database. Depending on how quickly the records office processes the order, your application may be in limbo for some time. Expect your application to take anywhere from 3-8 weeks to process.

To help protect potential clients during the underwriting period, most people will be eligible for “temporary insurance” under the TIAA agreement. This essentially means that you will be protected from the day you submit your application with payment to the insurance carrier, protecting your family and loved ones during this lengthy period.

It is important to keep in mind, that if you elect to take the temporary coverage, your policy if approved will have a policy date from the day you submit the application. This will make you liable for the premiums from that date, since you were fully insured at that time.