Think you have to be a brainiac to buy life insurance? Not really. But it does help to know a few facts. Here are 7 life insurance mistakes to avoid.
[Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published on October 29, 2015. The content has been updated.]
How well do you understand life insurance?
I’m sure you understand the basic premise: if you have it, your family gets money when you die.
If you’ve been reading this blog, watching AccuQuote’s YouTube channel or opening our emails, you’re probably better educated than 90% of your peers. You may be aware of the tips I’m about to share, but even if that’s the case, they merit repeating. This stuff is that important!
Not Shopping Around
Every life insurance company has a variety of products with different features and costs. If you don’t compare companies to make sure you get the right coverage at the right price, you’re probably not getting either.
Instead of doing all the research yourself…or settling for whoever your parents are insured by…AccuQuote makes it quick and easy. We do the research for you! Our quoting software checks out products from over a dozen highly rated insurance companies to find the most affordable rates. Our customers save up to 70%!
You may be surprised by how much coverage you can get on your budget.
Failing to Prepare for the Exam
To get the best possible rates, you have to prove you’re in good health. That means taking a medical exam. Your activities in the days before the exam have a major impact on the results.
Fortunately, there are specific steps you can take to “put your best foot forward.” The video below explains what you can do.
If you don’t take these exam tips seriously, you could get bumped into a lower rate class than you would ordinarily qualify for. That could cost you thousands of dollars.
For example, let’s imagine a 45-year old man applies for $250,000, 20-year term policy. He doesn’t smoke and he’s pretty healthy.
Imagine he goes overboard on coffee and potato chips the day before the exam. His blood pressure could go up enough to ruin his chances of getting a preferred rate class. He may end up getting a standard rate class. He’d have to pay $52.68/month for his policy instead of the $34.39/month he’d pay if he had followed the tips from the video above. That’s $219.48 a year…$4,389.60 over the life of the policy.
Waiting Too Long
Let’s say the man from the example above decides to wait 5 more years to buy his policy. Instead of paying $34.39/month, now he has to pay $50.50. That’s an additional $193.32 per year! That’s like paying for 5 extra months of premiums every single year.
And that’s assuming his health doesn’t decline in those 5 years.
Skipping Your Policy Reviews
It’s a smart idea to check in with a life insurance professional once a year. A few minutes on the phone will help you make sure your policy keeps up with any life changes you experience.
You may need more coverage if you got married, have new kids, earn more money, bought a new house, etc.
You may not need as much coverage if you got divorced, your kids became financially independent or you wiped out debt (like a mortgage).
The best way to make sure your coverage still “fits” is to review your policy. You can call us at 800-589-0465 for a free policy review even if you didn’t buy your policy from us.
Not Getting Guaranteed Level Premiums
In most cases, you won’t want to make “balloon payments” on your life insurance. Check to make sure your policy GUARANTEES your premiums will never go up. Most term and permanent life insurance policies can be structured in this way.
Not Buying Life Insurance
This mistake doesn’t cost you, but it could be devastating for your family.
The last check you’ll ever give your family will come from your life insurance company. If your family’s lifestyle depends on the money you make, things will get tight when that money stops coming in.
Dying can be expensive, too. A funeral, medical bills, etc., can put a lot of extra financial strain on your family. Life insurance can cover those costs and give your family the resources they need to maintain the lifestyle you want them to enjoy.
Not Buying Enough
When talking with people about how much life insurance to buy, one of the questions I often ask is, “How long do you plan on being dead?” If you’re only going to stay dead for a few years, your life insurance only has to replace a few years’ worth of income.
If your death is likely to be permanent, your policy needs to reflect that.
(NOTE: Intentional sarcasm above!)
How many years of income do you want to provide for your family? Our super-simple Life Insurance Calculator can help you figure out how much life insurance is enough to adequately protect your loved ones.
We’re here to give you all the information you need to make educated decisions about life insurance. Give us a call at 800-442-9899. We’ll help you avoid these and other mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars and prevent unnecessary stress in the long run. At AccuQuote, we can provide you with quality, competitive life insurance quotes from the top-rated, brand-name insurance companies you know and trust.
You can get your free life insurance quote here. It only takes a minute or two.