As much as we want to refrain from thinking about death, the fact of the matter is that life is unpredictable. What we can predict, though, is what will happen to our assets and how our families will be taken care of through life insurance. While not an easy nor enjoyable task, you need to research a policy that will work for you. As with anything, there are many companies out there looking to swindle you, so you need to be careful. But, don’t worry; we’re here to help. The following are tips to avoid being ripped off by a life insurance plan:
Tips to Avoid Being Ripped Off by a Life Insurance Plan
Prior to starting your search, it needs to be decided whose life or lives will be covered in a plan and what types of coverage will be available in the case of death. Here’s how you can navigate the process of life insurance shopping:
- Think about supplementing pension and social security income. A dual-income home no doubt helps to make things easier, but when one spouse passes, you have to live on much less. Life insurance can help alleviate some worry and serve as a partial income replacement for the surviving spouse. In this case, term life insurance is a great choice due specific time frames, but whole life insurance, which is a type of permanent life insurance that assures financial certainty, is even better due to the increasing cash value it provides. The downside, of course, is that it does cost more money. But, with guaranteed growth, it may be worth the investment.
- Know how the agent gets paid before meeting with him or her. Before even setting up a meeting to look at different policies, find out how your potential agent is paid. Are they compensated through commission or are they salaried? The last thing you need when shopping for life insurance is to be treated like a paycheck. Make sure you’re making decisions that are best for you and not for the agent’s bank account.
- Use an online calculator. An online calculator, like this one from New York Life, can help you see where you stand and how much your spouse will need to cover expenses. Look for calculators that actually provide information on the numbers and not just try to direct you to an agent.
- Be open and honest with your agent or broker. It is imperative that you are open and honest with your broker. Be as clear as possible and as open as possible about your current situation and your needs. This will prevent you signing up for a plan that is not right for you, or, worse, an unexpected increase in rates.
- Know your health history. Often times, you’ll need to have a medical examination when applying for life insurance. Be as prepared as possible by having a list of past surgeries, treated conditions, accidents, medications, and so on. This will make the entire process simpler and quicker for everyone including you.
- Research the different types of life insurance. Two different main types of life insurance plans were discussed previously (term and whole life), but the two other main plans include universal and variable. Don’t go into a meeting with an insurance agent without having some background knowledge of the specifics of these plans. You’ll be able to make wiser decisions by doing so. This may be one of the more important tips to avoid being ripped off by a life insurance plan.
While we should always remain positive, we should also be prepared for the worst in life. It is an unfortunate thought. However, by taking the steps to protect your family for the future now, you’ll have peace of mind and truly be able to live life the fullest.
What tips would you add to the list?
Jenn Clark is a writer, PR specialist, entrepreneur, blogger and coffee enthusiast. A lover of laughter, traveling and cheese, she’s written about her life experiences here at suburbanfinance while at the same time growing other young professionals. You can find more of her work at Jennblogs.co.