- Buying life insurance is a smart choice for anyone who supports children, a spouse, or aging parents on their income.
- Most experts recommend term life insurance for cheap and simple coverage. Usually, the younger you are, the better your rate.
- You can get life insurance directly from most any insurance company, but to find the lowest rate for the best policy, you should shop through a third-party broker.
- If you need life insurance, Policygenius can help you compare quotes to find the right coverage for you »
Life insurance isn’t something you should put off.
It’s an ideal time to get life insurance if you’re newly married, earning a high salary, or starting a family. If anyone relies on your income for their financial well-being, whether a spouse, children, aging parents, or anyone else, you probably need life insurance. Plus, usually the younger you are, the better the rate you lock in on a fixed-rate policy.
Life insurance policies come in many different varieties, though, and navigating the fine print to find the right one for you can be intimidating. You also want to make sure you’re getting the best deal, money-wise. For most people, experts recommend term life insurance because it’s cheap and simple.
“You purchase a policy for a set term — usually 10 to 30 years — and during that term you pay premiums to keep your coverage active,” explained Logan Sachon, an insurance editor at insurance-comparison site Policygenius. “If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit. If you don’t die during the term — the preferred outcome — your coverage ends when your term expires and you don’t get any money back.”
How much you pay depends on how much coverage you want, the type of policy you get, and how much risk you pose. The average person can expect to pay between $300 to $400 a year for life insurance, according to Policygenius, but it really depends on your situation.
How to get cheap life insurance
If you’re signed up for group life insurance through work, you only need to supplement that amount with an individual policy. Many companies offer life insurance coverage for employees, but it’s usually a multiple of annual salary and not enough to replace income for a family. The policy is often free and the money is guaranteed, so it’s typically worth taking.
Some employers offer supplemental life insurance to make up the difference, but it’s smart to compare rates for additional coverage through a third-party broker.
Below, we’ll take you through a rate comparison and application process on Policygenius:
1. On Policygenius.com, you can find, compare, and buy several types of insurance. For life insurance, click the “life” box.
2. There’s no commitment required to get quotes for your monthly premium. You won’t have to enter your name, email, and phone number until after you’ve browsed through the policy options.
3. You can choose either “less support” or “more support” from the Policygenius team to navigate the life insurance application.
4. Life insurance premiums are based in part on where you live, so the site immediately wants to know your ZIP code so it can find insurers in your area. You’ll also need to provide your gender, date of birth, citizenship status, and relationship status.
If you do have a significant other or spouse, the site will offer to help find quotes for both of you to save some time.
5. Next you need to provide some basic information about your health: your height, weight, whether you smoke tobacco, whether you have been treated or take medication for depression, high cholesterol, drug abuse, or another serious condition. You’ll also need to disclose any serious medical diagnoses of close blood relatives.
Many insurers consider your driving record in determining your risk level, too, so there’s a question regarding accidents and tickets.
The more detailed you are in answering these questions, the more accurate your quotes will be.
6. If none of the serious medical conditions listed apply to you, Policygenius says “you’re in demand” and will probably have some low premiums to choose from.
7. If you answered “yes” to the question about your family’s health history, you’ll be prompted to give more information so that your quotes will be as accurate as possible, though additional details are not required to move to the next step.
8. Next, you need to select a coverage amount and term length.
Within each box, Policygenius provides some guidance to help you choose your coverage amount …
… and term length. You’ll have the opportunity to adjust these numbers later if you change your mind.
9. The next page will bring up several policy options, organized by the premium. Policygenius highlights the same features of each policy, including financial strength and customer service of the insurer.
Policygenius is sure to remind you that any option it’s offering is a good one.
10. From there, you can check the “compare” box on two or more policies to see how they stack up against one another.
There’s a section breaking down and comparing the “fine print,” too. As you can see, most of the policies are the same — the biggest difference is monthly cost. At the bottom of the page, Policygenius provides its own recommendation.
11. Once you choose a policy, you’re ready to apply. This is where you fill in your personal information.
12. Before you can submit the application, you have to provide your address and income for a Policygenius representative to verify.
Once you click “submit,” you’ll see your own dashboard with the status of your application.
13. You should get a call from Policygenius within minutes to verify your information. From there, your Policygenius representative will schedule your medical exam — this is required for everyone who wants to buy a life insurance policy — and answer any questions you have.
14. You can check the progress of your application through the online dashboard. In many cases, the medical exam is done by a nurse who will come to your office or home at the expense of the insurance provider. It’s very similar to a physical you would get at your primary care doctor’s office. Once the medical exam and underwriting process is complete, you can e-sign your policy via computer or phone.