How to Shop Around for the Best Life Insurance Quotes

Reviewing the cash surrender value of your life insurance and whether it makes sense to cash out

 Hero Images/GettyImages

If you are shopping around for life insurance, there are a few key things to consider that can save you money, while protecting your family or the beneficiary of the policy. You might be tempted to look at the dollar amount as the main factor when comparing different life insurance quotes, especially if you think about how long you pay for life insurance and how much of a difference a life insurance quote of $5 per month would make over a 30-year term. Imagine taking that money and investing it instead—it could really add up. However, there are other things to consider as well, like where the money goes when you pay your premium.

When comparing life insurance quotes, you want to look at your long-term goals, short-term affordability, and whether you want to use life insurance as a whole life solution or a temporary one.

There are several different kinds of policies to choose from. Make sure you're comparing term policies to term policies and whole policies to whole policies so that you don't accidentally sign up for a policy you didn't intend to.

5 Things to Consider When Comparing Life Insurance Quotes

When it comes to shopping for life insurance, every dollar counts. Let's look at a few ways to shop around for the best life insurance quotes so you can start saving thousands of dollars by making a smart choice for your life insurance policy.

1. Determine Your Needs

First, you need to have a good idea of just how much insurance you need. If you have not taken the time to research your needs then you will not be able to make an informed decision when the insurance agent or company that you are buying your insurance from gives you the quotes.

If your employer has a group benefits plan, find out how much life insurance you can get as part of that plan and keep this in mind as you purchase additional life insurance products. Even if you have a policy through work, you should get an additional plan in case you ever leave the company or lose your job.

2. Pick Your Type of Life Insurance

Term or whole life? These are the two basic types of insurance and vary in how they work. Research these choices so you can make an informed decision when acquiring your life insurance quotes. Consider working with a life insurance agent or financial advisor who can help you figure out which type of life insurance makes sense for your family and your financial goals.

3. Shop Online, and Locally, for the Best Life Insurance Quotes

When determining where to get your life insurance quotes, take the time to contact several companies or use a broker who has access to many. Of course, the bottom line price should not be the determining factor in your choice, but using the cost of life insurance quotes is a good place to start comparing. Be prepared for medical questions and a medical exam and don't worry—just because one company may deny you that does not mean another company will.

4. Check for Extra Discounts

Once you have found a handful of companies that have similar life insurance premium quotes that fit your budget, dig deeper and compare their particular life insurance products. One good comparison area is to evaluate the additional savings features offered by each company. These include discounts for automatic drafts, organization memberships, and multiple insurance packages from the same company (like life and disability).

5. Understand the Life Insurance Policy

When shopping for your life insurance policy and comparing companies, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. For example, some life insurance companies may give you a quote for one length of time, while another gives you a quote for another length of time.

Know how much life insurance you want and for how long before comparison shopping so that you can look at the quotes side by side before choosing the right one for you.

Key Factors to Look at When Gathering Life Insurance Quotes

Life insurance policies come in many shapes and forms. There are key details to consider and questions to ask when looking at life insurance policies. These may include:

  • Fixed premiums (premium stays the same throughout the policy)
  • Return of premium (your premium will be returned at the end of the policy if unused)
  • Guaranteed renewable policies (you will be able to renew the policy after it has expired?)
  • Exclusions (benefits that are not included)
  • Medical exam requirements
  • When the policy comes into force after you submit your application
  • "Free look" time—this is the time in which you can change your mind after acquiring the policy, usually somewhere within 10 days

What Kind of Life Insurance Should You Buy?

Getting the help of a financial advisor or life insurance professional to evaluate your needs can help you avoid making a mistake on the choice of policy you buy.

Life insurance brokers usually have access to many different life insurance policies and can help you compare one quote to another.

The person you are working with should be a licensed professional, helpful, and open to answering all your questions. Make sure to find someone you are comfortable working with. Asking friends and family if they have a trusted advisor can also be very helpful and will get you on the right track to making good choices.