Shopping for life insurance can be a deeply personal experience. It is, after all, your family that you want to protect. We asked Robert Bland, chairman and founder of Life Quotes, Inc., GEICO’s life-insurance partner, for five things to ask yourself before making one of the most important purchases of your life.
1. Do I have debt or dependents?
What would happen to your family without you? Their financial security is one of the first things you need to consider, and income replacement is one of the top reasons why people buy life insurance. “Life insurance is a very effective purchase to care for your loved ones or create an estate.”
2. How much coverage do I need?
How much is enough can be a tough but crucial question to answer. The industry benchmark is 10 times your annual income, but that can vary depending on your personal circumstances. “How would your family make ends meet if your paychecks stopped coming in? Imagine what amount of money would be needed to replace your income each year for the next 20 to 30 years.”
Consider other outstanding large debts such as your mortgage; you’ll want to add that amount to your coverage as well. “It’s a good idea to have enough life insurance to cover any debts, like your home mortgage, and then add a little extra coverage to the policy that leaves your family a nest egg.”
3. What term should I get?
One way that term life insurance makes the whole process easier and less intimidating is how flexible (and affordable) it is. Term life insurance provides straightforward death benefit protection without any expensive “cash value” or investment component add-ons. “Discuss your general income needs with an agent who will help you calculate the best policy terms and limits within your time frame.”
4. What’s my medical history?
You may be fit as a fiddle, but you’ll still need your health records for the initial assessment. “Get all the facts about your health history in order because you will be asked about them.” Don’t be discouraged, though; a standard term life policy will typically cover death by any cause at any time, except for death by suicide within the first two policy years (one year in some states).
5. How do I get the best price?
You can compare multiple quotes right away through the GEICO Insurance Agency. “Prices vary significantly, and you can see that on our site in seconds.” Most companies offer flexible payment options that allow you to pay on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, which makes term life insurance even easier to afford.
By Sam Song