Thursday, March 26, 2009


Yeah. We know. Puppies have nothing to do with Life Insurance. Puppies are cute and cuddly, and people love them.

Life insurance
….yuck. Just the words send people scurrying for cover.
Everyone hates talking about Life Insurance. Except Insurance agents. They probably even find it interesting. After all, they chose it as a career. Takes all kinds. Can't all be ballerinas and firefighters, we suppose.

Life insurance is one of those boring adult responsibilities. Like
repaying college loans and paying taxes. (We're talking to you, Mr. Daschle.) If you have dependents, you probably want to leave them with a little nest egg to remember you by. Face it. Life insurance is a necessary evil unless you’re very rich and your portfolio is still worth something. If, say, you never heard the name Bernie Madoff before he hit the news. Sigh.

As with anything else you purchase, shopping around can yield significant savings. We know. Shopping around for life insurance probably sounds like a trip to the second circle of Dante's Inferno. But face some facts: Life insurance is a commodity product -- there is not much difference between one policy and the next. It's not like you can buy the nicer policy made of silk and leave the cheaper nylon one on the rack. If you are healthy and want to be insured for $500,000, it would seem reasonable to expect that comparable policies from any of the hundreds of companies willing to insure healthy people, should be priced similarly. So how do you begin?

Start by shopping online. One site we looked at was: Unfortunately, even though they say they’ll give you a quote at the end of the questionnaire, you are being solicited by an Insurance Agent. You will get some quotes online, but be ready for a call from a pushy person. They will try to sell you more than what you want. Be firm. Explain that you’ve done your research and you know what you want and you want a comparison quote….THAT’S IT. They’ll give it to you, reluctantly.

Independent Agents are usually a better choice to talk to
(as opposed to company-based agents who only sell products from their particular insurance company). The highest quotes will probably come from large financial companies who don't specialize in life insurance. From the independent brokers, you will likely hear the same numbers again and again. The independent brokers are the easiest to work with; they don't tend to ask as many invasive questions as company-affiliated brokers, and for the most part they don’t use hard-sell techniques. One helpful broker might point out that different companies have different weight cut-offs for the lowest premiums. So, for example, if you could lose a manageable three pounds, you would fall into a better health category and save a few dollars on your annual premium. In our experience, independent brokers also seem to know the business very well.

Shopping around does make a difference though; premiums can vary. After you get several quotes and they’re in the same ballpark, you then know you’re paying what you should be.

(By the way, the same holds true for
car insurance. Shop around every few years; you’ll be surprised how much you can save. We suggest is a good place to start.)

Also make sure the company is highly rated ( and ask about customer service if you need to use it.

For more information, we recommend you take a look at this article:

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