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Comparison Shopping for Life Insurance Helps Secure Your Loved Ones Futures at an Affordable Price

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Life insurance companies use different methodologies when calculating rates, which is why you see the cost for the same coverage changing based on the carrier. If you want to get the rate possible, you’ll have to shop around.

Comparison shopping helps you avoid overpaying for life insurance coverage.

Comparing Life Insurance Rates the Traditional Way

We recommend shopping the SmartFinancial way but before we delve into how that works, let’s look at the steps involved in shopping for life insurance the traditional way.

Step 1: Decide How Much Coverage You Need

The size of the death benefit you want to leave your beneficiaries will depend on your personal circumstances. For example, if you’re 10 years into paying off your 30-year mortgage and you’re the sole income provider, then you may want to buy a 20-year term life insurance policy. That way, if you die before you repay it, your spouse can use the death benefit to pay off the house.

Another situation to consider is whether you have dependent children. If your children are currently 20 years old, then think about buying a ten-year term life policy. By the time they turn 30, they will hopefully be financially independent and won’t need to rely on your income to meet their daily living expenses.

Another consideration is whether you want term life or permanent life insurance. Term life is more flexible since you can buy coverage for specific situations such as the two scenarios mentioned above. Meanwhile, permanent life insurance insures you for the rest of your life and has added benefits such as building cash value that you can withdraw or borrow against over time.

Step 2: Make Sure You Have the Right Information and Documentation

Before you start contacting life insurance companies, you should have the below information ready. Insurance companies will usually ask for this information so they can give you the most accurate quote.

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Current health conditions
  • Family medical history
  • Whether you smoke cigarettes
  • Occupation
  • Extracurricular activities

Keep in mind that some types of life insurance will require you to undergo a medical examination so that your rate will more accurately reflect your current health. Meanwhile, other life insurance policies will only require you to complete a health questionnaire.

Step 3: Research and Contact Insurance Companies

After compiling your personal information, you will need to provide that to each life insurance company you are considering. A good rule of thumb is to gather quotes from at least three to five insurance companies so you can get an idea of the going rate for the coverage you want.

Don’t forget to factor variables other than price into your final decision. For example, you will also want to look at the company’s financial stability rating to ensure that they have the financial backing to fulfill claims. In addition, you should look at customer service ratings because the last thing you’ll want your grieving beneficiary to do is wrestle with a complicated claims process.

After deciding on a carrier, you can schedule your first premium payment and begin your life insurance coverage.

The SmartFinancial Way To Compare Life Insurance

Life insurance is handy to have, especially when you have dependents, but shopping for it can be a hassle. After all, having to talk to five or more companies and provide your personal information each time can take hours.

Here’s an easier way: Use SmartFinancial to streamline the shopping experience.

With SmartFinancial, there’s no looking up companies and then calling each one individually. Instead, all you have to do is complete one questionnaire about your coverage needs and we’ll do the shopping for you.

How SmartFinancial Works

Complete a Quick Questionnaire

We’ll ask you questions about yourself such as your age, sex, health status and desired coverage limit.

Compare Rates

We’ll sort through offers from our highly-rated life insurance company partners and find the policy that best matches your unique profile.

Find Coverage

Accept our recommendation and get life insurance coverage today. SmartFinancial is quick, easy to use and completely free.


Factors That Affect How Much You Pay for Life Insurance

Most life insurance companies will use the factors listed below when calculating your life insurance premium:

  • Age: Since older people generally have higher mortality rates than young and healthy people, they will pay higher rates on average. That’s why it’s generally recommended to buy life insurance earlier in life.
  • Sex: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women have longer life expectancies than men on average and may enjoy lower rates as a result.
  • Current health conditions: Depending on the carrier, you may have to undergo a health examination and if the results flag certain medical conditions, you will likely be charged a higher premium.
  • Family medical history: If serious medical conditions like stroke or cancer runs in your family, then buying life insurance may be more expensive for you.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking regularly increases your risk of developing life-threatening health conditions. As a result, smokers can expect to face higher premiums.
  • Driving record: Some life insurance carriers will pull your driving record to see if you have a history of car accidents. If there are multiple instances, then you will likely pay higher rates since there is a higher likelihood of you dying in a motor vehicle incident.
  • Extracurricular activities: If you regularly engage in some high-risk activity in your free time, your insurance company will likely charge you a higher premium. After all, somebody who rock climbs or skydives is probably more likely to die from their hobby than somebody who knits blankets.

The Basics of Life Insurance

Featured Guide

What Is a Life Insurance Policy and How Does It Work?

Life insurance is a contract between you and your insurer in which you pay premiums on a regular basis so that your dependents can file an insurance claim and receive payment in the event that you die while your policy is in force.

Key Terms To Know

Key Term


You can choose a life insurance beneficiary or beneficiaries to get paid out with a death benefit after you pass away.

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Key Term


There are many types of life insurance so it’s important to understand the term limits and benefits of a policy before buying life insurance.

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Key Term

Term Life Insurance

A term life insurance is only active for the stated term, like 10, 20 or 30 years, depending on the policy you buy. If you die within that term, no one receives a cash benefit but you may be able to renew the policy or convert it to a permanent one, depending on your insurer.

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Key Term

Whole Life Insurance

Unlike a term-life policy, whole life insurance is a permanent life plan that will cover you through your entire life.

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Key Term

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance policies are active during your entire life as long as you make premium payments. Some permanent life insurance policies have a savings and/or investment component.

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Key Term

Universal Life Insurance

Lifelong coverage and building cash value while investing are some of the benefits of having a universal life insurance policy.

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Key Term

Death Benefit

After you pass away, your life insurance beneficiaries will receive a death benefit that will help with funeral costs and more.

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Key Term

Cash Value

Some types of life insurance policies build up a cash value. You can cash out a policy or take out a loan against that policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the right kind of life insurance for me?

Term life insurance is ideal if you want cheaper premiums and need coverage for a set period, such as the time it takes for you to pay off your house or for your children to gain financial independence. Permanent life insurance is also a good choice if you want lifelong coverage with added benefits like cash value accumulation, albeit at a higher cost.

Can I have more than one beneficiary?

Yes, you can have multiple beneficiaries for your life insurance policy, allowing you to allocate the death benefit among several individuals or entities according to your wishes.

What happens to a life insurance cash value when you die?

When you die, the cash value built up in your life insurance policy typically goes to the life insurance company, while the death benefit goes to your beneficiary.

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